44 Years of Argos
Do you remember the world before the internet? It’s hard to believe, but the planet did exist before it was possible to buy almost anything at the click of a button.
In a time when you found out the latest football scores via teletext and actually had to visit Blockbuster if you wanted to hire the latest movie on Betamax or vhs, you also had Argos for all your tacky alarm clock and Elizabeth Duke jewellery needs.
At Argos, they decided they were going to do things differently. You would join your fellow consumers in the middle of the shop where you would all gather round the laminated catalogues like a herd of cows at feeding time, before making a note of your item number on the provided stock sheet.
After casually stealing the little blue pen and heading over to pay for your goods, you would then re-join the herd at the back of the shop while you waited for you receipt number to be called for collection before triumphantly heading home.
They must have been onto something though, because despite Amazon and eBay taking over the world Argos is still plucking away, clinging onto a shop corner in every town up and down the country. And for that we salute them.
Retro Argos Catalogues
The 44 years Argos has been in business has left a legacy amongst the children of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s… the free catalogue!
As a kid, you could happily spend hours at home leafing through the latest spring/summer release, wishing away the days so that you could add the newest He-Man action figure to your Christmas list.
Well, it’s time to re-live those moments thanks to our friends over at Retromash, where they’ve managed to cobble together the most amazing collection of retro Argos catalogues.
Dating back to the very first release in 1973 you’ll find full colour online copies of nearly every single catalogue to date until the end of the 90’s, and some of the stuff you’ll find in them will blow your mind. There are cassette Walkman’s, record players, typewriters and even the odd celebrity to spot.
Here are some of our favourite bits:
The Walkman (1985)
In the days before iPods we had to carry around these huge things.
No shuffle or track skipping with these babies… just pure fast forwarding skills. Don’t be too rough with them though or you’ll end up with a chewed tape…
Argos furniture (1973)
Nothing screams the 70’s like laminate flooring complete with retirement home 3 piece suite and orange wallpaper.
Dont forget to complete the look by hanging your mirror at a funny angle before putting out your fag in the complimentary ash tray stand.
Board Games (1984)
Some are still being produced today while others have been forgotten like last weeks trash, but we loved them all.
Video Games (1993)
In the days before Sony and Microsoft
threw their hats into the video gaming arena, Nintendo and Sega were the big boys.
In 1993 you could find all their major retro console titles in one places, including the NES, SNES, Game Boy, Mega Drive and Game Gear. And all for the price of a Starbucks skinny latte.
If you wanted a flat screen back in 1981, you needed to cut a hole in the wall and poke the back of the TV through it.
Oh, and colour was optional. Which made the snooker a bit boring.
Mobile Phones (1999)
Orange and One2One (remember them?) were the networks of their time.
Before Whatsapp and Facebook messenger there was also good old fashioned texting on these early handsets.
And Snake. Don’t forget Snake.
A few celebrities to spot in the 1981 release of the spring/summer catalogue, including Mr Terminator himself.
Special mention also to item number 14, the revolutionary machine for wobbling yourself to fitness!
A special mention to Super Cup Football on this page as well, one of the better predecessors to Fifa 18 on the Playstation 4.
Full Colour Copies
Don’t just let us pick the best bits though. Thanks again to Michael Hay at Retromash we’re also able to take a look at whole copies of those old retro Argos catalogues. So sit back, get that little blue pen at the ready, and take a look at what Christmas and birthday’s used to be like…
1973-74: The first ever Argos catalogue!
As ever, please leave a comment and let us know what you think!