Five Things – 01.23.17 – Hit The Play Button And Go Blow Up Some Spaceships

Pioneer LaserActive Infomercial In 1993 Pioneer released a sort of megadevice that combined CDs, Laserdiscs, video games, and  interactive karaoke CDs.  Called “LaserActive”, it retailed for just under $1000 and in a result that shocked nobody, was largely unsuccessful. This 1993 “issue” of Zoom, the “Video Magazine” (what?) features the ins-and-outs of the LaserActive.  It’s a…

Five Things – 09.26.16 – Find The Future And Touch Tomorrow

1984 EPCOT Video Brochure It’s been a minute since I scratched the EPCOT itch here, but this video brochure from 1984 certainly makes up for lost time. The focus of this extended commercial, as usual, skews more toward the World Showcase than it does on Future World, a strategy that always baffled me.  Were/are people really…

Five Things – 05.30.16 – And The Wind Would Carry Your Light To The Skies

Kid’s Court Court shows are the connective tissue of the daytime TV schedule.  They seem to be necessary components for local TV stations to function. They’re everywhere and have been everywhere for decades.  Perhaps I have rose-colored nostalgia glasses on (I have several pairs), but I feel like the court shows of the 1980s were a little more…

Five Things – 7.20.15 – Newies But Gooeys

1. Betamax Salesman Training Video – You might look at something titled “Betamax Salesman Training Video” and think, snoozefest.  You might be right! But not this time. There’s a lot to love about this video – the fashion and set design of the era, the trumped-up abilities of the video tape recorder and, most of…

Five Things – 2.16.15

1.  Space Shuttle: A Journey Into Space – This 1983 Atari 2600 and 5200 title is pretty serious business.  It’s a flight-sim program for the Space Shuttle that might be the deepest title released for these Atari systems. Space Shuttle: A Journey into Space tasked players with piloting the shuttle to a satellite, docking, and…

Five Things – 12.15.14

1.  The Hilarious House of Frightenstein – Canadian kid’s television is its own sort of weird, beautiful monster.   There’s not really a better example of that fact than The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, a 1971 sketch comedy show that incorporated familiar horror and pop culture elements to make something that was truly unique. The show was…