In the past two article (part 1 and part 2 ), I have tried to tell stories with insight into just how useless some of these products, services and offers were back in the day. However, there are a bunch more products that, while not quite as shockingly bad, are still worth noting. Below are the images with only a tiny bit of editorial. Most of them speak for themselves.
Asteroids Bubble Gum. What? No Pop Rocks?
Video Game Coin Holder: Because pockets were so 1981.
Video Athletes : I recall actually telling my friend once that I wanted to be a "video athlete". This must have been the inspiration. I'm so embarrassed right now.
Atari Score Card : Not a bad idea, but shows why Golden Age games were doomed. The games needed to be able to save this information to the cartridge. Also, F-you family of 5!
Push-a-Matic : For when a "shelf" is just not good enough for you.
Fisher Price Game Developer : In 2001 I was making games for Mattel which owns Fisher Price, so this ad was almost prophetic (for me anyway)
Game-A-Holic T-Shirt : Yet another shirt that no one in their right mind would ever wear. Not then, not now.
Columbia Game Club : Like those record clubs, only with way more crappy games. Did you ever see that episode of Leave It To Beaver when "The Beave "joined the record club? No? Well it was awesome.
Bumper Stickers : I'm sure there are people who bought an "I Brake For Pac-Man" bumper Sticker, but I never saw one.
Control Advantage : Another brilliant invention that took the "holding" out of the "joysticking" which made playing really awkward. I love the "amazed" look of the kids in the background. "He's using one finger!"
Coke Video Game : Wow, umm, what a HORRIBLE idea. I hope there is no thirsty line of construction workers behind you when you got into the "zone" catching all those falling bottles. You know what?When this fails why don't they just change the formula for Coke and see where that goes?
Xantor's Empire : A "pay $25.00 and get nearly nothing for your money" video game club. One of the first to appear in Electronic Games.
Pac Man Walk Man : This was not as bad as it was ill-advised. This was like a yellow beacon to heavy metalers that said "please beat the crap out of me"
Video Command Console: A computer desk for your Atari 2600? No.
Game Keeper: Portable? How is that? Sure maybe the tray was portable, but not when a 2600 tethered to the TV was in it.
Pac-Man Trading Cards: These came with little rub-off cards so you could play an analog version of pac-man for $25 cents instead of the real thing.
Just In Case : For transporting your Atari? Where did they think we were taking our game systems all the time? Did you they how much effort it took to set one up in the first place?
International Video Co-Op: $35 got you something no one wanted in the first place: a faux-wooden game holder and a breathtaking "price list"
Bionic Chair : An expensive, comfortable way to look a the ceiling
Video Game Fun Exchange: See, it was "fun" to pay a lot of money for the chance to trade games with people for more money.
Home Aracaders Inc. : Wow did you really have to be this sneaky when gathering consumer intention data in 1982?
Vid-Cart Library Exchange : Another exchange. $35 bucks for a game and right to trade games for $5.75 each. Tell me more!
20th Century Fox Job! Nothing really bad about this accept that you would only have a job for 4 months before the entire industry crashed and all the tech skills you learned became pretty much useless.
Club Vid Kids: Just Call! Call kids, Call Us!! Call! Nothing dastardly or weird here, not in this dark room with just a phone and a joystick. just CALL! CALL! CALL!
Pac Man T-Shirt : Really? Okay, it was not a terrible idea to make Pac-Man t-shirts, but this whole things just seems wrong to me, not sure why.
Video Maniac Censored : Video maniacs were not allowed to get too "manical", and this censor circle made sure of it!
Part Time Video Game Dealer: Please! Take all this crap off our hands so then you can beg people to do the same!
VGPA Contest! Guys and Gals A FREE decal!!! (not for you, you freeloading existing members)
The Dirty Book : If you could have acquired a virus or root-kit mal-ware from the pages of a magazine, this would have been page do it .