Archive for July, 2006

Retro Scan Special Edition: Atari Force #1 In-Depth Extravaganza!

Monday, July 31st, 2006
Atari Force

WANTED: People of ethnicity to fill out pandering, tangentially video-game-related comic book “superhero” team. Must be comfortable wearing skin-tight crotch-grabbing uniforms and fixing ridiculously unrealistic spaceships. Extremely perky breasts and indelible toothy smiles a big plus.

Today we’ll be looking at Atari Force #1, which is a mini comic book (5″x7″) that came as a free pack-in with the game Defender for the Atari 2600 in 1982. Much more after the jump!

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Retro Scan of the Week: “Student’s Guide to Computer Language”

Monday, July 24th, 2006
Student's Guide to Computer Language

Here we have a handy BASIC-slanted guide to computer terminology (circa 1983) from an “educational” comic book titled Electronics, compliments of Tandy-Radio Shack (the “TRS” in “TRS-80”). Considering the source of this publication, I have a strange feeling that the definition for “Information Retrieval System” might be a little suspect…

If you use this image on your site, please support “Retro Scan of the Week” by giving us obvious credit for the original scan and entry. Thanks.

This Week’s Game Ads A-Go-Go: “A Serious, Frank Discussion on Overcomplicated Ads”

Thursday, July 20th, 2006
Crazy Complicated Mommas on Motorcycles

The world’s most obscene gaming column is back, but this time with a deadly serious discussion about overcomplicated, over-flashy, headache-inducing game ads.

Check out the latest Game Ads A-Go-Go column here.

Retro Scan of the Week: Freaky Caterpillar Ships, 12 O’Clock!

Monday, July 17th, 2006
Galaxian 2600

Sure, you’ve probably seen this picture before — it’s the cover of the Atari 2600 version of Galaxian.

But look again. Have you really seen this picture? Have you ever stopped and thought about what’s actually going on here?

No, I’m not going to tell you, because I have no idea either. But the commenter with the best description wins a free chocolate donut.

If you use this image in a blog post, please support “Retro Scan of the Week” by giving us obvious credit for the original scan and entry. Thanks.

The Land of 10,000 Plastic Marios

Wednesday, July 12th, 2006

Land of 10,000 MariosIt’s official: Brett Martin has a metric buttload of video game memorabilia. By Mr. Martin’s own estimation, his collection clocks in at about ten to fifteen thousand individual pieces. But not all of those trinkets of molded plastic, cast metal, and fluffed polyester are depictions of Nintendo’s famous Italian plumber. His gaming nicknack collection actually spans a diverse range of characters from different franchises, companies, and eras.

That's-a-lotta Marios!Martin is married to a loving wife that is tolerant of his collection. But in the process of settling down and moving on to a new phase of his life, he recently realized that some things have to go. So Brett set up a new website to help him thin out his massive collection, while also sharing it with the world. The site, called the “Video Game Memorabilia Museum,” is a virtual museum of Martin’s pieces, which he is always updating with new photos and entries when he gets the chance.

VGMM LogoThe main gallery area of the VGMM site is divided into sections dedicated to specific video game franchises like Zelda, Sonic the Hedgehog, Kirby, Mega Man, and Crash Bandicoot. Each main franchise section has sub-categories based on characters from within the franchise. Within those are further sub-categories based on the type of item (keychains, plushies, figures, and pins usually among them). Further probing reveals individual items from his collection, complete with pictures. He also has a section with a number of items for sale, as well as a community forum. It’s a lot of fun looking through all the stuff he has up there — I definitely recommend taking a stroll through the museum at least once yourself.

Brett recently sent me a new batch of photos his collection, which are splashed throughout this article, and agreed to an email interview, which is reproduced below.

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Retro Scan of the Week: The Apple IIe: Part of this Complete Breakfast

Monday, July 10th, 2006
John Kerry and the Apple IIe Breakfast

Every Sunday morning, it’s a family tradition in Senator John Kerry’s household to have breakfast in bed with the kids…and his Apple IIe computer system. After a few heated rounds of Karateka over who will get the last piece of bacon, it’s back work for Mr. Kerry — plotting his next political victory without ever having to put on slippers.

Seriously; I thought I was the only one who set up heavy computer equipment on unsturdy, impermanent places like couches and beds. After all, nothing screams out “computer desk” like an imitation goose down comforter.

[Scanned from from a 1982 Apple IIe Sales Brochure]

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VC&G’s NES DVD Player eBay Auction Ends

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

NES DVD Player on eBayWell, the auction ended last night, and “bunikmonkey” is the winner. The final price? $282.73 (US). Not bad at all! This will definitely help take care of the kittens. I’d like to thank everyone who bid in the auction, and everyone who helped spread the word.

Before you start thinking “Wow, that’s a great price! I should go into business selling NES DVD players,” remember this: eBay is a strange market that sells to the highest bidder. Usually only a couple people on earth are willing to pay eBay prices for high profile items. I believe much of my NES DVD player’s value is seated in the fact that it’s a one-of-a-kind item. Once you start churning them out, the value per unit goes waay down. And I’m not going to make any more.

Anyway, I hope you don’t mind, but I might post an entry about some more VC&G-related items for sale soon. I won’t litter the blog with eBay crap, of course, but I might just do one more post to announce another round of VC&G fundraising / housecleaning in the future.

Thanks again, everybody, for your help.

This Week’s Game Ads A-Go-Go: “Deeply Disturbing Game-Related Ads”

Thursday, July 6th, 2006

“This week I have collected for you three ads that I personally find disturbing for various different reasons. That doesn’t mean that you’ll find them disturbing, but hopefully you can at least laugh at the nervous paranoia and general mental instability that is manifested in my reaction to certain game magazine ads.”

Check out the latest Game Ads A-Go-Go column here.

Retro Scan of the Week: “The Atari Club. Awesome!”

Monday, July 3rd, 2006
Atariclub Form

This form/envelope combo was included in numerous Atari 2600 game boxes in the early 1980s. If you sent Atari one whole dollar, you’d supposedly get a year’s subscription to “AtariAge” magazine, as well as “club benefits and privileges available nowhere else.” Sounds like a great deal to me (you pay them $1, and they get permission to send you pure marketing propaganda!). But seriously, if I could subscribe to this today, I definitely would. Then again, one 1982 dollar is roughly equivalent to, say, twenty 2006 dollars.

…Ok, so I exaggerated a bit on the inflation thing.

Did anybody out there ever send this form in and become a member? Free free to share your memories and let us know how you exercised your Exclusive Atari Privileges. Bonus points for flashing your membership card!

If you use this image in a blog post, please support “Retro Scan of the Week” by giving us obvious credit for the original scan and entry. Thanks.