Pixelart Collectibles: Exploring Gaming Memorabilia

Pixel art collectibles refer to gaming memorabilia and artwork that utilizes a pixelated or low-resolution digital aesthetic. This style emerged in the early days of video games due to technical limitations, when graphics were restricted to blocky pixels. However, pixel art has persisted over time and become an iconic retro gaming visual style.

Pixel art collectibles encompass a wide range of merchandise featuring pixelated game art and characters, from posters and figurines to jewelry and apparel. These items allow gamers to celebrate and showcase their passion for classic video games and indie games that embrace the pixel art aesthetic. Pixel art collectibles resonate with gaming fans due to nostalgia for early gaming eras. The simplicity and charm of pixel art also appeals to gamers who appreciate the creativity and expression possible within the distinct limitations of low-resolution graphics.

As retro gaming culture continues to thrive and pixel art remains prevalent among indie developers, pixel art collectibles have surged in popularity. Gamers eagerly collect and display these gaming artifacts that pay homage to seminal titles and exemplify the engaging creativity possible in pixel art game design.


The origins of pixel art can be traced back to the 1970s and 1980s when early video game consoles had very limited graphical capabilities. Early home consoles like the Atari 2600 could only display blocky, low-resolution sprites and tiles (Castle Crashers Pixel Art: Unraveling the Beauty of a Timeless Masterpiece, 2023). Game developers were forced to work within these constraints and pixel art was born out of necessity.

As games evolved from the 8-bit to 16-bit era, pixel art became more sophisticated. Artists learned to creatively use color palettes and pixelation to convey imagery, emotion and movement. Despite improving technology, pixel art remained the dominant art style in video games through the 90s and into the early 2000s with hit games like Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Sonic the Hedgehog defining generations.

Even as technology improved to allow more lifelike 3D graphics, pixel art never went away. It enjoyed a resurgence in the indie game scene in the late 2000s. The intentional use of a retro pixel art style struck a chord with gamers nostalgic for their childhood games. This helped pixel art transition from a technical limitation to an artistic choice. It is now celebrated as an art form in its own right rather than just a relic of gaming’s past.

Notable Games

Pixel art has been prominent in video games since the beginning, with early consoles like the Atari 2600 featuring simple yet iconic pixelated graphics due to technological limitations at the time. Some of the most well-known examples of classic games celebrated for their pixel art style include:

The Super Mario series became a sensation largely thanks to the imaginative pixel art of characters like Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Bowser. Games like Super Mario Bros. on the NES helped define what pixel art could achieve within the constraints of early gaming hardware. Mario’s cheerful sprite animations as he runs and jumps through the Mushroom Kingdom remain etched in gaming history.

Similarly, The Legend of Zelda established itself as a venerable Nintendo franchise through the excellent pixel art direction of its early games like A Link to the Past. The vivid colors and expressive character designs created an immersive fantasy world for players to explore.[1]

Capcom’s Mega Man series stood out with its tight, responsive gameplay and memorable pixel art style. Mega Man himself had a defined silhouette and color palette that made him instantly recognizable on screen. The series became known for its creative character, enemy, and environment designs constructed out of pixels.

Other influential examples include side-scrolling action games like Contra and adventure RPGs like Chrono Trigger on the SNES. Their pixel art set the standard for conveying scale, motion, and personality within the limits of modest resolutions and color palettes. The craftsmanship demonstrated in these classic pixel art games established stylistic principles that still influence indie developers today.


Some of the most legendary pixel artists have helped define and evolve the artform of pixel art. Artists like Paul Robertson brought pixel art into the modern era with vibrant, dynamic works full of motion and character. Derek Yu’s work on games like Spelunky and Aquaria demonstrates the ability of pixel art to convey emotion and tell compelling stories.

notable pixel artists

The pixel artist community on Twitter has also helped showcase incredible talents. As noted by Matej ‘Retro’ Jan here, many pixel artists like Mark Ferrari have transitioned their skills into related mediums like voxel art while retaining signature styles. Fans discuss and share favorites across social media, like this Twitter thread appreciating C64 and ZX Spectrum artists started by Judge Drokk.

These pixel masters demonstrate the craft involved in utilizing limited color palettes and perfectly-placed pixels to produce nostalgic yet forward-looking game art.


Pixel art collectibles have become quite popular for video game fans and collectors. There is a wide range of different types of pixel art collectibles available, including figures, posters, jewelry, acrylic charms, plush toys, and more.

Some of the most popular pixel art collectible figures come from franchises like Pokemon and retro video games like Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, and more. Companies like First 4 Figures produce highly detailed PVC statues. There are also smaller pixel art figures produced by companies like FunKo Pop and KidRobot.

Posters featuring pixel art from classic games are available from sites like Etsy and Redbubble. These make great decorative pieces for game rooms. Pixel art jewelry like necklaces, bracelets, and earrings are also sold by independent artists online.

The rarity and pricing of pixel art collectibles can vary greatly. Limited edition collectible figures numbered under 1,000 units tend to be the most valuable. Small production runs combined with high demand from collectors drives up aftermarket prices. More common pixel art figures and posters usually range from $10 to $40 USD.

Some of the best places to buy pixel art collectibles are online marketplaces like Itch.io, Etsy, and eBay. Dedicated toy and collectible sites like Entertainment Earth and Big Bad Toy Store also carry selections of pixel art figures and merch.

Displaying Pixel Art Memorabilia

Pixel art collectors have various creative ways to proudly showcase their collections in their homes. Display cases and shelves specifically designed for collectibles allow fans to highlight their rarest or most cherished pieces. Collectors must consider factors like lighting and dust when choosing display methods to prevent damage over time.

Display cases come in many sizes and can be customized with adjustable shelves, LED lighting, and more. They protect fragile pixel art from dust while allowing fans to appreciate the details up close. Miniature pixel art like keychains or figures can be arranged on small shelves, while larger classic game cartridges and boxes may need their own individual clear casing.

Some collectors opt for open shelving to enable easy access, but items must be dusted regularly. Framed pixel art prints or original concept art can be hung on walls like conventional art pieces. Groups of matching frames create an eye-catching gallery display. Wall mounts provide floating shelves to neatly line up collectibles.

No matter the display method, proper lighting is key. Bright overhead or natural lighting allows the vivid colors of pixel art to shine, but direct sunlight can damage items over time. Gentle lamp lighting placed above or inside enclosed displays illuminates without glare. Pixel art collections are creatively exhibited with care to preserve these nostalgic works of art.


Pixel art fans have a number of conventions and events dedicated to buying, selling, and appreciating pixel art. Some of the most notable pixel art conventions include Pixilart Current Events, which hosts special contests and updates for the pixel art community, and Signals and Pixels Art & Tech Meetup, which brings together pixel artists and technologists.

These types of events give fans a chance to connect in person over their shared love of pixel art. Artists can buy and sell pixel art prints and merchandise. Attendees can participate in workshops to hone their skills or enter contests to show off their work. Exhibitions showcase some of the best pixel art from top creators. The social atmosphere and in-person activities make pixel art conventions an exciting part of the community.

As pixel art continues to grow in popularity, more conventions and gatherings are likely to emerge around the world. These events will provide memorable experiences where pixel art aficionados can celebrate video game history and pixelated artwork in all its forms.

Digital Art

Pixel art has found a new home in the digital age with the rise of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). NFTs allow digital artwork to be sold and traded on blockchain networks like Ethereum. This has enabled a new era for pixel artists to monetize and showcase their work.

There are now several NFT collections focused exclusively on pixel art such as Crypto Dumplings and GoneRat Punks. These collections feature hundreds of individual pixel art NFTs created by various artists. The art is then sold on NFT marketplaces where collectors can purchase the exclusive rights.

Beyond NFT art collecting, pixel art continues to have a strong presence in animations, digital frames, and other digital mediums. The constrained nature of pixel art meshes well with digital environments, allowing it to flourish across many applications.


With the rise of high definition gaming, there has been an increased focus on preserving classic pixel art from retro video games. Pixel art was the dominant art style in games from the 80s through the early 2000s due to hardware limitations. The low resolution of early gaming systems forced artists to create detailed worlds and characters with very few pixels. However, when these classic games are ported to modern systems or emulated, the sharp pixel edges can become blurry as images are scaled up. This hurts the nostalgic retro appeal of the original pixel art style.

To properly preserve pixel art, the original pixel dimensions need to be maintained. Methods like nearest neighbor scaling and pixel art upscaling algorithms help keep pixels crisp when increasing resolution. Artists may also touch up the graphics manually to sharpen key details. Another technique is to render the game at the native resolution and add simulated CRT monitor effects to mimic an old school cathode ray tube display. Some emulators even allow adjusting the size of pixels to find the optimal balance between smoothing and sharpness when upscaling.[1]

Overall, care needs to be taken to avoid losing the nuanced pixel perfection of classic gaming art. As games continue to be rereleased and repackaged, developing thoughtful pixel preservation strategies helps maintain their retro pixel charm.

[1] https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4331753


Where pixel art collectibles may go from here. Remaining appealing and relevant.

As technology continues to advance, some may wonder if pixel art collectibles will remain appealing and relevant. However, many experts believe pixel art has a bright future ahead. According to an article on Medium, “As the Pixel Art movement gains momentum, artists and collectors must embrace this trend with an eye on the future. Pixel Art’s viral trend is indicative of a meaningful shift in the art world” (Source).

Part of pixel art’s enduring appeal is its distinct retro aesthetic. As noted on Reddit, “Pixel art, at least for the foreseeable future, will remain popular. I actually believe the main reason for this is that you have a lot of people who grew up with pixel art in video games that are now adults with disposable income” (Source). This nostalgia factor will likely continue driving interest even as graphics technologies progress.

Additionally, the constraints of pixel art can inspire creativity. Artists are able to do inventive work while adhering to the defined limitations of the medium. This sparks new innovations that keep pixel art feeling fresh and exciting. As long as talented artists keep pushing boundaries with the art form, pixel art collectibles will remain relevant for collectors and fans.