Belfast Telegraph

Back to the future - retro games that made adult festive wish lists

By Rebecca Black

A 1980s Nintendo console has become the surprise must-have gift this Christmas.

The scramble for the classic gaming device follows a growing trend of adults requesting toys.

Scores of retro computer games such as Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat also became popular downloads this year, with growing numbers of people enjoying their childhood favourites.

One of the most popular throwbacks was the Nintendo Classic Edition, a special recreated mini-version of the NES, which was originally released in 1985. It comes with the same distinctive rectangular controllers and can be plugged into most TVs.

The console comes with 30 old-school games including the original Super Mario Brothers, Metroid, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and Zelda.

The graphics might be a far cry from those of today's modern computer games but, for nostalgic 30-somethings, it was a must-have present this year, and it sold out shortly after being released back in November.

Its recommended retail price was around £50, but in recent days consoles were being offered for almost four times that price (£180) on some auction websites.

Belfast Alliance councillor Emmet McDonough Brown was one of those lucky enough to receive one of the now sold-out consoles from Santa.

The 33-year-old proudly posted a photograph of his prized new possession on Facebook to scores of admiring and envious comments.

He told the Belfast Telegraph that many of his generation are seeking a bit of escapism from the daily grind.

"I think every kid remembers special Christmases, and the first Nintendo was definitely a magical one for me - up there with the first bike," he recalled.

"Nostalgia takes you back to simpler times and I think we all need some escapism from the daily grind - especially when there seems to be so many problems around us."

DUP MLA Christopher Stalford (33) was among those hoping against the odds to get one, but he admitted he may be out of luck. "My poor wife has hunted the length and breadth of Northern Ireland to find one," he said.

"It may have to wait until my birthday on January 17. In the meantime, a bottle of 'Brut', or 'man smell' as my kids call it, will suffice."

Toys for adults has become an increasingly popular trend in recent years. Lego has been one of the most consistently popular toys for grown-ups with the Creator range offering bigger structures such as Volkswagen Camper Vans and Ferrari's to build.

Belfast Telegraph