How will Timmy save the last Blockbuster in the Netflix series?

November 3, 2022
Andy Punter 0
Features, Netflix, RSC Originals, Streaming Service
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While we all know the fate of the real Blockbuster, we’ve nonetheless put together some ideas for how Timmy might save the last Blockbuster in the Netflix series. Beware of spoilers. 

In the Netflix series Blockbuster, the manager of the world’s last remaining Blockbuster store must take charge, grow up and against all odds, pull out all the stops to keep the store open and thriving. Now, we, of course, all know what really happened to Blockbuster, but could there have been a different outcome? Is there a way to keep the world’s last Blockbuster running, and how will Timmy manage it in Netflix’s Blockbuster? We’ve come up with a few ideas that might help Timmy and the gang keep the doors open. 

How will Timmy save the last Blockbuster in the Netflix series?

Special Events

In Season 1 of Blockbuster, we get a little hint that Timmy might explore the possibility of special events to attract new customers, and the success of this approach was… let’s say mixed. However, lots of tickets were sold and there is clearly demand there for people to congregate, see special guests and share their nostalgia with their loved ones. Christmas events, Halloween events, even a Back to the Future Day event, all make sense and with Percy’s party store around the corner, I’m sure Timmy can score a discount on some decorations. Let’s just hope that Little Stevie’s antics haven’t ruined it for everyone and Timmy sees the big picture.

Go big on the themes

Similar to special events, the store could dedicate itself to becoming the physical embodiment of a genre or even a movie franchise. Want to relive the heroics of your favorite 80s action heroes? Welcome to the Nakatomi Tower (in Blockbuster)! Want to visit a galaxy far, far away? No problem, rent your movies from the Death Star! The possibilities are endless and the potential for selling tie-in merch is huge. Think Secret Cinema, but for DVD rentals. 

Go full retro

Why limit Blockbuster to being a DVD rental store? People are going to need DVD players to go with it, right? Retro tech is all the rage and with it being the last Blockbuster on earth, there is huge marketing potential in being the one-stop shop for all things 90s and 2000s. 

Rent out CDs and CD players, sell movie magazines and toys from that period, I’m sure people can’t wait to find out more about their new favorite Star Wars character, Jar Jar Binks… Timmy could place his tongue firmly in his cheek and build an empire of kitsch that embraces the discarded remains of our technological past. Mini Disc anyone?

Take Netflix on at its own game (sort of)

Okay, hear me out. Timmy’s Blockbuster is one of the last places with a stock of DVDs. He could run a parallel business that rents his unused titles via the post, much like Netflix’s business model before they pivoted to streaming. Members can add their names to a waiting list of movies they want to rent and when they are available Timmy and the team simply post it to them in the mail. It’s an extra service, so members could pay a little more for the convenience and it opens up an avenue to reach people further away. 

Personally, I really loved receiving my DVDs in the mail every week and would actually sign up for a service like this. It would make a nice change from only ever getting bossy letters from my bank in the post! 

Turn the place into a Blockbuster Museum

At its peak, Blockbuster had over 9000 stores and 50 million members. That is a lot of movies rented. With that many closures, there must be some pretty awesome memorabilia knocking about. Timmy could gather it all together and present the best of it in a sort of Blockbuster Museum, a standing monument to a simpler time when you got to go with your parents to choose a couple of movies to watch for the weekend and you relied on word of mouth and personal recommendations to make your picks. Charge a couple of bucks to enter and provide a free membership to each visitor and you have got yourself a healthy business model! 

Lean into what makes them special 

Ultimately, what makes Timmy so fond of the store is the fact that it is the place where he has felt most at home in his life. It’s a place where regulars come to see real people and have meaningful if often fleeting interactions. What makes the Blockbuster store special is not the DVDs they rent but the people that work there and the members that come. 

All, or any of the above marketing stunts might help to attract extra footfall and perhaps will help to sign up a few new members but what will keep them coming back is the thing that has been lost most of all in the rush to digital, the community. What Timmy has going for him is an understanding that community is special and must be protected. 

Will Timmy save Blockbuster in the end?

If we are being realistic, the chances of Timmy being the one person in the history of Blockbuster to find the magical combination of marketing nouse and business acumen to keep the store running in the face of the rise of the streaming platforms are, well, on the slim side. 

However, stranger things have happened, and by leaning into the fact that at this stage physical media rentals are largely a niche market, comprising a small but very dedicated community of physical media devotees like me and older adults who have not yet made the switch to online, there could be enough of a customer base to sustain a small business. Who knows, with the right levers this could be the start of a glorious comeback for a once-great corporate monolith. 

Do you have any other ideas for how Timmy could save the last Blockbuster in the Netflix series? Let us know in the comments.

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