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Retro

’80s Video Game Commercials

’80s Video Game Commercials

Video game nerds, sit back, relax, and enjoy Dave Freeman’s hour-long commercial break featuring dozens of TV ads for classic games from Pac-Man to Space Invaders from the Atari 2600 to the Intellivision. The Toys ‘R’ Us music almost made us cry.

Pixel Plants

Pixel Plants

Chicago-based Etsy shop Pixelixir makes these adorable 8-bit pixel art house plants, perfect for video gamers who lack green thumbs. They’re made from fused beads and each one includes a planter and rocks so they’re ready to display.

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Analog Arcade Machine

Analog Arcade Machine

Check out this amazing bit of arcade history. This 1973 SEGA Moto Champ machine had no screens, buttons, or a joystick. The electro-mechanical racing game had a group of magnetically-attached motorcycles which rolled over a treadmill-style “road,” as a spinning cylinder cast images onto the moving mat.

Restoring a Game Boy

Restoring a Game Boy

Gadgets from the 1980s were lots of fun, but the plastics they used back then had a tendency to yellow, and look awful over time. Watch in awe as Odd Tinkering takes a grubby old Nintendo Game Boy and makes it like new. That soldering iron trick to fix the lines on the screen is nifty.

IV-18 VFD Tube Clock

IV-18 VFD Tube Clock

We’ve seen lots of clocks that use Nixie or other illuminated vacuum tubes. But we really dig this version where the entire time is displayed on a single tube. Pandicon’s IV-18 clock uses a new, old stock VFD tube to emit it’s greenish-blue glow. You can find more IV-18 clocks from other Etsy shops.

VW Camper Van Moodlight

VW Camper Van Moodlight

An officially-licensed scale model of the classic Volkswagen Type 2 Bus that doubles as an accent light. It’s solid white on top and has color-changing LEDs inside its bottom half. It can be powered by AA batteries or via a USB cable, and measures appx. 9.8″ x 5.9″ x 5.1″.

Replicade Tempest Cabinet

Replicade Tempest Cabinet

New Wave Toys adds to its collection of tiny, working arcade machines, with this 12″ tall (sixth-scale) replica of the Atari classic Tempest. Its wood cabinet is accurate to every detail, with a screen optimized for vector-style graphics, and a rotary control with swappable caps. Save 16% in The Awesomer Shop!

Space Invaders: The Board Game

Space Invaders: The Board Game

TAITO celebrates 40 years of its 8-bit arcade shooter. The board game asks players to use cards to target an army of aliens headed for their bases. Available in a standard or deluxe edition, or with an awesome limited edition diorama signed by Invaders’ creator Tomohiro Nishikado.

Laser-cut Arcade Art

Laser-cut Arcade Art

Artist Ditty Laser Designs creates cool works of art for fans of arcade games. Their Etsy shop offers small laser-etched wood panels featuring imagery from classics like Space Invaders, Dig Dug, and Donkey Kong. They also make a series of fun laser-cut Pokémon cards.

New BittBoy Handheld Retro Console

New BittBoy Handheld Retro Console

The New BittBoy is a retro handheld video game system that lets you play NES, Game Boy and Game Boy Color games (and isn’t loaded up with sketchy pirated ROMs). It loads games from a microSD card, supports save states and has a 2.4″ IPS screen with adjustable brightness. It’s $10 off the original price in The Awesomer Shop.

Douk Audio Nobsound VFD Clock

Douk Audio Nobsound VFD Clock

Douk Audio’s unique desk clock uses an old-school vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) to produce a cool greenish glow. It shows the current time using analog-style hands, and has an optional second hand. Made from sturdy CNC molded aluminum, and measures 2.87″ x 2.28″ x 0.87″.

MALL 84

MALL 84

Gervais Merryweather describes his animated short as a “love letter to the 1980s,” and we think he nailed it. From the kids in the video arcade, to the giant hairdos, and TV store window displays. What pushes it over the edge is the synthwave soundtrack by Mitch Murder.

Rolling Stones Gather Moss

Rolling Stones Gather Moss

The Rolling Stones are definitely getting up there in age, so it’s easy to forget what they were like in their youth. This 1964 newsreel is a perfect time capsule of the early days of the band. Is it just us, or was their entire audience 10 years-old?

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The Breakfast Cap

The Breakfast Cap

This hilarious vintage newsreel footage features “Professor I.M. Nuts” showing off his invention, a cap designed to protect you from getting squirted in the face when eating grapefruit. We’re surprised this thing hasn’t turned up on Kickstarter or Indiegogo yet.

New Order: 1933 Style

New Order: 1933 Style

The New Order tune Blue Monday isn’t exactly contemporary – it’s over 35 years old, in fact. BBC Arts’ Orkestra Obselete took it back even further, envisioning what it might have sounded like had it been recorded in 1933, using instruments that were in favor at the time.

Yesterday Vision Retro Console

Yesterday Vision Retro Console

Love Hulten’s Yesterday Vision is an HDMI monitor with an enclosure that looks like it was made in the 1960s or 1970s. It has a built-in Raspberry Pi that’s loaded with a retro video game emulator. By default, it comes with a 19″ 1280×1024 display, but you can commission larger builds.

GB Studio

GB Studio

Build your own Nintendo Game Boy games without writing code. GB Studio is a free, easy-to-use visual editor lets you load in graphics and audio files, create levels and logic, then export it all as a ROM playable on Windows, MacOS, Linux, in a web browser, or even an actual Game Boy.

Kingdom of Night

Kingdom of Night

Diablo meets 1980’s suburbia and a sweet synthwave soundtrack in Kingdom of Night. This retro action RPG has you slaying demons in your neighborhood. Choose from three specializations, each with three classes. Coming to PC, Xbox One, PS4 and Switch.

Capcom Home Arcade

Capcom Home Arcade

The retro console craze continues. The Capcom Home Arcade is a plug-and-play console shaped like the company’s logo. It’s has real Sanwa arcade controls, and comes loaded with 16 true arcade games, including Darkstalkers, Street Fighter II, and Alien vs. Predator.

Antstream

Antstream

Antstream is an upcoming streaming subscription service that will let you play fully licensed classic games on Windows, Mac OS, tablets, and the Xbox One. It will have over 400 titles on launch, with thousands more on the way. A smartphone app is also in development.

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Chip Chops: Pub Dog

Chip Chops: Pub Dog

This 1968 newsreel from British Pathé films is almost like YouTube existed 50 years ago. It features a clever dog who helps move beer kegs, and a bar patron getting sprayed in the face with a bottle of seltzer water.

Cassette Tape Speaker

Cassette Tape Speaker

While it’s unlikely to be the loudest or most high-fidelity speaker every day, we’ve gotta hand it to Suck UK for cramming a Bluetooth speaker into the case of a classic cassette tape. We don’t recommend sticking this thing into your old tape player.

VHS Tape Covers Animated

VHS Tape Covers Animated

It’s been a very long time since we saved anything to a VHS tape, but this animation from 4096 reminds us that regardless of what random junk we recorded on them, the box covers of the blank tapes were actually kind of cool. The track is Before the Night by HOME.

The Com-Mari Method

The Com-Mari Method

Do you keep all your computer icons sitting out on your desktop? Does Netscape Navigator no longer spark joy? Go back in time to the 1990s for some advice on how to tidy things up, Marie Kondo style, with a little help from the folks at Squirrel Monkey.

Bulova Computron LED Watch

Bulova Computron LED Watch

The original Bulova Computron LED watch was released in the 70’s and has since become a collector’s item. Bulova is re-releasing the model this fall 2019 with a couple of upgrades, such as a dual-time feature. It will come in gold, silver, or black.

How to Sell a Vocoder

How to Sell a Vocoder

This little gem dates back to 2011, when Intromix decided to sell his vintage Bode 7702 Vocoder. Rather than just show some pictures of the device, he decided to perform a little sales pitch with the analog wonder. Perhaps he was inspired by its creator.

How Speech Synthesizers Work

How Speech Synthesizers Work

From Siri, to Google, to Alexa, voice based systems are pretty much ubiquitous these days. But how can a computer speak so many different words so well? The 8-Bit Guy looks back at the early days of digital speech synthesis, and how that led us to today’s innovations.

Repairing a Wondergram

Repairing a Wondergram

Retro gadget expert Techmoan fixes up a wonderful gizmo from the 1950s, a turntable about the size of a book, known as the Wondergram. It doesn’t sound great, and clearly isn’t good for vinyl, but it’s a nifty bit of engineering for its time.

Making SNES Music

Making SNES Music

While the Super Nintendo system provided us with countless hours of memorable gaming, it turns out that making music for its games was extremely difficult given the system’s memory limitations. The Nerdwriter explores some of the clever workarounds composers employed.

Digit Number Pad

Digit Number Pad

Featuring a look inspired by 1970s and 1980s pocket calculators, Lofree’s wireless numeric keypad features round keycaps, responsive Gateron Blue switches, backlighting, and doubles as a standalone calculator. Looks great with the Lofree wireless keyboard.

Vintage Electronics Prop Library

Vintage Electronics Prop Library

When TV shows and movies want to go back in time, they head to an unlikely place, the LES Ecology Center. This Brooklyn, NY urban sustainability organization has found a new use for old E-Waste, operating a prop shop housing thousands of retro gadgets.

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