Best Selling RPGs - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com

Endless Flight

Swo Master
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
8,406
Reaction score
19,376
I never tried Columbia House even though we got thousands of ads from them in the mail over the years.
 

Endless Flight

Swo Master
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
8,406
Reaction score
19,376
Nothing can ever replicate what it was like shopping at malls in the 1980s. Even by the early 90s it had changed. The mall I grew up with had already remodeled and gotten rid of the tiled pools with waterfalls where people dropped their change into. It didn't have that chlorinated pool smell anymore. It was pretty much dead when I moved to where I am now. This was 2001. It was demolished a couple years later. In its place is an outlet mall with only the Target as the only reminder the mall was there.
 

Bunch

E-Rocker is a goose.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
8,931
Reaction score
14,376
Nothing can ever replicate what it was like shopping at malls in the 1980s. Even by the early 90s it had changed. The mall I grew up with had already remodeled and gotten rid of the tiled pools with waterfalls where people dropped their change into. It didn't have that chlorinated pool smell anymore. It was pretty much dead when I moved to where I am now. This was 2001. It was demolished a couple years later. In its place is an outlet mall with only the Target as the only reminder the mall was there.
So true. In the 80's malls ruled and kids/teens weren't yet seen as pests to be removed. Then they removed us or attempted to and realized we were what drove all the traffic. Jacked up rents attempting to drive out video game dens, spencer's gifts and other teen targeted only drove out the random stationary store, furniture stores, gift shops and pretty much anything useful but only if you got enough traffic. My home mall went from somewhere I loved to hang out at because it had all the stores to a mini import center from all things asian/chinese. Look I only need one wooden dragon carving to go with my samurai swords. After that I'm full up.
 

Bunch

E-Rocker is a goose.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
8,931
Reaction score
14,376
In college the guys next door joined those clubs under a bunch of false names and never purchased the required additional cds. The sold most of the cds as I recall and seemed pretty flush with cash until the police showed up. Oddly that year a lot of police showed up taking people away. My roommate being one of them. Man people were dumbasses.
 

TristramEvans

The Right Hand of Doom
Moderator
Joined
Apr 24, 2017
Messages
20,355
Reaction score
48,992
I guess technically that's mail fraud, a federal offernse in the States. I'd never heard of anyone getting busted on it regarding Columbia House though
 

Bunch

E-Rocker is a goose.
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
8,931
Reaction score
14,376
I guess technically that's mail fraud, a federal offernse in the States. I'd never heard of anyone getting busted on it regarding Columbia House though
They got cute with it and signed up under 20 names or something like that.
My roommate broke a guys jaw on the way out of town to college. Bragged to me about it but I figured he was just blowing smoke until I got up one night to a loud knock on the door. I'm blind as a bat without my glasses so I'm opening the door staring at some short guy asking for my roommate. I tell him he's not here(he's sleeping next door with the RA.). Then he tells me he needs to see some I.D. I'm just barely awake and blind wondering who the hell knocks on my door at night asking for I.D.?!? So I say no. Then the 6'5" state trooper with the big old wide brimmed hat steps out and the lightbulb in my head goes off and I realize it's the police. I show him my I.D. and he goes on his way looking.
 

Gabriel

Legendary Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2019
Messages
1,543
Reaction score
3,382
I've heard that for many of my generation the mall was some of their first tastes of independence.

The mall I most remember opened in 1980 when I was 10. Back in those days, videogames were ascendant. I remember Sears had a videogame demo unit in their toy section that always had a crowd of kids around it. Shopping with mom was boring, so after doing the normal clothing thing, I started to ask to go look at the videogames while she shopped. It's some of my first memories of being able to go around a store out of the sight of my parents and unsupervised.

There was also the arcade, and soon I was asking to be cut loose with a pocketful of quarters to go to the arcade by myself. It was win/win. I got to enjoy what I wanted, and my mom got to shop without me standing nearby constantly wondering if she was done yet.

Soon after that, unless it was a back to school shopping trip, I'd just split from my family and go off and do my own thing. I'd often be handed a $20 for my own shopping spree, and I'd pretty much always spend at least $5 on tokens for the arcade.

I used to haunt Waldenbooks. I'd always go in there for the latest AD&D stuff and Dragonlance novels. I knew their fantasy/sci-fi section by heart. When people would come in asking for a fantasy/sci-fi book, the employees would ask me if the store had it, and I'd usually be able to give them an accurate answer.

There was a store that sold custom chess sets, and I constantly lusted for one, but they were $150 and up in 80s money, so that wasn't going to happen. There was a candle shop which sold all kinds of cool wax sculptures. I got a blue wizard from there that I have no idea what eventually happened to. There was a poster shop where I got a art poster of a raven haired beauty in a wet, light blue shirt, which stayed on my wall for years. There was a knife shop which sold katanas and stuff that was so cool. Luckily, that one managed to miraculously survive until the early 00s when I finally had money, and I was able to buy a sword that serendipitously matched the appearance of the sword of one of my earliest D&D characters.

Oh, and Toy Stores! The mall had a Kay Bee Toys and Circus World. For some reason I outgrew toys at around 10 or 11, but then grew back into them at about 15. I remember getting Transformers Jetfire and Shockwave from Kay Bee. They also had RPGs. I remember the only time I ever saw one of the OD&D supplements in the flesh was at Circus World. They had Eldritch Wizardry in stock. Yes, Circus World carried the OD&D booklet featuring the naked girl on the cover.

It was a great place in the 80s and even into the 90s. I think it started to fall apart in the late 90s. I know the last time I went in there, I realized there was absolutely no reason whatsoever for me to visit the place anymore. Part of it was outgrowing it and the changing nature of retail, but another part of it is just that there's no diversity of options there anymore.
 

Tulpa Girl

"Hello, motherf*ckers!"
Joined
Nov 14, 2018
Messages
2,957
Reaction score
10,040
For me, growing up In the sticks, a trip to the mall was a rare treat on those occasions when my family had reason to visit a city or town large enough to have one. Unlike Gabriel Gabriel , it wasn't so much a matter of freedom - I was a latchkey kid who was expected to take care of and entertain myself from a young age - but rather it was a taste of, well, civilization. Given a little spending money, plus whatever I had saved up for myself, and just told where to meet back up at a certain time, I could avail myself to the bookstores, record stores, the food court, and yes, the arcade (I was only an occasional video gamer, and the local convenience stores had a couple of video games at that point, but I would at least check out the games that I otherwise didn't have access to).
 
Cthulhu Mythos - Available Now @ DriveThruRPG.com
Top