Monday, September 23, 2013

Tolkien Lives at Waldenbooks


Screenshot from the Rockford Files. Source.

Today for Tolkien Week I have some Tolkienana for you from 1977, the same year that the Holmes Basic Set debuted.

A few years back I was in the habit of watching an episode of the Rockford Files every evening at ten on Retro TV. This lasted about six months until Rockford was dropped from the schedule. 

In one episode an ad jumped out from the background: "Tolkien Lives at Waldenbooks". An clever play on the Frodo Lives slogan from the 60s, it probably coincided with the release of the Silmarillion in September. At the time I looked around but couldn't find any record of this advertising campaign, but more recently I found the screenshot above.

This shot is from the episode the "Mayor Committee from Deer Lick Falls", from Season 4, which aired on Friday, November 25th, 1977 on NBC. Two days later, Sunday the 27th, the Rankin-Bass Hobbit film was broadcast for the first time on the same network.

Waldenbooks was a bookstore chain started in 1961, which by the early '80s was the first to have stores in every state in the U.S. It eventually became part of Borders. I bought a lot of my early D&D books at the Waldenbooks or B. Dalton in our local mall.

5 comments:

  1. Waldenbooks in my city had a great RPG section. It's where I first ran into Rolemaster and the Bard Games Complete series.

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  2. Man, you're just nailing the discoveries this past number of posts! Nice find and great detective work!

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  3. That makes me nostalgic for the days when I could go to the Waldenbooks in the mall (that I work 5 minutes away from) and browse a shelf full of the latest D&D and White Wolf books. Dang.

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  4. This shot is from the Rockford episode ... which aired on Friday, November 25th, 1977 on NBC. Two days later, Sunday the 27th, the Rankin-Bass Hobbit film was broadcast for the first time on the same network.

    Could the network have been clever enough to stage that little bit of subliminal advertising?

    I'm pretty sure I was sitting in front of the tube for both events. The Rockford Files were a Friday night staple in my house growing up, and I specifically remember watching The Hobbit on that gloomy November night way back when.

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  5. Great shot! I miss Walden and B. Dalton.

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