Nothing beat the Sears Wish Book for Gen X kids. I don’t even know why my parents asked me to make a Christmas list–I basically just asked for everything in the toy section of Sears’s annual holiday catalog.
I keep old copies of the Wish Book around mostly as reference for short stories. What did things cost? What did people, at least people who shopped at Sears, wear? Was there really a time when a rubber vampire bat seemed like a good Christmas present?
Sometimes there’s a nice surprise inside–Phoebe Cates as a Sears model, for example, or the bulky and ridiculous predecessors to things like Peloton bicycles and Siri. And then there’s the nostalgia: The Atari games and race tracks, the cheap thrills in the lingerie section.
It’s too bad that future generations won’t have similar artifacts, or maybe it isn’t, I don’t know. Anyway, below are a few photos from the 1980 edition of the Sears Wish Book. Enjoy.