Thursday, April 7, 2011

Saturday Supercade

At the beginning of the video game craze CBS ran video game themed cartoons on Saturdays. Donkey Kong, Donkey Kong Jr., Pitfall, Q-Bert, Frogger, Kangaroo and Pac-Man. I remember looking forward to this on Saturdays, I think it ran from 1982 - 1984. My brothers and I would sit in front of the television, each with a bowl of Trix and taking in the one hour long commercial from Atari and Coleco. It may have been over commercialization, but they were fun shows!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Nuclear Holocaust movies: The Day After and Threads

I don't remember ever worrying about a nuclear holocaust as a kid, until I saw the Day after and Threads! Originally made for television, The Day After still holds up pretty well today. The depiction of radiation sickness is what really bothered me as a kid. I remember when we would have civil service drills in grade school and I remember taking them a bit more serious after seeing The Day After. I also remember having a lot of nightmares about sirens going off and then seeing a bright mushroom cloud in the distance. I suppose a lot of kids my age had similar nightmares.
I watched Threads a few months later and found it to be much more disturbing. It's a British film depicting what a nuclear exchange would be like and how much the world would change after. It quite a bit more graphic and I remember a disclaimer was run just before the film started.

If you haven't seen either of them it's a good glimpse into some of the paranoia (much of it warranted) of the time.

Eagle Force

I remember seeing this commercial on T.V. and getting excited by this new line of G.I. Joe alternative toys. I loved the fact that they were metal and heavy for their size. Unfortunately the scale of the figures made them difficult to mix with other figures and stepping on one barefoot in the middle of the night could cause considerable injury (Man were their feet sharp!) I remember buying General Mamba, Shock Trooper and Captain Eagle with my lawn mowing money. They got some play for a while but soon ended up at the bottom of the toy box. I still have the figures minus their weapons. This would be Mego's last hurrah because the company folded the same year Eagle Force was released. Here's more information on the Mego Museum website.

Saturday, January 29, 2011


There was no cartoon that influenced me more as a kid than Robotech, The Macross Saga in particular. I originally discoverd Robotech through Revell models. They had an amazing line of model robots called Robotech Defenders, that used up a lot of my holiday and allowance money. Now the Revell models actually weren't related to the T.V. series, most of the mecha were based on an anime called Dougram. DC Comics would later release a 2 comic mini-series based on the models. The story left much to be desired but it was fun seeing my favorite mecha in action.

A year later I discovered that there was a television series called Robotech. Harmony Gold owned the U.S. rights to Robotech, and basically they took 3 unrelated Japanese series and put them tied them together as one series. Macross, Robotech Masters (Southern Cross), and Robotech The Next Generation (Mospeda). There were rumors that HG was going to try to add Dougram, Megazone 23 and Orguss to the series but that never came into fruition.

I tried to find any local stations that carried the show but didn't find any. Then in 1985 I moved from North Dakota to De Kalb, IL and I became friends with a guy in class who had all of the episodes on video (beta max even). I remember spending the night at his place staying up through the night and the next morning watching Robotech. Later that year, Palladium Books released Robotech the RPG, and Fasa would release a wargame called Battletech, by then there was no turning back for me.

If you get the chance, Youtube has an official Robotech Channel where you can watch every episode of the series. It holds up very well even for today!