Jan 1, 2013

ARCO SPACEWAR PLAY KID


A set of Star Wars knock-off figures was released in 1978 as a part of Arco Industries' Play Kid line of toys (which were similar in the size and look of Playmobile toys). This subset was called Spacewar (sometimes referred to as Space War), which was made up of C-3PO, Chewbacca, Darth Vader, R2-D2, a stormtrooper, and a generic space guy with a lightsaber that we'll go ahead and call Luke Skywalker. Here's a loose C-3PO figure.

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On the toy's back is an Arco logo and "MADE IN CHINA".

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This figure has more points of articulation than the Kenner C-3PO figure, as demonstrated in the photo below.

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Personally, one thing I've always liked about the vintage Star Wars line was the lack of articulation; all I want is my toy to stand, sit, and be able to hold a weapon in front of them. I do like wacky action features (such as the creative ones found in the Masters of the Universe line), but I feel that a million points of articulation usually just gets in the way.

What this Arco toy does have in common with the Kenner figure is pegs on the bottom of its feet...

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...and a resemblance to Threepio, of course.

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The Spacewar toys were individually packed on a card with a painting of the particular figure in an action/ walking pose towards the top left. The figure itself and its many accessories (which vary for each figure, but includes things like a lightsaber, a mechanical arm, and a TV camera) are placed on top of a colored square that overlaps a star field.

It says on toymania.com that there's at least two different versions of the card that each figure came on (though I can't find examples of each card anywhere), the distinction being the corners. The bottom left displays either an Arco logo or a rectangle with a Woolco logo in it. The top corners on the Arco card are cut fancy to match the design that's printed on the card, whereas the Woolco card's top corners are practically 90 degree angles.

Although it actually doesn't use the Spacewar logo, the "Play Kid Moon Walker" looks right at home with the other toys in the series, and even comes with "Luke" and the landspeeder-like "Jet Rover".

While looking at ebay awhile ago I saw a role-playing gun toy with the Spacewar logo on the card. That was one of those moments where I was thinking, "Aw, man, I didn't think I'd ever be able to collect all the figures, but there's guns, too?!?" That's just how collecting goes, I guess.

Dec 1, 2012

INTELLIVISION SPACE SPARTANS VIDEO GAME

When it comes to Star Wars knock-offs on the Intellivision home video game console, Star Strike takes the cake (I wanna do a post on that someday), but there's another game that delves into that galaxy far, far away... and it talks!

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It's Space Spartans, which features an X-wing-like ship on the front of the box.

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The package opens up book-style, allowing us to see the game itself and the overlays that fit onto the controller. Man, those overlays... I'm sure glad Nintendo never did anything like that.

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Taking a look at the booklet, we see a swarm of TIE fighters.

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You can see the 1982 date in the shot below, too.

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Though I'm lucky enough to own an Intellivision console and this game, I still can't play it, not until I get an Intellivoice Voice Synthesis Module. It's this thing that you'd put into the Intellivision and it'd create creepy robotic-y sounding speech, something that every kid wants in their game, right? Well, apparently not, 'cause only five games worked with the Intellivoice!

Nov 1, 2012

AQUARIUS HOME COMPUTER SYSTEM


It was like no other Friday night. How so, you ask? Well, I got to meet Marky Ramone backstage before a performance by his band Marky Ramone's Blitzkrieg! Shaking Marky's hand is a moment I'll never forget, and the concert was incredible. Most of what they played were Ramones songs; really energetic and catchy stuff! It was a hard act to follow, but garage sales were up for the challenge on Saturday morning. Here's what I got!

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The Aquarius Home Computer System. When I first saw this I considered buying it just because the box mentioned that games could be played on it, and I'm always on the hunt for video games, new or retro.

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Then things got more interesting when I saw this illustration on the top of the box...

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The ship on the left looks like an X-wing! That craft on the right looks like a Star Trek ship, I believe it's called the USS Reliant.

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Inside the box you'll find the computer itself, of course...

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...and all of this stuff, too.

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Inside one of the booklets are instructions for playing each game. The last sentence of Alien Quest's description is, "May the force be with you"!

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As the sticker on the front of the box said, all six games are on one cassette. Yes, that's right, not a cartridge or a disc but a cassette tape.

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That kinda hints at how far back this is from. 1983, to be precise, by Radofin Electronics (Far East) Limited.

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This collectible may not be as loud or exciting as seeing one of the Ramones, but it's still pretty rocking.