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'80s gadget ads were the BEST gadget ads

  • That 5-pound car phone looked SO cutting edge
  • Original Apple 1 expected to net $500,000 at auction
  • Your Gameboy and Speak n' Spell would likely go for less
'80s gadget ads were the BEST gadget ads

For roughly the same price as 1,000 brand new iPads, you can own one very old Apple computer.

Of course, it also happens to be one of the first 20 Apples ever built, so perhaps that's why it's expected to fetch about $500,000 at auction. The disassembled, and hand-signed (and built) by Woz Apple 1 is up for bid at Christie's Auction House through July 9.

But while this machine -- and all 4K of its memory -- was state of the art stuff back in 1976, it doesn't look quite so impressive in 2013. Rarely does the fantastic future tech of the past provide more than some nostalgic laughs in the present.

Take a look at some of these once-mind-blowing, must-have gadgets from the '80s -- but don't laugh too hard. Twenty years from now, you'll be reading the exact same article about those quaint, clunky iPad 4s and Samsung Galaxys.


The Apple II -- Wait, wait... slow down and explain this "Backspace" function to me again.


Class Act locker answering machine -- 150 years from now, aliens will land on this planet, look around, stumble upon an ALF t-shirt and ask "What was the '80s?" and they will be shown this commercial. (They will also ask, "What was a locker answering machine?" and nobody will be able to tell them.)


Nintendo Gameboy -- "Gameboy comes with the outrageous new game, Tetris!" Oh hell yes.


The Apple II -- This soundtrack! Caribbean steel drums and a wood block?? Like a Lite FM day on the beach in 1983.

Or the opening credits to some wholesome, early '80s sitcom about a down-on-his luck dad who gets by with help from his plucky neighbors and friends at the racquetball court.


Car phones and "cellular radio telephones" -- Everything this man said would happen, happened. This ad was sent back in time, from the future, and with comically oversized handsets so we wouldn't suspect anything.


Nokia-Mobira cell phone -- That's right, on sale for only $595! This is why early adopters always lose. Looking at you, Google Glass evangelist.


My First Sony -- That Walkman was the ultimate elementary school status symbol. Bonus points if it had a "Licensed To Ill" cassette inside.


Speak n' Spell -- The original education app. Sadly, nobody taught those two kids in the backseat about seatbelts.

Nintendo -- The greatest video game system ever. But how useless was that robot?

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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