One of the problems with a capitalist society is the conception that if something is not number 1 then it should be killed/will soon die and make space for another attempt. These products may be profitable and have their own niche and killing them just hands back the market-share to the number 1…
Some of my favorite products have been shelved over the years, here’s a few that deserve some kind of record in the annals of web history.
Top Deck Lager & Lime
My favorite drink during my early teens with admittedly much more lime than lager and well below the percentage for alcoholic classification. Even to this day I prefer a dash of lime added to my lager to take the bitter after-taste away. I can understand the rationale of not encouraging children to drink alcohol but it was just really like frothy lime. Besides you can still buy shandy which is just beer & lemonade… The entire Top Deck company disappeared around the early 90’s as far as I can tell.
Substitute: Stella Artois & Lime
Walkers Spicy Tomato Flavored Snaps
I’m not a big fan of crisps (potato chips for those state-side) but these spicy little treats were the best. I was lucky enough to acquire a couple of boxes in 2003 which I mostly consumed. I’ve still got a few packets left but my desire to preserve them was greater than the packet’s ability to keep them fresh. My letter to walkers about their hushed withdrawal was met with a standard response about how they couldn’t help locate stockists. Their web site no longer lists them…
Substitute: Nothing satisfactory, will have to make do with Walkers Sweet Chili and the odd packet of McCoy’s.
They re-appeared back in the shops earlier this year (2007)!
White Lemon Cordial
Produced locally this cordial mixed with water gave you something that tasted like lemonade but replaced the fizz with some kind of peppermint-style kick.
Safeway Chicken Korma
The microwave is a fantastic concept but almost all microwave-ready food tastes, well, bland. Safeway did a great chicken korma in the late 90’s in a funky purple packaging, only for it to disappear from the shelves and be subsequently replaced with a brown boxed version that tasted like all other microwave food.
Substitute: Local Indian takeaway for korma, Ginsters for a hot microwaved snack.
As a kid I enjoyed the smell of Lynx Oriental but wanted something more subtle as I grew up (a little). I discovered Alaska and it’s soft sweet smell and wore it for quite some time… until it disappeared to be replaced by many other Lynx flavors. Later on I found much better fragrances but these two send me right back to adolescence.
Substitute: Clarissa showed me “Axe” is still available in Germany so I brought some back!
Addiction Spice Fire
I found a can of this in my Christmas stocking one year and became promptly addicted, spraying my tie with it occasionally. Originally from Fabergé and available everywhere they sold the brand to Conquest Mens Group who don’t seem to sell anywhere in the Channel Islands. I’ve got half-a-can left for special occasions or a quick hit.
Substitute: Hugo Boss, Cool Water.
This is now back in the shops again (2007)
Kenzo Tokyo (added 2018)
Possibly the best smell in the known universe although it dissipates far too quickly. I have a few bottles stashed away.
Canali (added 2018)
I thought I was playing it safe on this front buying a mainstream cologne stocked by Sephora. Nope… discontinued! I was wearing this one when I met my wife so again quickly stockpiled a lot before it disappears completely.
Your Sinclair/Sinclair User/Crash/New Computer Express
Ah, the days when a magazine would arrive and it would take you more than half an hour to read all the editorial content. Full of jokes, game reviews, developer interviews, reviews where games could score under 10% and new that was actually news because there was no internet to read it on weeks before.
Type-in listings were the best. Just an hour typing in, an hour correcting and presto your computer would do something new and surprising – and you’d gain valuable debugging and typing experience to boot. Funnily enough YS’s final circulation figure was 20,000 – that would be considered successful today…
Substitute: RetroGamer – except ironically it went under last month.
Spaced deserves a final series but the popularity of Shaun of the Dead means that Pegg and Wright have abandoned their roots to concentrate on films. While Shaun was fantastic and I don’t doubt the next one will be great too I’d rather have 3 hours of Spaced than 2 hours of a film.
Substitute: Black Books, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz.
Okay, Red Dwarf has it’s ups and downs but frankly I like the fact it changed direction every few series, it keeps it fresh even if the new taste takes a little getting used to.
The last series was filmed in 1999 when writer and producer Doug Naylor decided he wanted to make a Red Dwarf movie. Six years on we have no movie, and more alarmingly no new TV episodes. I can’t imagine there is a Red Dwarf fan who would prefer a 2 hour movie over 12+ TV episodes so I have to ask the question “What the hell are they doing?” The answer I guess is “Screw the fans, do you have any idea what a successful film could do for my career?”
Substitute: Battlestar Galactica (new).
California Pizza Kitchen: Goat’s cheese & caramelized onions
The most delicious pizza I had and surprisingly meat-free. My latest trip had me searching on the revised menu, the server informing me that the pizza’s didn’t change… until I asked for it and he said “oh, except that one”. Tried other, will no longer go here :(
Substitute: None found.
Pepsi Natural (added 2010)
An all-natural Pepsi – not just with real sugar but also with Apple juice, kola nut extract and more. Alas discontinued (or it wouldn’t be on this list, right?)
Substitute: Virgil’s Real Cola.
While we’re on the subject…
Here’s my current wish-list of DVDs you can’t buy (at least in region 2): Max Headroom (Film & TV), The Flash (TV), Pete & Pete (TV), Blade Runner Special Edition (Film), Pirates of Silicon Valley (TV), Fraggle Rock (TV).
Blade Runner final cut is coming out December 2007