In the world of toys, nostalgia is an incredibly powerful sales tool. Because kids who begged their parents for a given toy eventually grow up to be employed adults willing to splurge on those same toys they remember from their childhood. Our smartphones have become almost as powerful as our home gaming consoles, but we still can’t help but feel drawn to these re-issued classic LED handheld games from the late ’70s and early ’80s.
When they refer to the LED displays on these handheld games, they don’t mean a fancy colour LCD screen backlit with LEDs. They mean a handful of simple, blinking, red LEDs that indicate the positions of players and action on the field. They’re as basic as electronic toys can get, and that’s basically what makes them so wonderful.
Electronic Football was released late last year, but in a few weeks you’ll be able to get your hands on the Electronic Basketball and Electronic Baseball versions too. The sound effects have been slightly improved, the electronics have been simplified, and these games will probably run forever on a pair of modern AA batteries, but the actual gameplay has been perfectly preserved. That’s why they’re just $US15 each, and worth every cent. [The Bridge Direct]