Seven score and ten years ago, long before our government thought it was cool to fight wars way on the other side of the world, our forefathers met on the battlefields in our very own country as a nation divided. The Yankees to the North, and the Rebels to the South. Millions of lives were lost, countless families were destroyed, and many cities reduced to ruins in the four year clash known as the Civil War… easily the bloodiest era in the history of the United States. To show that those brave men who fought for the Union and the Confederacy 150 years ago did not die in vain, we have forever memorialized these heroes in monuments, cemeteries, and of course in collectible chess sets.
Yes, chess sets…
Back in the day before eBay became the world’s largest marketplace full of useless garbage, The Franklin Mint was flooding the airwaves with commercials for the most ridiculous junk that had collectors everywhere paying obscene amounts of money for something they’d probably end up being too embarrassed to show off to anyone…
In this week’s Retro Ad Tuesday, we see the infamous Civil War chess set The Franklin Mint advertised back in the 1980’s. Nobody wants to pay more than Mecca prices for some mass produced junk imported from China, so right off the bat, The Franklin Mint wants you to see just how detailed and finely crafted this set really is. Seriously, look at the careful work these
illegal immigrants fine artisans are putting into the pieces for this set!
And yes, The Franklin Mint carefully researched each of the men whose likenesses they were stealing for this set… General Jeb Stewart’s ostrich plumed hat is there, William Tecumseh Sherman’s spinning bowtie he wore to crack up the troops is carefully etched out, even Ulysses S. Grant’s bottle of hooch is carefully stowed away in his back pocket. These pieces couldn’t be more authentic if they sprang to life and started shooting at each other from across the board.
By now, you must be practically salivating over the chance to get your hands on this remarkable chess set! You’d be the envy of your chess club and the most popular nerd on the block!
Well, just hold your knights, everyone! The Franklin Mint has a unique way for you to collect your chess set while still being able to pay for slightly less important things in your life, like the rent and the electric bill. They will send you two pieces every other month for the super low cost of $17.50 per month! That’s so affordable, you’ll barely even notice that you also have to pay 50 cents shipping and handling plus any sales tax each month along with that princely per piece sum! But what’s truly amazing is that it will only take you 32 months to collect all 32 Civil War chess pieces… meaning that game you’ve been waiting to challenge your dog to will have to be put on hold for about 3 years…
Of course, the 3 year wait doesn’t really matter, because nobody in their right mind is going to use a chess set they paid almost $600 for to actually play games with. You can pick up a cheap plastic set from a discount store for a few bucks if you’re itching for a game that bad. And this is what The Franklin Mint and its ilk specialized in… selling practical things that were so expensive, in reality they had no practical use at all other than as proof that you are a hoarder.
The Bradford Exchange made a fortune selling plates that nobody would dare eat off of…
No matter how much Elvis Presley himself might appreciate someone eating a sloppy joe off of one of his plates, you probably wouldn’t get two and a half times the purchase price for your plate in the future after it got chileh stained…
While we admire the collectors out there in the world who aren’t afraid to accumulate a huge stash of something particular to them that others might find a bit odd, we do not recommend paying large sums of money to companies who manufacture collectible merchandise with the sole purpose of it being collectible merchandise with potential increased future value. In all likelihood, you will be long dead before anything you bought from one of these companies would truly be worth your while to resell. And anyway, the best treasures are the accidental things that have unexpected great value… whether that value is monetary or merely sentimental.
Nevertheless, today we here at The Nest tip our confederate caps to the people at The Franklin Mint for turning an ugly and bloody chapter in American history into a way to pad their war chests through
suckers collectors who will gladly hand over large sums of mad money for something they will never be able to use properly. We will continue to help drive the economy by building up demand and putting artificial value into the strangest things. And regardless of cost, we will never be afraid to wave our collector’s freak flags and show off our awesome and priceless junk swag to the world!
There’s a Jar Jar bobble head? OMG we must get that for TD *running away*
What a great idea!!!
Wait… you can take care of Twindaddy, and I’ll get one for NotAPunkRocker!!!! 😉
Brilliant! Jar Jar love should be spread to all his … fans 😉
Dafuq is wrong with you??
Once I clean the top of my hutch at work I’ll have to take a pic so we can compare our “squirrel herds.”
Ooooh! I’ll have to gather up all of my squirrels then! I have many more than fit on that one shelf…
Yup, you win. 🙂 j/k I’ll still take the pic after I dust and rearrange. I had to move a dying plant out this morning and realized that there’s enough dust and crud up there to make a whole squirrel.
Nice squirrel collection! The visual of the chess pieces coming to life on the board had me in tears.
My mom was a plate hoarder. She would rotate her stash. Now she wants to sell them…good luck.
But….. but…. the Bradford Exchange said those plates would all be worth a fortune by now! Oh well, your Mom will never need to buy paper plates now! 🙂
I’ll have to get out the full sciurine horde I have for a group photo. If it weren’t too late, I’ll bet it’d make a good Christmas card cover….
I’ve read the fine print. Not to be used for consumption (unless you are deficient in these vitamins and minerals). Pass the paper, please.
Hmmmmm, Elvis Dixie plates. Now there’s an idea….
Looking forward to the group photo!
I used to live near the Franklin Mint. For a while, I thought that they actually printed money there.
I probably would have thought that too, although I wouldn’t put it past them to be minting all those special commemorative coins that are “found” buried in some vault somewhere that are so valuable, they can be yours for just $19.99 plus shipping and handling….
I am impressed that your shelf is dust free!
The squirrels attract all the dust! If you want dust free furniture, get some stuffed squirrels! 😉
Thing is, people BOUGHT that shit. Who bought it? You didn’t buy it. I didn’t buy it. Who? And most of all — WHY?
Good questions! Maybe Dateline should look into this….
You still see adverts for shit like this in magazines. Recently I also saw a TV advert for some sort of model aircraft or something you could buy piece by piece, one of those where you get a bit of the model tacked to the front of their crappy magazine (first issue 50p where you get a wheel or whatever, subsequent issues £5.99). And of course if you miss a single copy of the magazine in 2 years you’ll be forever short a wing or a pilot or something.
Yeah, that’s a real scam there! You’d flip if you figured out your model plane cost about as much as a stealth bomber!
HaHa! I worked with people who just loved the plates. One woman told me she was leaving them to her children. She was serious! The dolls though! They were creepy! 🙂
Dolls can be very creepy! If I inherited a bunch of plates from someone, I’d probably be serving dinner on them!
I believe that is the plates function! LOL!