Follow TV Tropes

This entry is trivia, which is cool and all, but not a trope. On a work, it goes on the Trivia tab.


Dueling Products

Go To

Like Dueling Shows or Dueling Movies, sometimes two (or more) items in the market are in direct competition of one another. Like always these products have to be in use at the same time, otherwise it's Follow the Leader or Serial Numbers Filed Off. Also the Console Wars and Computer Wars have their own entries (along with their own dueling category.) It was epic.

Cue banjo music.


Initiator Imitator/Competitor Capsule Pitch Description Implementation Winner?


I'm A Mac And I'm A Windows PC. Also, GNU/Linux Personal computers designed, developed, and marketed to users. Apple was the solution for the novice computer hobbyist that became Mac; IBM wanted a more business-friendly version whose OS became Windows. Apple has traditionally been the home of designers; when Apple bought NeXT, it amalgamated a UNIX core. Microsoft's MS-DOS and Windows were designed for use in businesses, and later, in homes. GNU/Linux (originally just GNU) was developed as a free (as in freedom, not necessarily as in price) replacement for the most widely used (at the time) OS in academia and businesses—UNIX. It later developed as the free OS par excellence with POSIX compatibility a major design feature. Technically ongoing, but Windows still has upwards to 90% market share between all versions, while the Mac usually hovers around the 7% mark. GNU/Linux accounts for 1-2% of the desktops, but most of the servers and supercomputers.
LaserDisc Video CD; CED Early disc-based video systems. LaserDisc hit the market first, and used humongous discs with an analogue data format. CED arrived a few years later (despite having been in development for longer than LaserDisc) and was basically a phonographic disc with video and a protective plastic cover. Video CD was the last to hit, boasting the smallest discs and digital technology, but also had the lowest picture quality (worse than VHS, in fact). None of the formats ever became particularly popular outside of the A/V enthusiast market, though LaserDisc was the most successful overall (especially in Japan). CED crashed and burned pretty hard, losing developers RCA nearly a billion dollars and contributing to the demise of the company in 1986. Video CD never became especially successful outside of a few niche applications (and in Asian countries other than Japan), but its Spiritual Successor, DVD, would finally achieve mass-market popularity.
DVD-R(W) DVD+R(W); DVD-RAM Recordable and rewritable DVD formats. DVD-RAM was the first to the market, and had an entirely different design to the other two. DVD-R(W) and DVD+R(W) were very similar formats, but the latter had some subtle differences that supposedly gave it better back-compatibility with older DVD hardware. A draw between DVD-R(W) and DVD+R(W) — most manufacturers quickly started producing dual-mode DVD±RW drives, which nullified the differences between the two formats. Most users are still unsure as to why this format war ever started in the first place. DVD-RAM was definitely the least successful of the three; despite being the most technically advanced of the formats, it also suffered much more from compatibility problems than the other two formats.
HD DVD Blu-ray A high definition optical disc format. Toshiba led the design of HD DVD and Sony launched Blu-ray, after the two companies had failed to agree on a common standard. Both formats debuted in 2006, with the first HD DVD discs and players appearing in April and beating Blu-ray rivals by two months. HD DVD equipment and movies initially were cheaper to produce and sell, but Blu-ray discs had more capacity (up to 50 gigabytes versus a 30GB maximum for HD DVD) for video, hi-fi soundtracks and special features. Toshiba discontinued its format on Feb 19, 2008. Three key factors in HD DVD's defeat: Sony securing retailer support over time, Warner Bros. announcing that it would cease HD DVD support on Jan. 4, 2008 (after having been the only movie studio to issue discs in both formats), and finally Wal-Mart announcing exclusive support. The PS3 is assumed to be a factor, although the two other decisions were based on player sales other than the PS3.note  Conventional wisdom is that in 2006 the public wasn't ready for another new format so soon after DVD, and that Blu-ray will probably never replace DVD in any significant manner, with streaming video a much more likely successor.note 
Columbia 33 1/3 rpm long-playing record RCA 45 rpm single record Vinyl microgroove discs with better, quieter sound and more durability than shellac-based 78 rpm records. Columbia Records introduced the LP in 1948, with RCA Records responding with the 7" 45 a year later. Both companies were unwilling to license the other's technology at first; Columbia released 7" 33 1/3 rpm singles while RCA released 45 rpm albums on multiple discs packaged like the old 78 rpm albums. This battle ended up being a tie, with both formats flourishing: the LP became the standard format for albums while the 45 rpm speed became the standard for singles. RCA began issuing LP albums in March 1950 and Columbia started releasing singles on 45 in August 1950. note 
Betamax Video Home System (V/H/S); Video 2000 Devices to record TV and watch movies at home. Marketing books have been written on the subject. VHS recovered from a slow first few years to win out, thanks to its lower price and longer record times. Betamax is now synonymous with technological failure in the market, despite having better video/audio quality and durability. See also The Rule of First Adopters. Video 2000, meanwhile, ended up essentially dead-on-arrival after co-developers Philips and Grundig messed up their first line of VCRs, rendering recordings on one company's machines incompatible with those of the other.
Zip Drive LS-120 Superdrive; Sony HiFD Floppy drive replacements, with similar-sized disks, but vastly greater capacity. The LS-120 and HiFD were compatible with 3.5" floppies, but the Zip Drive wasn't. Initially the Zip Drive had 100MB of storage, the LS-120 had (surprise) 120MB, and the HiFD had 150MB. Greater-sized versions of all of these would subsequently be released. In truth, none of them; the CD-RW (and, subsequently, USB sticks) took over the market for these drives. Out of the three however, Zip Drive was the only one that could truly claim to be a success. LS-120 never really caught on, and HiFD was an embarrassing failure, after it turned out to have an irreparably flawed design.
Kindle Nook E-book readers, which are tablet-like devices that display digital versions of books in a smaller, water-resistant form. Amazon came out with their Kindle back in 2007, while Barnes & Noble's Nook came out two years later. The Kindle, which has spawned a range of different models, and even spun off into Amazon's own tablet brand. The Nook is still going, but sales have declined significantly in recent years, to the point where by late 2015 only one actual model was on sale, alongside a bunch of "tablet" versions that were just rebranded Samsung Galaxy Tabs.
Oculus Rift HTC Vive; Sony PlayStation VR Virtual Reality devices, released in 2016. The Rift and Vive are designed for high-end PCs, while the PlayStation VR is an accessory for the Playstation 4. The former two also have in-built motion tracking, while the PSVR relies on the PS4's camera to track head position. The Vive is the only one of the three to include motion controllers as standard, with the other two having them as optional extras. With all three systems out, it's looking like the PSVR is already the winner in sales terms, having quickly outpaced both its rivals thanks to the combined price of a PS4 and PSVR being equal to or lower than them. That being said, the Vive has been near-unanimously deemed the best system of the three by critics due to its precise Lighthouse tracking system and included motion controllers. The Rift suffered from tracking issues for the first three months of Oculus Touch's availability, making it look technologically inferior to the Vive while being far more expensive than the PSVR, but a recent software update that fixed the tracking problems and a significant price cut to $600 for Rift and Touch combined could help redeem Oculus in the VR market.

Food and Drink

Coca-Cola Pepsi Cola-flavored, carbonated soft drinks created around the same time. Coca-Cola has typically had more success with a "traditional" audience and with restaurant contracts and other exclusive-pouring-rights deals. Pepsi usually is more successful with younger audiences and outsells Coke at retail points-of-sale where both are available. From The Other Wiki... According to Beverage Digest's 2008 report on carbonated soft drinks, PepsiCo's U.S. market share is 30.8 percent, while The Coca-Cola Company's is 42.7 percent. Coke lost ground to Pepsi in the late 1960s, but the New Coke fiasco of 1985 and subsequent reintroduction of the original formula catapulted Coke back to the #1 spot, which it holds to this day. Internationally, Coke has more than double the market share of Pepsi, with just over 1/4 of the world market, and as of early 2013 continues restructuring and investing to grow non-US markets even further.
Smarties M&M's Bite-sized candy-coated chocolate. The latter is made by Mars, while the former is made by Nestlé. Smarties (not to be confused with the fruit-flavored American tablet candy marketed as Rockets elsewhere) are not available in the U.S. except in special import stores. M&M's has more exposure, but Smarties came out first, in 1882 (M&M's in the 1930s).
Hydrox Oreo Chocolate sandwich cookies with cream filling. Sunshine Biscuits rolled out Hydrox back in 1908, while Nabisco produced Oreo four years later. Oreo still thrives today. Hydrox was reformulated as Droxies in 1996, and then discontinued in 2001. Hydrox was briefly revived by Kellogg's in 2008 to celebrate the cookie's 100th anniversary, and is set to make a full-on return in autumn 2014, courtesy of Leaf Brands (who now owns the trademark). It still has a strong cult following, and is said to be far superior to Oreo.
Kinder Surprise Toto Hollow chocolate eggs with collectible toys inside. Ferrero (makers of Nutella and Rocher) makes the former, while Nestlé (makers of Butterfinger, Kit Kat, Crunch, etc.) makes the latter. Both are very similar, except the Kinder eggs' shells contain both milk and white chocolate as opposed to Toto's sole milk chocolate. Kinder eggs, at least, are Banned in America due to being "choking hazards" for children. However, in 2017, Kinder Joy, which was originally made for sale in climates where the chocolate would melt and had the toy and chocolate as separate parts. Kinder Surprise due to its widespread exposure.
Oxo Bovril Highly concentrated meat stock that could be made into soup. Oxo was created by German chemist Baron Justus von Liebig, who created the Meat extract method in 1840 and began production in 1866. Bovril was made by Scotsman John Lawson Johnston as resqusted by the French to feed their people during their war with Prussia in 1870. Oxo is still available in Britain, Canada and South Africa, the first being where the company that owns the brand is located. Bovril is more popular and recognizable around the world.
Gatorade Powerade Sports drinks. Gatorade was originally created in 1965 as an experiment for athletes to use when they sweat a lot between games, which made it into a success. Meanwhile, Powerade was specifically created for the 1988 Olympics. Gatorade wins due to a variety of products, which is what Powerade lacked.

Household Products

Axe/Lynx Tag Body sprays that have had a lot of success marketing to young men and teenagers. "You'll get laid if you spray this on". Axe/Lynx is the most successful deodorant brand in the world, while Tag was discontinued in late 2010.
Slanket Snuggie Sweater blankets for those too incompetent to operate one. The Slanket was first invented in 1998 and marketed in 2006, while the first Snuggie commercial started airing circa 2008. The Sunggie is the most (in)famous of the two, thanks to its memorable commercial showing people Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket.
Zorbeez Sham Wow! Super-absorbent towels. While Vince Offer pitched Sham Wow!, Billy Mays took on Zorbeez two years prior. Sham Wow! is more well-known, despite coming out later. According to Popular Mechanics, it is the more effective of the two.
Quick Chop Slap Chop Food choppers. Vince pitched the latter once again, while Billy pitched the former before that. Quick Chop came out first, though the Slap Chop is more well-known.
Pampers Huggies Disposable diaper brands Pampers, owned by international consumer goods company Procter & Gamble, is the brand that perfected and codified the disposable diaper. Huggies, owned by American personal care corporation Kimberly-Clark, is the strongest competitor, having perfected and codified other sub-products, such as training pants (Pull-Ups), swim diapers (Little Swimmers), and absorbent underpants for bed-wetting (GoodNites, which broke off into its own brand). Pampers fought back with Easy-Ups, Splashers, and UnderJams, respectively. The duel of the diapers is a draw. The debate as to which brand's base product is more absorbent and form-fitting rages on. As far as sub-products go, Huggies has more success.
Depend TENA, Always Discreet Adult diaper brands. Both offer more discreet and underwear-like products. Depend, by Huggies manufacturer Kimberly-Clark, is the first major adult incontinence brand, while TENA, owned by Swedish consumer goods company SCA, is the most prominent competitor, also offering panty-liners/pads; Always Discreet, by Pampers manufacturer Procter & Gamble, is a sub-product of their Always line of feminine-hygiene products, aimed at the female incontinence market. Depend wins in the US with a larger market share and more recognition than the other two, but TENA has a much larger market share overseas. Always Discreet comes in second in both instances, though time will tell if it will catch up eventually, as they claim to have a more advanced product than Depend.

Media Distributors

XM Radio Sirius Radio Revolutionary satellite radio providers. Very similar marketing strategies. So much so that at the launch of this trope there's no agreed discernible difference yet. Sadly, only losers. Neither company could survive on its own and have now merged (Sirius bought XM if you want to get technical). The future is still murky.
British Satellite Broadcasting Sky Television Britain's official satellite TV contractor vs Rupert Murdoch's more downmarket upstart. BSB hoped its superior technology and programming would win viewers, while Sky relied on cheaper equipment and aggressive marketing. In the autumn of 1990, after six months going head-to-head, BSB conceded defeat, its CEO resigned, and it was taken over by Sky. Some of BSB's original investors remained with the new company, now called British Sky Broadcasting.
Sky Digital ON Digital (later ITV Digital), NTL & Blueyonder Digital (later Virgin Media) Subscription-based digital TV delivery systems in the UK, all launching in around 1998. Sky Digital and NTL/Blueyonder were new versions of their existing analogue products, with all previous customers being upgraded to the digital versions by late 2001. ONDigital was an entirely new service based on digital terrestrial technology, and in mid-2001 was rebranded as ITV Digital in a marketing move (ITV already partly owned ONDigital). Sky Digital was virtually guaranteed to win this war from Day 1, due to its existing subscriber base and the Killer App of live Premier League football. NTL/Blueyonder did quite well, though the UK's rather limited cable network correspondingly limited their success. ONDigital barely kept their heads above water from 1998 to 2001, and ITV Digital later became arguably the most notorious corporate failure in UK history, as plummeting subscriber numbers and a vastly overpriced Football Leaguenote  contract saw the company disintegrate spectacularly in early 2002.
Steam Direct 2 Drive, Impulse, Origin (formerly EA Store), Games for Windows Live marketplace,, many others. Internet-based game delivery and content management systems. Steam was the brainchild of Valve, Direct2Drive was created by IGNnote , Impulse was founded by Stardocknote , Origin is run by Electronic Arts, is built by CDProjektRED, and Games for Windows Live marketplace, unsurprisingly, is run by Microsoft. Steam benefited from having a series of Killer Apps (first Half-Life 2, then Counter-Strike: Source, and most recently Left 4 Dead), and currently holds a commanding lead. Origin has quickly taken over the second place spot thanks to EA making nearly all their new PC releases exclusive to the service, while third place is held by, thanks to its large, DRM-free catalogue of indie and classic games. The other services scrap over a fairly minimal remaining marketshare. The Games for Windows Live marketplace crashed and burned pretty badly (eventually being discontinued in August 2013), and so was replaced by an integrated app store with more of a focus on indie and casual titles in Windows 8.
Xbox Live Arcade Playstation Store, WiiWare Marketplace "Casual gaming" marketplaces for home gaming consoles. Xbox Live Arcade debuted on the original Xbox, but really took off with the Xbox 360. The other two debuted on the Playstation 3 and Wii respectively, and later expanded their range to include the Playstation Portable and DSi. Xbox Live Arcade is currently the most successful and has the best overall reputation, likely due to the fact that it was the first out and the Xbox 360 is currently selling better than the Playstation 3. The Playstation Store is also quite successful, albeit not to the same extent. On its own terms the WiiWare Marketplace would be in last place by an embarrassingly huge margin, but as an offshoot to Nintendo's already-successful Virtual Console service, they can probably live with that. That being said, all three services are rapidly losing support from indie developers due to much more open digital distribution services such as the iPhone app store, Steam, Desura, and so on — XBLA has been under fire by developers for years as being much less indie-friendly than it should be — such as ludicrous fees (in the tens of thousands) for patches of all things.
iOS Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8 & RT Smartphone and tablet operating systems Apple follows its usual business model of offering an integrated product with a walled garden of approved apps while Android combines the PC and open-source business models. Windows Phone is based off the long-running Windows CE line from the 90s and 00s, and many of its features were incorporated into Windows 8 and its ARM version, Windows RT. Though the iPhone and iPad are the biggest-selling individual smartphones and tablets respectively, Android holds an overwhelming overall marketshare advantage, accounting for around 65% of the combined market. The various Windows products occupy a distant third place, with Windows 8 and RT having made little impact.
Nickelodeon Cartoon Network Television networks with a primary focus on children's animation. Both networks are among the primary sources of Television animation, having been so for the last 20 years. They're also two of the major forces against the Animation Age Ghetto. Nickelodeon began in The '80s as Pinwheel, with intent as the first kids' network. In 1990, it debuted its first original programs. Overall, Nick focuses more on general kids' entertainment, with the Nick Jr. and TeenNick sub-networks focusing on preschoolers and teenagers, respectively. Cartoon Network began on 1992, with Ted Turner's acquirement of the Hanna-Barbera, MGM, and Warner Bros. animation libraries, eventually shifting focus to original content as well. Overall, CN focuses more on general animation, with the [adult swim] block cornering the market on adult animation, and the Toonami block introducing American audiences to Anime. Currently, the animation fandom will give to CN, having recovered from its infamous tangle with Network Decay and put out great shows such as Adventure Time and Steven Universe, while Nick is currently relying on constant reruns SpongeBob SquarePants, The Fairly Oddparents, any flavor-of-the-week cartoon they made as a successor to those two (Breadwinners, Sanjay and Craig, Fanboy and Chum Chum), and other live-action shows they have that don't exactly have the wit and sparkle of the older shows, like Clarissa Explains It All, All That, or Are You Afraid of the Dark?. Overall, both networks have had their ups and downs, have lasted long enough to appeal to the nostalgia market, and just about every show in their libraries has its fans young and old. Currently, Nick sees more financial success whereas CN is a bigger hit with older audiences.
LiveJournal Tumblr Fandom and social justice blog site. LiveJournal began in 1999, using a traditional blog with comments style, and built communities based on membership and posting to those communities. Tumblr launched in 2007 and was geared towards posting of pictures, video and smaller length text posts by individuals, with subjects grouped by a tag system rather than in communities. LiveJournal made constant technical and implementation mistakes in the late 2000's, then in 2007 it banned 100's of blogs without warning, and began to shed users in the thousands in protest. Later that year it was sold to a Russian firm for a rumoured $20 million as it maintains huge popularity in Russia. Tumblr was the major recipient of the fandom exodus, gained hipster cred in addition to the fandom and social justice movement, has an Alexa rank of 31 and rising compared to LiveJournal's rank of 134. Tumblr was bought by Yahoo! for $1.1 billion dollars in 2013.
MySpace Facebook Social networking sites. MySpace launched near the end of 2003, while Facebook (or "The Facebook", as it was called early in its life) launched a few months later in early 2004. Put it this way — Facebook had an Oscar-nominated film made about its founder, while "Deader Than MySpace" has practically become the 21st century's version of Deader Than Disco. In fairness, MySpace actually was the more popular of the two until around early 2007, but its subscriber base totally disintegrated after that, mostly due to its outdated design and the few new features that were introduced being heavily disliked by its dwindling userbase. Another reason why MySpace disintegrated was because, due to being able to change the color of your page's background and add effects, much of the teenage fanbase decided to use distracting sparkle effects and fluorescent colors. Facebook's mostly unchangeable blue-and-white scheme was seen as much more professional (as businesses at the time were just starting to get into the social-media game) and more importantly, less of an eyesore.
Kino International The Criterion Collection Film distribution companies that specialize in arthouse and historically important films. Both release films regularly with a slew of supplemental material. Kino was founded in 1977 with The Criterion Collection being founded in 1984 The Criterion Collection seems to be the more recognizable name, so it wins in terms of financial success. However, both companies have met great acclaim for helping keep old films alive, especially silents. Kino helped fund the restoration when a complete print of the silent classic Metropolis was found, getting them much attention and praise. In reality, nobody is a loser here.

Non-Literary Reading

Recipe Secrets America's Most Wanted Recipes Books about cloning brand name foods. Recipe cloning of brand name foods by taking portions home, guessing how much ingredients are needed to make a single serving and the methods required to make it almost like the original. Almost, partly for legal reasons and partly becasue you can't get things like pure commercial-grade HFCS or preservatives in home-use quantities. While Todd Wilbur has a great deal of popularity as early as the '90s as a recipe cloner, Ron Douglas managed to apparently "clone" the 11 herbs and spices in the Original Recipe Chicken, a closely guarded recipe. Wilbur also cloned snack foods which puts him at a higher advantage.
For Dummies The Complete Idiot's Guide How-to books intended for absolute beginners. Both became popular with books about DOS, published about 3 years apart (Dummies in 1991, Idiot's in 1994). The Dummies books are far more well-known (and parodied) with their yellow covers and mascot, although both lines continue to publish new titles to this day.
Playboy Penthouse Men's magazines featuring nudity. Once the American arm of Penthouse arrived in the US in 1969, causing roar by its raunchier content. While the "Pubic Wars" ramped up how graphic the pictures got (and even led to the creation of downright obscene Hustler), Penthouse went through a bigger Magazine Decay and even bankrupted at a certain point. Playboy also wins for still being considered a "classy" lad magazine.

Restaurant Chains

McDonald's Burger King Multinational fast-food chain specializing in hamburgers. The McDonald brothers opened their first restaurant in 1940 and started franchising in 1953. note  The first Burger King opened as "Insta-Burger King" in 1953, with franchising beginning the next year; the founders of the first franchise had visited the original McDonald's location and were inspired to start up a similar operation. McDonald's is generally the first chain most people the world over think of when they think of fast food; it also has a long history of starting or popularizing many fast food trends that are followed by its competitors (e.g., fish sandwiches, kids' meals, play-places). That said, Burger King has long been a steady second-place, particularly after the demise of former runner-up Burger Chef in the 1980s.
White Castle Krystal Fast food chain specializing in miniature hamburgers. White Castle was founded in Wichita, Kansas in 1921; Krystal in Chattanooga, Tennessee in 1932. Krystal is dominant in the Southeastern United States, while White Castle is more in the Midwest and Northeast (minus New England). Kentucky and Tennessee are the only states that have both. White Castle seems to be the more mainstream of the two (especially given Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle), but the ultimate winner depends on both personal tastes and which side of the Mason-Dixon line you're on.

Store Chains

B. Dalton Waldenbooks National bookstore chain typically found in shopping malls. B. Dalton was started in 1966 by Minneapolis-based department store chain Dayton's. Waldenbooks started in 1933 as a book rental center which operated in various department stores, and opened its first actual bookstore in Pennsylvania in 1962. At their peaks in the 80s and 90s, Waldenbooks had B. Dalton beat in number of stores, but B. Dalton was more profitable. Both chains fell hard in the 1990s due to various factors, with Barnes & Noble acquiring B. Dalton; Kmart briefly owned both Borders and Waldenbooks, but both spun off into their own company. Barnes & Noble closed all but two B. Dalton stores in 2010, while the closure of Borders in 2011 took the last few Waldenbooks (many of which had been rebranded "Borders Express") with it.
Barnes & Noble Borders, Books-A-Million National bookstore chain with coffee bar. Sometimes, but not often, found in shopping malls. Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million were founded in 1917, Borders in 1971. Barnes & Noble is still hanging in there, both with its online branch and its stores. As mentioned above, Borders closed in 2011. Many Borders and Waldenbooks locations were sold to Books-A-Million, whose base was largely in the less Borders-heavy South.
S.S. Kresge F.W. Woolworth National dime store chain. Founded in 1899 and 1879, respectively. Woolworth is the more iconic of the two. Kresge died off in 1987 as the parent company chose to focus more on Kmart (see below), with some stores defecting to the smaller McCrory chain. Woolworth itself hung on until 1997, with its own discount division (Woolco) having only lasted from 1962 to 1983 (except in Canada, where it survived until a 1997 buyout by Walmart). Woolworth was also the former parent company of athletic shoe store chain Foot Locker and jewelry/accessory store Claire's, both of which have successfully outlived their parent.
Kmart Walmart, Target National-to-international discount retail chain. All three founded in 1962, a year that brought literally dozens of competitors. Kmart was founded as a division of S. S. Kresge dime stores (see above), Target as a division of Minnesota-based Dayton's department store, and Walmart mostly by itself. Walmart is an international monster and shows no signs of stopping, especially after kicking off the super-center trend in the 1990s (although locally-owned Meijer has been giving it a run for its money in Michigan). Kmart has completely withdrawn from large chunks of the world, filed for bankruptcy in 2002, and now only barely clings to life as a division of the also-troubled Sears. Target began successfully moving more upscale, only to stumble partway through The New '10s thanks in part to a widespread credit card breach, and an extremely unsuccessful entry into Canada via acquisition of Zellers (which itself had snatched up most of Kmart's abandoned Canadian locations) that led to them only lasting a year there.
Costco Sam's Club Warehouse club store; buying a membership allows deep-discount purchasing at your will. Both founded in 1983. A draw. Costco's ahead in revenue, but Walmart-owned Sam's Club beats it in number of locations. (However, BJ's Wholesale club seems to be fending off both pretty well in the Northeast.)
GameStop EB Games International video game chain. EB Games was founded in 1971 as an electronics store; GameStop began in 1984 as Babbage's. GameStop by acquiring several competitors: Software Etc. (owned by B. Dalton), Walden Software (owned by Waldenbooks), and Funco Land, then finally took EB Games to become the front runner.
Linens 'n Things Bed Bath & Beyond National housewares chain. Linens 'n Things was founed in 1975, Bed Bath & Beyond in 1971. Linens 'n Things closed all of its stores in 2008, but remains as an online retailer. Bed Bath & Beyond still operates over 900 stores.
Circuit City Best Buy National electronics chain. Circuit City began in 1949 as a television store called Wards (no relation to Montgomery Ward) and opened its first electronics store in 1984. The first Best Buy opened in 1983, coming from the ashes of a defunct music store called Sound of Music. Circuit City closed all of its stores in 2009 but continues to sell products online. While Best Buy is still hanging in there, there have been sporadic closures while other stores have been reduced in size.
The Home Depot Lowe's Home improvement superstore chains. Home Depot began in Marietta, Georgia in 1978; Lowe's began in North Carolina in 1946 as a traditional hardware format, but adopted the superstore format in the 1980s to compete better against Home Depot. Both in the U.S. and globally, Lowe's ranks second to only Home Depot in number of stores and overall revenue.
Ace Hardware True Value, Do It Best Hardware co-operatives usually found in smaller towns. Ace was founded in 1924, True Value in 1948 (both in Chicago), while Do It Best was founded as Hardware Wholesalers, Inc. (HWI) in 1945 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. True Value has more locations (5,000 to the approximately 4,000 each for Do It Best and Ace), but Do It Best and Ace have higher revenue (approximately $3 million each).
HMV Virgin Megastores (later Zavvi), Our Price UK-based record (and later video, DVD and game) retailers. HMV was the first to be formed, springing up in the 1930s, while the other two were founded in the 1960s. HMV by virtue of the "last man standing" rule — Our Price collapsed in the late 1990s after a decade of mismanagement, while Zavvi were taken down by the 2008 collapse of Woolworths, who they used as their exclusive supplier. HMV themselves almost went out of business in 2013, but fortunately were in somewhat better shape than Zavvi and so were saved with just a few store closures, though their future remains uncertain at best.
Dollar General Family Dollar Variety store chain that can be found just about anywhere, from the smallest rural towns to densely-populated inner urban areas. Dollar General was founded in 1939 in Tennessee; Family Dollar in 1959 in North Carolina. For many years, Family Dollar was the clear front runner, but Dollar General took off in The New '10s to surpass its competitor by over 3,000 locations and over $6 billion in revenue. Dollar General has also strengthened its foothold by opening Dollar General Markets, which feature small grocery sections.
Walgreens CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid Drugstore chain Walgreens began in Chicago in 1901. CVS began in Massachusetts in 1967, and was part of the former Melville Corporationnote  for many years. Rite Aid began as Thrif D Discount, a health and beauty store, in Pennsylvania in 1962 and added parmacies six years later. Walgreens is the only one of the three to operate in all 50 states, while CVS is the most profitable of the three. Rite Aid is a distant third in all aspects.
Montgomery Ward Sears, Roebuck and Co. 19th Century mail-order companies that developed physical department stores in the 20th Century. Montgomery Ward was founded in 1873, and opened their first physical store in 1926. Sears published their first catalogs in 1888, and the first stores were opened in 1925. Sears, on both the catalog and store fronts. Montgomery Ward discontinued their catalogs in 1985 and went out of business in 2001 (the website that bears its name launched in 2004 and was founded by a company that bought the trademark). The Sears catalog lasted until 1993 (and wewasre relaunched in 2007), and despite a number of business setbacks many of their stores remain open as of October 2017.


Barbie Bratz Fashion dolls for girls. Barbie was meant to be a revolutionary new way for little girls to play with dolls. Much later, Bratz took the "glamourous" lifestyle and ramped it up to 11. Bratz took the title from Barbie rather resoundingly in terms of sales. Then a copyright lawsuit almost brought Bratz to an end because Bratz's creator was a former Mattel employee, and now Barbie is the winner.
LEGO Mega Bloks, Tyco, Brix Blox and Coko, among many others Construction building toys using interlocking "studs and tubes" blocks Lego began marketing interlocking bricks as a construction toy as early as 1947, with the modern-style "stud and tube" brick sold in 1958; sales began in North America in the early 1960s, handled initially through Samsonite, but later began marketing on its own. Rival companies, most notably Mega Bloks, introduced their own construction-type toys as early as the late 1960s, typically selling their sets at a lower cost; Mega Bloks was acquired by Mattel in 2014. Many of the rival brands are sold in discount stores and stores such as Walgreen's, while Lego often commands a presence at the national superstore chains. A listing of Lego's numerous rivals, along with reviews of recent products from these companies, may be found here. (Incidentally, the only genre Lego has not delved into, which rival manufacturers have, is military/warfare-type sets; this was a conscious decision by Lego, although some consumers have created their own after-market sets using Lego products.) Lego has become an iconic brand worldwide, far outselling its rivals. Lego sets, although more expensive than their rivals, are typically critical successes on the marketplace and are regarded as well made. Rival companies have ranged in quality from somewhat well-made to rubbish; sales of the rival brands typically are far behind Lego.
Lego Entex's ''Loc Blocs" Construction building toys using interlocking blocks One exception to Lego's presence at major stores was at Sears, which sold Entex's Loc Blocs under the house name "Brix Blox" in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The brand itself claimed to have more bricks available at the same cost as Lego. Like Lego at the time, Entex sold a power control unit for motorizing or controlling vehicle creations and so forth. While similar in concept, the major difference was that Loc Blocs used a tall stud and short channels on the bottom of bricks, as opposed to Lego's "studs and tubes" – meaning they were incompatible. Lego. Loc Blocs/Brix Blox were incompatible with Legos and Lego's chief rivals such as Mega Bloks, and even in the 1970s and 1980s had fewer specialty pieces and a smaller color palette, and with those minuses Loc Blocs soon faded into history. By the mid-1980s, Sears was selling Legos.
LEGO Kre-O Construction building toys using interlocking "studs and tubes" blocks What makes this bout stand out is the Kre-O is owned by Hasbro, most likely to satisfy the demand for Built with LEGO toys of their IPs, such as Transformers and G.I. Joe. Transformers seems to be the star player for Kre-O, thanks to a series of humorous animated shorts and a series of humorous Manga pages loaded with Mythology Gags. Lego still maintains is foothold, but at least Kre-O has its place among Transformers fans, especially thanks to the Micro-Changers note 
Lego Friends Mega Bloks Barbie / American Girl The interlocking brick toys develop specialized lines for girls Lego Friends – not the first female-oriented line from the iconic toy-maker, as lines for girls were introduced as far back as the early 1970s – was introduced in an effort to draw more girls to the toy. A new line of characters – in fact, new mini figure styles, called "Mini-Dolls" – was introduced to go with the set. When the Friends shook off early controversy to become a huge success, Mega Bloks collaborated with Mattel to introduce a lower-cost "construction set for girls" line using the iconic doll line as its basis, hoping to draw customers who wanted a more familiar doll line to play with – girls who've been around for years instead of unfamiliar characters. Like regular Mega Bloks and other Lego rivals, they're often seen in discount and non-superstore stores. Lego Friends became a huge success and – as is the case with its other products vs. competing brands – sell far better than Mega Bloks' rival line, although the Barbie sets are frequently seen on toy store shelves … near the Friends sets, ironically enough. The success of Friends even inspired Lego to collaborate with Disney to introduce a second line of girl-oriented sets, based on Disney Princess movies such as Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, and Frozen.
Stompeez Silly Slippeez Cute slippers made mostly for children. Stompeez came first. Stompeez wins due to the fact that commercials for them still air all over various networks. There's even a variant called Flipeez, which are caps that have movable parts.
Cloud Pets Lulla-Pets Plush animals that record sound (and has apps). Lulla-Pets does everything that Cloud Pets does, and as the name suggests, it also utilizes music. TBD
Tamagotchi Giga Pets Battery-operated virtual pet toy. Tamagotchi was introduced in 1996, Giga Pets in 1997. Many other brands soon followed, such as Nano Pets. Tamagotchi are still made to this day, although their popularity is mostly limited to Japan. Giga Pets barely made it into the 21st century, despite at least one relaunch.
Challenge Of The Go Bots Transformers Rebranded western exports of Japanese transforming robots toylines. Both lines had a syndicated cartoon airing at the same time. Most Gobots were sized at 2/3 inches, with a small subset of larger "Super Gobots", while the Transformers scale was essentially the reverse. Despite the Gobots toys being hyped as the winners early on by industry analysts due to their cheaper price point, less violent imagery, and lack of easily lost small parts making them more attractive to parents, Transformer's slick marketingnote  and better fictional support lead it to gaining the upper hand, with the Gobots franchise petering out by 1987.
GI Joe A Real American Hero The Corps! Military action figure toylines produced in a 3/4 scale. The original The Corps! line was an obvious low-budget clone of G.I. Joe, enough that Hasbro successfully sued Lanard over the original name of the toyline, Gung-Ho!. The main differences were that the original Corps line did not have any "bad guy" characters and that the line was slow to introduce new toys, instead rereleasing a small number of figures and vehicles over and over. Going into the new millenium, The Corps! started to differentiate itself with a more colourful and futuristic style. G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero is by far the more successful toyline and the franchise has much more pop-culture visibility, having multiple comic books, animated series and feature films to its name (By contrast, The Corps! only fiction are short webcomics on its official website and a a comic book that lasted a single issue) That being said, The Corps! built itself a solid niche at retail around the same time the G.I. Joe toyline completely collapsed into The New '10s
Hatchimals L.O.L. Surprise! Toylines inspired by unboxing videos on the Internet where children get to unbox mystery toys. While Hatchimals has the toy unbox itself, LOL Surprise! has a ball with seven layers of toys, with the main item being a baby doll. While Hatchimals were very popular the year they debuted, future versions failed to reached the success of the original toy. In contrast, LOL Surprise became a major Cash Cow Franchise, with each new release topping toy sale charts, tons of spin-off merchandise being released and the franchise dethroning Barbie as the best-selling fashion doll, making it the winner.


Ford Chevrolet Mass-produced cars for regular people. Chevy brought color and variety and forced Ford away from an "as long as it's black" policy toward the frequent model changes that defined the golden age of American cars. Chevy took the sales lead from Ford in the late '20s and held it for most of the rest of the 20th century; fast-forwarding a bit, GM has needed bailout money (now largely paid back) and Ford just barely held on without it. Ford expanded in the '20s by opening branch factories and has long been a worldwide brand, while GM expanded by buying up existing companies (Opel, Holden, etc.) thus only before WW2 and in the past decade has Chevrolet had much presence outside North America.
Electro-Motive Division (EMD) E and F series Alco P and F series, Fairbanks-Morse Consolidated series, and Baldwin Babyface/Sharknose series Streamlined diesel-electric locomotives of the 1940s and 1950s. EMD designed the E-series passenger diesels and F-series freight diesels to replace steam engines on main-line trains. It introduced the F-series prototype, the FT, in 1939. Alco introduced the P and F series diesels in 1946 to compete with EMD. Fairbanks-Morse was an engine supplier that wanted to become a major locomotive builder and created the Consolidated series to fill the "streamlined main-line engine" market sector. EMD and its E and F series won for several reasons. The first is that EMD took the initiative and opened the diesel market in the United States. The second is that EMD had more reliable technology that benefited from regular testing and follow-ups in the field. The third is that Alco and Baldwin were encumbered by their continued faith in steam locomotives, while Fairbanks-Morse lacked the production capacity, so EMD was more willing and able to mass-produce diesel locomotives. By 1960, when the steam locomotives had been retired from American railroads, approximately 70 percent of diesels were EMD products.
Pontiac Fiero Toyota MR2 Mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive (RMR layout) sports cars of The '80s, packing the style of a contemporary Ferrari or Lamborghini with an affordable price and good fuel economy. The Fiero was released first in 1984, the first (and only) mass-produced American mid-engine car, but Executive Meddling at GM had it nerfed with the "Iron Duke" 4-cylinder engine and marketed as an economy car to avoid cannibalizing the Chevrolet Corvette, as opposed to John DeLorean's original vision for a Corvette-beating supercar. Toyota released the MR2 the following model year, to much acclaim, but the 1985 Fiero now offered a GT version with a more powerful V6 engine. MR2 won by a mile. The original 1984 Fieros had an engine manufacturing flaw that could result in the car catching fire, which gave the Fiero a black eye for reliability despite all subsequent model years not having the fault. Pontiac eventually retired the Fiero after 1988, right after it received considerable upgrades to the suspension and other key components, and GM would discontinue the Pontiac marque entirely decades later. Meanwhile, the MR2 continued Toyota's tradition of sheer reliability while offering another sporty alternative to the Celica and Supra with superbly tuned handling, and was produced for another decade for two more generations. Ultimately, while the MR2 won out, Toyota no longer produces them, making the only affordable options for mid-engine cars without supercar prices all second-hand examples that are now steadily climbing up in price.


Fender Musical Instruments Corporation Gibson Guitar Corporation Manufacturers of solid-body electric guitars. In the 1950s, the Gibson Les Paul, The Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster were the three primary solid-body electric guitars on the market. Since then, both companies have expanded their product lineup and landed nearly every big-name guitarist since the 1960s as endorsers. Always going to be a matter of opinion as far as who makes the better product overall, but guitarists in general come out as winners. The difference in their products are significant enough that there's a market for the "Gibson sound" and the "Fender sound", and it's not uncommon to see players who have one of each, and the overwhelming majority of other guitar manufacturers are expanding (or improving) upon Fender or Gibson designs to some degree.
Disney Theme Parks Universal Studios Very elaborate and high-tech theme parks, owned by a major entertainment company. Disney is widely associated with a family audience, while Universal skews slightly older (and has the added appeal of real movie sets and props on display). Universal Studios technically came first, since the studio tour began in 1915, but it didn't make the transfer to a theme park until 1964 — nine years after the opening of Disneyland. Disney has more parks worldwide (currently 11, with a new one opening in 2015; compare to Universal's 5, with 2 more planned), and is currently the most-visited amusement park operator in the world, with about 119 million annual visitors. Universal is third, with about 30 million annual visitors, behind Merlin Entertainments, with 41 million.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: