How-To Geek

Retro Catalog Scans Feature the Hi-Tech Gifts of Yesteryear

This enormous cache of scanned catalogs from the 1970s and 1980s offer a fun peek at the must-have toys and gadgets of yesteryear. Browse the nearly 300 page collection for a shot of nostalgia and an appreciation for how much tech you get for your buck these days.

Courtesy of Reddit reader ZeroOne, we’re treated to a massive cache–274 scanned pages–of vintage catalogs. Hit up the link below to check out all the video game systems, digital watches, pinball machines, and other retro goodies you can handle.

Electronic Toys from Holidays Long Past [via Reddit]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/21/12

Comments (7)

  1. moosester

    No red state, no blue state, solid state baby, back in the day.

  2. your humble narrator

    Sure brings back a lot of memories… sigh

  3. krokkenoster

    I remember when 16K (SIXTEEN KAY) nearly cost a weeks wages for a journeyman! And that was a special offer! The art and fun was to do with three Kay what you young Geeks need 16 Terabyte ram for remember having a tape recorder as your mass storage medium? I mean reel to reel running at 15 inches per second or you used a video recorder for higher speed access the ones we used were audio cassettes! A fourty Meg hard drive was dream and wish things too dear to possess The other day I opened a 8″ floppy drive and then it was clear why they were so expensive! Rows of I.C’s

  4. Ushindi

    My first digital watch cost me $175, weighed about five pounds (or so it seemed – huge thing), and just showed the time – no date, no seconds, no programmable options, just “3:22” or whatever the current time might be.
    Sure impressed everyone, though – a DIGITAL WATCH!

  5. Alex R

    Man! This is when gadget were fun, there’s a differnce between fun and interesting which most gadget are more interesting than the joy you felt being on the cusp of a beginning of an era.

  6. Alex R

    Sorry for the grammar in the last post, it’s been a long day! :)

  7. Neil

    How much tech we get for our buck these days? I dunno about that…. You’ve seen the crap thats being peddled these days such as the Furby? Yeah this stuff is far better value for money… you know even the guys in the factories in China think our modern stuff is useless crap!

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