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Thread: Special Reserve

  1. #1
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    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
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    Special Reserve

    Does anyone remember Special Reserve?

    SmartSelect_20231001_101523_Facebook.jpg

    I was reminded about this company when I just discovered this site:

    https://amostagreeablepastime.com/20...ecial-reserve/

    I will have to put up the article about this in Retro Gamer later.

    It was a mail order gaming company that advertised full page sales adverts in nearly every computer and gaming magazine in the 80s and 90s. You subscribed to their membership for 6 per year, which entitled you to member discounts on everything. Games were far cheaper than in stores.

    Each month you received a magazine that had some articles and reviews of new hardware and games, but mainly it was their sales catalogue, and the game lists were comprehensive. I used to spend ages when it arrived highlighting all the games and hardware I wanted.

    I used Special Reserve to buy a lot of my gaming hardware and games. I bought my A1200 and CD32 through them, as well as my Dreamcast. And even my first gaming PC which cost about 3K back in the 90s. And it's the P2 system I still have as my retro Win98 PC that's still working.

    When you bought anything from them as a member you would receive vouchers with each order. Once you had collected enough you could "cash them in" to get free stuff from a coupon rewards members list. It worked by each item being the value of so many vouchers. I got a lot of free stuff with these vouchers including boxed Amiga games, and a lot of Dreamcast items including games and completely free Dreamcast keyboards. Was a great bonus.

    In the late 90s they started a company called Freeola, which was their ISP and website hosting company. Being a loyal customer I was offered a good deal and switched my ISP to them from Demon. I then stayed with them for years, first with dialup, then ADSL.. and I kept my parents with them for many years after I had changed to other providers.

    Freeola was where I purchased my first domain names and setup my first custom email addresses.. quite a revolutionary feeling after having to use ISP assigned email addresses until then. And it was the first company I used to host my first webpages.

    Freeola was the webhost I used to launch the first ever Classicamiga.com webpage, before I outgrew its limited hosting and has to move to something else.

    And Freeola is still going strong and the only remaining part of Special Reserve. I still use their Getdotted.com domain service to own and maintain some of my domain names, including classicamiga.com.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #2
    C64 addict Staff Moderator
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    No idea, never heard of

  3. #3
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    Burger Time Champion, Sonic Champion Harrison's Avatar
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    UK based so not surprised. You would of only seen their adverts if you had bought any UK magazines from the time.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  4. #4
    C64 addict Staff Moderator
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    I was growing up with Happy Computer, one of the fist german computer magazine which started in November 1983. The other one I read was 64'er.

  5. #5
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    I remember the Special Reserve adverts in the back of the Amiga magazines - I recall they had a lot of good offers (free games if you bought X, possibly a free joystick, something like that), at times I would go through the list of games and pick out what I'd buy, if I had the money.... if I was allowed to... but I wasnt... so I never bought from them, at the time my parents were wary of anything that wasn't a bricks & mortar shop that could do a direct cash transaction on the spot.

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