The Nostalgia Box is Australia’s first and only interactive video game museum. It opened its doors for the first time in 2016 and since then has won a multitude of tourist and business awards. The museum is split into two sections: a display area and an interactive area. The display area has vintage games and consoles on display behind glass and the interactive area has a number of retro games and machines available for play. This venue can also be hired for social functions.
The Nostalgia Box started as a passion project for its founder, Jessie Yeoh. Yeoh has fond memories of playing video games with her brothers while growing up and has kept many of her old games and consoles. These pieces give her a sense of nostalgia and are the cornerstones of The Nostalgia Box’s collection. The rest of the collection was sourced over an 18 month period from around the world. This was a collective effort as Yeoh has friends overseas who knew of her project and kept and eye out for notable pieces at their local markets and garage sales.
Arguably, the pièce de résistance is the Magnavox Odyssey. This is the first commercially released game console and the first piece visitors will see as they walk through the chronologically ordered collection. The Magnavox Odyssey is displayed next to its prototype, the Chaneel Let’s Play, and an information card about their inventor, Ralph Baer. The Magnavox Odessey was released in 1972 so this item may bring a sense of nostalgia to some and be a new discovery to others.
Another noteworthy piece is the game Battletoads. This is a beat ’em up platfrom game which was released for NES in 1991. Battletoads was a popular game series in its own right but gained new attention in 2007 when pranksters (possibly the same ones who nominated unreleased game, Scoffton, for Table Top of the Year at the Australian Games Awards) began calling a number of businesses regarding a Battletoads pre-order. The Nostalgia Box has two copies of Battletoads and the consoles to play them on.
Hijinx aside, The Nostalgia Box is an informative and recreational destination for visitors of all ages. The Nostalgia Box employee, Kaylee, notes that visitors’ first reaction is usually a big smile upon entering the museum. For a preview of The Nostalgia Box, please watch our interview with Kaylee below. To start planning your visit, please visit The Nostalgia Box website.