When I was growing up and Christmas was drawing nigh, I was completely out of control. I absolutely loved Christmas then…and I absolutely love Christmas now. But as the years pass away in my life, so do some of the simpler pleasures.
And there was perhaps no simpler yet at the same time gargantuan pleasure than the legendary Sears Wishbook.
Oh how I adored this thing – and I know I can’t be the only one.
For the uninitiated, the Wishbook was a Sears catalog wherein they showed an absolutely ridiculous amounts of items they had to offer in an attempt to get you to overload the bottom of your tree come December 25. There was no internet to get the word out about products, so Sears would throw everything they could into a gargantuan printed book. At over 800 pages (!!!!) and weighing enough to throw an otherwise healthy shoulder out of whack, it was glorious. Inside awaited treasure after treasure, oodles of awesome product shots, and ridiculous descriptions that made everything they had sound too good to ever be true. While I believe Sears had several catalogs throughout the year, none could compare to the Christmas Wishbook, as it had toys, video games, and everything else a young ‘un could ever want.
With that in mind I thought the 1992 version would make for a great induction. After all, this was the year we had Repo Man, Tatanka (BUFFALO!), Papa Shango, and countless other goofballs plying their trade in the World Wrestling Federation. So I found one on eBay, paid way too much for it, and eagerly awaited its arrival just as in those days of yore. Surely Sears would have something that would make for easy pickings in an induction, right?
I should note that while the stellar toy selection was what drew me most to the Wishbook, it contained a gazillion other items as well. And “gazillion” may not be an exaggeration. This thing had everything from washers and dryers to microscopes to gym equipment to screwdrivers to VCRs to sausage logs and all manner of insanity in-between. For instance…
…let’s say you wanted some nice workout gear for your lady friend. Sears had you covered with PULSEWEAR. And they provided it to you with, and I am quoting here, “MAILABLE ORDERS DELIVERED RIGHT TO YOU”!
It’s way too early in this induction for me to go all caps crazy, but I just can’t help it – the Sears Wishbook brings out the inner child in me!
Still, I cannot help but believe that they missed a golden opportunity here by not having the Lovely Elizabeth showcasing that gear. I mean, seriously – in her 1992 poster, she was wearing a nearly identical outfit.
I truly hope Sears doesn’t drop the ball throughout the rest of this induction!
Killer bed wear was everywhere throughout the Wishbook as well. While I am sure Michael Jordan was a huge seller, I’d be completely deflated to learn he moved more units than that Batman Returns Catwoman sleeping bag!
See that kid giving the thumbs up? It wasn’t from the Batmobile tent he was in – he was eyeballing Michelle Pfeiffer below.
And likely pitching his own tent.
With that in mind, yeah, I guess I get why a Sid Justice pillow wasn’t featured on the same page.
I mean, you’d think Sears could have shoehorned the poor guy into one of the other 830 pages they had, but I guess not.
Now clothing always took up a healthy portion of the Wishbook. Women’s apparel by far had the most real estate in the catalog – and if you wanted a skanky outfit for your wife for Christmas, Sears (yes SEARS!) had you covered. As the WWF wasn’t offering such items, I decided to forego such photographic evidence.
Instead, let’s look at NFL Baby! For under $20, you could dress your toddler up as a 49er or an Oakland Raider.
They were still in Oakland at that point, right? I’ve completely lost count.
But why talk NFL Baby when we could be talking WWF BABY? Sure, I legit had zero idea what on earth the one on the right was (Randy Savage? Wut?). And the Hulk Hogan one had me attempting to suppress memories of the Hulkster’s plastic helmet (or did I just make that up?). But I have to believe in my heart of hears Sears could have sold like…I dunno…three of those?
Ok, this is starting to get annoying – where on earth is the WWF in this stupid catalog?
I mean, come on – the Fed had the Legion of Doom at the time of this catalog’s printing! Sure, I always hated the red shoulder pads, but it was a gimme for kids to ask for this at Christmas, right?
Instead, Sears offers up a whole page for AMERICAN GLADIATORS.
AN ENTIRE PAGE!!!!
And while you can’t mimic Hawk or Animal, you can get a three foot jousting stick for the low low price of $18.99.
Eh, Sears definitely made the right call there. I still totally want that stick in the year 2019. I could beat Blade with it the next time he is over for always forcing us to postpone WrestleCrap Radio tapings.
Hindsight 20/20, I do have to admit Sears were right more often than not I reckon. Here they offered autographed shirts of William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy for under $100!
What a deal!
Wasting pages on a foam tombstone would pale in comparison to that for sure. Even if they did have little flowers adorning them.
So I know you are no doubt asking the same question as I by this point – did the WWF have ANYTHING in this Wishbook?
Out of literally tens of thousands of items, was there a single item for us wrestling fans?
A whopping ONE.
The only – and yes, I mean ONLY – item Sears was willing to offer us hardcore fans was a single video game – WWF Super WrestleMania.
A game that absolutely, positively sucked. Oh how I HATED that game where every wrestler did the exact same move and looked stupid doing it. My buddy Trash may have loved it, but I knew better.
Not only that, it cost a whopping $59.99…in 1992! Adjusted for inflation, you could buy a small house for that.
And heck, for five dollars less, you could get Wheel of Fortune – a game that featured, and I quote, “TWICE THE GRAPHICS!” I have zero idea what that means, but it sounds awesome.
Unless it’s like WWE 2K20.
Then it wouldn’t be.
Well this didn’t quite kick off the holiday season the way I’d hoped…but don’t you fret. In two weeks I will be back with the annual non-wrestling Christmas movie induction.
And while we no longer have a Sears Wishbook to look forward to, I think those more than make up for it!