[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Benj's 1989 Christmas List

December 16th, 2013 by Benj Edwards

Benj Edwards 1989 Christmas List Xmas List scan - 1989An early example of the rustic illustrated Christmas list

While sorting through my childhood papers and effects recently, I came across this amusing Christmas list from 1989. I was eight years old then, and I apparently ripped out pictures of the toys I wanted from weekly newspaper advertisements and pasted them on a sheet of 8.5″x 11″ wide-ruled notebook paper. The result was a rare illustrated Christmas list that I don't remember making before or since.

(I'm not sure why there is a big chunk of the page missing in the upper-right corner, by the way. Perhaps I changed my mind on some item and physically removed it from my list.)

What's notable for our purposes is the healthy contingent of video game related items on the list. There's a wireless remote for the NES, a Game Boy (which had just been released that year), and even a Sega Master System.

My brother and I already had a NES at that time, so the presence of the Master System here confused me upon rediscovering this list. But then I remembered that I always saw it in catalogs and wanted one because it looked cool. I guess my love for collecting consoles extends back further than I thought.

Then there's the Lobo IX RC car, which I am guessing is not pictured because it was only in the Sears or JC Penney toy catalog, and I didn't want to rip that up. The Batwing toy corresponded with the release of Tim Burton's Batman during the summer of that year.

Here's the full list:

  • Acclaim Wireless Infrared Remote Controller for NES
  • Lobo IX Remote Controlled Car
  • Batwing toy
  • G.I. Joe Figures
  • Sega Master System
  • Nintendo Game Boy
  • Super Mario Land

I received only two of those items for Christmas that year: the Batwing toy and some G.I. Joe figures. My dad bought me a used Game Boy at a flea market during the summer of 1990, if I recall correctly, and I finally got my hands on a Master System during my early collecting years — somewhere around 1994-95.

But I still don't have a Lobo IX RC car, and I'm fine with that.

[ From Benj's Christmas List (Vol. 1, Chapter IX), 1989 ]

Discussion Topic of the Week: Which game consoles have you received as Christmas presents — and when?



12 Responses to “[ Retro Scan of the Week ] Benj's 1989 Christmas List”

  1. Eagles409 Says:

    The Intellivision in 1982. My parents didn't want me to have it, but I saved up some money and my grandparents gave me money for Christmas and my dad helped with the rest. I got 2 games, Burgertime and NFL Football. I still have the games and the system.

  2. Jim Says:

    The original NES in 1989 or 1990 for my brother and I to share. I don't recall the order in which we received more games, but I do remember plenty of Super Mario Bros. and spending way too much time trying to figure out where to go in Zelda II: The Adventures of Link.

  3. Stan Says:

    Colecovision in 1982. As legend has it, I was so excited I ran around the living room, tripped, and hit my head on the coffee table.

    For the rest of the 80s it was all home computers for me, so I was the only guy at school without a NES.

  4. Jaybee Says:

    I got a Super Nintendo for Christmas with Zelda 3… not sure exactly which year. Early in it's life, though.
    It was the only game system I ever got for Christmas, though I got a GameBoy as a birthday gift.

    And Stan, I was the kid with no NES too. My folks just refused to buy one, no matter how much I begged.

  5. Alexander Says:

    The Atari 2600… in 2005. I asked my mom for one, bundled with a bunch of games, controllers, and everything I needed to use it. She found one online for a decent price in good condition. It is still one of the most memorable christmas's to date for me.

  6. John Says:

    The only console I received as a Christmas gift was the Atari 2600 in 1981. My sister and I played many many hours on that. One of the games we got was River Raid, which is probably my all-time favorite 2600 game. I got the score needed to join the River Raid Club later Christmas day. I was so excited, I broke the case on my mother's 110 pocket camera in my rush to take a picture of the screen. My sister's favorite title was Megamania. She truly mastered that game. She could roll the score over to all zeros consistently.

  7. Brian R Says:

    I got the gameboy and SNES on each on the years they came out for Christmas (89 and 91 I think). I still remember being pretty blown away by the graphics for the SNES. The Genesis had already been out for a little while, but the graphics and sound for the SNES are superior in my opinion, especially with the mode 7 effects.

    Christmas always reminds me of old video games and computer games as well, as that was usually when I got new games. It's a good time of year to bust out the classics and go down memory lane.

  8. Justin M. Salvato Says:

    80 bucks for a Sega Master System! I'm getting teary eyed. What a wonderful console. Good choice!

  9. technotreegrass Says:

    The Atari 2600 for Christmas 1988 when I was 3, my gateway drug to a lifelong obsession with video games. My aunt and uncle gave me it, a bunch of controllers, and about 20 games as they were moving on to the NES. Then I got the NES for Christmas in 1990, the Sega Genesis for Christmas in 1992, and the N64 for Christmas in 1997. The last system I ever recieved as a gift was a Game Boy Color for my birthday in 1999, and from the Gamecube onward, I've had to purchase everything on my own

  10. Brent Says:

    What an awesome thing to save. I was hmmm… let's say in my thirties that Christmas and my list was very similar. Thanks for sharing and Happy Holidays.

  11. Ant Says:

    Video games for me. Here's my when I am an old fart/oldster for 2013: http://aqfl.net/node/10784:P

  12. DMR Says:

    Got a Pong knock-off - I wish I could find a picture or something so I can figure out what exactly it was. Had tennis (pong) and hockey, I believe…. It was the late 70s, but not exactly sure…. it was hooked up to a black and white TV on Christmas morning - because what else was needed? LOL

    Now, you kids get off my lawn! ;-)

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