June 26, 2013, 6:00 AM —
Image credit: Todd Fischer
30 years ago this month, the classic hacker movie WarGames came out, and young nerds across the land ogled the setup Matthew Broderick’s character David Lightman had in his bedroom. No, we’re not (only) talking about Ally Sheedy, who liked to hang out there. We speak, of course, about the fine looking computer hardware he used to almost start a global thermonuclear war and if you ever dreamed about owning it all, you now can, for the right price.
As I wrote last week, Lightman’s room featured an IMSAI 8080 microcomputer, with an IMSAI FDC-2 dual 8-inch floppy drive, an IMSAI IKB-1 intelligent keyboard and an IMSAI (in actuality a Cermetek) 212A modem. In the process of researching that slideshow, I contacted the man who supplied the hardware for the movie and who still owns most of it. His name is Todd Fischer and he wrote a very detailed background on the history of his involvement providing the movie’s makers with all that cool hardware.
Turns out that Fischer still has the 8080, the keyboard and the modem, and they’re all still in working condition (the dual floppy drive was damaged in shipping after use in the movie and was discarded). He’s now looking to sell the famous props as a set. He hasn’t currently decided how he’ll handle the sale, though he’s leaning towards an auction house. However, he will also consider any offers now that someone might want to make.
“The package will include all provenance, hardware, and promotional items including posters and lobby cards that I received from MGM at the time,” Fischer told me.
Two years ago, the props were set to be auctioned by Christie’s in London (at which time they were valued at over $25,000). But that sale never happened due to Fischer’s concerns about the safety of the props once they made it across the pond, and they remain in his possession.
Fischer thinks that whomever eventually gets the set will own more than just one of the most famous computer movie props; he or she will also be getting a piece of technology that represented the beginning of something much bigger.
“I honestly believe that the 'WarGames IMSAI' is a singular icon of the early days of the personal computer that motivated many thousands, if not tens of thousands of impressionable and talented youth to take up the mantle that digital technology in the hands of the masses could offer,” Fischer said.
If you’re interested in making an offer for the set, you can contact Fischer at email@example.com.
If you buy it, who knows? Even Ally Sheedy might be impressed.
Read more of Phil Johnson's #Tech blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Phil on Twitter at @itwphiljohnson. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.