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Best ATARI Gift Ideas and Merchandise for the Retro Gamer

Atari was a pioneer developer of home consoles and arcade games, and defined the electronic entertainment industry of the seventies and part of eighties. Atari is not just responsible for some of the best games ever made but also, probably, for a whole generation of gamers. We have gathered some of the best ATARI merchandise and gift ideas for your enjoyment!

The word Atari in Japanese means “to hit the target” (ataru, actually), but it is also used as an expression when a prediction comes true, or for example when someone wins the lottery, like humanity did when the company was founded.

Atari was created in 1972 by Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, who had initially started as an engineering firm (Syzygy Engineering). The firm developed the first arcade video game ever, called Computer Space, and soon hired Al Alcorn as their first design engineer. If you don’t recognise the name, Alcorn was the mastermind behind Pong.

One of Atari’s biggest achievement was the Atari console itself, called Atari Video Computer System. Along with it came one of the most celebrated games in history: Space Invaders. Atari was filthy successful: At its peak, it accounted for a third of Warner’s annual income (the company had been sold to Warner for around 30 million dollars) and it was so far the fastest growing company in the history of the United States.

Unfortunately, Atari faced several problems during the eighties, and the game crash of 1983 was too hard of a blow (losses totalled more than 500 million dollars). However, the myth of the E.T game being the game that ended it all has been finally debunked. I strongly suggest you watch the documentary “Game Over”, listed below, if you are interested in Atari’s history and the myth of the E.T cartridges buried in the desert. I would also suggest you give E.T a try, and imagine what how this original gameplay must have been experienced then, and then remember it was developed in just two months by one of my personal heroes: Howard Scott Warshaw, one hell of a developer. 

We have raked Amazon in search of some of the most original Atari gift ideas, for yourself or a loved one, and here’s what we have found. Just a note: This is how you end up with no money.

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    If you’re after a practical and stylish bag, made from high quality material, with plenty of storage and cool branding then the Red Japanese Atari Messenger Bag is for you! This Officially Licensed Atari Messenger Bag is a retro gamer’s dream, it’s made with excellent materials and comes with adjustable and padded shoulder strap.

    • High Quality Expandable Atari Messenger Bag
    • Multiple additional storage compartments
    • Measures approx. 39cm x 33cm x 10cm (unexpanded)
    • Long adjustable shoulder strap with padded support
    • 100% official Atari merchandise
  • $17.40

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    Missing your early gaming days? No need to dust off your Atari 2600. These Atari classics are now available for you to take everywhere you go on the PSP system. Work both ways, if you’re looking for that retro experience or new-age graphics, because each game comes in both classic and evolved forms. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to unlock over 50 Atari 2600 titles giving you non-stop gaming action.

    • 11 Classic Atari Games in their original and evolved designs
    • Over 50 unlockable Atari 2600 titles
    • Battle it out via wireless multiplayer in “Warlords” and “Battlezone”

    Games Included: Asteroids, Asteroids Deluxe, Battlezone, Centipede, Lunar Lander, Millipede, Missile Command, Pong, Super Breakout, Tempest, Warlords. Atari 2600 (Unlockable) – To unlock Atari 2600 games, you must earn all four awards for each of the main games.

  • $29.95 $23.86

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    This book offers a detailed and accessible study of this influential video game console from both computational and cultural perspectives. Studies of digital media have rarely investigated platforms–the systems underlying computing. This book (the first in a series of Platform Studies) does so, developing a critical approach that examines the relationship between platforms and creative expression.

    Nick Montfort and Ian Bogost discuss the Atari VCS itself and examine in detail six game cartridges: Combat, Adventure, Pac-Man, Yars’ Revenge, Pitfall!, and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. They describe the technical constraints and affordances of the system and track developments in programming, gameplay, interface, and aesthetics.

    • History of The Atari Video Computer System
    • Authors: Nick Montfort & Ian Bogost
    • Six game cartridges examined in detail
  • $17.40

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    Re-play your favourite Atari games in your Nintendo DS! This compilation includes 50 original Atari games, and some have actually never been seen before. They also work for Nintendo 3DS.

    • 50 games including 3 Atari 2600 games never before seen in a compilation
    • Multiplayer available for all head-to-head games using both single and multi-card
    • Original box, cabinet art
    • Release Date: November 2, 2010
    • Hours of all your favorite classic games

    Included Arcade Titles: Asteroids, Battlezone, Centipede, Gravitar, Lunar Lander, Missile Command, Pong, Space Duel, Tempest

    Included Atari 2600 Titles: 3D Tic-Tac-Toe, Adventure, Air-Sea Battle, Asteroids, Atari Video Cube, Basketball, Battlezone, Bowling, Centipede, Championship Soccer, Dodge ‘Em, Flag Capture, Football, Fun with Numbers, Gravitar, Hangman, Haunted House, Home Run, Human Cannonball, Math Gran Prix, Miniature Golf, Missile Command, Outlaw, Realsports Baseball, Realsports Boxing, Realsports Football, Realsports Tennis, Realsports Volleyball, Sky Diver, Slot Maching, Slot Racers, Sprintmasters, Starship, Stella Track, Submarine Commander, Surround, Swordquest Earthworld, Swordquest Fireworld, Swordquest Waterworld, Tempest, Video Checkers

  • $7.97

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    Reminisce about the good old days with these blasts from the past Atari Playing Cards. Each pack contains 52 different images from the system that started it all. Measuring 2.5 x 3.5 and with a linen type finish, these cards are sure to brings lots of memories, laughs and good clean fun to the anyone that buys them.

    • Features 52 different images
    • Linen type finish
    • Officially poker sized
    • 100% officially licensed
  • $17.95

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    This Officially Licensed Atari T-Shirt pays homage to the classic game Pong, one of the first (excellent) games ever made. Excellent quality materials, and a very unique print.

    • 90% cotton; 10% poly
    • Machine washable
    • Officially licensed
    • Crew neck
    • Short sleeves
  • $19.95 $3.95

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    This handmade poster (18×24 inches) is printed on premium archival acid free card stock (10.3 mil thickness, Epson Enhanced Matte paper) with Ultrachrome archival inks (lightfastness: 100+ years). A great conversational piece and fabulous decorative wall art.

    • Beautiful top quality decorative wall artwork (unframed)
    • Handmade with the finest materials 
    • Ultrachrome inks on card stock (10.3 mil Epson Enhanced Matte)
    • Quickly ships in a Kraft mailing tube via USPS Mail
    • Standard large size 18×24 inches is easy and inexpensive to frame
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    This brand new keychain features an original Atari controller / joystick, luckily small enough to be carried around! But here’s the best part: It’s actually Plug N’ Play! These authetic gaming unit plugs directly into your TV and displays full video graphics and sounds just like the Atari originals. Each keychain includes a separate pocket size reel that holds six feet of cord and RCA jacks.

    • Keychain featuring the classic Atari joystick
    • Games: Asteroids and Millipede
    • Powered by 3 AAA batteries (not included)
    • Plug n’ play!
  • $19.95 $11.97

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    Display your retro gaming roots with this quality T-shirt with the old school Atari logo. This Royal Blue tee features the Fuji Mountain logo from the classic video game producer Atari Entertainment Technologies. The image is intentionally distressed for a vintage look. Perfect gift for the geeks and gamers.

    • Worn look that adds to the retro feel
    • Great quality. Soft, not starchy!
    • Officially Licensed
    • Unisex Sizing
    • 100% Cotton

     

  • $24.50

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    This short-sleeved Atari T Shirt Tempest Command retro gaming is a perfect vintage addition to your collection. It features the Tempest logo and motive in red and grey, and comes in many sizes and color. The tee is 100% cotton!

    • Material: Cotton
    • Short Sleeve
    • Comes in all Sizes
    • Quality T Shirt
    • Officially Licensed Atari Product
    • Machine Washable
  • $14.26

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    Atari Centipede Swat Team Tank Top. Hot weather calls for less cloth and fans of Atari and sweating less will love this Centipede Swat Team tank top!

    • White tank top featuring Centipede motive
    • Soft 20/1 thickness material
    • 100% cotton
    • Standard fit
    • Officially Licensed Atari product

     

  • $8.20

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    Atari 2600 Mens Tri-Blend Short Sleeve Shirt.

    • Material: Triblend
    • Come sin many colors and sizes
    • Excellent quality materials
    • Features the Atari 2600 console
  • $32.95

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    The name Atari brings back fond memories to a certain generation. These youth have no idea how fun some of those simple, but challenging games were back on the video game system that started it all! With all-time classic games such as Pac-man, Space Invaders, Missile Command, Centipede, Asteroids and of course the original, Pong! If you still have a soft spot for this classic console, you will absolutely love this licensed Atari merchandise!

    • 50% Cotton 50% Polyester
    • Officially Licensed
    • Printed here in the USA
    • There may be a slight Vinegar scent as part of the print process. It will disappear after the 1st wash.
    • No draw cord for added safety, Double-needle cuffs, Pouch Pocket
    • Sized in Youth
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    This Atari 2600 Official Console Keychain features a small 2600 console that looks just like the original. A great gift for Atari fans, and a way to carry your love of the past with you (at least until Atari releases their new console!). The Atari 2600 (or Atari Video Computer System before November 1982) is a home video game console by Atari, Inc. Released on September 11, 1977, it is credited with popularizing the use of microprocessor-based hardware and ROM cartridges containing game code, a format first used with the Fairchild Channel F video game console in 1976.

    • 100% Replica of Atari 2600
    • Material: Vinyl / Plastic
    • Free shipping
  • $9.34

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    The name Atari brings back fond memories to a certain generation. These youth have no idea how fun some of those simple, but challenging games were back on the video game system that started it all! With all-time classic games such as Pac-man, Space Invaders, Missile Command, Centipede, Asteroids and of course the original, Pong! If you still have a soft spot for this classic console, you will absolutely love this licensed Atari merchandise!

    • 100% Preshrunk Cotton
    • Officially Licensed
    • Printed here in the USA Pre-Shrunk to Minimize Shrinkage
    • There may be a slight Vinegar scent as part of the print process. It will disappear after the 1st wash.
    • Classic Ringer Style, Double Needle Hem, Bound Collar and Sleeves
    • Sized in Mens