The Nostalgia Merchant

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

The Nostalgia Merchant is a home entertainment company founded in February 1977 by record producer Snuff Garrett. From early to mid 1980s, it was a division of Media Home Entertainment. They specialized in selling videos of vintage films and television programs; Fox Hills Video distributed the company's final titles. The company was later revived as a bootleg outfit.


1st Logo (May 1978-1982)


Visuals: There are four red-bordered screens of clips from old movies playing (one of the movies being the original 1933 version of King Kong and another one is from the 1937 Laurel and Hardy film, Way Out West). In the center, a red-bordered blue square, consisting of a silhouette of a boy sitting on top of a hill and holding a stick horse (his dog is sitting behind him) against a cloudy sky on a blue background with the Nostalgia Merchant logo at the top (with a light blue rectangle) and "presents" below, begins to zoom in, filling the entire screen.

Variant: From 1978 to 1981, a still logo is seen from a 16mm blow-up source to match the quality of the film print of whatever movie they issued. A B&W variant exists, as well.

Technique: Motion-controlled animation and live action for the clips.

Audio: A warbling synth tune that increases with very high "pinging" sounds. None for the still variant.

Availability: It appears on releases of the era, first appearing on 16mm and Super 8 prints before the Nostalgia Merchant entered the videocassette business later in 1978. Surprisingly turned up on a TCM airing of Topper, as the channel used a old video master for its source.

2nd Logo (1982-1986)


Visuals: On a space background with white, red, and orange stars, there is an object zooming towards the center of the screen from the top. It rotates into the middle to reveal that it is the Nostalgia Merchant logo, a gold circle with a large light blue square overlapping it, all of this being covered by a white border. Inside the gold circle is the black word "ThE", and "NOSTALGIA MERCHANT" in red with a black outline. The byline "A DIVISION OF MEDIA HOME ENTERTAINMENT. A Heron International Company" fades in below.

Technique: 2D animation.

Audio: A majestic orchestral fanfare.

Availability: Rather hard to find, as Nostalgia Merchant tapes have been out of print for a while now and was used in tandem with the 1st logo. It also replaces the 1st logo on some mid-'80s reprints of their catalogue including Pardon Us, Citizen Kane, and the 1933 version of King Kong.

3rd Logo (1986-1988)

Visuals: On a black background, there is a still shot of a smaller Nostalgia Merchant logo with the byline "DISTRIBUTED BY FOX HILLS VIDEO, a division of Heron Communications Inc." The screen fades out as a sped-up version of the 1978 logo plays.

Technique: A still, printed graphic.

Audio: A silent movie "comedic" synth piano tune with a few quick drumbeats at the end.

Availability: Can be found on their releases of the time, most notably the Laurel and Hardy shorts.

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