Electronics Boutique Spring 1991 Catalog

Cover & Contents

Front cover

Alright, this is the second Electronics Boutique catalog I've scanned and at least two more should be on the way in 2011. This is from the spring of 1991 which is slightly before the couple of years I worked there. I'd claim this was some grand plan to take a tour of 20 years ago but it's a complete coincidence that I found three catalogs from 1991 last month. I can't plan stuff like that ahead of time well anyway.

These first couple of pages are kinda rough. Stick around, they get better.


Contents

So what you'll notice missing from the table of contents is the Super Nintendo which was a couple months away from being released. There are no preorder offers because, well, preorders just weren't common in 1991. I'm sure that seems totally absurd to anyone who got into gaming after the 16-bit generation. That was the reality of the time, neither stores nor game companies had the preorder thing figured out yet.



Neo Geo

Neo Geo

Sorry again about how these first few pages look. Anyway, I didn't get into the Neo Geo because I wasn't rich. I don't know if the Neo Geo was actually carried in-store, I can say for sure we didn't have it at the location I worked at in 1992. Of course other locations might have carried it, unlike modern Gamestops, each Electronics Boutique location was not identical.

Until now I did not know that the Neo Geo had a $30 memory card. I thought the Sega CD was the first system to use an external memory card (please no emails about the FDS).



Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo Sports Set and new releases

Despite being in the 16-bit generation, the venerable NES had some great new games out that kept it alive for a while. 1991 was the last year with a lot of good NES releases. Sure there were a few classics in 1992 but after the Super Nintendo launch it was down to a mere trickle.

I wonder why there are no Wii bundles with four controllers? Doesn't that seem like a totally logical bundle?


The Immortal and Dragon Warrior II for Nintendo

Dragon Warrior II and The Immortal are kinda pricey but they were also two of the best new NES games available. They did a fine job porting The Immortal over to the NES. It obviously had to be downgraded quite a bit but turned out very good. Dang is that a hard game by the way.


Castlevania III and Rad Racer II for Nintendo

There's a humorous typo on this page that should jump out. I'm not surprised when a general retailer makes mistakes like that but I'd expect a game store to get it right. Anyway, the first three games on this page are also great late-era NES games.


Ultima and Heroes of the Lance for Nintendo

The greatness is starting to die-down a little bit here. Ultima: Quest of the Avatar was another good PC port but Heroes of the Lance didn't really translate well.


Double Dragon III and Bart vs The Space Mutants for Nintendo

And here's the bottom of the new NES game barrel. I actually think Bart vs. the Space Mutants is a better game than its reputation but won't claim it's a work of genius either. Arch Rivals worked alright on the NES too. Double Dragon III was not remotely good though.


Nintendo controllers

I remember having a huge stack of those Python 2 controllers in our store. They went down to $9.99 which was a decent deal for an extra NES controller. Yeah some games didn't really work with that style controller but for others it was perfect.



Game Boy

Game Boy

1991 was also a great year for the Game Boy. Games were just pouring out by now - sure that meant plenty of bad ones got out but many classics were released around this time too.

That original Game Boy box-art might be the best Nintendo ever did.

Ah, the hip pack... the worst fashion accessory ever made. Still, it's not nearly as lame as a pair of Crocs.


Pac Man and Double Dragon for Game Boy

20 years later and I think 2-3 of these games are available on the Game Boy's ultimate successor the DS. Don't be surprised to see some of these remade on the upcoming 3DS next - Pac Man is a given naturally.


Game Boy games

There will be a chess and Mickey Mouse game on the 3DS too, heck maybe they'll kill two birds with one stone. Even though chess in no way benefits from 3D you just know they'll force it. Although I find the 3DS intriguing I'm also skeptical about all the gimmicky unnecessary 3D overuse it will invite.


Game Boy games

Boxxle is still one of my favorite Game Boy games. I will still pop it into the ol' GBA SP or Game Boy Player from time to time. This isn't hyperbole, it's an addictive puzzle game.


Game Boy accessories

It's 1991, cassettes are on the decline but what to do with all those cassette storage boxes? That's it! Stuff some foam in them and re-brand them as Game Boy cases!

The Illuminator was also available for Sega Genesis, Nintendo, and the TurboGrafx-16?! That's either a misprint or the dumbest product idea of 1991.



Sega Genesis

Sega Genesis system

My last Electonics Boutique catalog scan was used on an article talking about how game prices are lower now then they were historically. Although that can't really be argued with, it is noteworthy that after being out less than two years the Sega Genesis was selling for only $180 with a pack-in game. After four years the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii all retail for more. Even after adjusting for inflation this was a better deal than current generation consoles were at the two year mark.

Strider was easily the most over-hyped game for the Genesis. I remember all the glowing preview coverage it received only to think it was inferior to the NES version when I finally played it. The controls are awful and the flicker is even worse. By contrast, Castle of Illusion was better in ever single way but didn't receive a ton of coverage because it was written-off as a "kid's game".


Sega Genesis games

I have a copy of Air Diver but never played it - I gotta fire that up sometime. Sword of Vermilion was a big release of the time and is available on practically every Genesis collection.


Sega Genesis games

Sorry, I don't have any witty comments about Michael Jackson's Moonwalker. I legitimately like that game though, yeah it's kinda short but probably would have been worse if it dragged on. It ends before you have a chance to get sick of it I guess. Unlike the real Mi... I better not go there.


Sega Genesis controllers

I really regret not buying an Arcade Power Stick, it looks like a great controller. I've seen some used ones but have weird hang-ups about playing a used controller. I think I'm some kind of germophobic, maybe I shouldn't admit that on the internet. Is it irrational to be afraid to touch a used controller? I used to play arcade games for hours and it never once bugged me, what the heck happened to my brain since then?

Oh yeah where was I? Right, Sega Genesis joysticks. On the flip side, I have no regrets about not buying the Thunderstick. Also, what an odd place to put Klax.



TurboGrafx-16

TurboGrafx-16

Geez, just one lonely TurboGrafx-16 page. My memory must be bad because I thought it was doing better at this point and didn't fall off the earth until after the Super Nintendo hit the shelves. Ninja Spirit was just as good (or better) than anything on the Genesis at the time. If only it could have managed a few more games of that caliber...



PC Software

PC games

Not a great start to the PC section. I don't think any of these were still around in 1992 so I don't remember them at all.


Space Quest IV and other PC games

Complete Lottery Tracker 4.0 - what a total scam. I can't believe people are too dumb to understand the concept of random numbers and fall for junk like this. Wait, yes I can. The fact that three previous installments must have apparently sold well is nauseating to think about.


PC games

I wish I had a "Hoverkill 1000 urban assault skimmer". There's no part of that name I don't like.


PC games

Dragon's Lair II keeps getting re-released every 2-3 years. The DSi is the latest console to get a version. I think there's a version that's compatible with my toaster oven coming out soon.


PC games

This page features two games that were still high sellers when I left Electronics Boutique in 1996 - Links and Microsoft Flight Simulator. Well, the upgraded versions that were released a couple years later at least. Microsoft would eventually buy the Links franchise but discontinue it in 2003. They've kept the Flight Simulator line alive though.


PC games

I won't profess to be an Ultima expert but I don't see a connection between Worlds of Ultima: Savage Empire and the rest of the series. Maybe it's a continent from one the games I haven't played or something.


Budget PC software

Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers is one of my favorite NES games, it's just plain fun. I wonder how this PC version turned out?

My Invoices - one of the many products made obsolete by Excel templates.


Educational software

Laugh at the Disney Sound Source all you want. A lot of non-Disney games supported it including most of the Sierra library.


Educational software

This page is a reminder of life before the internet. The $80 encyclopedia is now $0, same for the $45 atlas and $43 style guide. There are probably free tutorials for the SAT and algebra out there too.


Productivity software

The Print Shop was first released in 1984 and is still available today. Word processor templates and online card creation sites largely made this former software icon obsolete.

I think Microsoft Works is still available in some form or another today. I'd say OpenOffice and Google Docs made it obsolete but I don't think that's the case. I think it's a matter of Microsoft not wanting to give away a cheap/free word processor anymore so they've stopped promoting Works.

$90 for a mouse - yeah that was about the going rate 20 years ago.



PC Hardware & Accessories

PC controllers

Back in my day we didn't have no fancy "USB" joysticks. We had to crack open our PC, possibly voiding the warranty, and install a card to use a joystick. And even then the joysticks we had to choose from were all overpriced, awful, and hard to configure. Yet we were grateful and thought this was all a miracle of technology.


PC accessories

I still have a number of those Diskeeper 60s. Although my 5.25" disk collection is long gone they are still handy.



PC Everything Else

Back cover

If I thought the TurboGrafx-16 got the shaft it's nothing compared to the Game Gear and Lynx which didn't even earn a full page. Like the Neo Geo, the Lynx was not at the location I worked at in 1992. We might have had a couple games hidden in a clearance bin but nothing more.

Hey look at that, so much for my "no preorders in 1991" theory. Well, maybe not... the Game Gear was released in the US in April 1991 which is when this catalog was published. Whew, vindication.


Mail order form

For the sake of completeness I scanned the mail order forms. The address on the envelope is now apparently a corporate office for BC Sports.


Mail order form

I don't have the courage to call 1-800-448-7272 to see what it is now.


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