We’ve long had the impression that something is boiling in Blockbuster ‘s pot .
The company’s twitter profile was in fact back active last July with various ironic tweets, the last of which is dated March 15th (“New business idea: we will return as a bank and use VHS and DVD as currency. It’s time to visit to your mother”). Now, however, it is the official website that has been reactivated , which has been inactive for about ten years.
In the desktop version, a yellow text appeared on a blue field: ” We are working on rewinding your movie” . The one for mobile devices, on the other hand, reads “Please be kind while we rewind ” . For the uninitiated, “Be kind rewind” was the expression used by video rental companies to ask customers to rewind their VHS tapes before returning them: there is even a film by Michel Gondry entitled like this.
It must be emphasized that now the site has become unreachable, so we don’t know what’s going on: maybe it’s just a momentary technical problem. However, it is curious that Dish Network (US company active in the television sector, owner of the brand) has decided to update the page. Some speculate that Blockbuster will return as a streaming platform or as an online purchase and rental service, but these are unconfirmed speculations.
Of course, Dish is exploiting the brand in other ways, licensing various merchandise such as clothes, board games and puzzles, but also the failed Netflix sitcom . Its survival as a brand is therefore based on nostalgia, and not necessarily dependent on the existence of Blockbuster stores . A similar case is that of Toys “R” Us, whose brand was relaunched as the toy department of Macy’s. In short, we’ll see.
The Ultimate Blockbuster
The Blockbuster brand has also been licensed to a few independent stores, the latest of which (at least in North America) is the popular video store in Bend, Oregon. Previously featured in the documentary The Last Blockbuster , this shop recently made headlines thanks to a nice spot shared online on the day of the Super Bowl, and rented for two dollars on VHS.
The promo is very evocative: a cockroach paws in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, where nothing is left apart from the aforementioned Blockbuster . Not surprisingly, the commercial is titled Blockbuster: Until the Bitter End , because the store has no intention of stepping aside. It goes without saying that the video was packaged in a retro style, as if it were a tape from 30 years ago.