We’re about to drop a bomb on you, folks. The VCR will officially die by the end of the month.
Ok, so maybe it’s not as shocking as we thought. In fact, when our video guy Charles told me about this, my first reaction was, “VCRs are still being made?” Before DVDs, Blu-Rays, and now streaming sites, VCRs played big, boxy VHS tapes for more than 40 years. According to Funai Electric Co., the last VCR/VHS manufacturer in Japan, they will stop producing VCR machines due to declining sales and difficulty sourcing parts.
In honor of our childhood media habits and the complete disappearance of Blockbuster, I decided to poke my head into the offices of some of our Bean Teamers and find out which VHS tapes everyone holds dearest to their hearts. Here’s what they had to say:
“Oh man, where do I start? Cinderella, D2: Mighty Ducks, Tom and Huck, Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain, Casper the Friendly Ghost. Wow, I feel old.”
-Julia, Social Media Coordinator
“This was my very first VHS tape. I got it from my uncle for Christmas when I was 7. Honestly, I still remember every word to each song. My girls watch it now!” (You can get this gem on Amazon for a mere $8.98)
-Rachelle, Graphic Designer
“Bond…James Bond. I own them all on VHS!”
-Laurie, Sales Development
“As a filmmaker, my first editing jobs used VCR to VCR cutting. The first movie I ever bought myself on VHS was Raiders of the Lost Ark. Saved up for two months mowing lawns to get that tape!”
“Spice World. Yup. I wore that bad boy out watching it. Tell me what you want, what you really really want.”
-Lacy Jo, Director of Operations
“When I was a kid, I didn’t care what movie we rented, it was just such a treat to get a movie. The thing I remember most, was once a month we had to rent a VCR for an entire weekend (we couldn’t afford to buy one). The VCR was built into a huge steel suitcase and weighed about 40lbs. We would get 2-3 movies and my brother and I would watch those movies over and over and over. In the late 70’s/early 80’s my aunt got a job at the local video store, catapulting her to the top of the list for ‘Favorite Aunt’. At the end of the business day on Friday, if they had any unrented players she could get them for us for FREE! (I assure you this was a BIG DEAL!) Typically, she would get us a Laserdisc player which was bigger than a VCR. The “cartridge” (Disc) was 2’ x 2’ and half an inch thick. She would bring whatever movies were left over (which were the crappiest ones no one rented). This is probably why I have such a love for crappy, b-list movies.”
-Travis, Director of Sales (and Storyteller)
“My first VHS tape was Flash Gordon. I don’t know why and, honestly, it’s not something I want to delve too deeply into. But my favorite VHS tape was Dirty Dancing, because nobody puts Baby in a corner. NOBODY.”
-April, Blog Writer
Feeling nostalgic yet? It’s crazy to think about how much the way we watch our favorite movies and television shows has changed in the past several years. Don’t get me wrong, I love Netflix and Hulu, but there’s something authentic about popping a dusty VHS brick into a VCR and enjoying Dude, Where’s My Car? for the 57th time. Alas, all good things come to an end (and your Amazon Fire Stick takes up far less room than your VHS collection, anyway). The demise of the VCR probably means it’s time to pack up your VHS tapes and say goodbye forever. But before you do, as always, be kind and rewind.