Monday, 5 May 2014

Were you a member of the Home Computer Club?

The leaflet that was in most magazines.
If you were a home computer user back in the late 1980's then you may be familiar with the Home Computer Club. Whether you were a member of the club or not you may recall the attractive full-colour leaflets bundled in most home computer magazines back then, similar to the myriad of leaflets that fall out of magazines today.

'Choose 3 items from only 49p each' was emblazoned on the front of the leaflet - certainly an astoundingly attractive offer for any computer owner, especially if you couldn't afford many full price games.

Upon opening the leaflet you were greeted with amazing cut-price offers on relatively new full-price software. For example, Ultimate Play The Game - The Collected Works compilation offered for only £1.45! 

Amazing introductory offers to make you sign up to the Home Computer Club.
Maybe you would have been tempted by the Taito Coin-Op Hits compilation pack for only £2.45! Or how about the excellent Match day II game for a measly 49p! A choice of any 3 was your opening offer to join the club - all you had to do was complete the form attached with your 3 choices of software, supply your name and address and post in the 

Pick your 3 discounted choices, complete your name and address, then post away and that's it!
nearest post-box. You didn't even require a stamp! And did I mention also the free gift of another full-price software product?! And of course, there was never a better time to join (according to the leaflet) as this was a 'special' club introductory offer. But you can hazard a guess that all the leaflets stated this fact throughout the years that the club was active.

The Program Magazine
Several days later you would receive your 3 software choices through the post, together with the 'Program' magazine. 

One of the conditions of being a member of the Home Computer Club was that you had to purchase one item of slightly discounted software from the Program magazine which was sent out approximately every 8 weeks, and you had to do this for a minimum length of one year from the date you signed up.

I must admit that I came very close to signing up several times over the late 1980's but each time at the last minute I did not post away the coupon to join the club. The introductory offers were really tempting but I just preferred the freedom of going into any High Street shop and choosing the game that I wanted, whether

Pick your choice from several pages of discounted software every 8 weeks or so.
a budget or full-price game - or even not to buy any game that particular month if there was nothing that caught my eye. I didn't like the fact that you were tied into buying a full-price game every 8 weeks from the small selection offered in the Program magazine. 

But many people were tempted, and happily signed up to the Home Computer Club. Were you one of them? I'd be interested in hearing about any memories if so. In the meantime I will just continue to look at the introductory offers and wonder 'What if I had joined?'

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