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10 Gadgets That Will Help You Relive The ’80s [Feature]

If you stop and think about it, the progress we’ve made in technology over the last 20 years or so has been staggering. It really wasn’t that long ago that we were all using landline phones playing Atari games. Maybe things have moved a little too fast and you miss the days when you actually wrote things down and could hang up on a telemarketer with authority thanks to a thick rotary receiver.  If so, the following gadgets might make you feel a little nostalgic.

iCade 8-Bitty

The 8-Bitty is a follow up to the iCade arcade cabinet for the iPad, and brings retro NES-style D-Pad gaming to your iPad, iPhone, iPod touch and Android devices. Like it’s big brother, the 8-Bitty is compatible with all iCade game apps, which include the Atari Classics collection, Pac-Man, Super Mega Worm and more. Unfortunately, if your app constantly crashes blowing into the phone is unlikely to fix the problem like it did with those old cartridges.  $24.99 (coming soon) – ThinkGeek via Nerd Approved

Retro handset holster

Remember when people who carried cell phones were considered elitist? Well, dbaggery has come full circle with this Retro Handset Holster. If you thought wearing a belt holster for a normal cell phone was bad, try something that’s designed to hold one of those old-school receiver accessories that you plug into your cell phone. Of course, it could always be worse. $25 – Etsy via Fashionably Geek

LEGO Moleskine notebook

These days, whenever I write out something longer than my name with a pen the cursive feels awkward. So I’ve got to practice a few times before showtime on a birthday card. Still, part of me profoundly misses the simplicity of an old-fashioned paper notebook. Moleskine is proudly keeping up the tradition with quality construction and hip new themes like Star Wars and Lego. The Lego version will be released on March 1st for $21.95 with features like 240 lined pages and a real Lego plate embedded in the cover. – Moleskine via Nerd Approved

Commodore 64 Keyboard PC

Commodore USA recently released updated versions of the Commodore 64 with specs that could include (depending on your configuration) a 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, 8GB DDR3 memory, Intel HD Graphics, a 2TB hard drive and more. All units come with Ubuntu 10.10, but you can download the Commodore OS Vision Linux build demoed in the video above if you want a more authentic retro feel without sacrificing modern functionality. $349-$1499 – Commodore via CubicleBot

Retro USB mouse

As far as I’m concerned, the entire concept of a computer mouse is obsolete, so the idea of buying a mouse that looks like it should be wearing big hair and a jean jacket seems completely ridiculous. On the plus side, this updated version is optical and connects via USB. $19.99 – ThinkGeek 


Granted, there are plenty of retro smartphone apps out there that are designed to give your videos a retro look, but the whole process is too easy. It just doesn’t feel like your taking retro videos. Enter the LomoKino smartphone holder. It allows you to shoot 35mm movies in analog and convert them to digital directly on your phone using a viewer attachment that you have to manually crank. With any luck someone will come out with an wooden box camera accessory complete with a hood so I don’t have to hassle with converting my daguerreotypes to digital anymore. $24.90 – Lomography

Keypad watch

If you thought a calculator watch was as nerdy back in the day, take a look at this new Click Keypad Watch. To find out the time, press any key. Lights embedded in the keys will illuminate one by one, revealing the hour then the minute. So, the illumination sequence 0, 9, 1, 5 would mean the time is 9:15. Not only that, the watch comes in hot, sexy colors like old PC beige. $99 – Watchismo via Fashionably Geek

The Drinkman hip flask

The spirit of the cassette Walkman alive and well in the form of this novelty Drinkman hip flask. A word of caution though – it will be hard to to keep your drinking under wraps when you’re the guy people see carrying around a cassette Walkman in 2012. And no matter how much you wish it could, the Drinkman flask won’t rewind back to a point when you were sober. Available starting this May. Price TBA. – Mustard via That’s Nerdalicious

Mario coin block lamp

This custom Super Mario coin block LED pendant lamp is touch sensitive, so you can punch it on and punch it off with each touch registering a classic coin sound from the game. Plus, every 8th hit is rewarded with a 1-UP. Man, it’s hard to believe that the original Super Mario Bros. came out almost 30 years ago. So this lamp kind of makes me feel old… but not “The Clapper” old. $74.99 – Etsy via Nerd Approved

Retro Mac iPad cover

Apple old-timers might recognize this iPad 2 cover as a facsimile of the original 128K Macintosh. It snaps on to the back of your tablet and includes cutouts for your camera and speakers. Apparently, the original retailed for $2495 way back in 1984. So, in comparison, the Apple of today is (*gasp*) a real bargain. $36.99 – USBfever 

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