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Thursday, February 16, 2012

No More VCRs From Panasonic

Did you know that as of 2011 Panasonic stopped manufacturing VCRs? Stop checking out the porno star in the photo above!

Who here realized that VCRs were still being manufactured up until then? Raise your hand? (Busy?) No one (unless you work at Panasonic, I suppose).

Once the VCRs Panasonic manufactured up until the end of December 2011 are sold in Japan - that will be it for the humble VCR, although it still manufactures VCRs at factories in China and Slovakia for sale abroad - depending on market conditions IE: if some countries keep thinking a VCR is modern technology.

Panasonic first began selling VHS-size VCRs in Japan in 1977, as one of the first Japanese manufacturers to introduce the product.

I myself bough my first VCR - a top-loader Panasonic for $527 back in 1978 - out of my own hard-earned cash from shoveling driveways and cutting grass in the neighborhood of Toronto. The first thing I viewed as a 14-year-old was the Marilyn Chambers 1972 classic - Behind The Green Door - a pornographic movie that got me through those formative teenaged years. Hence the photo above!

Did you know that Marilyn was the mom holding the baby on the Ivory Snow box of detergent? Pure as driven snow! And Brooke Shields was a baby in an Ivory Snow commercial, but was NOT the baby being held by Ms. Chambers.Ah, Marilyn - man could she take a ... uh... never mind.

Not my photo, but: this was the last VCR I owned, a Panasonic Model AG133OP. It was a very good machine.
For those of you who may be interested in modern pop culture of the 1980s (which to some is like ancient history!), the first VHS-tape VCR was introduced by the Victor Company of Japan, a subsidiary of Panasonic that later merged with audio-maker Kenwood to form JVC Kenwood Holdings.

According to a JVC Kenwood spokesman told Japan - It's A Wonderful Rife that JVC stopped making VCRs in 2006 and when they were gone - no more were sold. My second VCR - which I got so that I could create my own tape-to-tape copying was a JVC VHS VCR. I always have loved saying that! I achieved excellent copies via my gold patch cords.

I still have a VCR player - two in fact - but, admittedly, neither have seen much use from myself since I bought a Panasonic DVD player in and around 1998. Piece of crap thing died on me after 13 months - and it was a high-end one that cost a lot of friggin' money! Actually... I went looking for the VCRs and could not find them!

Old VCR taps sit on a comic book box beside a plastic milk crate that used to hold record LPs - in my basement! The tapes were recordings of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Yes, except for a love of rock n' roll and hockey and hot-looking women and the ability to get them, I was a complete nerd.
I lament the end of the VCR. I know that my porno collection has never been the same. And I did so love to collect.  

By Andrew Joseph


  1. BestBuy still has some DVD/VCR options -

  2. Yesterday, I saw VCR tapes - Maxell 6 and 8-hour varieties - at my local drug store, Shopper's Drug Mart.