THE BEST Retro

Retro Tech: 1996 SEGA Digio SJ-1

Retro Tech: 1996 SEGA Digio SJ-1

It’s hard to believe it, but digital cameras were just getting their start back in the 1990s. And like every tech gold rush, everyone was jumping on the low megapixel bandwagon, including video game maker SEGA. LGR got his hands on this $300 oddity from 1996, with its whopping 320×240 pixel resolution.

Funko Big Zoltar Figure

Funko Big Zoltar Figure

Inspired by the vintage fortune telling machine in the 1988 movie Big, this 6-inch figure is one of the cooler Funko POP! designs we’ve seen in a while, and sure to be a classic. There’s also a figure of Tom Hanks on the giant piano at FAO Schwartz. Drops 9/30/2019.

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Why Ctrl-Alt-Delete?

Why Ctrl-Alt-Delete?

It’s a key sequence PC users dread having to use, but the old “Ctrl-Alt-Delete” is still in use today. Nostalgia Nerd looks back at the origin of this key combo which dates back to the 1980s. We’re sure that Apple will profess that their “Command-Option-Esc” key combo is far superior.

The Art of Atari

The Art of Atari

If you grew up in the ’70s or ’80s, there’s not much more iconic than the box art from classic Atari games. Authors Robert V. Conte and Tim Lapetino explore the history of videogaming’s great forefather, and the artists and creative process behind these now classic works.

Uber in the ’80s

Uber in the ’80s

“You can pay the driver in cash, or with a check.” Simply follow these 12 steps to book a ride, and it’ll be at your location sometime in the next 24 hours. Squirrel Monkey envisions yet another modern business might have been like if it had launched some 30 years ago.

Retro iPhone Concept

Retro iPhone Concept

What might the iPhone have been like had it followed in the footsteps of Apple’s 1980s industrial design? Future Punk envisions just that – along with a colorful 1990s take as well. Funny thing is, Apple did design a concept phone in the 1980s.

Mini Arcade Marquees

Mini Arcade Marquees

Celebrate your love for classic video games with one (or more) of RetroBuilder’s miniature arcade marquee light boxes, each with razor sharp color graphics. Each box measures about 7.87″ wide, is made from bamboo wood, and is powered via a USB cable. Choose from 20 different designs, with more to come.

The Internet in 1996

The Internet in 1996

An awesome time capsule of what life was like on the Internet more than 20 years ago, just as it was starting to take off. If you remember Netscape, dial-up modems, or Excite!, you’ll get a kick out of this old VHS tape. We like he calls URLs “YEEERLS.”

It’s Ok Bluetooth Cassette Recorder

It’s Ok Bluetooth Cassette Recorder

It’s been 40 years since the Sony Walkman first came on the scene, and since been supplanted by CDs, MP3s, and streaming. But if you’re craving that old cassette tape sound, NINM Lab’s portable player/recorder has Bluetooth 5.0, so you can wirelessly send its sounds to a speaker or headphones. Sadly it’s not stereo.

Weird Computers of the 1970s

Weird Computers of the 1970s

The personal computing revolution didn’t reach the masses until the 1980s, but back in the 1970s, a groundswell was forming among hardcore tech nerds. LGR takes a look back at a number of the unusual computer designs that emerged in the years leading up to the PC revolution.

Floppy Cars

Floppy Cars

Some songs lend themselves better than others to being played by Paweł Zadrożniak’s Floppotron – a band made up of old mechanical computer hardware. We can think of no better fit than the synth-heavy, robotic sounds of Gary Numan’s 1979 hit Cars.

LED Gamer Nightlight

LED Gamer Nightlight

Etsy seller My Home Art Decor makes these sweet laser-cut wood accent lights, featuring images from classic games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Mario, Sonic, and Tetris. Each one has an RGB LED light source and a remote control so you can change its color. The wood panels can be ordered in natural or painted hues.

Retro Tech: Triple Tape Boombox

Retro Tech: Triple Tape Boombox

Techmoan dug up another relic of unusual tech from the 1980s, a boombox from Japanese electronics company National that sported not one or two tape decks, but three. It’s basically the “this one goes to 11” of cassette players. Also, once he cracked it open to perform some repairs, he discovered a mechanical nightmare.

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DIY Mini Telegraph

DIY Mini Telegraph

Telegraphs were once the fastest way to send messages over a distance. While they’re long since obsolete, DIYprojects decided to build a modern take on the paper strip telegraph, using an Arduino Mini, a motor, wood, and a pen to write down text messages. Build guide here.

Arcade 1UP Cabinets

Arcade 1UP Cabinets

Arcade1Up’s 3/4-scale replicas of classic arcade machines are fully playable, with real arcade controls, a 17″ display, and multiple licensed games loaded on each unit. They’re designed for standing or seated play, and can also be fitted with a riser. The 12-in-1 model offers the most bang for the buck.

’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.

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″.

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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.

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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