Who doesn't love the idea of getting the latest tech as a holiday gift? Black Friday is practically defined by discounts on the latest high-tech gadgets. It's been that way for decades, and yet….
This pair of pages from the 1992 Sears Wishbook points out the problem. Sooner or later — usually sooner — the latest tech is replaced by something even newer. Eventually the hot ticket items become yesterday's crap. In fact, on these two pages there's basically nothing that can even be used anymore. The $400 Digital Discman? That was a remarkable information appliance that showed encyclopedias on a small screen – ahead of its time in 1992, and now, post-internet, a total evolutionary dead end.
Even the TVs aren't HD, or widescreen, or digital. Still, that didn't stop folks from shelling out 2,000 bucks for a big-screen TV that's now as dated as the sexy sax-man pictured on its (simulated) screen.
I saw one of these TVs tossed out onto the sidewalk in my neighborhood last year, unceremoniously dumped and hoping some soul would come by, take pity, and haul it away. Perhaps in 25 years more these sets will be collectable museum pieces, but right now they're just kinda sad.