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Ghost of Christmas Past? Pac Man just ate her.
December 24, 2012 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Electronic Toys From Holidays Long Past (274 picture SL imgur gallery)
posted by radwolf76 (77 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite

 
20 random clicks in and I remember all of them. Fantastic!

One day my kids will grow up and realize the best part about Christmas wasn't getting presents, but the anticipation when browsing the internet.
posted by mazola at 9:32 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


this link isn't working for me- in fact, it kicks me off MetaFilter!
posted by cherryflute at 9:34 AM on December 24, 2012


Wow. I had some of those. The electronic handheld "Touchdown!" was a wonderful, and addictive, game. The "Head to Head" version (also on the page) was even better. Though I don't think I spent $35 on it. That sounds like a lot of cash. But then $589 for a CD player is a bit steep too.
posted by cccorlew at 9:40 AM on December 24, 2012


I get a 404 from pinterest -- was this supposed to go to imgur?
posted by empath at 9:41 AM on December 24, 2012


cherryflute, empath, I'm not sure what's causing that for you. Link should go to http://imgur.com/a/FCVHV if that helps any
posted by radwolf76 at 9:47 AM on December 24, 2012


Roughly when did that LCD watch come out? I want to figure out how much $100 is in today-dollars.
posted by griphus at 9:47 AM on December 24, 2012


cherryflute, empath, I'm not sure what's causing that for you. Link should go to http://imgur.com/a/FCVHV if that helps any


Nope, same thing.
posted by empath at 9:52 AM on December 24, 2012


Pinterest redirect thing has been happening all morning to me intermittently.
posted by nathan_teske at 9:54 AM on December 24, 2012


I was thrilled to get this for Christmas one year. The next year my friends got X-Wings and TIE Fighters. It's all been downhill since then.
posted by Knappster at 9:58 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


With inflation the advertised price for PONG in 1975 would be right around the $400 mark today.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:59 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was thrilled to get this for Christmas one year.

Back in the day I was into Star Trek/Star Wars but I'm sure my parents told everyone I wanted 'space toys' as gifts.

Imagine my surprise when I unwrapped a Barry Morse action figure -- a balding, mutton-chopped, middle-aged dude in a brown-and-beige bell-bottomed jumpsuit with a staplegun for a weapon.

Of course it has remained one of my favourite gifts ever.
posted by mazola at 10:03 AM on December 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I still have my Merlin somewhere.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:03 AM on December 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh man. I got that Space: 1999 Eagle for Christmas in…1977 I think. Played with it until it was only pieces. Thanks for the memories, radwolf76.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:04 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


YOU LOSE TURKEY
posted by sourwookie at 10:06 AM on December 24, 2012 [8 favorites]


People sure did like their electronic calculators. 5318008!
posted by arcticseal at 10:10 AM on December 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Some Canadian sources there: I can see an Eaton's catalogue to start and what I think are lots of pages from the Canadian Sears catalogue (lots of tabletop hockey games).

Near the end: "Hey, Mom! My new friend Socrates is teaching me everything!" And that worked out so well the first time some kid said that, didn't it? Poor doomed computer.
posted by maudlin at 10:13 AM on December 24, 2012


Went in looking for the two I loved most (and asked for the hardest among the toys I actually got) Tobor (it's Robot backwards, get it?!) and Stop Thief!

Came out remembering that robot that actually played 8-track tapes. I wanted that more than anything. And seeing all the toys in that format makes it seem like I could just get up now and go out to my closest Service Merchandise and... Sigh.




thank god for ebay
posted by Mchelly at 10:19 AM on December 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love that everything says "SOLID STATE!" on it. Like people thought digital watches had vacuum tubes.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:19 AM on December 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Someone needs to make a fake skymall catalog using these pictures and ad copy, in a format that can be used to print magazines at blurb or similar.
posted by davejay at 10:26 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, 'The Little Professor' actually existed.

"Displays over 16,000 problems to test a child's basic knowledge of math. Child has three chances to give correct answer."

They're really selling it as Christmas fun with the copywriting there. Just give me a tangerine, or a light beating for Xmas, thanks Dad.
posted by colie at 10:31 AM on December 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


I vaguely remember having this Alphie robot. You'd put different cards on the front and then play games on it. It made sad little noises when you got things wrong.

I do not remember if it genuinely didn't like to be switched off, or if that was my toddlerhood-onset anxiety projecting onto the robot. It was a creepy thing to have sitting on the shelf, though, with its little eyes that never blinked.

Alphie the Robot was your friend, and he was always watching.
posted by cmyk at 10:31 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


With inflation the advertised price for PONG in 1975 would be right around the $400 mark today.

Maybe I'm just too used to calculating how much things on Mad Men are with inflation, but I am shocked at these prices. Holy expensive, batman.

yes I know it is not at Mad Men level inflation rates
posted by lizjohn at 10:32 AM on December 24, 2012


I just spotted a mini "The Fonz" pinball machine, and a Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman board game. ♥♥♥
posted by JHarris at 10:36 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, when I was a kid I was just a few years too young for many of these, but my brother got some of them as Christmas and Birthday presents (Mattel Football! Chutes Away! Although my uncle dropped that one in the parking lot on the way out of the store, and as a result it never really worked right.) I did have a Speak and Spell though, which I found fascinating if not exactly fun.

In conclusion, whenever I played in friends' rumpus rooms I always wondered why they had ugly pizza parlor light fixtures in their basements.
posted by usonian at 10:40 AM on December 24, 2012


I had one of those Little Professor things. I was disappointed that it wasn't a real calculator, just a quiz thing.
posted by JHarris at 10:41 AM on December 24, 2012


Also:
I had the "Merlin" thing as well. The most entertaining thing about it, I remember, was Game #5, in which you had to figure out how to turn all the lights on in a ring pattern.
Once upon a time I thought that "Quiz Wiz" thing, with the electronic device attached to the question booklet, was the coolest thing in the world. Yeah, I was really young then.
posted by JHarris at 10:44 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ah, I can still smell the chemically-treated catalog pages.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:44 AM on December 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Whoa, I think I had one of those lame Star Trek phasers with the words STAR TREK stickered in huge letters on the side and it always bugged me.

Captain Kirk never once used a phaser with STAR TREK written on the side. I wanted a phaser that looked like the ones he used.

Merchandise used to suck, I think it's a lot better these days.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:45 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Merchandise used to suck, I think it's a lot better these days.

It's the wrong holiday for it, so we won't even talk about the Halloween costumes of the era.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:49 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Went in looking for at least one appearance of ROM: Spaceknight, did not leave disappointed.

If Marvel could get that back, it would be awesome. They took a fairly meh toy and and created a pretty good mythos around it, including bad guys that Marvel Comics still use to this day. They just... can't use the character it was created around.
posted by mephron at 10:49 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think this is as close as you'll get these days, mephron.
posted by radwolf76 at 10:56 AM on December 24, 2012


Inflation calculator for those who want to blow their minds.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:59 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


sigh
posted by thermonuclear.jive.turkey at 11:06 AM on December 24, 2012


Console TVs. Nothing reminds me of my grandparents like a console television. Oh, and all the love and affection they showed me through the years. That too. But also large, wooden televisions.
posted by stltony at 11:13 AM on December 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


And people talk about skeuomorphism as if it is something new.
posted by Bovine Love at 11:15 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had the "Merlin" thing as well. The most entertaining thing about it, I remember, was Game #5, in which you had to figure out how to turn all the lights on in a ring pattern.
The kids across the hall got a Simon the same year I got a Merlin, and I kind of pitied them because Merlin had NINE GAMES.

Its tic-tac-toe game invariably fell for a particular setup, and that was a fun thing to discover but it also drained some of the mystery out of the brilliant electronic brain the ads promised.

Once the fun of the built-in games was exhausted, I repurposed it as a pretend tricorder when playing Star Trek with my friends because it blinked a lot and beeped and blooped. Then my dad got me a tape recorder the next Christmas that looked like a real Star Trek tricorder with spinning hypno-science indicator and Merlin went into the closet.

The kids across the hall repurposed their Simon into a Close Encounters-style mothership for use with plastic army men they had painted to look like super heroes.
posted by mph at 11:21 AM on December 24, 2012 [4 favorites]


Roughly when did that LCD watch come out? I want to figure out how much $100 is in today-dollars.
I remember back around 1974 a guy I worked with came in with an LED watch that I think went for around $200. Two years later they were giving them away if you opened up a checking account.
posted by MtDewd at 11:23 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, omg the pocket Dungeons and Dragons. Some nerd in the bowels of Mattel sold management on an LCD version of Hunt the Wumpus and they totally went for it.
posted by mph at 11:24 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can still feel beneath my thumbs the satisfying click of the buttons on Mattel Electronics Football. One of my very favorite childhood toys.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:31 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Talking about this with a friend led to a discussion of the Odyssey2, and the Computer Intro! cartridge. This led to the obvious question: What kind of sadist starts little kids off programming in machine language? Not assembler. Machine language!
posted by ob1quixote at 11:31 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure these Mattel handheld games were the first portable electronic games. I clearly remember playing them while hanging out with Grandmother and nothing better to do. Nowadays everyone has their head buried in portable electronics waiting for the bus or in line etc., but these were among the very first experiences of that type.
posted by stbalbach at 11:42 AM on December 24, 2012


A fair number of items from those pages are in great working order in my parents' basement.
posted by blaneyphoto at 11:47 AM on December 24, 2012


The very first electronic handheld: Mattel's Auto Race. But it was their second game Mattel Football that made these types of games popular.
After less than 100,000 were made, Sears (using a computer model based on initial sales figures) determined that the games would not be big sellers, and most of the production for Football and Auto Race was stopped. Within 6 months, it became obvious to Sears that their prediction was wrong, and production was started up again and reached previously unknown levels! (Reaching as many as 500,000 units a week by mid-February, 1978).
posted by stbalbach at 11:49 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


One that I didn't see in the gallery was the handheld electronic Battlestar Galactica game. Had tons of fun with that thing. I remember my elderly grandfather trying it and looking sheepish when it played "Taps" and everybody looked at him.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:59 AM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll just go ahead and leave this here for your holiday catalog clicking pleasures of days gone by.
posted by Sailormom at 11:59 AM on December 24, 2012 [12 favorites]


I had Parker Brother's 'ROM: The Space Knight', and he was shit.

"Micro electronic circuitry that enables him to scan the area..."

He did not scan.

"Breathes realistically."

Did not breathe at all.

"Makes light flash with his Energy Analyzer."

Did not analyse energy, or anything else.
posted by colie at 12:05 PM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


ob1quixote, that Computer Intro! manual is insane. Not only does it not use ASCII for its character encoding, but the letters aren't even in alphabetical order! What on earth purpose could they have for scrambling up the character set like that?
posted by JHarris at 12:13 PM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, I spoke too soon. The character set is insane, but the text following it is terrifically inspiring. From the introduction:
If computer technology continues to develop at its present rate, one of these chips will be able to store about a quarter-million bits (the smallest unit of computer information) in its memory within a few years.
Ten years from this point, there will be chips capable of remembering a million bits of information.
By 1990, the number of logic or decision-making computer circuits on these one quarter inch chips are expected to number a quarter of a million.
Today's large computers, selling in the one million dollar range and as big as several filing cabinets, contain only about 10,000 logic circuits and a main memory capacity of a few million bits.
As microprocessor technology progresses, computers may be developed that understand human speech.
It is even possible that they can be taught to read handwriting!
The microprocessor in your Odyssey2 is infinitely more sophisticated than the mathematical marvels that were the state of the art in the forties and fifties.
The technology of the microprocessor is unquestionably going to revolutionize the way the world works - and the way you'll live. A computer will control your car's automatic transmission and fuel injection system.
A computer will monitor fire and burglar alarm systems in your home.
The lights in your home will be computerized. So will the locks on the doors and windows.
A computer will even water the lawn.
A computer will do your shopping from the house - and pay your bills without you writing checks.
Computers will simulate three dimensional space for architects to help them mentally walk around their houses before they're built.
Computers will alert doctors to patient problems that would be imperceptible under today's circumstances.
Computers will help composers hear their music as they're writing it - even if it's too complicated for them to play.
Businessmen can have electronic simulations of their companies in their attache cases.
We are really still just at the very beginning of the computer age. You have picked a very good time to get involved!
posted by JHarris at 12:23 PM on December 24, 2012 [21 favorites]


The values for cents are weird. Instead of the .99 we see at the end of many prices today, I'm seeing a lot of .88 and .44 at the end of the prices in the pictures. Psychological merchandising marches on.
posted by lineofsight at 12:25 PM on December 24, 2012


Dataman! I totally forgot about that - I had it and loved it. It's probably still at my parents' house somewhere.

This really brings back memories.

Sailormom: "I'll just go ahead and leave this here for your holiday catalog clicking pleasures of days gone by."

And there goes my afternoon!
posted by SisterHavana at 12:43 PM on December 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


JHarris: What on earth purpose could they have for scrambling up the character set like that?
Now that I'm looking at it, I can't work out how something like that could come to be. I thought perhaps they had the characters sorted into columns in a weird way when they assigned the codes, but I can't figure out what arrangement would lead to that order. They're not quite in keyboard order either, which would make some sense since the 8048 was used as a controller in the IBM keyboard.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:08 PM on December 24, 2012


Big Trak! It's broken and corroded, but I still have that toy! In a box in the basement. It ran over so many action figures...
posted by Kevin Street at 1:08 PM on December 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oooooh my goodness Dataman. I had that. I was the age my kids are now. I played with that incessantly. Today my son was playing Minecraft and my daughter was playing Wii. They show less enthusiasm for those than I did for Dataman.
posted by davejay at 2:49 PM on December 24, 2012


The pages just don't look the same without tons of big circles drawn around the toys you want.
posted by orme at 2:50 PM on December 24, 2012 [11 favorites]


I had the Star Trek communicators as well as a couple of the action figures shown here. I remember many of the others.

(edit)

I also see the pinball game I had along with by brother's chess computer and Stop Thief. I'm sure there are more.
posted by sfred at 3:29 PM on December 24, 2012


[I am making the Speak 'n' Spell startup noise right now]

If I can find the picture of me, Christmas 1979, with Spelling B, I am self-linking for sure. It still works! I am sure the Speak 'n' Spell does, too--TI is built to last--but I don't have it in my apt. here.
posted by skbw at 3:35 PM on December 24, 2012


The Sears Video Arcade looks suspiciously like the Atari, only without the logo.

I always wanted the hand-held Pac-Man game that looked like a miniature arcade game. But I did have the Pac-Man game watch (the version with the buttons). I loved it so much! (It was good for those boring days in class. : ) )
posted by SisterHavana at 4:12 PM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whatever my parents paid for my Merlin, it was a good deal for the amount of time I buried my head in it silently. In an album my mom has, there is a crowd shot in a newspaper photograph of one of the basketball games my dad coached with the crowd, including my mom, cheering, and me half-watching the game, half-playing Merlin. My partner saw it and said "Wow, little hipster, you were ignoring the hipster with electronics 30 years before it was cool."
posted by MCMikeNamara at 4:23 PM on December 24, 2012


The Sears Video Arcade was, in fact, a rebadged Atari VCS. They renamed/repackaged many of the games too, usually making them sound like bad dollar-store knockoff versions. (Air-Sea Battle became Target Fun, Hangman became Spelling, Human Cannonball became Cannon Man.)
posted by Lazlo Nibble at 4:30 PM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


The Sears Video Arcade looks suspiciously like the Atari, only without the logo.

It is, it was licensed to them by Atari (I believe) and they sold it under the name Telegames. Some of the games they sold were retitled from their Atari versions, some they didn't bother. The main difference between the two is that the pack-in for Atari VCS was Combat, one of the best games for the system, while that for Sears' rebranding was Target Fun, a retitled Air-Sea Battle, and not as good a game overall.

I know this because we had the Sears system, and I had some confusing moments before I realized why the same game had different names. Anyway, the two systems used all the same hardware and cartridges, and were completely cross-compatible.
posted by JHarris at 4:30 PM on December 24, 2012


Pong, Fairchild Channel F, Intellivision, Speak-n-Spell, TI-99/4A (although I had the earlier chrome/black one, not the later white model).... Hello there, memories.
posted by mrbill at 5:10 PM on December 24, 2012


JHarris: "Some of the games they sold were retitled from their Atari versions, some they didn't bother."

And a few were produced by Atari to be sold exclusively under the Telegames label with no corresponding official Atari release, the most interesting one being Stellar Track, a surprisingly faithful port of the Star Trek text game originally developed for minicomputers such as the SDS Sigma 7 and the HP-2000 in the early 70's.

And while at first blush, this may seem to be the case of Atari sticking their OEM Licensee with the risk of handling a thinly-disguised Star Trek game that had never been blessed off by Desilu/Paramount, Atari themselves had a separate title also derived from the Minicomputer BASIC Star Trek text game, Star Raiders. Star Raider's alien antagonists, the "Zylons", were just a letter away from infringing on Battlestar Galactica's baddies, while the ship designs borrowed heavily from Star Wars, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica all at once.

Between the two games, Star Raiders had seemingly flashier first person cockpit graphics but also required a special controller that never got used for any other titles. Stellar Track on the other hand, got by on the standard joystick, and was actually a more impressive technical achievement, as the sprite handling on the 2600 was never meant to handle the large swaths of text that made up Stellar Track. To be able to do so, the game actually had to interlace scanlines that were rendered in alternating frames, giving the text a noticeable flicker that's hard to screenshot.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:43 PM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh man, a VCR for over 1k.
posted by drezdn at 6:52 PM on December 24, 2012


I had never heard of Stellar Track! I think it's more amazing that the game did all that on 128 bytes of RAM than anything else.

Between the two games, Star Raiders had seemingly flashier first person cockpit graphics but also required a special controller that never got used for any other titles.

That isn't true, the keypad controller was also used for the Basic Programming cartridge. A total of seven games used that controller.
posted by JHarris at 8:41 PM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


Love this stuff. Grabbed a picture off one of these old ads to use as my newest Mefi profile photo...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:07 PM on December 24, 2012


Quietly snickered as I passed the page headlined "Smart Phones", wishing I could send myself to that time in history, and just nudge someone, "you ain't seen nothin' yet".

Also, that little diagram in an ad on how CDs work - no such thing could make it in a modern ad... I'm not sure that's a good or bad thing.

Thanks for the post. Great blast from the past.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 9:21 PM on December 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


JHarris: "That isn't true, the keypad controller was also used for the Basic Programming cartridge. A total of seven games used that controller."

While you could play Star Raiders by punching buttons on the Keyboard Controller (or any other 2600 12 button input device like the Kids' Controller they made for the Children's Television Workshop games) the special Star Raiders control overlay would only fit the Touch Pad that came packed in the game. Control overlays for the Keyboard Controller were longer and needed cut-outs for the buttons.
posted by radwolf76 at 1:20 AM on December 25, 2012


Star Raiders was a pack-in with the keypad controller. I don't know of a keyboard controller. I seem to remember one of Star Raiders' selling points advertised was the keypad pack-in, and the advertising didn't distinguish, to my memory, over compatible games. This seems like quibbling over terms.

My favorite Atari 2600 controller remains the Sega Genesis control pad, which is also a very cool thing to play Sonic the Hedgehog with.
posted by JHarris at 4:56 AM on December 25, 2012


So as JHarris reminded me, game 5 in Merlin is a game where you touch the dots to flip the state of certain adjacent dots, in order to result in a square pattern. I loved that game a lot. I loved it so much that I owned it; I could immediately go from any starting pattern to the solved one in the minimum number of keypresses.

But then it became too easy. And so I programmed my Atari 400 to make a harder version, not just 3x3 but 4x4. And that was good, and much more challenging. It was written in Atari BASIC, and I called it Quatrainment. Couple screenshots, and the BAS file, available here.

On a lark I sent Quatrainment off to Compute! magazine as it was probably the best monthly glossy for home computer owners at the time.

They accepted it for publication, and did ports for all the major computers of the time. I made $400 for the submission, which was pretty nice because I was still in high school.

You can read the article online thanks to archive.org.

It was pretty damn cool seeing my byline in a national computer magazine. I also received small royalty cheques for maybe a decade afterwards as they republished the game in various "games for the Commodore 64 you can type in yourself" books.

Apparently, several years later in 1988, someone published an analysis of the mathematics behind my game in Mathematics Magazine. (JSTOR).

And a fellow by the name of David Arnold who is teaching math at Redwoods, has had a couple of students create projects about the game, including how to derive optimum solutions through linear algebra and matrix something or others; The Game of Quatrainment Revisited, and The Mathematics of Quatrainment.

Some days the rabbit hole goes pretty damn deep.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:04 AM on December 25, 2012 [36 favorites]


Hey, congrats seanmpuckett! I had several sales through Compute!'s competitor Loadstar, although none reached anywhere near that level of success. (I'm kind of embarrassed about some of them today, although there are some good ideas there.)
posted by JHarris at 7:56 AM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


I had Quiz Kid Math, Little Professor and Dataman. I remember really liking those toys, but I wonder what I was doing with them, because I remain absolutely terrible at arithmetic.

Dataman also resulted in the first time I was accused of being gay, when I was in fifth grade. One of my classmates was trying to pick on me and ended whatever she was saying with "Date a man, not a woman!" Ten year old me was super-chill, though, and just thought "Huh. Well maybe. I WANT TO PLAY WITH ROBOTS!"
posted by smartyboots at 10:52 AM on December 25, 2012


Wow, that Mattel Electronic Football brings back some good memories! I wanted one sooo badly for Christmas that year, but it was *the* toy of the season - you know, that one toy each year that becomes impossible to find and inspires fist fights between frenzied parents over the last available units.
My mom tried. She did. She told me she went to so many stores trying to find one but it just wasn't available. She felt terrible about it, but she reminded me that my birthday was just a few months away and they would be available again then, and was there anything else I might want instead? I masterfully swallowed my disappointment and named some toy or other, and determined that I was not going to be a sulky punk about this one. (I did that in plenty of other cases, but Mom had earned a free pass here for sure!)
So the big morning arrived and when I opened m present, there was my MATTEL ELECTRONIC FOOTBALL!!! Mom had completely and totally faked me out on it! What a great way to get a kid exactly what he wanted for Christmas and *still* manage to surprise the daylights out of him!
I called her this morning, but I think I am going to go call her again now. Why not?
Happy Holidays all.
posted by John Smallberries at 4:32 PM on December 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


Holy crap how can we get this far without mentioning the Wish Books that sourced a lot of these pages?

Christmas Wish Book catalogs from Sears, JCPenney, etc were our amazon, ebay, gizmodo, and kotaku back in the 1970s and 1980s. Your whole universe revolved around drooling over Star Wars Toys and other wacky electronic toys and dog-earing every single freaking page hoping that mom and dad would notice.

And, I'll confess, I owned the Odyssey2 Computer Intro cartridge and actually learned to use it. I was biding time until my family got an Apple ][ I could start hand-assembling 6502 code in my junior-high classes.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:16 PM on December 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


JoeZydeco: "Holy crap how can we get this far without mentioning the Wish Books that sourced a lot of these pages?"

Sailormom had that covered upthread.
posted by radwolf76 at 12:40 AM on December 26, 2012


My bad. Thanks radwolf76.
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:47 AM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think my whole childhood is on this page. Thanks for the post!
posted by bitmage at 12:22 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is a fascinating visual journey, through which one can experience both the Great Video Game Crash as well as the Beta/VHS wars from an historical perspective. Also very amusing watching the fledgling personal computer market trying to find its way.

Great post!
posted by ShutterBun at 2:41 PM on December 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


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