Tech #32: Arcade Game Promotional Material

I don't know about you, but I find old arcade game brochures and advertising infinitely interesting. Here's a handful of promotional material for a form of entertainment that was a huge part of my youth. Whether it was at the mall's Aladdin's Castle or just a lone Time Pilot at the 7-11, I was all about getting my three letters on the top scores list.

Most of these predate the arcade explosion of the early 80s; so don't expect Sinstar or Pole Position here.  Plus, some of these are from Europe, and some you may have seen on Retrospace before... but all are worth a look.  Enjoy.

I love how the really old video game advertising marketed it towards adults; specifically adult couples.  Once the swarms of Gen Xers started swarming the arcades, marketing took a much more youthful slant.

Having a flat surface to play your arcade game was very important - drinking and smoking were an integral part of the experience. 

Love those boots.

Have you noticed how alcohol consumption and arcade gaming went absolutely hand in hand?

I think that is the most poorly constructed speech bubble I have ever seen.

Her outfit looks more than vaguely like a Star Trek uniform.  How did this slip under the radar of the Roddenberry legal team?


  1. You could have posted a gag picture of Leigh Taylor-Young playing video game machine from 1972's "Soylent Green". The future?

  2. These are so great! I'm a pinball collector so lack of pin ads are a little distracting, lol. Surely you have an armload of old pinball brochures floating around the island. Ask Ginger, she'll know.

    1. Oh, yes. Thanks for reminding me. I have a huge stack - look for it soon!

  3. That looks like a young Ron Jeremy in the first Breakout advertisement.

  4. White lingerie girl looks like Elvis in drag.

  5. In the early days, video games were marketed to bars and lounges, where they would take the place or traditional saloon games like darts and pinball.

    Barrel-Pong. OMG, that's incredible.

  6. Awesome post, and a great selection of ads!

  7. Re: The Sega Trek ad - It would depend on when that came out. Until the late 1970s when Paramount regained an interest in the property, the trademark was simply not enforced: You'd see “Outer Space Lazer Pistols” [sic] and the like sold openly at SF cons, By the early 1980s, this kind of blatant (and surprisingly well-done, I may say) knock-off was a Thing of the Past.