Let's Go Shopping For Video Games! (In The 1980's And 1990's)

Ah, paper catalogues. They still make them, but they're not what they used to be. What are now glossy prints highlighting only a select few items from a store used to be informational tomes, full of almost everything you could ever want.

And we all wanted video games, right?

These catalogues, mostly from US retailer Sears, were at the time the frontlines in the battle for your hard-earned dollar. Aside from game mags, nowhere else could Sega and Nintendo's hardware and games square off directly opposite each other like they could in a massive catalogue.

The catalogues here range from 1982 to 1996, and are courtesy of websites HuguesJohnson and The Retroist (via Gamesniped).

Total Recall is a look back at the history of video games through their characters, franchises, developers and trends.


    So many memories.

    Oh man, I had an Atari Lynx.

    I used to play it in bed, then leave it on and stash it under my pillow so I could resume immediately upon waking.

    In hindsight, it's a miracle that I didn't burn the house down considering how hot those things were.

    Awesome! And a few pictures of Mario looking like a crazed crack dealer...

    man... i miss my gameboy... aah the young days of breaking my neck to try and get the light to hit the screen just right so i could see anything... i need to find my gameboy... where's my gameboy?

    "Two big names play the same games" is a pretty shitty way to try and sell consoles really, it might as well have said "Atari and Coleco, just get whichever is cheapest because its all the same crap"

    I remeber wanting a Lynx (i think) because you could get a TV Tuner for it aswell

      its the sega game gear that had the tv tuner on it, and it was awesome! i used it all the time. because a tv that size in colour was the same price if not more.

      but yeah, so many memories... i am happy with its evolution to games today but :)

    Love the glasses viewer in the first one, doesn't Sony know Sega beat them to the punch 25 years ago.

    I'm so showing this to my kids when I get home so they know how spoilt they are.

    Anyone else notice Sonic 2 on Gameboy in the 4th last picture?

    You can tell these catalogues were from pre-Pokemon times (in America anyway). Everything since always has Pokemon front and centre in the Gameboy/DS section. lol

    I was a bit too young to remember these types of things. Though I remember pestering my parents for ages for an original Gameboy [which they refused :(]. I did end up eventually getting a Color though. The annoying child wins again!

    What no Intellivision... thats what i had as a young kid.

    and a game boy.

    ahh the memories... so many shitty games that i thought were awesome.

    Christ alive. What a fucking monstrosity the Turbo Grafx 16 is.

    What is the black box of plastic doing to the white box of plastic?

    Awesome. We certainly didn't get catalogues like that in Perth in the 80/90's, but it still a mega flashback to the good old days to browse through those pages. Makes me feel like an old man tho! Also makes me miss the simpler days of gaming, before online leaderboards, firmware updates and gamerscores. We didn't need no video game addiction centers back in those days!

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