Commodore 64 ads from the 1980s still make me want a C64 in 2021

Computer magazine advertisements from the 1980s were just plain fantastic.

The Commodore 64 is a fascinating machine. It is the single best selling computer model in human history. The fact that the C64 still holds that title in 2021 — close to three decades after being discontinued — is nothing short of amazing.

Because it makes me smile, let’s take a quick stroll through some of the magazine advertisements for the Commodore 64 that helped the system achieve that world record.

A big emphasis in C64 marketing was the price. Sub $600? For a computer with one of the largest software libraries imaginable? Good stinkin’ deal!

It’s not how little it costs, it’s how much you get. Not just good marketing lingo… the old Commodore 64 really followed through on that. Good price. Lots of peripherals. Crazy amounts of software.

$999 for a TRS-80 with 16k. Or $599 for a C64 with 64k.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the TRS-80. Great machine. Great. But the C64 was lightyears ahead (in so many ways) for such a better price.

Same goes for the Apple IIe. Great machine. I love them to pieces. But you can buy two C64s for the price of one Apple IIe.

The Hulk! BASIC! Easy Script!

“High resolution graphics with 16 available colors”

“High fidelity sound that covers a 9-octave range”

This isn’t an advertisement for the Commodore 64, per se. But for GEOS — a full graphical operating system — for the C64. GEOS was kinda amazing when it came out in 1986. Really shows what you can accomplish in a measly 64k of RAM!

Are you keeping up with Commodore? ‘Cause the Commodore is keeping up with you!

Every nerd alive during the ‘80s knows that jingle. Get’s stuck in your head (at least it does for me).

The C64 really was a fun system. And the old magazine ads are still fantastic.

Man. Those were fun times.


Shortly after publishing this article, I was contacted by a gentleman named Alec McLeod, who had this to say:

That’s right. That poster? Not actually a vintage C64 poster! He got me! Well done, Alec!