The only things I found interesting in a pile of mid-90s Egghead catalogs

In case this is your first visit I'll start by noting I've posted >20 scans of Electronics Boutique catalogs here. This means I've bought a lot of Electronics Boutique catalogs. They used to be really cheap on ebay, that statement applies for many things. They're even cheaper in random boxes of old video game magazines at garage sales. People are more than happy to part with a big heavy box of magazines for a couple dollars.

One of these boxes included several Egghead catalogs published between 1994-1996. These have been a pain since the day I acquired them. They don't take up a ton of space, just enough to be inconvenient. I've wanted to scan them for a while but they're huge and will take hours.

Here's the reality - I'm just not interested in preserving the history of Egghead. Clearly I have some interest in keeping memories of Electronics Boutique alive. That was a fun store during a booming time in the game industry. By contrast these Egghead catalogs are just soooo boring. They're the worst parts of an Electronics Boutique catalog but for 50 pages. Even the game sections are a snooze-fest. They're targeting a very focused demographic I'll call "1990s boomer dad".

I only ever visited one Egghead location a couple times. I went there to apply for a job. I was working at Electronics Boutique making a cool $5.25 an hour and wanted to move up by a few cents. The store was small and cramped. There were never any customers any time I visited. It felt more like someone's basement. The interview was more about technical things than customer service. I remember being asked a lot of questions about config.sys and autoexec.bat files. Maybe they expected their staff to provide technical support. I thought I did terribly but was offered a job anyway. I decided to stick with Elbo after negotiating a small raise.

So to make a long story short, I decided to just throw these catalogs out. I didn't seek them out in the first place and need to free space for things I find more interesting. Apologies to any Egghead preservationists if such a person exists. I'm only scanning the few things I find mildly interesting - games, programming tools, and zany expensive hardware.


Page 00

I won't be writing a novel about each of these pages. The "coming soon" on SimTower places this around summer 1994.

Page 01

There's really no order or continuity to these scans. I just went through the catalogs and sorted the pages into "keep" and "toss" piles. That's why we're jumping about a year.

Page 02

I scanned this one mostly because of the 11th Hour spot. I would not complain if there was some 7th Guest/11th Hour port to the Switch.

Page 03

Psychic Detective has been on my backlog for quite a while now.

Page 04

I almost tossed this page. I forgot that the EA '9x games were all on PC too.

Page 05

The LucasArts deal is a little sketchy. It's a rebate, which probably means it's a store coupon, and you need to have Egghead's credit card to get it. I'm now ever happier I didn't take the job at Egghead, I bet employees were heavily encouraged to shill for that credit card.

Page 06

Dungeon Master II is another backlog game. I have it on Sega CD and just never get around to starting.

Page 07

I have zero recollection of that "Inherit the Earth" game.

Page 08

This is maybe the best selection of games on a single page so far.

Page 09

Free golf course for PGA Tour with purchase of a chess game. That is the most "1990s Dad Game Bundle" ever.

Page 10

This is a another page with a good selection. It's about the best you'll get out of Egghead.

Page 11

I don't think that King's Quest Anthology had a very big run. I suspect that's like $200+ on ebay now.

Page 12

I know I mentioned it on other pages but I can't tell you how many copies of Links we sold at Electronics Boutique. It was just always popular.

Page 13

This was the only Doom sighting I found in all the catalogs I had.

Page 14

Nice mixed bag of joysticks here. The Gravis gamepad was solid. The FlightStick was very popular. That Virtual Pilot and generically named Cordless Game Controller look like junk.

Page 15

For whatever reason I think this is the most fun page I came across. We were seriously concerned about screen burn in the 1990s. Blank screens just weren't good enough.

Programming & OS

Page 17

In this section I'll note which things I've used. Windows NT 3.x - nope. Windows NT 4.x - a whole bunch.

Page 18

I completely forgot about Novell DOS. 100% totally forgot it existed. WinDelete I either had or had something similar.

Page 20

I've used all of these quite heavily in the late 1990s but newer versions. I can't imagine anyone born after 1990 could comprehend the idea of getting their development IDE in a store.

Page 21

I mean who didn't have both of these? I have both in a virtual machine today for trying old games.

Page 22

Sorry, I just see now that I kind of mangled this page.

Page 23

Buying a database in a store is also a hugely antiquated concept.

Page 24

I have not used this version of Visio but have used another pre-Microsoft version. I hate to be the guy saying "Microsoft screwed it up" but they kinda did.

Page 25

Borland C++ was college for me. I don't recall if it was free or just heavily discounted for students.

Page 26

This is the page of the most obsolete software today.


Page 27

I'll avoid commenting on the prices because that's overdone. I'm writing this in early spring 2022 where hardware prices are again preposterous. I largely blame cryptocurrency mining. I hope that whenever you're reading this that is no longer a thing.

Page 28

The Powergraph 64 is not familiar at all. Neither is the SpeedStar but it doesn't seem like it's for the average consumer.

Page 29

You can laugh but $300 for a >1gb drive at the time wasn't bad.

Page 30

These giant bundles are just always fun to look at. The variety and randomness of what they include is bizarre.

Page 31

I just thought SuperFAXModem was a funny name.

Page 32

This is the beginning of the era when printers went from lasting forever to dying in under 2 years.

Page 33

The $130 web browser would also be hard to explain to people born after a certain year.

Page 34

I never owned anything on this page but find it all fascinating.

Page 35

We're coming full circle. Whenever I build my next PC, whenever prices are sane again I guess, I will likely not include a CD drive. That's one more bay that could store a much larger hard drive. I use my CD/DVD drive once a month at the absolute most. I'll likely buy an external drive instead.

Page 36

I doubt in the 1990s anyone could explain the difference in sound quality between any of these as it impacted the average consumer.

Page 37

Early trackballs look so unusable now.

Page 38

The images on this page would not fit on the largest laptop hard drive pictured here.

Page 39

The ProPC/TV Plus is an interesting gizmo that I have to believe worked like garbage. It must be a VGA -> S-video adapter. I had something like that 10 years later and it was not good.

Page 40

I just lost a few minutes of my life trying to understand how the Cyrix 386 to 486 upgrade worked. This is a good time to remind readers that they didn't use the same socket (except for some rare motherboards that could support either).

Page 41

I know of places using something very similar to the Conner Minicartridge today.

Page 42

I think I included too many scans of these bundles.

Page 43

I can't even tell you what "multisegmented, adaptive read-cache" means.

Page 44

That Tango drive looks like it would survive a 20 story fall.

Page 45

I believe everyone who made it this far in the page owned at least one of these.

Page 46

The Sound Blaster plus Microsoft Office bundle is the oddest thing here.

Page 47

Yeah, I shouldn't have scanned so many Sound Blaster things. This is getting ridiculous.

Page 48

I just liked the picture of the bird.

Page 49

I was the proud owner of a Zip drive. It was a great accessory for its time.