1. Atari XEGS – So in 1987 Atari released the XE Game System, a videogame console that was meant to compete with the Sega Master System and the Nintendo Entertainment System. With all of Atari’s console releases in the 80s, the company had sort of started to eat itself by this point and the XE flew under the radar in the confusion. The console shipped with a controller, or you could buy a deluxe version that had a keyboard and a light gun.
The console was able to play all of Atari’s 8-bit library, which was a pretty big library compared (then) to the competition. The big distinguishing feature between this and its competition, however, was that the XE could function as a regular computer as well. The other distinguishing feature is that it kind of sucked. The XE was a commercial failure, mostly due to the fact that it was sharing shelf space with the 2600 and 7800 therefore competing with itself. Still, the system looks pretty slick:
The ads are pretty great, too. Note to Atari: don’t feature software executives in your commercials.
2. Kids Incorporated – My sister was obsessed with Kids Incorporated growing up, and therefore so was I. It’s a weird show – about a bunch of kids (the lineup ever-rotating) that had a band called Kids Incorporated, who would have everyday problems kids might have and then rock out to covers of 80s songs. I guess it was good?
Here’s a hot cover of Cool it Now. That’s Mario Lopez on drums!
3. Fight For Speed – Dreams of Space has a fun post with pictures from a Russian children’s book about the benefits of technology. A pretty general topic, yeah. Here’s an amazing illustration from the space section:
All those tubes!
4. Clue Commercial – A commercial for the Board Game Clue from 1979. Did this game really need to be marketed? It’s Clue!
5. Galaxy Whiskey – I want to live in this ad, among these fonts, sipping whiskey with my best gal and the stars.