1984 Activision Catalog Excerpt Featuring Designer’s Pencil And Ghostbusters!

Thanks to our friends over at Atari Age for uploading a 1984 catalog from Activision that I have never had the pleasure of seeing before. These two ‘pages’ of the catalog certainly show us a different style of artwork and advertising than had previously been seen by the company during that time.

I hadn’t heard of Designer’s Pencil but noticed from the catalog that it was programmed by the legendary Garry Kitchen (Keystone Kapers, Pressure Cooker), this was apparently an early bit of creativity software designed as an easy to use programming interface. This title led to the creation of Garry Kitchen’s Gamemaker the following year.

Thanks to Kitt Fallapart’s YouTube Channel we can see the Commodore 64 version of the Designer’s Pencil. That first bit of music by the way is from the classic Atari 2600 title, Pressure Cooker.


Editor at Retroist
Searching through the alleys for useful knowledge in the city of Nostalgia. Huge cinema fanatic and sometimes carrier of the flame for the weirding ways of 80s gaming, toys, and television. When his wife lets him he is quite happy sitting in the corner eating buckets of beef jerky.

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6 thoughts on “1984 Activision Catalog Excerpt Featuring Designer’s Pencil And Ghostbusters!

  1. vinvectrex says:

    I love these old catalogues. I have most of the Atari 2600 ones, and for some reason, the artwork is kind of similar to the Activision one posted here. Must have been the style of the time.

  2. Jonny says:

    Ah, when Activision was a kind and goodhearted company that cared about the fans, not the soulless monolith that churns out substandard sequels and poor movie tie-ins.

  3. I actually own Designer’s Pencil on cartridge for the Commodore 64. Garry Kitchen was and still is an amazing person. I love the 2600 game Keystone Kapers. Not sure if it was ever released for the C64, but if so, I need to track it down.

  4. @Vinvectrex I think you are quite right, friend. It was just the style at the time.

    @Commodore Computer Club I don’t Keystone Kapers was released to the C-64 either. It should have been though.

  5. pac^man says:

    Today I received a huge package of Atari hardware and software. One of the cartridges inside was Designer’s Pencil and it also contained the catalogue featured here. It’s in fantastic shape and really looks great. I’d like to frame it, but then… only one side can be seen.

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