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SYFY WIRE video games

Hasbro brings back the 1990s with reboot of Tiger Electronics handheld games

By Benjamin Bullard
Tiger Electronics Getty

Depending on how old you are, you’re probably either in the camp that drained dozens of batteries playing one of Tiger Electronics’ low-fi handheld LCD games back in the 1990s…or you were the grouch who was telling some kid to turn that infernal beep machine off. 

Being firmly in the first camp regardless of age, we can’t help but be stoked at the news that Hasbro is rebooting the old-school machines for a new generation (and, if we’re being honest, probably to trigger the nostalgia of fans exactly like us). Via The Verge, Hasbro is reviving the Tiger Electronics LCD handheld, the attention-occupying little gaming machine that could for many a kid whose parents wouldn’t spring for the pricier Nintendo Game Boy.

Tiger Electronics Sonic the Hedgehog 3 game

With a monochromatic color scheme, no way to play any other game than the one pre-loaded onto the console, and no rechargeable batteries (yep, an extra set of AAs was your only lifeline), it wasn’t raw gaming power or versatility that made the original line of Tiger handhelds such a hit. Nay, it was the machines’ low price point, portability, and colorfully-stickered branding — which decked out each unit with scenes from classic games like Sonic the Hedgehog, Ecco the Dolphin, and Altered Beast.

For Tiger’s 2020 comeback, Hasbro is reportedly kicking things off with a handful of 1990s originals, including The Little Mermaid, Transformers: Generation 2, X-Men Project X, and Sonic the Hedgehog 3. Via The Verge’s report, it sounds like the games themselves may have undergone a little massaging during their two-decade-plus dormancy, as Hasbro reportedly says they’re “inspired” by their wayback predecessors. But the controls, monochromatic screen, and battery-powered retro goodness are all still built-in. 

At a price of $14.99 each, we can already hear the sound of our nostalgic impulses vacuuming those dollars right out of our pockets. Hasbro reportedly says the revived Tiger Electronics consoles will be available this fall, but they’re already up for preorder at GameStop — batteries not included.

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