Retro Geeky Goodies - PacMan

by CruiseReady

Cool retro geeky pacman gifts will be a hit with both youngsters who know him as an emoticon and 'mature' geeks who spent hours playing the original arcade game. Fun Facts, too.

Retro is in and geeky is in. Pacman retro geeky gifts employ a winning combination of nerdiness and nostalgia that everyone can enjoy.

Long before the era of iPhones, gaming systems, and high def multiplayer games, we went to arcades and pumped quarters into machines to play Asteroids and Space Invaders.

Then, along came Pac-man, and the game playing frenzy exploded. It was a phenomenon that began in Japan, and spread around the world like wildfire. Variations and merchandise soon followed.

Whether you are one of those more mature nerds who paid quarter after quarter to play the original game, someone who first met Pacman as an emoticon, or somewhere in between, you've probably had at least one encounter with the little yellow dot eater.

So, for you, here are some fun Pac-Man facts and historical tidbits, along with some clever gift items inspired by the craze.

Almost anyone will get a smile, maybe a wistful one, from some of the pacman themed items shown on this page. Who knows? Maybe you'll find something that you just can't resist gifting to your favorite Pac-Man fan.

Image by Jag Skapade (public domain)

Pac-Man Lives On

A Girl Playing Pac-Man in 2012
A Girl Playing Pac-Man in 2012

Toru Iwatani Created Pac-Man

Developer Wanted to Appeal to More Girls

 Toru Iwatani, an employee of the Japanese company Namco Limited, developed the game we now know as Pac-man, though it was originally released under another name. (More on that later)

One of his goals was to create a game that would appeal more to girls, who were not heavy arcade game players in 1979, when development began.

Just over a year later, in May of 1980, the public first met the yellow gobbler. Girls loved the game, with its maze, and ghost enemies that were cute, rather than menacing.  

Pac-Man Heat Activated Mug

Enjoy that cup of morning coffee or afternoon tea in this clever heat activated mug.

When empty or cold, only the maze shows in blue on the black background.  

But, when the cup is filled with a hot liquid, the rest of the game graphics appear, including the pac-dots, pac-man himself poised to eat bonus cherries, and all four ghosts.

Mug holds almost nine ounces.


Pacman Coasters

Perfect Companions for the Heat Activated Mug

This set of four matching coasters is ideal to go along with the mug shown above. Of course, people in places like Arizona don't worry about leaving those awful beverage rings on their furniture.  But here, on the humid coast, where everything sweats, including glasses, it's a problem,

Each coaster is open mouthed, and ready to gobble, just like the real thing.  Non slip rubber backing.


The Name Was Changed to Protect Innocent Eyes and Ears

Puck-Man Became Pac-Man in the U.S.

The original name of the game was Pakkuman.  In Japan, the sound made when the mouth is repeatedly opened and closed is vocalized as "paku-paku ."  So, the character made that sound, and the name somehow morphed into Puck-Man.

Well, along came Midway, a division of Bally Technologies, who won the right to manufacture the product in the United States.  They rightly saw a potential problem with the name.

They wisely took note of the fact that some crude individuals might well deface the game by replacing the initial P with the letter F.  That would have produced a PR Nightmare for Bally.  So, they proactively changed the name from Puck-Man to Pac-man.

For the Home of the Leader of the Pac Pack

Three Cute Ideas

Looking for something fun to jazz up the home or room of a fan of the classic 1980's game?

Here are three ideas for you:

  1. Limited Edition - in honor of the 35th anniversary of the game!
    See the time of day in 1980's retro pixel numbers, Pacman himself and the ghosts periodically drift across the time of day, creating continuous game style animation.
  2. Serve up drinks to your friends and family chilled with some very special ice cubes, in the shape of Pac Man and the ghosts.m  Lots of fun for hosting a party, too!
  3. USB powered ghost light that changes colors.  Can be set to cycle through the colors in response to music, or on its own.

No matter which you choose, we all know that a fan is a fan.  He or she will be thrilled with anything Pac-Man!

About Those Ghosts

They Became Know as Ghosts Due to a Software Limitation

Public Domain ImageThe four ghosts became widely referred to as ghosts due to a software limitation in the Atari 2600 game system.  In the Atari version, the images flickered.  This was not originally intended.  

But, Atari begin dubbing them ghosts in their instruction manuals to make it seem to be an intended effect.  So, they became known to the game playing public as a result of a defect.  And ghosts they've been ever since.

Image courtesy ClkerFreeVectorImages, via Pixabay


Speaking of the ghosts, if you are one of the few people on the planet who isn't personally acquainted with them, here's an introduction, including their colors, nicknames, and characteristics, as shown on the title screen:

BLINKY - red - Shadow

PINKY - pink - Speedy

INKY - cyan - Bashful

CLYDE - orange - Pokey

Own a Real Arcade Game

With Pac-man and Other Classic Games

Real afficionados will revel in having a real Pac-Man Arcade Cabinet in their game room.  Parties will come to life when guests enjoy these games with graphics, controls and Joy Stick just like the ones they remember. 

It's made by Namco, the originator of the game.  Like the real thing, it's coin operated, but it also has a free mode. 

The graphics look better than ever, too, Why?  Well this new version has an LCD display, of course!

There's nothing like the real thing, and your home game room will be like no other with the real thing in it.

A Real Winner


Pac-Man is widely regarded as one of the most popular and well known video arcade games ever.  In the world of gaming it was, and still is, a real winner.  

The yellow hero of the game enjoys a 94% recognition rate within the American public.  That's the highest for any video game character, ever.

Namco, the company that brought the game out, was clearly a winner, as was the company that employed him, for obvious reasons.  It holds the all time record for revenue production among video games.

Toru Iwatani (center), creator of PAC-MAN

Developer Toru Iwatani was the obvioius recipient of the admiration of other developers as well as gamers around the world. 

iwatari also won a very small role as  video technician in the 2015 movie "Pixels."  However, he was unable to win the role of himself.  That honor went to Denis Akiyama.



To win the game, a player is required to get to level 256 with no miss-steps whatsoever, and scoring  the maximum possible 3,333,360 points in the process.  

Only seven people have ever done this.  The first to do so was Billy Mitchell of Hollywood, Florida.  The fastest winning (just under 35 hours) was achieved by David Race.

Little Things That Count

Party Favors, Prizes, Stocking Stuffers, and Just Because Gifts

For those occasions that call for something special, yet small and simple, here are some ideas that will lighten your wallet by less than twenty dollars.

They are fun for party prizes, stocking stuffers, and saying "Thank You."  

And you know what?  There's nothing wrong with a 'just because' gift, either - especially when it's so affordable.

Updated: 01/11/2017, CruiseReady
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Have you ever played Pac-Man? Which of the Products on this page most appeals to you?

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DerdriuMarriner on 07/08/2017

CruiseReady, The arcade, the cubes and the cup are my favorites.

Tolovaj on 01/22/2016

I sure did, although Tetris was my favorite game. It's always great to see one of these old games, which remind us of great times. Pac-Man was definitely one of the top time killers!

blackspanielgallery on 11/01/2015

We would go to the arcade to play. After a certain time the underaged had a curfew, and the arcade sent them home. Then, we could get to a game. My first computer was an Arati 400 to play Pac Man. I prefer the original.

CruiseReady on 11/01/2015

I spent just a few dollars myself, but not as much as a lot of others. And yes, I agree about the coffee cup

CountrySunshine on 11/01/2015

I spent hundreds of dollars on Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Asteroids. It would be fun to have the "real thing" if I had a game room. I also like the coffee mug;it would be a great gift!

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