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.
This is a fascinating interview with Chris Morris. A lot of people may only know him from the IT Crowd’s Denholm Reynholm, but he’s been involved in a lot of satire, and after a long absence it will be interesting to see his new work.
One side-effect of having a young daughter is that you get to see things that would otherwise be out of your normal world view.
We’ve both been enamoured lately with the Hilda graphic novels. These are a bunch of books about a girl, Hilda, who lives in a semi-Scandinavian world where fairy tale like creatures are a normal part of life.
Even though it features some apparently scary characters (and some drama), everything is softly off beat, kindly, and is drawn with muted browns and oranges.
The stories involve tiny invisible elves that require signed contracts before you can see them, to talking ravens, and the ever-present trolls and woffs (shown above).
There’s a Netflix TV series that perfectly matches the books.
Recommended for any young children. Or even adults that want a break in a gentle fantasy world.