Friday, November 28, 2008

ACME Catalog

Warner Brothers cartoon characters had it better than most flesh and blood movie stars. Instead of having to come up with motivated and practical ways to pull one over on their enemies, WB characters could simply leaf through a catalog that should have been labeled "plot devices" from the Acme company. Acme was the uber-manufacturer that seemed to make absolutely every kind of thing, though they were seldom reliable.

In the cartoons, their principal customer was Wile E. Coyote (Carnivorous vulgaris), though other denizens of the Warner Brothers cartoon universe patronized the mail order house as well. Whether you needed an anvil or Triple Strength Fortified Leg Muscle Vitamins, Acme was one-stop shopping. Some accounts point to the real-world mail-order giant Sears as being the inspiration for Acme, which may not be far from the truth. An early catalog did offer anvils made by... wait for it... a real company called Acme!

Considering how well they did in the pre-internet days (check out those near-instantaneous delivery times!), Acme may not even need an online catalog. However GP Markham has been good enough to collect all of the absurd/insane/unsafe products featured on-screen so that Acme can finally join web 2.0.

I can't be the only person who as a kid thought that Acme could be a real catalog company. I imagine that the warehouses of Amazon and Thinkgeek must look a lot like the shelves of Acme, especially if they added rockets to everything.

The ORIGINAL Illustrated Catalog Of ACME Products


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