Video Game Rental Stickers Tour: Part 2

I discussed my fascination with rental stickers a while ago, and I haven’t let go of it. As physical media grows scarcer and the last remaining rental stores vanish, it’s fun to look back on a lost era of game cartridges and discs that were covered in labels and warnings. So here’s another round of rental stickers found on eBay. And hey, you can buy them if you like! 


Seller: Corey7521 
This one has it all: a shiny and professionally printed sticker slapped right on top of the game’s label, a less professional sticker with an inventory number, and then, on the back, a marker-written reminder that this is Property of Art’s Video until the end of time. It even refers to the game cartridge as a “tape,” because sufficient numbers of parents still called them “Nintendo tapes” circa 1990 and it would cost a store good money to print up new labels just for the game rentals.

Unfortunately, Art’s Video Center seems to be so long and so far gone that I can’t find any record of it online: no placeholder Yelp pages, no vague directory listings, no ancient archived news stories about the store’s grand opening. This auction and my article might be the only record of this rental outlet existing, so I’m glad to spotlight it here. And unlike other games I’m covering, Kings of the Beach is dirt cheap, just in case you want to own a piece of Art’s Video Center. 


Seller: awfulwaffles76
Some rental stores used generic cases for their video games, but this Princess Tomato in the Salad Kingdom has a less common white housing that I particularly like. Why? Because it makes Princess Tomato look like a kids’ movie in one of those cushioned, oversized white VHS containers. 

You can see it, right? A Princess Tomato cartoon, perhaps rendered in authentic Claymation or a reasonable facsimile, sitting right there next to the Disney films and Don Bluth movies and the censored, disguised anime imports in the children’s section of the video store? Perhaps some employee actually misfiled Princess Tomato there once or twice, either disappointing some poor kid who didn’t have an NES or delighting some fortunate kid who got a game rental for the price of a regular VHS checkout. 

Of course, Princess Tomato is not an animated film. It’s a cute adventure game where you explore a world of talking vegetables and where a sidekick persimmon throws out your items without asking. Like most cult-favorite NES games, it’s now very expensive. Still, if I was paying for a copy of Princess Tomato, I’d want the white Disney box with it.