24 Apr 2012

THE 1985 SPRING & SUMMER ARGOS CATALOGUE


Last time I reviewed a scanned Argos book from back in the day it was just the toy section. This time round I'm gunna hammer the whole thing. Not all of it though as not everything is interesting or funny (kinda like this shit website of mine!) so I'm just going for the meaty bits that I can poke fun at. So here it goes the closest thing you will get to being in a time machine today...

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE
"Spying on next doors kids at bath time has never been easier!"

This is just some 80s locks and I saw a man looking like a ladder nonce so I thought I would include it. So they had locks in the 80s so anyone who tells you that "you could leave your front door open back then" is a fucking liar and should be dealt with accordingly.

 "Some things in life never change... and the shit jewelry from Argos is one of them!"

It is pure crap isnt it? This stuff is soo bad they had to put a picture of a flower in the right hand corner to stop you from burping sick. Thing is though, people from the unfortunate parts of Essex and London still like to get engaged as well so I suppose Argos is doing a service really. There's a little star of David pendant here to get the Jewish costumers going... if they want to wear tacky shit jewelry from Argos that would snap if you farted on it!

"these non electrical carpet sweeping hoovers... they certainly dont suck!"

These 1950's throwback shit cunts were still available in 1980's, I guess for peasants who couldn't afford proper hoovers. These little babies where just big square things with a handle that had combs inside to clean carpets. You would have been better off covering your self in double sided tape and rolling round the floor for hours to clean the place, that's how shit these were!

"Some bloke stabbed his wife 67 fucking times with one of those knives... all because he couldn't turn it off!"

These are 1980's kitchen "gadgets".. well the bottom 2 are. My mother had this electrical tin opener and a marvel of modern technology it wasn't! The thing plugged into the wall, held a tin with a magnet and took about five minutess while making a horrible grinding sound just to open a tin. Then we have the electronic carving knives in which we still had to carve all they did was saved you from doing one extra hand movement.
"the blonde woman on the right would get it!"

Yes the 80's had showers and there's nothing really interesting about this apart from the naked woman in the top right hand corner who is on for a portion of 80's loving! The woman on the left not so much as from that angle its hard to tell wether she has no hair at all or maybe alopecia from this angle. You must always be on the safe side in these situations.

    "ever wanted to store crap and look at your self in the mirror... at the same time? well look no further!"

This isn't really that interesting apart from the fact that the woman on the lefts face is uglier in the mirror than in real life. The moral of the story here is Argos mirrors will make you look ugly!

"shitty floor tiles and cat flaps... all your troubles end now!"

This page is just a pure fuckarama of random shit from crap floor tiles (which produce different effects when placed differently... actually they look the same just the other way round!), door bells, soda streams, cat flaps, dog stuff, cat stuff and astro turf door mats. First I am gonna say that cats face coming out of the cat flap is pure gold I am actually really laughing HA HA the 80's cat is a legend great stuff. The soda stream fizzy drinks maker may have seemed like a good idea and quite a cheap "gadget" but the thing was a con. It made shit drinks worse than the cheap fake cola from Lidl and you would have a right laugh when you called the hotline to replace the gas cylinder and they would give a nice £30 replacement. Bastards. 


Here are some 80's bed sheets. The He-Man one isn't the best, I remember there being much better ones with Greyskull and all the other Eternia trimmings. The A-Team one is pure win and everything you could want from an A-Team bed sheet and the tiger one as so cool that I really want it. Imagine having that now the ladies will love it as women love danger and nothing says danger like tigers. Its a proven fact a woman would date a plane crash if it was scientifically possible. Say a rich plane crash in a woman's ear and she will go weak at the knees. Anyway back to the bed sheets I never had any cool ones like these I had one of Michael Jackson. It hit the bricks in 1992 though after Jacksons own bedtime antics with young boys my age were revealed to the rest of the world.

"oh brother do these suck!"

Every home needed an electric typewriter so that the bored house wives  could make lists and charts of all the Dallas episodes they have watched while the kids are at school. And when the kids were off school they could return back to class with typed up sick notes. That was the only thing the one our house was used for.

"People moan about ipods on the train but they forget about these bad boys!"

With the ability to tape songs off the radio the music business was up in arms about these just like the mp3 row of today saying "there wont be a music industry in ten years if people keep taping". Its 2012 the music business still has millionaires and is still run by a bunch of you know what's, who don't know anything! I only stopped taking mine away with me in like 1999 because year by year the stuff I was listening to got more darker in more ways than one and the other families around the swimming pool on holiday didn't think Slayer and Eminem albums were suitable poolside material. I then got my self a CD walkman which skipped every step you took, so if you saw someone standing like a statue with head phones on you could guarantee a song they really digged had just came on. I miss these and they should be brought back!

"Oh yeah there were loads of different ways to wake up in the 80's... well about 2 anyway"

So we come to the alarm clock page and to be fair the price is pretty fucking steep I mean I would really begrudge paying £18.99 for something that's gonna end my good nights sleep and bring me back to the abyss of reality . I always said if I won a ridiculous amount of money and I could have what I want, then I want for my alarm clock, a man dressed as a gorilla to throw champagne over me in the morning and then loads of slags come running in and lick it off. Anyway back to reality of waking up in the 80's you had a choice of radio or just beeping. I don't like having songs wake me up because I fucking hate waking up and if I am woken up from a good dream by a song then I will have a grudge against that song and the artist for years! I still hate that bitch who done the Coyote Ugly song because it woke me up in 2000. The funny thing about these is the features! They act as if having a clock which reads 24 hour mode is like a necessity and really deserves being pricier than the normal 12 hour one. I bet the dicks who bought the 24 hour clocks were all like "go to bed Douglas its 23 hundred hours and 12 minutes!" just to make sure they got their moneys worth.. Pricks!

"wanna fool people into think your Miami Vice tapes are books? Look no further"

These were something most families had at the time the old pretend VHS book cases. Who needs books anyway if you had VHS? Oh yeah them clever people. The thing which pissed me off with these was you would spend forever looking for the tape you wanted as they wasn't labelled or anything. This led to lots of kids accidentally finding their parents porn videos and in one case one of my friends found one starring his own parents. The cassette tape holders were pretty cool to.. well store your tapes. And yes a TV wall bracket which had a swivel so you could move the furniture round when the TV was on with no worries because it had the swivel!

and some more cassette holders
"snooker proof televisions"

If you had a black and white TV in 1985 than I really feel for you because you really must have been some sort of peasant to the point kids from school were not allowed round in case they see you have a black and white TV and realize how much you really suck. I mean look at the programs they have put on them! A sheep just standing there  and a sexless married couple walking along the pier. I bet when I come to the color TVs its all people flying kites, hot air balloons and dick heads windsurfing in the most glorious colors ever. The prices were still pretty steep as well so if you owned one of these there was no excuse really because you could have afforded a normal color TV. 


Now what did I just say about color TV's from the 80's? Who even watches programs of people windsurfing while giant air balloons float gracefully in the background in a field of roses? They ranged from £169 upwards so really no excuse to still be watching in black and white. The biggest sized screen is 14" inches that's like the size of a standard computer monitor. How much home cinemas have evolved is one thing that pleases me in life.. one of the only things actually.

"commadore 64! its better than commadore 63.. well that didnt exist so its true!"

The TV on this page is teletext ready which was a massive thing back then and some people still even use it to this day. Of course they are the same family that had the black and white TV and are yet to discover the internet. HA I really get off on hating on the people of the world that have no money to buy the silly gadgets and products they don't need but really want.  

Now I cant remember if it was the Spectrum or the Commadore 64 but my sister got one of these for Christmas one year and we spent an entire day waiting for a shit game called Hungry Horace to load. The screen scrambled and the TV made a noise as if it was being raped by some sort of cyber antagonist it was a whole pile of horse shit. Plus the game absolutely sucked. The dot matrix printer was shit as well we had one at school it took 3 years to print a document while it made a noise which sounded like a chainsaw going through a pig. 80's computers sucked.

"80's hand held consoles making any long car journey even worse"

At the top we have a Frogger game which looks like a wielders mask and then after that the Nintendo game and watch hand sets. These were Nintendos first go at going hand held and if you look at the Donkey Kong one it looks hell of a lot like DS. They were pretty expensive for what they were just lcd games but this was 1985 remember and everything was still relatively shit. 

The stereo star fighter 3d glasses thing intrigues me as I've never seen one before. Maybe some kid was playing it and then his dad slammed the car brakes on and boom they are no longer safe.
The learning computers at the bottom were cool. The big red one was instrumental in getting ET home and it was pretty neat it used to say words and you had to spell them and it was a really innovative toy that helped kids learn to spell. 

The little professor was just a gimmicky calculator and the other two were quite unique as they had slots for different cards and one could play music and the other was for learning stuff. Pretty cool don't know what became of them or if they are still made to this day.


I already wrote a section last year on He Man toys (click here to read) but I never mentioned Castle Greyskull. Greskull was like the Holy Grail you were the big man if you had this and I had this and I rubbed it in every mortals face I came into contact with at the time. I HAD CASTLE GREYSKULL!



Looking back though it was a pretty mediocre playset compared to Snake Mountain and the others. It was hollow inside with just a spinny chair and a ladder, so I never saw what Skeletors problem was about having access to it. I suppose its the fact he wasn't allowed in that really bugged him. Kinda like when your not invited to persons wedding you don't like but you still wanna pull a Skeletor and crash the party just because you wasn't invited... crashing a wedding dressed as Skeletor is now on my list of things to do before I die!


Being at pre school age during this time and having sisters we had most of the products on this page. The toy shop in the top left hand corner my sister got 2 of these from a senile relation at 2 years in a row if I remember rightly. My elder sister got the second shop and the business rivalry was rife between the 2. They had the doctors sets which were pretty pants as well. Pretending to have a serious illness and then pretending to be cured was about as fun as it sounds. The tea pot house was also something one of my sisters had and the shoe school thing also. Must have been great living in a teapot shitting yourself at the thought of being boiled to death while watching Blockbusters. The Stickle bricks at the top were a fake ass Lego for pre school kids which were covered in plastic spikes and you couldn't really make anything out of them and if you stood on a brick then you were bang in trouble. I had the Fisher Price car garage thing but it got used as a multi story car park for my normal match box cars. The cat pissed on it once making it all that more realistic of a real life multi story car park! Also had the farm as well which had a giant mutated chicken which is half the size of the horse? Maybe its one of them ones that KFC breed?


More preschool stuff I remember having the massive square thing that had spinners and switches and other things for babies to twist grab etc. The Glo Worm in the corner was a favorite toy of one of my sisters and the pretend School set was a favorite of my eldest sister who used to pretend to be the teacher and make our lives miserable for hours on end.


Oh yes this is why I love the 80's a whole catalog page dedicated to Mr T and his pals in the A-Team. The 3 inch Gi Joe style A-Team figures come in the really cool box set with all the accessories and the six inch figures were as cool as fuck. The A-Team van is possibly one of my most prized possessions even to this day.

Here are some bikes and... snooker tables. It seems a bit odd placing these items together but that's Argos for you... the wacky bastards. The Knightrider car was something I used to whizz around in quite a lot as a toddler. Obviously David Hasslehoff being the douchebag he is wouldnt let the car have its five minutes of glory and made sure a massive picture of his stupid fucking face was placed on the bonnet. I really hate David Hasslehoff for the fact he thought people watched Knightrider and Baywatch all because of him when in fact people were more interested in a talking car and Pamela Andersons cleavage! I had the little foosball and Snooker tables as well. You are probably thinking by now that I was quite a spoilt child and you would be right to think so. Don't get mad!
Me as a spoilt toddler with my Knight Rider car.



Here are some 80's exercise bikes and weight lifting equipment. The bitch on the exercise bike wants to be Olivia Newton John so bad it hurts and all of the men that pose for these kind of products automatically fall under the nob category. Now I'm not hating but you can tell by looking at them all they are twats and have never seen classic movies like the Godfather or Ghostbusters and don't eat cereals like Coco Cops because they don't have enough fiber and no chunks of fruit. 


Oh yes car covers. In the 1980's cars were not water proof and if it rained and you never had one of these bad boys your car would melt on the floor like a dead witch. That is of course a pure lie but its more fun than the truth. There also some sort of device for kidnapping dogs in your car boot. Dog not included unfortunately 

"Fed up of getting toddler stains on your windscreen? Then buy one of these!"

This is a page of kids car seats and not only is the chair in number 6 damn pimping to say the least but the child sitting in it looks like a life like version of Chucky from Childs Play.


These are some pretty snazzy 80's cameras and just like the cameras of today they do not come cheap. Prices ranged from £79 upwards. It is pretty mad to think how back in the day you had to have your negatives developed in the chemists or develop them your self if you had a dark room. The amount of pictures we take on a general daily basis would cost absolute millions in developing back in the day. Also is it just me or does the man in the bottom right corner look like a peedo version of Rolph Harris? (STOP PRESS Rolph Harris turned out to be a peedo in 2013! Damn I am good)

"Want to find out what really goes on in that house down the road with that family that you have never spoken to? Try these out!"

Wether its bird watching or spying on your mates fit sister while wanking in a bush half a mile away then this page had it all. Look at the bitch modeling with the binoculars she reminds me of one of that Murder She Wrote bitch or one of them wankers who uncovers murder victims while "walking the dog" and foils what was an en-genius plan.. which was none of her fucking business anyway. You can tell by looking at her she is one of them home wrecking types that would inform your wife about what she saw you getting up to with your sister in law in the hot tub while looking through the binoculars. Or maybe I am just victimizing another innocent Argos catalog model from 1985.


1980's electrical heaters were immense and I got my first ever electric shock from one in 1988 when I decided to prod one of the elements with a bit of metal. I have never told anyone about this until today as it was a secret I kept to my self for many years, but some reason today was the day I decided to reveal all. While on the subject of secrets it was me who pissed in the staff room kettle in June 1999 at West Hatch High School Chigwell! In the 80's the save the planet hype was on a minimal and having loads of these fires around the house was absolutely fine. 


Before the Blackberry, ipod and iphone there were tape walkmans and calculators. I say this because in  the 80's it wasn't what phone you had, it was how snazzy was your calculator. They made these items snazzy by adding more buttons that you would never use in a million years and features such as data storage for phone numbers and a whopping 1 kilobyte memory all for £39.99. The portable tape player was something I kept going for many years even up until the CD ones were released. The portable CD players skipped play with every step you took plus the batteries lasted for a matter of minutes. The trusty tape player out ran the portable CD player in my house anyway.



Long before console gaming was keeping families from ripping each others throats out there were board games. During this time you could a board game of absolutely anything that was on TV from the ultra great Blockbusters game to the fucking horrid Neighbors game and there was even a Nightmare On Elm Street game but I will get to that on another post.

During this time it really was a golden age for the board games as they were making loads and selling almost as many. I do not know where to start with this page so I guess I will start with the games at the top. The Game of life was a much more pimped up version of Monopoly which I very much preferred as in this game you could kind of choose what path you were going, where as Monopoly was mindless dice throwing and handing over of money which wasn't as fun. 

Downfall was a cool game and Operation was a hoot and still is to this day and then we have Crossfire which was a great game that I never had but always wanted. In Crossfire you shot metal balls at each others goals and was kinda of like an indoor air hockey game... I have just spotted something tucked away in the right hand corner that I forgot existed until this very moment!! A Dracula themed board game I had called "I Vant to bite your finger". I remember this game so well that it will be reviewed in full at a later date but all I am going to tell you is that it involved vampires and fake blood!!

There is an electricity and magnetism game which would be really cool if they included a Magneto figure (come on think of the $$ for a change) and a home chemistry set which was basically one of those things that when you mixed all the chemicals together it did.. (Drumroll please)

Fuck all!

Guess who was big at the time and when I recently played a game of it using the board pictured I noticed one thing and that was there was not one black, Hispanic or even a Chinese guy anywhere on the board in the 80's version. I don't know if things are any different today but we all found it rather amusing. The game it self is not one of great excitement as you just sit there asking each other if their character has a hat on or do they have a blonde handle bar tash etc. Actually the original cast of the Guess Who board actually look like Hitlers poster society when you think about it. After much asking of questions someone finally guesses the right person and that's it. One person was right and the other was wrong, nothing at all changed in the world  and that's how life and Guess Who works I am afraid.

Connect 4 is an undisputed classic and Family Fortunes is another example of TV breaking out into the world of cardboard and shoddy plastic and Pac Man? So I guess if you was to poor to own an Atari then this was the ultimate alternative. 

Mr Frosty was a much asked for birthday/Christmas gift we all asked for in my house hold which none of us received. I said earlier that I was spoilt but in fact we never had a Mr Frosty so in some respects we were hard done by. Hungry Hippos was just a game of pure luck and more of a matter of how fast you can smash a button in 30 seconds or less depending how many people were playing.

                                                  

Now I am not a lover of Cricket at all. I am a person who loves almost all forms of sport but Cricket is one I fucking hate with a passion. Although this did not stop me from wanting to own the Test Match Cricket game as it looked like a really cool toy and maybe with my infinite wisdom and creativity I could create a new form of the game which was enjoyable. I never went through with it though so that will always be one to check off on my list of things to do along with Ulrika Johnson who has shagged pretty much everyone so by the law of averages she should be able to slot me in sometime during July 2013. 

Anyway the rest of the page is games like Cluedo and Trivial Pursuit which I cannot be bothered to talk about, oh yeah and Mr Pop a game where you stuck things on a face that looked like Joseph Fritzl and it would randomly pop up and scare the living fuck out of you. Kind of like Buckaroo but on a face.

Spiragraph was pretty cool but the wow factor wore off after a few drawings and when you discovered that the plastic circle things made excellent ninja throwing stars, everything went of the window.. literally.

I always wanted a Magnadoodle which was kinda like an Etch a Sketch but with a pen. I stopped wanting one after I realized I could draw on real paper anyway and with colors so I crossed this one off and never bothered. 

The Master Molder sets were pretty big back then, which allowed you to make plaster molds of characters. Lots of different sets would be released from WWF ones, Disney ones and basically anything with licensed characters could be molded  and painted at home. The molds were rubber latex and looked like condoms that were suited for people who had a penis shaped like a mini Ultimate Warrior or Donald Duck.

The girls fashion wheels can fuck off!


This was a page I accidentally left behind earlier and its the page with all the Star Wars toys. Even though Jedi was a couple of years old the merchandise was still widely available right up to the late 80's and then was revamped in the mid 90's, so Star Wars toys have always been around in the last 35 or so years.  Now I am going to leave this one as I have a few articles up my sleeve about the various toy lines that Lucasfilm released over the years so stay tuned.


These are small children's "play tents" I am pretty sure that they would not be able to handle a real night of camping because they were very flimsy to say the least. I have to laugh at the top right hand corner, as who would want a tent of a pikey caravan? Castle Grey Skull yes but pikey caravans no. I also had the Fisher Price roller skates. The skates had a button on the side which stopped the wheels from moving. I had this button pressed all the time and would walk around with these skates on without rolling anywhere. Kinda took the idea of roller skates away but I had a blast.


And now we come to the end of the Argos Spring &Summer catalog from 1985. The final page of the catalog is the perfect family sitting around the pool (which has a really cool pool bar which I am pretty sure you could get away with having a piss without anyone noticing!) modeling with garden furniture. I am sure these are not a real family or the residents of this perfect pad. 

OK so that's all I hope you enjoyed flicking through this trip down memory lane. I know I did