Netflix’s “Stranger Things” is back for a third season and fans are enjoying the nostalgia-fueled horror series. For those who lived through the 1980s and 90s, Stranger Things brings back fond memories of the pop-music scene, fashion, cinema and gadgets at that time. If you have already watched all the three seasons of The Duffer Brothers’ sci-fi series, then you might already be aware of the gadget references and the recurring homages to walkie-talkies, radios, boomboxes and 35mm film SLRs.
The period also saw some cult gadgets like the Nintendo Entertainment Classic (NES), Commodore 64 and Atari 2600. The good news is that some of these gadgets are making a comeback and we are all excited. Tech companies are relaunching hit gadgets playing on the nostalgia factor.
Here is a list of retro gadgets that have made their way back to the mainstream
Nintendo NES Classic Edition and Super NES Classic Edition
In 2006, Nintendo released the NES Classic Edition, a miniature version of the original 1980 Nintendo Entertainment System. The demand for the $60 console was so high that the company sold the NES Classic Edition in a few hours. The device mimics the design of the classic console, but is smaller in size. The little console has an HDTV output and can deliver games to a big screen TV. The Nintendo Classic Mini console comes with 30 gaming titles, including original Mario games, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and more. It’s a joy to use the original-style controller and play the classic games.
After the success of the NES Classic Edition, Nintendo launched the Super NES Classic Edition, a miniature version of the original Super Entertainment System. The 16-bit retro console also comes with an extra controller. Some of the popular games on the SNES include Super Mario Kart, Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros, Zelda, and Street Fighter II. The Super NES Classic Edition costs only $80 but isn’t easy to find.
Bring back the child in you with the PlayStation Classic. The console is a replica of the original PlayStation, which released in the early 1990s. It’s about 45 per cent size of the original console and connects to your TV through the standard HDMI cable. Twenty classic games come preloaded including Battle Arena Toshinden, Grand Theft Auto, Final Fantasy VII, Tekken 3, and Twisted Metal. One downside is that users cannot download additional games other than preloaded ones. The PlayStation Classic retailed for $100, but it can now be purchased for little $29.
Sega Genesis Mini
The original Sega Genesis is returning as Sega Genesis Mini. The replica of the loved console of the 1980s will arrive on September 19 with 42 preloaded games, including Tetris, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Monster Word IV. Genesis Mini is only 55 per cent size of the original console and includes two controllers. Consumers have to sell out $80 for the retro console.
The C64 Mini and the C64
Introduced in 1982, the Commodore 64 still holds the title of best-selling computer system ever. Its miniature version is essentially an emulator-based console that is half the size, comes with a joystick and offers 64 retro games like The Fighting Machine and Jumpman. The mini-sized replica of the C64 is priced at $79. Apart from the C64 Mini, Retro Games has announced the availability of a larger version of the iconic 80s home computer. While the design largely remains the same, the C64 features a fully functional keyboard and comes with an updated micro switch classic joystick. The device will include 64 games, including Paradroid and California Games. The C64 is priced at $140 and will launch on December 9.
Remember Atari 2600, the video game console that shook the market in 1977? That console is staging a comeback with an updated design. The $199 console is called Atari VCS, and it will include 100 classic Atari games, both on their arcade and 2600 versions. The Linux-based console is running on an AMD Ryzen processor and will be Internet-connected. The console has the all-new interface and can even stream 4K HDR video. Atari VCS will cost between $240 and $390, depending upon the model you choose. The console will start shipping in March 2020. Details about new games will be announced later this year.
Polaroid OneStep 2: Stranger Things Edition
Remember how cool it was to use Polaroids? Well, you can relive those moments again with the Polaroid OneStep 2. This is a special retro-styled instant camera that pays homage to the 1980s, the era showed in Netflix’s Stranger Things. The OneStep 2 is compatible with both Polaroid 600 film and Polaroid Originals’ i-Type film and features a built-in flash. The limited-edition film-based instant camera is priced at $110. A bundle, which includes the camera and three packs of film, will cost $158.