Amidst the Blockbuster nostalgia, we’re forgetting they were a really bad bargain

Legendary video rental chain, Blockbuster, began trending today. The reason. The last Blockbuster in America in Bend, Oregon is available as an Air BNB.

My feelings regarding Blockbuster are mixed. On one hand, they were a regular presence in my childhood. On the other hand, they took a lot of this kid’s money for some really overpriced products that we didn’t even get to keep.

While the mom and pop video stores were renting movies for 99 cents in the late 80s, Blockbuster moved into Florida and began charging $4 dollars a movie. And $5 dollars for a video game rental.

This was the late 80s mind you.

And Blockbuster didn’t pull up on prices for years and we’re not even discussing the late fees which doubled over the costs of the actual rentals. And it’s worth repeating, we were borrowing these things.

It wasn’t until streaming services put Blockbuster into the Scorpion Deathlock and forced them to change, that their prices became fair.

You can thank NetFlix and GameFly for the Blockbuster game and movie pass. A flat fee for as many rentals as you liked for a monthly fee.

It was wonderful. If you had a Blockbuster near the house you could rent dozens of movies a month, you could consume video games as fast as you could beat them or hold onto them as long as you like. I can still remember my notorious Bioshock rental that lasted months.

It was payback for 20 years of overcharging customers.

But that wasn’t profitable for Blockbuster and they slowly went under. It was still kind of sad despite the large amounts of money they took from me.

The Blockbuster nostalgia is still cool though. I appreciated the sentiment from it’s appearance in “Captain Marvel” last yearand I would actually stay in this Air BNB. There are some good memories of a Friday night pushing through those double doors to get a copy of “Cliffhanger” before they ran out of copies.

But it was a terrible bargain. And the business model belongs in the past.

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