Found earlier tonight, only mere hours ago as of this writing, is something so undeniably cool, so definitively hailing from the golden age of VHS (and by extension, the golden age of video rental stores), that I just couldn’t wait to get a post out of it. Also, I haven’t updated since Halloween; something needs to go up just to let y’all know I’m still here.
Dig this: from 1989, it’s a plastic promotional piggy [alliteration] bank commemorating the movie How I Got Into College, particularly (presumably) its initial release on home video. Neato! Found in a $4 bag of (mostly) animal toys, as soon as I spotted this piece residing in its depths, there was no way it wasn’t coming home with me. I wouldn’t have minded had they been asking $4 for this alone, though considering (almost) everything else in the bag was what I considered to be junk, it kinda worked out the same for me anyway.
It’s not a particularly big bank, though I’m not going to go back upstairs just to measure it. Provided you’re an adult, I’d say it’s “handheld.” You can fit several bucks worth of quarters in it easily.
Obviously, the main area of interest in the picture here is the How I Got Into College logo emblazoned on the side of the swine. That, coupled with the Twentieth Century Fox date & copyright notation underneath, says beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is in relation to the 1989 romantic comedy that, apparently, wasn’t much of a box office success. (Or so says that Wikipedia link above.) How did it do on home video? I, uh, have no idea. Certainly there were movies that did poorly in theaters but found popularity on video, but as to whether How I Got Into College was one of those or not, I couldn’t say.
Why a piggy bank? Because you gotta save your money for college HAW HAW HAW! Well, unless there’s a specific tie-in to the film here; I haven’t actually seen it. I’m using deductive reasoning or an educated guess or something like that.
Like any self-respecting piggy bank, there’s a slot along the top to deposit your various coinage. However, the fact that there’s nowhere to easily extricate said coinage (short of smashing it to little itty bitty piggy bits, anyway) points to this being more of a promotional novelty than something someone would seriously use to beat the big city banks at their own game. I like the little hat the pig is wearing.
“Now just a minute, blogger video person; how do ya know it’s for the home video release of the movie? Maybe it’s for the theatrical release!”
This is how:
Emblazoned on the other side of our hapless hog is the old CBS/FOX Video logo. Since CBS/FOX distributed the initial home video release of the movie, I’m just going to go ahead and use that patented deductive reasoning/educated guessing/whatevering again and figure this was put out in conjunction with said home video release. Putting clues like these together is just another reason why I like to fancy myself “Mista Archaeological Man.”
I’m not sure it’ll mean anything to someone who didn’t grow up constantly seeing it, but MAN, that CBS/FOX logo, I always have and always will love it. It’s just such a source of nostalgia and that era in home video. Found on numerous, now-old tapes, both big time titles or otherwise, CBS/FOX releases were truly ubiquitous throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. They put out so many movies, I’d think a store selling or renting videos back then would have had to been trying to not have at least several CBS/FOX offerings on their shelves.
To this day, when I spot an old VHS put out by them at a thrift store, I’ll take at least a cursory glance; even if I don’t buy it, I will at least momentarily appreciate the CBS/FOXiness of the tape. And, I’ll go to my grave insisting that the definitive home video releases of Star Wars/The Empire Strikes Back/Return of the Jedi are the VHS’ put out by them, using the poster art for the front covers. You can keep your THXs and your DVDs and your modern enhancements (where applicable); Luke Skywalker raising his lightsaber triumphantly while the visage of Darth Vader looms ominously in the background is where it’s at.
So yes, I do indeed like seeing that logo on the other side of the piggy bank here. (I wonder if these piggy banks were sold as blanks/generics to places for promotional purposes? As in, the same pig design can be found with or without advertising for various releases or establishments? It seems like a natural promo item for banks to hand out. But, that’s just me hypothesizin’ up in here.)
As of this writing, I can’t find any other images of this specific bank online, through auctions or otherwise. As such, I doubt this was something every customer got when they picked up their fresh new VHS copy of How I Got Into College from their preferred video retail establishment upon release. Otherwise, I’d probably be seeing something on it out there, right? Perhaps it was simply to entice retailers to order copies of How I Got Into College for the store, or maybe to act as a temporary tip jar on the counter as patrons (hopefully) purchased a copy of How I Got Into College to call their own? Could this be considered the piggy bank equivalent of one of those screener tapes?
This is all strictly guesswork on my part; I really have no idea. If anyone knows for sure, hey, I have a comment section for a reason.
Like I said before, I haven’t seen How I Got Into College. I guess I had at least heard of it before, but that was pretty much it. Looking online, it has a good cast and is supposedly pretty light. Apparently it isn’t raunchy, which is good, since I’m not a fan of the raunchiness. I guess I’ll keep an eye out for it during my travels – you can be sure that a CBS/FOX copy of the movie that crosses my path will in all likelihood be entering my collection soon after. A candidate for a possible future old VHS review? Could be!
Hey, look at that; some 31 years after it came on the scene, this promotional piggy bank is still doing its job!