If you’re from the UK then you’ve undoubtedly run across Argos at some point in your life. For the unfamiliar they’re a nationwide chain of shops where you go inside, pick items from a catalogue, and have the items brought to you from a warehouse.
They recently released all their old catalogues. As I’m sure many people did, I spent a lot of time paging through these things to see what the ‘latest’ toys and gadgets were.
I use the term ‘latest’ loosely – these were safe mainstream goods. However, this kind of information was often as good as it got.
The site isn’t easy to use, but if you have the patience you can dig out gems such as these from 1983:
The very next year this had been reduced to:
It’s easy to see what was and wasn’t selling.
As a kid at the time this really was a book of dreams.