>> Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Although the large Kids Entertainment division of Philips Media put the system forward as family friendly, common videogames store never stocked any CD-i material. Here in the Netherlands, videogames are normally sold in toy-stores. But they never sold anything of CD-i. There was a small catalogue available in Free Record Shop, which was also a funder of the Gold Club Disc. It's one proof that CD-i was never seen as a regular games machine. But where did we buy our games? Right: Superclub.
Do you remember the Superclub Stores? It was a multimedia store from belgium (and the netherlands), owned by philips for more than 50%. It was one of the main channels for your cd-i supplies. They had a wide range of cd-i titles, and the whole store was filled with philips tv's and cd-i demo sets. Ofcourse not every store was the same, but in our local Superclub they built a big round pillar with a round table around it, suiting six cd-i demo sets. I remember playing chaos control there. There was also a CD-ROM demo set with Down in the Dumps (also published by philips..) Too bad they shut down.
Today i visited this store again. Ofcourse, it's no Superclub anymore, but this place is now rent to Van Leest. This is a CD&DVD store. They still use the same equipment of the old Superclub, the same televisions, the same CD installments in the wall, the same shelves. Only the demo pillar has been removed, leaving a wide open area. Still i noticed a big gap in the ceiling on the same place with broken circuits from the pillar. A globe with a big cd-i logo was on it, and i still see the contours of the globe. Nice ...
It made me think of other cd-i spots which are still visible these days. One of my favorite is at the Free Record Shop in 's Hertogenbosch (Netherlands) where at the front door there is still a large blue (old) neon board with the logos of Nintendo, Sega, Playstation and CD-i on it. Great to see that.
From the press: "Decision by Philips Electronics to wind up Belgian video rental chain Superclub as of 1 April 1997 marks end of Belgian rental chain's troubled history, which has cost Philips over $500m since its acquisition in 1991. Superclub, which had 87 stores in Belgium, Netherlands and France, was founded in 1983. In 1992 Philips bought out minority shareholders. Superclub was part of Philips as of 1991."