New Jack City: Doing The Time Warp Thing — Again

1619819203_d908325909Here’s a deal!

The latest SONY Betamex Home Recording System with up to 4.5 hour recording capabilities, fast play, freeze frame and Beta Scan listed at $1,250.50—Now special value priced at just $879.97.

The unit weighs in at 38 pounds.

Better yet PANASONIC’s 40 pound VHS Home Recording Model offering 2-4-6 hour recording, a digital tape counter, clock and time limiter—reduced from $895.00 to just $679.97. What a deal!

But it’s VHS which really doesn’t have much of a chance against Sony’s killer Betamex system, does it?

In a Time Warp?

Well sorta. I actually ran across a DOLGIN’s 1981 Spring/Summer Showroom catalog the other day which offered a fascinating insight into how far we’ve come during the past, oh, 32 years.

If you’ve forgotten about DOLGIN’S – or perhaps never heard of it – they were a big discount outlet in north and east K.C., Overland Park, KCK, St. Joseph and other regional markets.

phonerecordingHere are a few other gems that intrigued us at the turn of that bygone decade.

* A Huffy Saratoga 3-speed touring bike specially priced at $89.97.

* An “Easy to Assemble” Radio Flyer 18 wagon for just $29.97.

* A two pound G.E. Chronotel digital alarm clock that went for $9.97.

* And one of my personal favorites, the Record-a-Call telephone answerer. This baby had it all.

A one control twin cassette system and 20 or 40 second message time selector. Dolgin’s reduced it from $149.95 to $127.87. What a deal!

$(KGrHqF,!i0E9f!P,kpfBPtp4qb(yw~~60_35* A new Polaroid TimeZero Pronto Auto Focus camera was yours for just $79.66.

* And a Bell and Howell Duel 8 silent movie projector with zoom lens would set you back $89.97.

* And oh yeah, a hot Panasonic FM/AM/FM Stereo Radio-Stereo Cassette Recorder / Player complete with LED meter, 2-bias tape selector, twin five inch speakers operating on both AC and DC power – yours for just $179.97—a $20.00 savings for this fabulous 14 pounder.

imagesI could go on…but won’t.

The distant memories and ridiculous prices are just too much to bear.

Come to think of it, I wonder what my classic IBM Selectric typewriter is worth these days? If only I could find a new type ball for it.

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9 Responses to New Jack City: Doing The Time Warp Thing — Again

  1. chuck says:

    Very cool.

    Dogin’s had all the loss leaders in the back of the store, ya had to walk aroung the jewelry counter to get to them.

    Was it the Davidows who ran that place? I forgot.

    The servos in that Betamax were Ford tough baby.

    There is an IBM Selectric in the Lobby of the Arvest Bank at 71st and Gregory. They still use it.

    • jack p. says:

      I think you’re right, Chuck. Davidows probably were the owners of the business. Where it gets a little cloudy for me is where ‘Service Merchandise’ came in on the game? Did they buy out Dolgin’s or did they just come later into the market?
      As for Betamax vs. VHS, Beta definitely was the better product but, of course, VHS won out. It was probably cheaper.
      But in commercial production and TV in general it was strictly the Beta format. It lasted until everyone went digital.

  2. the dude says:

    Selectric IIs and Betamax RULE!!!

  3. Libertarian says:

    Some stoner buds of nine worked the night shift at the Eastwood trafficway Dolgins.

    I used to go hang out with them on occasion. One of our favorite pastimes was to open up a few Mattel ‘Green Machines’, and race them all the way through the warehouse, and right off the edge of the loading dock, falling about four feet into a dumpster full of cardboard. Thoses were the days……

    There is nothing as fun as the days before web cam security.

    No criminal was ever prosecuted from a grainy B&W VHS image!

  4. admin says:

    The Davidows were the ones who operated Benchmark.

    Remember them?

    They kinda owned the KC area furniture biz until Nebraska opened.

    Benchmark took a bullet in 2006, leaving behind a massive complex just south of 119th Street and west of I35 in Olathe.

    Don’t really much remember Dolgins, other than the name.

    I do remember the venture stores. I was reminded of them by a dress my wife wore recently

    • chuck says:

      I still have some great stuff I picked up on sale at Stix Baer and Fuller.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      I’m putting together an incentive package for a bio med firm wanting to relocate to Olathe so I’ve spent a lot of time with their Eco Dev people. In looking for clear span space that old building came up; it’s actually sold recently. They said its sat vacant for over 10 years! Hardly seems possible but man, what a monstrosity it is!!

  5. Lou Brown says:

    Bought a Betamax VCR in 1984 on the advice of my former brother-in-law. Set me back about $500. He was right, it was a better machine than the VHS, but I couldn’t find any movie rentals in beta format after about 1987. I still have the machine and it still works.

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