Five Things – 1.30.17 – I Guess You’d Look Like A Garden

Isaac Asimov’s Robots VHS Mystery Game This 1986 VHS game envisioned a murder mystery set in the universe of Isaac Asimov’s Robot books.  Loosely based on the book Caves of Steel, it’s an ambitious effort and carries a high production value – particularly for the mid-1980s, when so many were getting away with so much less….

Five Things – 08.22.16 – Hasta Luigi, Baby

Nintendo 1993 Holiday Demonstration Tutorial This is the Poochie of corporate training videos. Sent to game retailers before the 1993 holiday season, this demo employs a Bill S. Preston/Jeff Spicoli/Zack Morris hybrid being to take employees through the steps of acting properly as a Nintendo representative.  It tries so hard (and fails) to be cool…

Five Things – 07.25.16 – World’s Tiniest Engineers

Ghostbusters No, not that one. In 1975 Filmation had a live-action series about a couple of guys and a gorilla who hunted ghosts.  It was about as different from the 1984 movie that would come as you could imagine; it was aimed directly at children and focused on slapstick rather than actual paranormal enthusiasm for…

Five Things – 05.16.16 – Less Than You Think, Jack

Prodigy Commercials The internet was introduced to my house in 1990 through Prodigy, an early online service that touted all of the features of online living we take for granted today in a crude, difficult-to-use format that was still the best experience of the era. Prodigy came to us bundled with a 2600k modem and…

Five Things – 05.02.16 – Much As They Actually Exist In Space

Whatever Turns You On Did you know that You Can’t Do That On Television had a spinoff? Whatever Turns You On was an early attempt to take what was clearly resonating with kids and prime-time it up a bit. This was in 1979, before the show had appeared on Nickelodeon and become a hit in the U.S….

Five Things – 08.03.15 – Chili Can Be Served With Cheese

1.  Disneyland Haunted Mansion Special – In typical Disney fashion, here’s a special produced to celebrate the 1970 debut of the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland.  This one’s a little more sedate than some of the other specials I’ve featured in Five Things; it seems a little more natural than the overblown specials of the…

Five Things – 07.27.15 – Gourmet Video, For People Who Know And Love Video

1.  Magnavox Magnavision Demo Video – In 1981, Leonard Nimoy held a secret meeting with an alien emissary that appeared in his apartment and translated specific instructions on how to operate a Magnavox Magnavision Laserdisc player.  Thankfully, this meeting was recorded and is now available for everyone on YouTube. Nimoy’s never looked better than this,…

Five Things – 02.23.15 – In Order to “Do” Electricity

1.  Nintendo Arm Wrestling – Nintendo had a unique arcade cabinet set-up in the 1980s.  Their Punch-Out!! and Super Punch-Out!! cabinets had two screens, a prelude to their later success in the handheld business.  It’s debatable whether both screens were necessary – the top screen served little purpose but to show your player’s stats or play…