Ghosts of Krismas Past: Scans from 1983 Sears Wish Book.

The folks at The Retroist have an entry up featuring scans of the video games and systems offered in the 1983 Sears Wish Book:


Click to embiggen!

Man does that bring back memories. 1983 was the year the video game market cratered and it looked like home systems would be nothing more than a passing fad. It took Nintendo’s NES to get the ball rolling again in 1985. That didn’t stop me from drooling all over these pages hoping that I’d get a cartridge or two as Christmas presents. The full article has 19 pages covering all the consoles available at the time including the venerable Odyssey II and the various offerings from Coleco. Remember the Colecovision? I do, one of my friends owned it and it was amazing how well it reproduced arcade titles. You can also see the Atari 5200 we bought just in time to have it go tits up.

Yes, there’s nothing like looking back fondly at games your kids wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole these days to make you feel old and wistful.

10 thoughts on “Ghosts of Krismas Past: Scans from 1983 Sears Wish Book.

  1. Those were the days when I loved to go ‘shopping’ with my Mom.

    She knew where I’d be the whole time….

    At the display game.

    This happened from ‘Pong’ right on thru. I remember some star wars game was ‘it’ near the end of all that.

    But, yeah, just the ‘Wish Book’ brings back some serious memories.

  2. I’d gladly embrace one of those and I’m about to be 25. 

    And I too remember going shopping with my mom and simply going to the display game and wasting away playing Donkey Kong Country or some game on the Virtual Boy for 20-30 minutes while she shopped.  Good times.

  3. Same here.  Parked it in front of the Sears arcade demo.  For a couple of years, my b-day present from mom was in the same size box – cartridges!

    I loved the graphics on the Activision games at the time – Pitfall, Chopper Command, & River Raider were my favs.  I think I managed to get patches for all three. 

    What seems kinda weird to me is that I have no desire to sit down and play those games anymore, although I appreciate the nostalgia of looking at old catalogs or displays at shows/conventions.  Some of the stuff I just couldn’t get enough of as a kid – Atari 2600, TRS-80 Coco2, original Battlestar Galactia, the A-Team, etc, I don’t want to spend more than a few minutes reminiscing over.  I’m always looking forward to better graphics and more realism.

  4. I’m only 24, but I got my first NES when I was 6. It’s astonishing how far along console gaming has come since then. I have a ton of titles on the Wii virtual console.

    Good times; good times.

  5. We had one of those and thought it was the most amazing thing we’d ever seen. I have to say I really miss the Wish Book, I remember spending hours pouring over the pages. Thanks for the flashback.

  6. I have to admit that sometimes I’ll watch play throughs of old Atari games on YouTube to help get me to sleep at night. The sound and sight of these things bring back comforting memories from childhood.

  7. lol, who doesn’t like to reminisce about these old games. i always though standing around talking about old school games and computers made us old and wise, but i suppose you are correct… wistful is more appropriate…

  8. We had probably more than 50 Atari games when I was growing up and my sister and I saved our allowances to purchase the original NES. It was the first time we successfully saved up for anything. Maybe it was because a Nintendo was a lot more realistic than a horse, which is what we usually planned to save for.

  9. I used to play pong at the mall. The game I really love is marble maddness by Larry Reed.
    I used to play it on my brothers Atari all the time; I recently downloaded a renamed equivalent called Rolling Maddeness but it won’t run because
    I need opengl 1.21 and 1.12.(that I have) is an older version, and that I need to update my video card, which I did from Intell support, to no avail. So I downloaded opengl 1.12.sit I’m thinging that this is a compressed file and maybe from China, so can any of you game tech gurus tell me how to expand it?, so I can get it to run ? any help would be appreciated, thanks.

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