By Harry McCracken | Monday, August 3, 2009 at 2:13 am
The news that RadioShack may be becoming The Shack has left me feeling nostalgic and wistful…and when I feel nostalgic and wistful, I often head to YouTube to cheer myself up. After the jump, a bunch of old commercials for the electronics giant, most of which date from the era when it was Radio Shack, a proud division of the Tandy Corporation.
In retrospect, wasn’t putting 8-track tape players in two cars a worse idea than putting them in…no cars at all?
Back in the mid-1970s, I loved the Radio Shack catalog and would stop into my local store frequently to check on its availability. I think that’s the late Boston Pops conductor Arthur Fiedler on the cover, presumably endorsing stereo equipment.
Two brief station promos, then an ad for the TRS-80 Model I (the NOW computer), then some more ads that make me nostalgic, including one for a product named Jimmy Carter.
I may have started as a TRS-80 fan, but by the time the TRS-80 Color Computer came along, I had moved on. In fact, I was an Atari 400 owner who held the CoCo in active contempt.
French-Canadian Model III (and giant line printer) ad makes me nostalgic even though I don’t really understand it.
From 1984, Bill Bixby promotes the Tandy 1000 computer–even then, Radio Shack was sometimes uncomfortable with its name and opted for its more professional-sounding corporate moniker “Tandy.”
I barely remember the TRS-80 Model 4, but I like this ad’s use of the visual of a floppy going into the drive as evidence that it was a fast machine.
If RadioShack really wanted an accurate name, it might consider calling itself SlightlyCheesyButFunLookingElectronicToyShack.
You think your iPhone was pricey? This Canadian ad (note the long o in processor) says that cell phones start at just $1399.
Nerdy-looking man lugs hernia-inducing “portable” phone, shares with nerdy-looking, TRS-80 Model 100-toting son.
This ad mentions CD-ROMs and would therefore appear to date from about the time that RadioShack stopped selling its own line of computers in the mid-1990s.
Maybe RadioShack isn’t changing its name after all–this commercial seems to indicate that it’s still going to be called RadioShack in whatever century the Jetsons live in.