“This home electronic stuff going over like gangbusters, people. How can we cut ourselves a slice of that pie?”
“But, Boss, our firm makes recipe cards and recipe card boxes. It’s not really in our wheel–”
“You’re fired. The rest of you better have a workable idea on my desk by tomorrow morning. Hop to it.”
I will never stop being fascinated by the opportunistic parasites which attach themselves to the underbelly of consumer capitalism’s paradigm shifts.
Just look at that thing — it’s a file card box, some index cards, and a notebook. The whole shebang would set you back under ten bucks if bought as individual components from Caldor’s stationary aisle, but slapping “cartridges” and “programs” in there gave the manufacturer the confidence to ask anywhere from fifty to a hundred bucks for this nonsense.
(The fact that a VCR at the time cost in the vicinity of a grand in 1980 bucks was more than likely taken into consideration as well. Any stiff willing to drop that much cash on a prestige product would also be susceptible to the lure of peripheral purchases, regardless of price or actual utility.)
I’m a bit amazed (or maybe I’m not) that Maura has never encountered one of these at an estate sale. Imagine what rare retrological treasures it might hold inside its yellowed plastic shell…