As an 8-year-old in 1981, I would read this Atari game catalogue and think about all the amazing $US 40 games they offered that my paperboy earnings could not cover. And then I'd turn to the back page and read about the Atari Game Club, in Sunnyvale, California.
Sunnyvale. It had a videogame Wonkaland sound to it. Sunnyvale. Where, maybe, Pac-Man was the mayor. And Ms. Pac-Man was the wife of the mayor. And Jr. Pac-Man was the butane-huffing embarrassment son of the mayor. And Mario ran the public works. And Donkey Kong drove a bus. And Frogger was the crossing guard. And Pengo was an exhibit at the zoo. And Zeke the Zookeeper ...
Then I moved here in 2005. Right next door to Sunnyvale. Strip malls and parking lots and apartments, folks. About as exciting as watching a real estate ad after Saturday morning cartoons. It was the final disappointment, truly closing the frontier on my childhood, about 20 years later.
But for those my age and older, these scans of the 1981 catalogue should bring back some powerful memories. And those who never played a wood-paneled 2600 with the plastic sleeve of the joystick chewed off by your little brother, take a peek at what we dreamed about getting down at the mall back in the day.
Atari Catalog 1981 Scans [HuguesJohnson.com]