It’s sad to see Brick and Mortar (B&M) retail in such doldrums that spectators have all but pronounced it dead. Not because the prices were good and certainly not because the service was good, but more so because the retail experience was so full of sensory delights and paraphernalia. I distinctly remember walking in video rental stores, or dedicated video game retailers and seeing posters everywhere: hanging on walls, hanging from the ceilings and plastered across and behind the counter. The excitement in the air was palpable whenever a landmark title was close to launching and retailers and promoters certainly had no hesitation in reminding you just how close the next big thing was, and how much you want, nay, needed it. This is something my theoretical children will probably never see, but I hold onto those memories fondly.
Jurassic Park is a name that needs no introduction. In the mid 90’s dinosaurs were all the rage largely spurred on by what would become the highest grossing film up to its release. The video game industry got in on the act and Jurassic Park games appeared on almost every console with any currency. Needless to say the marketing blitz was on for old and young and I can remember posters everywhere for every incarnation of the video game based on the movie. SEGA were at the front of that pack, advertising collectively their suite of game products across all three platforms they had in the market at the time – the Mega Drive, the SEGA CD and the Game Gear. “CAUTION: DINOSAURS AT PLAY” the promo material read. Not surprisingly all three games were very different games, both the Game Gear and Mega Drive versions were your industry-staple side scrolling action games, the SEGA of America version was a first person point and click adventure game. They all probably sold like hot-cakes.
What once hung from the rafters of a popular video rental store, and then hung proudly in my room in my teenage years, now sits idle in the back of a wardrobe covered in dust. The double sided vinyl poster shown below is a Fossil from a time where B&M retailers ruled the roost. Like Dinosaurs though, they are slowly becoming extinct and it is relics like this that in years to come will be all that remains of what once was such an important part of our favourite pastime.