Retro Scan of the Week: Atari Lynx, Only $99.95

January 29th, 2007 by Benj Edwards
Atari Lynx Advertisement

Once upon a time, in another age, there was a handheld console war brewing. The fighters in this epic battle were Nintendo, with its modest Game Boy; Sega, with its sleek Game Gear; NEC, with its ultra-expensive TurboExpress; and Atari, with its unwieldy Lynx. Despite being the least powerful system and the only one without color, the Game Boy triumphed over all, most likely thanks to its respectable battery life and Tetris, the ultimate handheld gaming killer app.

But this scan isn’t about the Game Boy. It’s about the Atari Lynx, that weird, large, oblong battery guzzler of a handheld that was seemingly designed by a team of monkeys with three arms. And at the point in time captured in this scan (1991), it was “only” $99.95, which was a lot of money back then. Nonetheless, I wanted one anyway — we all wanted one. But the only person I knew that had one was a rich kid from school. I eventually did get my (two) hands on a redesigned Lynx 2 model around 1994 for about $70 with two games. I (or more properly, my parents) bought it through the mail from a kid who called my BBS at the time. It was a great system to have, but I didn’t have any games for it that were any fun.

Much more could be said about the Lynx, but that tale will have to be saved for another day.

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7 Responses to “Retro Scan of the Week: Atari Lynx, Only $99.95”

  1. Bill T Says:

    I still own an Atari Lynx and about 20 games. I break it out every now and again. The screen was very bright and easy to see. It was heavy , and a bit of a battery guzzler though…

  2. J Hays Says:

    ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh… Only $100 for a Lynx?! *runs off to get his debit card*

    oh right… I’m broke… crud..

  3. JohnnyM Says:

    I remember that! Funny thing was Atari was fighting the uprising of the Amiga 1000 at the time- going head to head with their “ST” series…and the only way to develop a game for the LYNX was to use an Amiga!

  4. gnome Says:

    Great post and one featuring the best bloody handheld ever. I still remeber drooling over this ad and I do remember almost getting a stroke when I finally got the Lynx II (which, frankly, was the better console).

    Ah, thanks for the trip in time!

  5. Steezer Says:

    I bought an original lynx in the first week it came out (saved up pocketmoney, worked 2 paper rounds and used some birthday money). I bought loads of kit with it, must have spent near £200 that day (and I was only 15 at the time). I sold it to my best friend about a year and a half later, which I still to this day regret doing. NOBODY had one of these things…..actually 1 other kid at school did, but neither of us had a comlynx cable and neither of us had the same games anyway. Even though it has its design issues, it was such a great experience to play one, you forgave it for its drawbacks (or at least I did). I love these machines so much, I recently paid over the odds for a near mint boxed original Lynx, and I dont for a minute regret the purchase and cant see me ever selling it. I wont be making the same mistake twice now!

  6. Daniel Says:

    i just bought one today on a swap meet, for only 20 dlls, and it came whit a lot of stuff and like 12 games and the original bag, it is a great piece of collection, is almost mint condition. Man it so cool to go back in time whit this things! i love them

  7. Cody Says:

    My brother had a Lynx, it looked and felt and sounded great. Unfortunately there just weren’t that many games for it.

    He swapped it for a Game Gear a year or so down the track; it had a bigger screen and better colours and more games, but I didn’t get to play it so much.

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