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on July 30, 2009
I've been buying disks and tapes of old commercials for about a decade now. This three disk set will likely contain a fair number of the ads that regulars to public domain and retro media sites already have bought before now. But one nice plus this collection has, which the others I have had definitely do not, is a chapter break for each commercial. It's not a complete index of every commercial. It's the ability to hit your remote's chapter advance button and move to the next commercial, one ad at a time, through each disk. This makes cueing specific ads up, or skipping items of less interest to you, much easier than any other collection I've seen. (Most disks on the market seem to be made up of bulk transfers of old ads in 30 to 50 commercial chunks. Much of this material came straight from an online archive of public domain material in this form, and until now, no one has troubled to break it up for easier use.)

The video quality is of a very wide range, and some of the images are a mess. But anyone with a passing-to-serious interest in old commercials, or pop culture from the 50s to the 70s, should pick one of these up for general purposes. It pretty much "retires" about half the commercial sets I have bought up until now.

Note: There's also a section of Drive-In movie promotional films ("Come by our snack bar..."; "Enjoy our mouthwatering hot buttered popcorn...") at the end of the third disk. That was a pleasant surprise.
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on July 16, 2009
Exactly what I was expecting, over 16 hours of old television commercials from the '50s, '60s & '70s . I would have given this product 5 stars but the picture quality on many of the commercials isn't that good-- I guess that's to be expected. Nothing here has even remotely been digitalized or enhanced in any way. These commercials have been sitting on dusty shelves in a basement somewhere since the last time we saw them, some over 50 years old. For the price it's definately worth it. I bought another series of old commercials last month and paid $25 for only 3 hours. Those exact same commercials are on these DVDs PLUS 13 MORE HOURS!!! One bit of advice if you buy this product...buy two sets. If you lend this out to a baby boomer you'll never see it again.
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on October 6, 2009
The commercials on this disc are of varying quality, but that's to be expected - no one ever thought there'd be a demand for old commercials when they were made, so I imagine they weren't archived very well. Still, there are hundreds of commercials on this disc that'll transport you back to your childhood and make you point at the screen while shouting, "Hey! I remember that!!!" A lot of fun, but best taken in small doses.
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on December 15, 2010
Even after reading several other reviews about the poor quality of the video, I bought the collection to see them anyway.
I'm glad I did because of the memories many of these commercials bring back. Although I didn't find any indication of what years are covered it looked to me like the 1950's to the early 1970's. It is a 3 DVD set with each disk covering groups of different topics. Some topics have just a few and others have many commercials on the disk. The box says 16 hours of commercials and I won't dispute that. Even I couldn't sit through that many commercials at one time so I've just been watching here and there.

And yeah, the video quality isn't the greatest on many of the commercials. But the viewer needs to keep in mind that like so much from that era of time, most (if not all) of the commercials were on film and not made with the idea of lasting and becoming the cultural significance they'd ultimately become. And to be honest, if you're of my age group (53) and mainly looking for the memory factor this is a great collection and for the Amazon price.
If you want to show family (grand kids) what things were like in the eras represented in the commercials, I think this collection and the commercials included are an excellent snapshot of the clothes and culture of those times!

I grew up in the "Greater Los Angeles area" and do recall quite a few of the commercials, especially the toys and games. And although I never smoked, I think I'd take cigarette commercials again over the medicine commercials shown nowadays!!
I do recommend this collection.
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on November 24, 2009
Okay, I made a big mistake with this set. I sat down and watched all 16 hours (!) in a day and a half. Not smart. Maybe an hour a day would have been better. But I couldn't stop myself.
Obviously the quality varies. Some (especially the early color ones) are nearly unwatchable. But the gems outweigh the chaff. Or something.
When you get multiple ads for the same product, they do get redundant. The cigarette category was especially bad in this regard.
The good stuff though...WOW!!! The Flintstones selling cigarettes. The Three Stooges selling cigarettes. A (very) young Peter Boyle. More celebrities than I've ever seen on one dvd.
Good ads, bad ads, funny ads. Ads I'd forgotten and ads I've never seen before. I was amazed with this collection.
I've only seen 2 other collections of commercials on DVD and this set blew those out of the water. And at a better price.
Highly recommended for tv history buffs or fans or just people wanting a reminder of a less frantic time.
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on January 25, 2010
I am quite a fan of retromercials and of pop-culture. I have a huge collection of DVD's of old commercials, both bootlegged from Ebay, as well as legitimate ones like this one. Honestly, this collection, "1,001 Classic Commercials" is one of the best collections I have ever seen. 16 hrs of commercials!! PSAs! Industrial promotional training films! Stuff the average person never gets to see. Really, you can learn so much about our shared experience through some of these little gems. It is a very well organized collection, as other reviewers have mentioned, and there is the cool feature that groups brands commercials next to each other. I saw many, many interesting ads. My favorites are for brands/stores that have gone by the wayside of the retail landscape, like the "Heckle and Jeckle" inspired ad for Robert Hall Family Clothes. Overall, an excellent value and highly, highly recommended!
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on November 14, 2011
I should note that I've gotten through all of disc 1 (food/toys/PSAs), the health & beauty section of disc 2, and a small portion of disc 3. I should also note that I bought it elsewhere.

This is a huge collection of commercials for a very small price. I more than got my money's worth out of it. Some notes:

* As mentioned by others, the video quality of the commercials go all the way from decent to awful. The vast majority are OK.
* As best I can tell (hint: look at the ladies' hairstyles and the mens' sideburns), most of the commercials are from the 1950s and 60s. A few are earlier, some stretch into the '70s. One of the PSAs dates from the mid-80s.
* "Classic" seems to be kind of a stretch, since I doubt these are the best or most famous commercials of the era. Don't get me wrong, some of them ARE good and/or famous (many mentioned in other reviews), but this is more of a random sampling of commercials. I think that works better, IMO.
* Most commercials are the standard 15-120 second television spots, but some came from surprising sources: "sponsored by" announcements, live spots from the show's stars, commercials from the movies, even a few longer films for store buyers.
* This is an era before political correctness. Subtle and not-so-subtle racism and sexism pop up in many of these commercials, so if you're easily offended, you might want to skip this (or skip those offending commercials as they pop up).
* There are several Alka-Seltzer commercials here, but only one features Mr. Speedy. They could have picked other icons who are featured more often in this collection.
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on June 15, 2011
I received my copy of 1001 Classic Commercials yesterday and began watching. The commercials are as entertaining to watch as any movie or TV program... possibly because such commercials were even more prevalent in our lives than the shows they sponsored. They were everywhere, every day, over & over... a reminder of where you were and what you were doing at any given period in your life.

My childhood was in the late 60's thru the 70's. I have fond memories of things like the Quisp & Quake cereal commercials, Cap'n Crunch, Sugar Bear (Post Super Sugar Crisp), and Shasta soda. I long for a return to the days of "Sugar" being advertised prominently on a cereal box and steel soda cans with pull tab tops (that you could make chains from). You will definitely see that in this collection.

There are some like a Shasta cola commercial ("Tickles your tummy instead of your nose!") that I had not seen since I was 7 or 8 years old. Same for the Kool-Pops commercial except I was even younger! As far as the Post Raisin Bran commercial with the singing raisins, I had never seen the commercial as a kid, but I knew the words by heart from hearing George Carlin sing it on his 1973 "Occupation: Foole" album! (I listened to Carlin as a teenager in high school.)

I have only gotten through most of the first DVD. In the Toys chapter: "Guns & Projectiles" section my teenage son and I were sighing wistfully at the Mattel Shootin' Shell cap guns (with Greenie Stick Em' caps). Oh to go to Toys R' Us today and buy a toy GUN that actually fires plastic slugs with a *bang*! Or the awesome Johnny Seven One Man Army gun by Topper! Still available on e-bay... hundreds of dollars for an intact, fully working gun. Back when boys played cowboys, or soldiers, or cops... and it was good, clean fun!

Another great thing is the many celebrity appearances. How about Clayton Moore & Jay Silverheels, as (the original) Lone Ranger & Tonto for Jeno's Pizza Rolls, Louis Armstrong for Ideal's Suzy Cute doll, The 5th Dimension for Jello gelatin, and any 70's child worth his salt will remember Euell Gibbons for Post Grape Nuts!

How about Allan Sherman (of "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" fame) hawking Milton Bradley's "Camp Granada" board game!

Priceless!

As for the many complaints about the quality of several of the commercials, especially the washed-out or over saturated color in many of the 70's selections, I say this... What do you want for FIVE BUCKS?

All whiners go home.

Would a archaeologist spend weeks digging up an ancient clay pot then throw it back because it has a chip in it?

This collection is like a historical artifact. A bundle of memories and a look back at the attitudes, styles, and even morals of the past... all for a few dollars. If you want color correction and digital remastering, by all means try to find such an extensive collection and pay more.

If you are really so disappointed at the video quality, then many of these commercials are available - and in better quality - on sites like Youtube.com, [...], and [...]. With software such as VDownloader (free) or SoThink Video Downloader (not free but cheap) you can download these ads to your hard drive and/or burn to a DVD...

...but don't knock a whole book because a few pages are creased or smudged.

As for the comments about problems with navigating the menus, or not being able to selectively play a particular chapter or section, I have not encountered any of that so far. I have also used 2 different DVD players with no trouble on either. The problem could lie with the age or quality of the player used.

I have had some DVDs where reviewers have complained about the discs locking up at certain points and I have indeed confirmed this by viewing them on my old DVD player (bought in 2001). I played them again on a newer player (bought in 2003) and the DVD played right through the trouble spots without a hiccup. I assume it is because he newer players have improved error correction & optics.

(FYI: the DVDs I speak of are The Waltons 1st Season, Buck Rogers In The 25th Century, and The Outer Limits Season 1 & 2.)

The one thing I'm not crazy about is the packaging. The DVD case sturdy enough, but it is one of those where the discs themselves are packages in paper/plastic sleeves and placed inside the case. I would have preferred a package where the discs come mounted on the case itself. A minor discrepancy.

Anyway, this is a great archive for nostalgia buffs and you can't beat the price for all that you get.

I highly recommend this collection!
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on February 2, 2010
I just got this in the mail today. With over 16 hours of commercials, it will be awhile before I get through it all.

Tonight I watched the 191 FOOD commercials on Disc One. While some of them were indeed blurry (mostly the over-saturated color ones) as others have noted, MOST of them were watchable, and MANY of them brought back many many good memories from the past.

In the ads I didn't remember, I was surprised by how many featured stars in them. Everyone from The Monkees, to The Beverly Hillbillies, to David Seville & The Chipmunks, to Andy Griffith, and more.

I can't wait to watch more of this set!

Definitely worth owning if you're in any way interested in "classic commercials".

FYI, I purchased my set when Amazon was selling it for only $7.99. Watch their prices. They fluctuate daily.
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on December 12, 2011
The numerous commercials contained in these DVDs provide hours of unexpected enjoyment. You'll soon forget that you're watching commercial after commercial as you delve deeper and deeper into a history of popular culture as expressed by the very raison d'être of American television: commercials, after all, finance the shows that stations air to draw audiences that watch the commercials in the first place. The commercials are very well organized on each disc, and the collection of PSAs are both fascinating to watch as well as enjoyable. The quality of the commercials varies from decent to quite poor, but this can only be expected, considering the fact that commercials are generally considered disposable by the industry and are rarely preserved in the same way as television series are.
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