It’s the The Pac-Man 40th Anniversary Micro Player, and it’ll be available “later this summer” for $40. The 6-inch machine looks like a miniature Pac-Man arcade cabinet, and you can actually play it.
MyArcade specializes in retro-themed gaming accessories and playable collectibles like this. In fact, they already have a normal version of a Pac-Man Micro Player that is available now and costs $35. So, if you want a little Pac-Man machine in your home, is it worth it to wait for this anniversary edition?
I think so. Of course, I’m a bit of sucker for special editions and anniversary collectibles. But it’s not like MyArcade just put a 40th anniversary sticker on the Pac-Man Micro Player. It has a gold-colored joystick and buttons, which help make this version look more special. But my favorite part is how the decal art actually moves thanks to lenticular printing. That’s the animation effect you get from those flat images with the ridges, and the image moves as you turn the surface. You can see what that looks like below.
Fancy, huh? I’m not sure if that’s worth an extra $5 to you, but I sure think that it’s neat.
You know, I admit that when I think about my favorite game characters or franchises, Pac-Man doesn’t immediately come to mind. But, man, I sure do have a lot of good memories associated with this classic arcade game. Like all the times I’d spend a quarter to run from ghosts and gobble pellets in those Ohio arcades from my childhood that are now all gone. Or the time, 10 freaking years ago now, that I attended Pac-Man’s 30th birthday party at E3 2010 during my first trip to the expo.
Even though Pac-Man came out a bit before my time, he’s a source of so much nostalgia and comfort. And not just because it reminds me of days gone. It makes me happy to see a 40-year-old game still hold up. Pac-Man is still fun to play, perfectly balancing the line between simplicity and complexity. Yeah, there are a lot of great arcade games from the early ’80s, but Pac-Man is the quintessential classic. Heck, I know that there are some well-loved modern Pac-Man games, but I’d still rather play the original or Ms. Pac-Man instead of them.
Well, OK, I do have a soft spot for the bizarre Pac-Man 2, but that’s another column.
But, yeah, all of those memories give this collectible some serious appeal. And even though my home is probably filled up with too much gaming junk already (most of it Mega Man themed, admittedly), this little arcade machine sure is tempting.
At least thanks to that vague “later this summer” release, I have to time to talk myself into maybe finding a more practical use for my money. Like this Mega Man 3 jigsaw puzzle.
The RetroBeat is a weekly column that looks at gaming’s past, diving into classics, new retro titles, or looking at how old favorites — and their design techniques — inspire today’s market and experiences. If you have any retro-themed projects or scoops you’d like to send my way, please contact me.