Remember the days before the internet? When most people thought you were strange if you were into collecting old retro gear? Yeah, us too. Nobody really knew how big the market for retro was back then. Not many people  appreciated the value of keeping old action figures. The VCR just got thrown out the moment it became obsolete. If you wanted to re-watch an old TV show from the 80s or 90s that had gone ‘out of print’ on DVD or VHS, you had to spend your weekends scouring yard sales or car-boot sales hoping you’d strike it lucky.

We obviously live in a much better age for retro enthusiasts now. Almost every movie we could ever want to see is available at the click of a button, and we can trade with other collectors from anywhere else in the world at the click of another button. Those sticker albums from 1992 are finally being completed. We can finally replace that beaten up Green Power Ranger figure. Getting imported Japanese N64 games is no longer a magical process conducted by elves. In short, everything is just better, and we’re more respected as a community. Retro is now cool and this has ripples into industries you wouldn’t have expected years ago.

An evidence of the power of retro is that it has been noticing by the gambling industry; an industry that never misses a chance to make money. They’ve noticed the cool factor of retro and that all of us 80s and 90s kids are now adults earning money. They’ve realised we have money to spend. They know what we’re in to, and they know how to get some of us interested. Online slot games based on retro games, movies, bands and people are now a thing. Some of our favourite icons from the past now exist in playable casino form. Official licenses have been obtained from films, and video games, all to tempt you into spinning the reels and see if you can win a prize. Here are four examples to make our point.

Top Gun
We’ve already started singing Top Gun’s catchy soundtrack song “Danger Zone”. Top Gun is an absolute textbook 1980s movie, catching both Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer in the first plush of youth, and defining what an over-the-top action movie should really look and feel like.

The online slot game that bears its name wisely chooses to take as much from the movie as it possibly can. All the graphics and logos you’d expect to see are there, and looking very slick, too. There are some nice ‘Top Gun’ themed bonus rounds, like ‘Dog Fight Wilds’, which try to give you an action movie experience as well as a gambling thrill. In fact the only thing missing is that infectious theme song. But don’t worry, they’ve gone with ‘Take My Breath Away’ instead, and it’s equally guaranteed to get stuck inside your head.

Street Fighter 2
Street Fighter 2, really was a genre-busting game, redefining the one on one fighting games. The usual rule with sequels, whether it’s movies or games, is that they’re not as good as the original. The second installment in this “Street Fighter” series, however, shattered that rule into tiny pieces. Many thought it was vastly superior that they could scarcely believe the two were related. It’s also generally the most fondly remembered in the long continuing series, even though modern versions for current-gen consoles exist.

That’s probably why it’s this version of the game that was selected for a slot game, rather than any of the sequels. This game has been utilised for every form of merchandise and cascading imaginable, so it’s no surprise it’s also appearing in this slot machine list. Like Top Gun, the game’s builders have tried to give you a taste of the old game as entertainment around the gambling features, going so far as to require you to pick a character before the game begins. All the sound effects from the game are present and correct, too of course, as they are so integral to the original game. Hadouken!

Terminator 2
Did we just make liars out of ourselves? Possibly. OK, we’ll try again; with the exception of ‘Street Fighter 2’, and ‘Terminator 2’, sequels are rarely better than the originals. And if you don’t believe us, look at ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘RoboCop’. And don’t get us wrong, ‘The Terminator’ is a fantastic movie, but it’s ‘Terminator 2’ that really caught the eye of the world and brought in the big bucks. It was light years ahead of its time, and still holds up well today. It goes without saying then that it is a property that can still be marketed in different ways.

As with the ‘Street Fighter’ game, there’s a reason that the sequel has been selected to make a gambling title from, and that’s because it’s the most widely recognised and well remembered. The slot game captures the spirit of the film faithfully; there are some movie clips, the iconic theme tune playing in the background, and a delightful bonus round where you get to see in Terminator vision. What more could you want? (apart from clothes, boots and a motorcycle)

We couldn’t really do a retro list of anything without touching on KISS, could we? Out in the real world, the band are apparently gearing up for their last ever tour. They’re preparing to leave us forever. In our minds and in our memories, they’ll forever be the face-painted guitar wielding rockers we grew up with. Gene Simmons will never age. ‘Rock & Roll All Nite’ will never be a bad song. And we’ll never stop dressing up as one of the band at Halloween.

KISS were always one of the more marketable and merchandise-friendly bands. They seriously must be in the Guinness book of records for having the most merchandise of any band, and possibly any property (maybe behind Star Wars of course), and having a slot machine tie in is nothing less than we expect of them. We also expect excellence, and the game delivers it. With a whole raft of live performance and music video footage; and, of course, the KISS soundtrack, it’s actually quite easy to forget you’re playing a game at all. It’s worth keeping your concentration though, because the bonus features make the maximum payout possible significantly higher than the minimum bet, so if it’s your lucky day, you’ll win big.

I wonder what other retro properties could be turned into slot machines? He-Man? A Nintendo themed game? ‘Weird Science’? The list is endless and they’ll probably never stop using the power of retro to entice us.