Greetings, Programs! Welp, my head just exploded from nostalgia. Never mind that I’m currently playing Warcraft III for the first time in a decade in preparation for the release of Reforged in a few weeks, I just got a slap across the face out of the blue by the 80s and 90s in the form of Tomb Raider stamps from the U.K.!
And that ain’t all:
A new set of postage stamps will celebrate the history of the British video game industry, from groundbreaking space sim Elite to blockbusting action adventure Tomb Raider.
Each of the 12 stamps in the collection features an image from a memorable and influential game, tracing the history of the industry from the 1980s. Also featured are classic titles such as Dizzy, Populous, Lemmings and Sensible Soccer.
Populous? Lemmings?! These are games that consumed many, many, months of my life back in the ye olden days. I just had to look at these stamps.
And that’s when my head popped like a grenade thrown by an adorable little worm.
These games left their…stamp
That first one? Elite? Holy bejeezus, I cannot tell you how many hours I spent playing that game on a computer in the basement of my mother’s job in Long Beach, N.Y. Preteen me had nothing to do while waiting for mom to finish work for the day so I would just chill in front of the screen and blast spaceships.
I never saw Dizzy or Sensible Soccer but I did play Worms and Micro Machines a bit. They were fun but not nearly as engrossing as Populous and Lemmings. Talk about instilling the player with a god complex! These games are largely responsible for getting me into the strategy and puzzle genres.
And even though I was never really into regular racing games all that much, Wipeout was a revelation to me. I had been craving a fast-paced racing game since Super Nintendo’s F-Zero and Wipeout fit the bill almost exactly. The speed, the tracks, the music, it was all amazing and addictive!
I had no idea whatsoever these were made in the U.K, so color me impressed! That explains why Lara Croft in Tomb Raider had a British accent. I always wondered about that…
You might be wondering, “Where’s the freaking Tomb Raider stamps?!” Well, come on, I have to build up a little suspense, don’t I?
While the first eight stamps are all different games from the 80s and 90s, Tomb Raider gets special treatment. And why shouldn’t it? The Tomb Raider series is one of the most well-known game series that doesn’t feature pocket monsters, Italian plumbers, or space marines.
For that reason, Lara gets not 1, but 4 stamps spanning 17 years:
As with many collectible stamps, you can buy more than just the stamps. You can get a special limited edition pack that includes all of the games and a special postcard with information about each of them. There’s also a framed edition of the first eight stamps and a poster with all of the Tomb Raider images (and more) for sale separately.
Frankly, there’s nothing about this that isn’t awesome. It only took 40 years or, so but video games are getting some recognition and respect for their cultural impact and significance.
The stamps will be for sale starting Jan. 21, and while it’s not clear that they can be ordered for delivery to North America or elsewhere, you have plenty of time to find out or find a friend in the U.K. to order them for you. There’s not an unlimited supply for the collectible stuff so what are you waiting for? Press “Start” and get moving!