Some of the coolest gadgets from the ’70s and ’80s still have value today, even if it’s just nostalgic value.
The next time you have a free afternoon, rummage through your basement or attic to see if you can find any of these ageing gadgets.
They may not be worth much money, but they’re still fun gadgets to own.
Nintendo Entertainment Systems (NES)
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) may have saved the home video game industry after people started to lose interest in the Atari. NES changed their perspective with dazzling graphics and games.
Although it was only an 8-bit system, it seemed marvelous by 1983 standards.
Titles like Mario Brothers and The Legend of Zelda introduced players to characters Nintendo still uses today.
Although NES games look outdated next to a PlayStation 4, they’re still a lot of fun to play.
That’s partially because players who grew up with them have nostalgic feelings, but it’s also because the games have interesting stories that set the bar for home entertainment.
In fact, it’s possible to play many of those retro games on the latest Nintendo system with some modification.
Nintendo revolutionized video games again when it released the Gameboy in 1989. Players didn’t have to stay home to enjoy video games. They could play titles like Tetris and Super Mario Land everywhere they went.
The Gameboy was an 8-bit system with a black-and-green screen.
Gameboy had its flaws, but it was still a self-contained, portable video game system. That was more than enough to keep most children and teenagers entertained during long car trips.
Gameboy is still great today even though it can’t compete with the graphics capabilities of modern systems. If you’re trying to recapture your youth, few things will help like an original Gameboy.
Huge headphones that covered your whole ears were the only designs people had in the 1970s. Sony would eventually make smaller, portable versions for the Walkman, but they didn’t come along until the ’80s.
The great thing about wearing big headphones is that they blocked out the rest of the world. They made music more immersive than ever, but they didn’t work quite as well as today’s noise- canceling headphones and earbuds.
Noise-canceling headphones eliminate background noises so you won’t get interrupted while listening to music or podcasts.
Still, it’s pretty awesome to have a pair of old-school headphones plugged into your stereo, and if they’re noise-canceling, so much the better.
If you didn’t grow up in the 1980s, you might not know about Hit Stix and how much they annoyed parents. Hit Stix consisted of a pair of electronic drumsticks connected to a small amplifier.
When you pretended to play the drums, the sticks imitated the sound of hitting a snare drum. The toy would even do a drum roll if you waved them in the air fast enough.
This was a cool toy for budding musicians whose families couldn’t afford drum kits.
Today, its lo-fi drum samples make it an excellent tool for musicians who want to incorporate the sounds of the ’80s into their songs.
Polaroid founder Edwin H. Land first thought about building an instant camera in 1943 while on vacation with his family.
His daughter wanted to know why she had to wait to get pictures. Land decided that she had a good point, so he got to work on the world’s first instant camera.
Land made several versions of his camera, but the first fully automatic pack film and exposure control camera wasn’t released until the early 1960s.
By the 1970s, Polaroid was making several models capable of printing pictures on the go.
Digital technology has taken over the camera industry, but there is still a lot of love for old Polaroids.
There’s something about the slightly washed out images that makes them interesting even in a world of digital and smartphone cameras.
Just because a gadget gets old doesn’t mean it loses its value.
People still sell many of these items at online auctions, which just proves that consumers have a strong desire to indulge in nostalgia.
For many of them, this means tracking down the gadgets they played with as children.