7/1/13

The Vintage Home #16: Sears '79


Is this not a total kick-ass kid's room? Sure, it doesn't exactly gel with the burnt orange carpet, but there's Star Wars curtains for chrissakes!  Note the predominance of Boba Fett on the bedding; for a character that figured into the story so little, the Mandalorian sure got a lot of limelight.

Also of importance: I had that large Chewbacca figure. But I honestly don't recall anyone having other over-sized action figures, except Darth Vader. That was it, right?

"No. There is another."





Here's another close-up from the 1979 Sears Winter Catalog (AKA The Wishbook).  More Hoth-centric home decor for the youngsters.

Personally, I'd prefer the Cloud City set.with Billy Dee Williams bedding.  (Comes with free malt liquor bottle)


Click to enlarge.  I apologize for the horrible blur at the gutter.  I have a hard time scanning big meaty catalogs.

Also from this catalog, Ziggy....


Ziggy was everywhere in the seventies; something about this little peace-loving loser struck a chord with ex-hippies and their kin. But it would be just a few short years before Ziggy was flushed in favor of that dick, Garfield.  It was probably for the best - Ziggy simply couldn't inhabit the same world as Max Headroom


Too often, when Hollywood tries to recreate a 1970s era set, they stack it with the obvious - lava lamps and disco balls.  They forget the long forgotten, yet no less ubiquitous, yarn art.

Perhaps I spoke too soon.  Speaking of lava lamps, Sears had'em.


I find it a tad bit odd that Sears was such cervesaphiles.  I mean, a bubbling PBR, Coors lamps, Lowenbrau mirros..... this is all very un-Sears-ish if you ask me.  But then, this was the seventies.

Of special interest on this page is the "Great Wave"...


There was also another popular version of this with two types of colored sand that didn't mix.  The rectangle would rock and you'd watch the funky patterns it made, much like a lava lamp.  I would imagine a lot of people liked to smoke weed and stare at these things.


(Click here for the full sized scan.)  Speaking of getting high, what rumpus room would be complete without a black light poster?  I've never seen "infinity lights", but they look pretty trippy.  Correction: extremely trippy.  These would have been perfect for Greg Brady's "groovy new pad" in Mike's former den.


Is it any wonder disco went out of vogue so quickly?  Once something starts being mass marketed in Sears catalogs, the "cool factor" is officially gone.

THE END


24 comments:

  1. Made a full wall of Disco Lights at a friend's house. It was the diffusion (bumpy plastic) screens from overhead florescent light fixtures with flashing Christmas lights behind it. Rhythm of the lights had nothing to do with the beat of the music. Everyone thought they were the next big thing in home decor in 1975.

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  2. I'd like to have one of those light boxes.

    I had those curtains, sheets, and pillowcases (from the first Star Wars film).

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  3. Ha! My oldest brother had the Ziggy "friends" corkboard

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  4. Novelty radios.....where are the novelty radios?!?!

    In all seriousness, it's crazy, and cool, the amount of bar & tobacco stuff those catalogs had, especially in the late 60s-early 70s. They have everything to stock a bar except the hooch!

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  5. I'm surprised that they didn't put the Star Wars bedding in one of those beds shaped like a race car.

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  6. AnonymousJuly 02, 2013

    I am surprised that the Empire Strikes Back sheets were featured in the 1979 Christmas catalog. Empire was not released until May 21, 1980. Perhaps they were building hype. Boba Fett was introduced in the ghastly Star Wars Holiday Special, Thanksgiving weekend of 1978. I have a copy of it, complete with commercials. My favorite is the Chevy Chevette for $999. Yeah baby I drive a Vette- a CHEvette.

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    1. AnonymousJuly 02, 2013

      I remember saving the bar codes from my Star Wars action figures and sending them in for a Boba Fett figure. This was in the summer of 79. They were hyping him at least that far back.

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    2. merchandising, merchandising... where the real money from the movie is made!

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    3. Boba Fett was also featured in a parade in full costume before the movie, so that was another big spoiler alert. :p

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  7. AnonymousJuly 02, 2013

    "Mightydog" - My dad fabricated his own "Disco Dance Light" out of Christmas lights and light fixture lenses, just as you mentioned. I also had ALL THREE blacklight posters shown, several lava lamps, the "Great Wave" machine and a red beanbag chair. And a lot of dope.......

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    1. The last sentence is a given for those of us in the Disco Light industry at the time...

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  8. Ah, I fondly remember the lava lamps and black light posters. I believe about 70% of all male college dorm rooms had them back then - to impress any lady company on how we were all cool and avant garde, of course! Were we really that faddish and gullible back then? I don't, however, remember the infinity lights - perhaps Sears took the genre one step too far with that one.

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  9. I had one of those flicker cans. They were groovy for five minutes, which was when the expensive bulb burned out.

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    1. I still have one of those bulbs (red) in a lamp in my workshop. Still works, but I don't push it. Hard to replace.

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  10. That yarn art reminded me of the 3-D string art that was popular back then, that you'd wrap around nails. What a flashback seeing the Ziggy stuff.

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  11. I remember having a "black light" bulb in the 70's but the damn thing always got incredibly hot so it could not be left on for any extended period of time. I also remember that Spencer's Gifts (the store that is still around in many malls) had "black light" section in the back of the store that illuminated their velvet posters and made your T-shirt glow.

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  12. Infinity lights were so cool. You could press on the mirror and move the trail of lights. Damn it, now I need to get mine from my parents' house the next time I'm there.

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  13. I had the infinity light! In fact, the Infinity Light was the height of geek - cooldom, and here's why: In the Star Trek movies, when Spock meditates, he sits in front of - An Infinity Light!!!

    yeah, it's pathetic that I remember that. I know.

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  14. I had 1982's Return of the Jedi bed set. Also had the obligatory Star Wars posters everywhere, until the older neighbourhood kid came around and questioned why I had cheesecake posters of Vader posing with his leg demurely sticking out of his cape.

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  15. I also remember sending off for the Bob Fett doll in 1979- and then they told everyone to return them because they somehow posed a risk to small children. I think it was the projectiles that originally shot out from his back pack. Currently at my parents' for the first time in nearly a decade, so it's all coming back to me. Brought with me my son; amazed at how much of the Fisher Price Sesame Street stuff is still there, and in such good fettle- the Club House, Hospital, the Apartments dating from '72... will have to take photos of my kid playing with them. Boy, they've lasted all this time!

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  16. The Boba Fett doll that shot the projectile is now worth 20 grand.

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  17. Look up "12 inch star wars dolls" on ebay. There were dolls for all the major characters made back in 1978.

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  18. I'd like to get one of people mild containers.

    I needed these curtains, bed sheets, and also pillow cases (in the first The exorcist film). Billig WOW Gold Kaufencheapest runescape gold

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  19. There are a lot of DIY infinity light videos on YouTube. People probably think they're something new. ;)

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