About five years ago, some big brains came out with a supposedly revolutionary new media for movie rental called Flexplay. Here’s how it worked: You’d buy a movie for a low price point and then take it home and watch it. When you removed it from its packaging, tiny gnomes with pickaxes would begin hacking away at your movie. 48 hours later, the Flexplay DVD would cease to function, effectively turning itself into an AOL-esque coaster. The concept was that this would be the new way movies would be rented–you’d keep the disc instead of having the hassle of returning them to the store once you were done.
Of course, rationality and economics prevailed, and Flexplay went back into its skanky little burrow. But now it’s back with a vengeance, and Staples is all too happy to take your money for this horrible product. Starting this week, you’ll be able to find Flexplay displays at the front of your local Staples stores. They’ll be selling the faux-rental discs for $4.99 each, money that could just as easily buy you a clearance movie elsewhere that doesn’t get eaten by langoliers two days later.