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 time remaining to anyone standing behind you – but the cabinets stood out.

In 1985, following up on the success of Punch-Out!, Nintendo explored the next level of combat, a more intimate level of combat.

Nintendo Arm Wrestling

Arm Wrestling was basically Punch-Out!! with arm wrestling as the activity instead.  That’s not a bad thing.  The roster of opponents was unique and memorable, the graphics looked great, the voices were adorably bad, and the challenge was…well, challenging.

Arm Wrestling Ad

(Spoiler: Mask X is revealed to be Bald Bull)

Here’s some gameplay.  What a cool little title.

2.  Walt Disney World Commercial – Here’s a rather abstract commercial for Walt Disney World’s grand opening year in 1971.  Odd that it doesn’t really include much footage from the park itself but instead relies on your affinity for that handful of Disney characters to pull you in.  Maybe they wanted it to remain a mystery, or maybe they just didn’t have access to an unfinished park at the time the commercial was made.  Whatever the case, it’s a neat spot.

Also, here’s a promotional video from 1971 that I can’t really understand.  It has to be a background video for someone to stand in front of and narrate. That’s the only way this makes sense.  Regardless, it’s a cool look at the origins of the park and footage of some attractions that were short-lived, like The Mickey Mouse Revue:


3.  Energy Sources, A New Beginning – A 1978 documentary/propaganda video about Nuclear Power? Sign me up.

Help or Hazard?

(Spoiler: the film concludes that it is indeed a “help” and not a “hazard”)

This thing almost seems to go out of its way to prove that its from 1978. From the fonts to the sets to this guy :


That guy’s segment is probably my favorite – he’s obviously such a smart dude but either his cue card reading skills aren’t up to snuff or his memory isn’t.  Here’s the whole documentary (plaid-pants there is toward the end).


4.  Mouse Trap – This 1960s Mouse Trap commercial suggests a mellow sort of wacky family fun…

…while this ’90s version of the same commercial ditches the family, borrows from the Cat in the Hat, and goes for the heavily animated Razz-ma-tazz:

The second one freaks me out a bit – a cat arrives at your house, trying to sell you a game that’s centered around killing its natural enemy and then pats you on the back when you do so? There’s one thing both commercials have in common, and that’s that they both try to pass the board game part off as playable instead of something you would pass over in order to build a fun Rube-Goldberg device and immediately activate it.


5.  Argus Ad – I don’t know what cameras cost in 1962, but this seems like a pretty good deal.  If I bought things based on how much the design of the ad inspired me, this thing would already be in my house. From the 1962 Montgomery Ward catalog: