Catalogs #36: 1986 German Catalog
I found this German catalog (Genex) from 1986 infinitely interesting - not just for the inherent nostalgia, but for the contrast to American catalogs and by extrapolation, culture. For instance, in '86 we don't put cartons of cigarettes in the candy section; nor do we show fully nude people in the sauna section. That's just un-American.
But those are extreme examples. For the most part, the catalog is just an average tour through mid-eighties consumerism. Still worth a tour - let's check it out.
Notice what this fridge is stocked with: canned goods which have no business being refrigerated, and lots of booze. Note also the GLASS bottles of milk.
I love how the third shelf has a trap door which can swing open for bottles of wine or champagne. Again, more booze and canned goods.
At the risk of being redundant, I wanted to take a closer look.
A bottle of Cinzano vermouth
A couple cans of Carlsberg beer
A can of mushrooms
A bottle of Martini Rosso (more vermouth)
A can of asparagus spears
Here's another fridge stocked with the same bizarre foodstuff.....
Just so you Germans know, we Americans do drink alcohol; however, it is not something we'd ever put on display in an appliance advert. It's a strange mix of shame and not wanting to give anyone "the wrong idea".
I'm especially fond of the croissant and egg placement. I think it makes this set come together nicely.
Wait. I'm confused. Where do you put the pods?
For you youngsters reading this: those black objects labeled "15" are licorice squares. They were about 5.25 inches and excellent on a cookie.
VHS players back in 1986 would run you about a quarter of a million dollars and were so heavy they literally warped space.
You can watch boats dock in color or black & white. The magic of television.
Lightweight boomboxes perfect for listening to your new Kraftwerk or David Hasslehoff cassette tapes.
Fancy yourself the next Heino or Nina? Here's a home recording studio to make that dream come to life.
I'll have a chocolate bar, a bottle of brandy, a pack of cigarettes and a bar of soap, please.
JC Penney Catalog this is not.
Ah, yes. Nothing goes better with chocolate than a Marlboro Red (and bottle o' brandy).
And since you're buying cigs and brandy, might as well pick up some hosiery, washcloths, and toothpaste.
What? No vermouth or Winstons to go with my cleaning products?
For you kiddies reading this: These cans were opened by what was known as "pop tops". It's a point of fact that every single square foot of curb and sidewalk in America contained at least one pop top.
"Cheese - Crack" - possibly the least appetizing brand name for a food product ever.
I repeat - this is no JC Penney's catalog. In America this catalog would have to be sold behind the counter concealed in dark wrapper. This is the sort of thing Google strips blogs of their advertising for. Yes, I'm still bitter.
What's this fellow doing? I know he's bushwacking, but is he lighting up a smoke? I'll leave that for you to ponder.