Electronics Boutique December 1994 Catalog

I'm posting this over Black Friday weekend in 2023. The big round anniversary isn't intentional. It really is a coincidence that I'm posting this catalog when it turns 20.

I debated whether this qualifies as an xmas feature. I don't know if there was an even later 2003 catalog. It correlates to the start of the shopping season and has some wintery elements. I think that meets the minimum bar. Does it even matter to anyone?

This is a November catalog, not a Black Friday catalog. 2003 was just a year or two before the era when Black Friday sales were insane. I don't mean they had insane deals, I mean they became increasingly absurd from the mid-00s until 2019. Thank you Covid for killing that off. See, even that had an upside.

2003 was my oldest daughter's first xmas. I was working and going to graduate school. Staying current on gaming wasn't an option. My poor GameCube sat mostly unused until the holiday break. I wouldn't even own a PlayStation 2 for a couple more years. I've maybe played 10% of the games in this catalog. It's still fun to look at. If you found this page, chances are it's much more nostalgic for you.

Cover & contents

The front page is in less than perfect condition. The rest of the catalog is better. The style is more magazine-like than catalog-like.

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Opening stuff

That Xbox bundle deal is not for a pre-owned system. That seems like a ridiculous deal for a system that was only 2 years old. The PlayStation 5 is 3 years old as of when I posted this. I don't know what the price is because I still have never seen one in a store.

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There are some solid bargains here. $14.99 for Luigi's Mansion, a game that Nintendo would charge $60 for if they re-released on the Switch with zero modifications. The PlayStation, N64, and Dreamcast clearance deals are spectacular too.

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PlayStation 2

Again, I didn't own a PlayStation 2 in 2003. I remember the Final Fantasy X-2 commercials being on all the time though. Or at least they were on during South Park a lot. I don't think I had time to watch much else then. It doesn't appear until the 5th page of the section so I assume it wasn't even one of the hottest games. Or maybe Elbo didn't think so.

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The system wasn't totally dead in 2003 but was clearly at the end of the line. It outlasted all its rivals, even the Dreamcast. I'll offend at least one visitor by mildly suggesting that perhaps the Dreamcast was more a contemporary of the PlayStation than the PlayStation 2.

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Alright, this is my section. I have, well, some of this. I don't have a massive GameCube collection but am counting 9 games from these pages on my shelves. I've even played at least 4 of them by now. The random accessories, I have nearly all of them because I'm weird like that.

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Game Boy Advance

I suspect page 45 will be shared a lot.

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Strategy guides

I dunno, is a guide really needed for all of these?

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This is a small but fascinating section for me. I never owned an N-Gage and would definitely like to try it.

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I don't have anything to say about these system-agnostic accessories. I guess they mostly look low-quality.

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Not a huge PC gamer, or even a small one, but I recognize there are a ton of great games in this section.

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At first I thought this was nearly identical to the PlayStation 2 section but on closer examination I'm way off. I forgot about the Xbox Sports line, including the Links series Microsoft acquired.

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Non-gaming items

I suppose this section is like 1/2 of Gamestop now.

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I'm not going to break down these last pages into sections because they'd be like 1-2 pages each. The totally real reader letters, asking extremely obvious or broad questions, is my favorite part. "Dear EB, I like video games with characters in them, can you recommend any?"

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Alright, this was a nice little journey for me. I didn't call anything out, but I spotted a few games I want to try from this catalog. I think in a different timeline I would have enjoyed the Xbox quite a bit, despite its general lack of JRPGs. I had a GameCube, it was weak in that genre too. Anyway, if you're reading this over Black Friday then I hope the holiday season is festive for you. You know what.. whenever you're reading this.. probably whenever someone wants to make a point about PlayStation 2 game prices.. whenever that is, I hope you're doing great.