The RetroBeat: I want to celebrate Pac-Man's 40th birthday with this tiny cabinet

The RetroBeat: I want to celebrate Pac-Man’s 40th birthday with this tiny cabinet

Pac-Man is 40 years old today and MyArcade party with an attractive (and functional) collector’s item.

This is The Pac-Man 40th Anniversary micro-reader, and it will be available “later this summer” for $ 40. The 6-inch machine looks like a Pac-Man miniature arcade cabinet, and you can actually play it.

MyArcade specializes in retro themed game accessories and playable collectibles like this one. In fact, they already have a normal version of a Pac-Man micro-reader which is available now and costs $ 35. So if you want a small Pac-Man machine at home, is it worth the wait for this anniversary edition?

I think so. Of course, I’m a bit fond of special editions and anniversary collectibles. But it’s not as if MyArcade has just put a 40th anniversary sticker on the Pac-Man micro-reader. It has a joystick and golden buttons, which helps make this version more special. But my favorite part is the way the art of decal actually moves through lenticular printing. This is the animation effect that you get from these flat images with the edges, and the image moves when you rotate the surface. You can see what it looks like below.

Above: Oooooo.

Image credit: MyArcade

Want, huh? I don’t know if it’s worth $ 5 more for you, but I think it’s good.

Memories

You know, I admit that when I think of my favorite game characters or franchises, Pac-Man doesn’t immediately come to mind. But, man, I certainly have a lot of good memories associated with this classic arcade game. Like all the times when I spent a quarter fleeing the ghosts and the gobballs in the arches of Ohio from my childhood which are now all gone. Or the time, 10 years ago now, when I attended the Pac-Man 30th anniversary party at E3 2010 during my first trip to the expo.

Even though Pac-Man came out a little before my time, it is a source of nostalgia and comfort. And not only because it reminds me of days gone by. It makes me happy to see a 40-year-old match hold up. Pac-Man is always fun to play, perfectly balancing the line between simplicity and complexity. Yes, there are a lot of great arcade games from the early 80’s, but Pac-Man is the quintessential classic. Heck, I know there are very popular modern Pac-Man games, but I still prefer to play the original or Mrs. Pac-Man for them.

Well, OK, I have a soft spot for the weird Pac-Man 2, but it’s another column.

But, yes, all these memories give this collector’s item a serious appeal. And even though my house is probably already full of game waste (most of them Mega Man themed, sure), this little arcade machine is tempting.

At least, thanks to this vague release “later this summer”, I have to wonder about finding a more practical use of my money. Like that Mega Man 3 puzzle.

The RetroBeat is a weekly column that delves into the game’s past, delving into classics, new retro titles, or examining how old favorites – and their design techniques – inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have projects or scoops on the retro theme that you want to send my way, please contact me.

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