Blockbuster Kiosks Trying To Distance Themselves From Bankrupt Chain

While many of you have probably seen the Blockbuster DVD rental kiosks, what a lot of people aren’t aware of is that these Redbox-like devices have virtually nothing to do with their bankrupt namesake. But now that the once-great video chain is in the headlines for its Chapter 11 filings, the owners of the Blockbuster kiosks are making sure users know about the difference.

Some Blockbuster Express customers received this e-mail on Thursday from the VP & General Manager of NCR, the vending company that actually owns and operates these kiosks under the licensed Blockbuster banner:

You may have heard today that the company, Blockbuster, Inc. has announced plans to enter into bankruptcy protection to restructure their finances. We wish them great success in that process. You should know, however, that the BLOCKBUSTER Express business is 100% owned and operated by NCR Corporation, a rock-solid public company that has pioneered breakthrough consumer experiences for more than 125 years. We look forward to serving up those great experiences for another 125 years and more.

Meanwhile, I want to assure you that we are working hard every day to make your movie-rental experience with BLOCKBUSTER Express even better in a number of ways, including:

*Opening new locations nearby that make it more convenient to rent and return movies

*Adding more copies of more movies to rent at your local BLOCKBUSTER Express kiosks

*Preserving value, with most titles available to rent for only $1 per night

Perhaps its time for NCR to think about ditching the Blockbuster Express name? How about BlueBox? Or Not Blockbuster?

Thanks once again to RandomHookup for the tip!


Edit Your Comment

  1. There's room to move as a fry cook says:


  2. Lprd says:

    Huh I didn’t know those were owned by NCR. NCR is a pretty cool company. I believe they developed a lot of the first deposit checks at home technologies like via scanner and noble phone. Plus NCR ATMs are probably the most well made followed by Diebold.

  3. seaanemoneman says:


  4. RandomHookup says:

    If they just hang around a bit, they can probably get the Blockbuster name all to themselves for just a couple of shillings.

  5. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    Paint their kiosks to look exactly like RedBox, but label them “The Box Which Also is Red.”

  6. CBenji says:

    NCR used to make register’s too. Sure enough I sent two DVD’s in the mail yesterday to hopefully end my relationship w/blockbuster for good and they only received one the fargon aholes. I wonder how this always seems to happen w/them. At least I put my account on hold. Grrr.

    • jvanbrecht says:

      They still do make registers, and point of sales machines, ATM’s, they even make PC’s (although mostly for the industrial segments).

      They have been around for a very long time, and as far as I know, are actually a good company to work for.

      • dpeters11 says:

        Unless you live in Dayton Ohio. They relocated their corporate HQ to Georgia after being in Dayton for about 125 years.

  7. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    Now I feel better renting from them. I have avoiding picking them up at the store down the street b/c I thought they were owned by Blockbuster.

    How about calling them Block Box?

    • SlayerGhede says:

      Because redbox might have a trademark on rental vending machines with box in the title. I’m not joking about this.

  8. SilentAgenger says:

    Maybe they should ditch BB and cozy up to Netflix.

    Netbox? Boxflix?

  9. TasteyCat says:

    Try as they might to distance themselves, they probably would not be in the business if not for Blockbuster.

    Any association people may make between themselves and Blockbuster is of their own doing. It’s not as if Blockbuster was a stable company two years ago when Blockbuster Express first started.

  10. quijote says:

    “pioneered breakthrough consumer experiences…” As someone who’s had to write advertising copy before, I have to say that phrases like this make me a little nauseated.

  11. mbz32190 says:

    If I was NCR, I would have stuck with the “DVDPlay” name they were using on their machines instead of using the tarnished Blockbuster name. (Although I never used one of these DVDPlay machines though, as they were more expensive than Redbox, and located in my local division of Safeway stores, which are more expensive than other grocers in the area).

  12. toxicXchocobo says:

    Perhaps they could just call it a TARD and fill it with even more wibley-wobley-wimey stuff.

    • macruadhi says:

      How about SIDRAT? Or some other anagram of TARDIS? as for the wibley-wobbly-timey-whimey stuff, does that mean you could return the movie before you even rented it?

      Oh, and +
      3×10 to the quadrillionth power to you.

  13. crb042 says:

    Pardon me for having no sympathy.

    They willingly created a connection with the video store chain. They must have done this out of some sense of profit – either directly (kiosk owners paid by the store chain) or indirectly (licensed the name thinking it would return a profit in the long run).
    That connection came with some obvious risk, allying themselves with the store.
    That risk has now come to fruition.

    This is like my lack of sympathy for privately owned BP stations that were screaming “don’t boycott us because of the parent company”. No one would put up a sign and say “oh, but really, don’t shop here just because of the parent company name”. So it’s fair that it goes both ways.

    The Blockbuster name giveth, now the Blockbuster name taketh away. So it goes.

    • broncobiker says:

      I don’t really see your point.

      You are saying in that situation, you would just shut your mouth and say “Well it sucks to be me”?

      It’s survival of the fittest, in this situation it is probably the best move to move away from that alliance and let the customers know whats behind the scenes.

      If you argued to your clan that a certain field was going to bear the most fruit, and it didn’t make enough to survive would you move on? Using your logic you would just sit down and be like oops I guess I die now. Roll with it. The letter isn’t whiny, its informative.