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VHS Nostalgia: Jurassic Park

Posted 5 years ago by Movies

VHS Nostalgia

After my post about the VHS tapes I picked up at Goodwill the other day, I thought I would start a new series on the site dedicated to VHS Nostalgia. Besides the box art, one of the things I remember most about VHS tapes was the stuff that you’d find inside.

I remember being almost as excited about the inserts, ads, and coupons as I would be about getting to watch the movie. In the days before the Internet, Twitter, and blogs, sometimes the inserts in VHS tapes were the way you’d find out about new movies or when one of your favorite movies was coming to home video for the first time. Disney tapes in particular always had a ton of inserts.

Well, today I was at Goodwill again and I found something pretty awesome. A sealed Jurassic Park tape for fifty cents. I immediately started wondering what treasures would be inside the cardboard box besides my favorite movie of all time on an old-school tape. When I got home I took the shrink-wrap off and scanned the pages of the booklet that fell out. Other than a few superfluous Jello pages, here it is intact.

Jurassic Park VHS

It’s kind of disappointing there’s no Jurassic Park themed cover to the insert, but oh well. If this coupon didn’t expire in 1995 I could have made a $4.50 profit on this VHS tape. Also, how brilliant was it to tie in Jello to their marketing campaign? The scene with Lex eating Jello as she sees the Raptor’s shadow is one of the most classic shots in the movie.

Jurassic Park VHS
Jurassic Park VHS

You knew there was going to be a Universal Studios advertisement in here somewhere…

Jurassic Park VHS

I have a feeling I’ll be writing more about Jurassic Park toys soon. I was obsessed with these things back in the day and I had the T-Rex, a Raptor, a bunch of figures, and the Compound playset. I only have a few figures now, but I’m on a mission to get the stuff I use to have back.

Jurassic Park VHS

I love how ridiculous the figures in this line were. Malcolm barely does anything in the movie, but in the toy line he’s portrayed as this action hero with a gun as big as he is. Most of the figures in this line came with baby dinosaurs, which I always thought was a cool touch. Also, look how pathetic that big dinosaur looks with that steel muzzle. I guess they didn’t realize they’d have the villains doing that in the sequel.

Jurassic Park VHS

This video game ad is a perfect example of the marketing machine behind Jurassic Park. Not only are they advertising Nintendo games for three different consoles, they’re also letting you know there will be a sequel game out in the winter. And these days we can’t even get a video game for The Avengers when the movie comes out.

Jurassic Park VHS

Oh, and they couldn’t forget the Tiger hand held market. I remember playing these a lot for five minutes, and then putting them away forever. Still, the design of that hand held is awesome.

Jurassic Park VHS

I love how this CompuServe ad doesn’t even say the words Internet or World Wide Web at all. I would have given CompuServe bonus points if they would have used a shot of Lex at the Computer in the classic It’s a Unix System, I know this! scene.

Jurassic Park VHS
Jurassic Park VHS

Even thought I put it on my list of the Worst Dinosaur Movies of the 90s, I love me some We’re Back! It’s one of my favorite non-Disney animated movies, and it’ll always be super nostalgic to me. Also, damn. I don’t remember VHS tapes being that expensive back in the day.

That reminds me of a good discussion topic for the comments:

What was the last new VHS tape you bought before switching to DVD? For me, I think it was a copy of A Charlie Brown Christmas. I had already converted to DVD, but for some reason the store only had the VHS version, so I bought it anyway because I wanted to see it real bad.

Ok, I promise I won’t write about VHS tapes for a while now.

  • I used to love Jurassic Park. I mean, I still do, but I used to really really love it. I was the kid that wanted to be a paleontologist when he grew up before the movie was even out. I also read the books back when I was too young to really get all the more adult parts. My wife bought me the blu-ray trilogy and one of the black and white faux-leather bound Jurassic Park/Lost World collections from Barnes & Noble last year. The movie is still great, the books have not exactly held up to my memory of them. Honestly this is one film I can say was hands down better than the book (just the first one, not Lost World).

    I really don’t remember the last VHS I bought new. I have never really bought very many movies due to the fact that I don’t tend to rewatch movies that often. I was working at Sun Coast when we were phasing VHSs out in favor of DVDs but I don’t remember buying any, even when they were on super-sale.

    And what do you mean there’s no Avengers game? You didn’t play this one?

    http://www.comicbookmovie.com/fansites/previewsreviews/news/?a=59009

  • I think the last VHS tape I bought was probably The Big Lewbowski, but it might have also been the special edition widescreen clamshell version of The Evil Dead that came out right as DVD was starting to debut. I had a huge (for the time) VHS collection after getting my first job out of high school. At it’s peak there were like 500 on two huge bookshelves in my first apartment. In fact I remember the whole VHS price market crash back in 1993-1996 when brand new tapes went from $25-$10 on average for new flicks. In fact Wal-Mart had a VHS rack in stores that was very similar to their $5 DVD dump bins today, where all the VHS tapes were like $6. Every weekend when I got paid, $30 went to picking up five new flicks. I also worked the video rental counter at my local grocery store for a year or so and bought a metric ton of previously viewed VHS at the employee discount of $0.99 per video. It was around that time that I was aware of DVD, my roommate at the time had just bought his first player back in like 1997 or so, but I hated the idea of starting to pay $30 per movie again.

    This also reminds me of what a crappy time it was for movie fans, quality-wise, as we always had to choose between the cheaper pan-and-scan Fullscreen versions of flicks versus the much more expensive Widescreen special editions. There used to be like a $10 upcharge for widescreen. Thank god DVD killed that. Also, with VHS we had to wait like 1-2 years for some times to become available for the public to purchase. It was still rare, even at the tail end of it’s life for movies to be available to purchase at the same time they were available in video stores to rent. The rental stores used to have the corner on the market on VHS for about a year up until the late 90s. DVD killed that too.

    As for the price, because of this availability structure, when a VHS copy of a flick was first made available it was usually priced at $100. That’s what rental stores paid per copy, and that’s why there were late fees, and absurd $90 penalties of you lost or damaged a VHS tape.

    I think people might have already forgotten just how amazing DVD was since it destroyed so many annoyances that film lovers had to deal with…

    • Argh I remember the time gap between movie and VHS release, such a bummer!

  • Excellent post!

    Love all the little inserts, what a trip back. I think the last VHS I “bought” came in a few various Masters of the Universe 2000 line which episodes from the old cartoon. As I remember they either came taped to the card or built into the set (a Toys R Us set I believe).

  • ThrustBone

    Sweet. JP is one of my top 5 favorite movies and one of my favorite theater going experiences.