Nostalgia really is a funny thing.
Technology has certainly come a long way in recent years, but the 80s and 90s have to be perhaps the most revered time periods for consumer tech. Today the market is dominated by gadgets like the smartphone and the tablet computer, all of which seem to have an app for everything.
Though once upon a time, people marvelled at the brilliance of a robotic toy dog, a cassette voice recorder or even a handheld digital gaming device that met all of your entertainment needs.
A lot has changed in such a short amount of time and although the youth of the modern day might see this “old tech” as somewhat archaic, we, the children of the bygone era, think that these top retro gadgets below are definitely due for a comeback.
2013 has seen the release of Sony’s PlayStation in its 4th generation, with super high definition gaming and a wealth of new capabilities. The only drawback of the PS4 is that it is not backwards compatible; running the risk of losing the popular games of the original console to the past.
That said, Sega has released models of its Genesis and Mega Drive systems with its best games built in.
Perhaps Sony could adopt a similar stance for consumers taking that trip down memory lane? Allowing fans to once again defeat Cortex with Crash Bandicoot, raid tombs with Lara Croft or survive the biological terror plaguing Raccoon City in Resident Evil.
We certainly hope so.
You might remember the days when your favourite movies and TV shows as a kid were released with an exclusive handheld game that could be purchased with your weekly pocket money.
A few of the more memorable games include: Jurassic Park, Batman Returns and the X-Men animated series.
These games typically consisted of your favourite characters battling their way across a black and white LCD screen, evading enemies and gunfire along the way.
Nowadays, most blockbuster movie releases come with a full game available on all major consoles, but nothing as simple and affordable as the Tiger handheld game systems.
Disappointed children who were never allowed a pet at home found their prayers answered with the Tiger Poo-Chi, the robotic canine companion that required no walks, no food and even had an off switch.
Poo-Chi came with a digital bone to play with it would frantically flap its ears, yap out songs like Beethoven’s No. 9 and bark when you pressed the button on the top of its head. It’s almost better than the real thing.
Forget about the PSP, PS Vita or Nintendo DS.
The Nintendo Gameboy saw handheld gaming reach its all-time high with Mario, Tetris, the world of Pokémon and Donkey Kong. For adept adult smartphone gamers today, the Gameboy was undoubtedly the system that allowed them to hone their skills.
Imagine being able to play all of the classics you once had in your stylish Nintendo bum bag all over again. For diehard fans looking to rediscover their childhood, they currently have to use sites like eBay and Gumtree to locate their old handheld favourites. Nintendo could easily resolve this by creating an all-in-one retro handheld.
Possibly one of the greatest toys of the 80s, the Big Trak Six-Wheeled RC Tank saw the living room turn into a futuristic battlefield.
The programmable tank took on a number of commands to traverse the harsh landscape of the carpet and fire ‘blue light photon beams’ through the atmosphere at organic life forms, like the family dog; all harmless of course.
The ultimate children’s learning experience of the 90s!
Unlike modern laptops, they weren’t filled with complex and distracting applications, but instead contained a series of fun, informative and simplistic games to enjoy.
The V-Tech featured a number of audio-visual games and challenges to teach children basic skills in spelling and mathematics. Similar to the modern day laptop, children could become familiar with everyday computing skills on top of improving their academic skills.
Whether you were recording your adventures, playing back funny sounds to confuse your family members or checking out your singing abilities: the Talkboy was the perfect accessory.
Fans of the McCauley Culkin classic Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, will probably remember the Talkboy portable cassette player and recorder that Kevin used to trick the burglars throughout the movie.
An accessory best used for tricking or winding up parents and siblings, the Talkboy was like any other portable recorder, except it came with a voice changer to slow down or speed up playback. We think a versatile tool such as this is due for a big comeback sometime soon.
About the author:
The article was written by Gary Beeston.