Saturday, December 30, 2017

Gaming Ads: GameTek

Founded in 1987, GameTek was based in Florida and, as I mentioned back in the CyberSoft ads post, was a subsidiary of I.J.E. GameTek published a variety of games but is perhaps best known for its titles based on television game shows, such as Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy!, The Price Is Right, and even Double Dare and American Gladiators. I also made a brief mention of GameTek in the Fisher-Price ads post as it distributed a line of Fisher-Price-branded software titles. In 1997 GameTek filed for bankruptcy and it closed in 1998.

GameTek albums: Facebook - Google Photos

Sunday, December 24, 2017

[YouTube] Star Wars Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments: The Original Trilogy

It's the holiday season and a new Star Wars movie is out so it's a great time for some Star Wars ornaments! I was planning this as a three-part series with videos that featured every ornament but after recording the first two I decided they were too boring. Instead I'm splitting this into a two part series with the original trilogy now and the prequel trilogy in two weeks. There will be short videos for both that only include the lights and/or sounds ornaments. All of the ornaments are from Hallmark's Keepsake series which typically have nice sculpts and the Star Wars ornaments are no exception. The series began in 1996 with the release of the Millennium Falcon and a pack of three miniatures (AT-AT, TIE Fighter, X-wing) while 1997 saw the release of Luke Skywalker, miniatures of C-3PO & R2-D2, Yoda, and Darth Vader. I've got a few from the first couple of years though most of my ornaments are from 1998 and 1999. Unfortunately, I do not have any Luke (outside of his head in the regular X-wing) or C-3PO who didn't receive a full size ornament until 2003.

Many of the ornaments make great display pieces as well since they'll often stand on their own. Boba Fett is the only one in this group that cannot stand which is why his photos are a little different than the others. Also, any ornament that plugs into a strand of Christmas lights has a wire coming out of it that, depending on where the wire is protruding from, may prevent it from sitting flat on a table. While scale may be difficult to determine in the photos, most are in the 3-5 inch range, though the Ewoks are miniatures which are much smaller than the others.

Millennium Falcon (1996)


The Falcon plugs into a strand of lights
to light up the cockpit, top hatch, and...

...the thrusters!

Yoda (1997)


Darth Vader (1997)


Darth Vader plugs into a strand of lights to light up the yellow
base and his lightsaber, though the saber isn't very bright. He
also speaks a few lines of movie dialog from his duel with
Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back.

Princess Leia (1998)


Boba Fett (1998)


Boba Fett has a fabric cape.

Ewoks (1998)


Star Wars Lunch Box (1998)




X-wing (1998)


The X-wing plugs into a strand of lights to light up the engine pods.

Han Solo (1999)

Chewbacca (1999)


Darth Vader's TIE Fighter (1999)



The TIE plugs into a strand of lights that light up the cockpit
and laser cannons.

Stormtrooper (2000)


Obi-Wan Kenobi (2000)


R2-D2 (2001)


R2-D2 is powered by two 1.5V button-cell batteries. He makes
his typical astromech droid beeping sounds.
Updating this well after the original post was made to add a link to the second part: The Prequel Trilogy

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Gaming Ads: GameStar

GameStar was founded by Scott Orr in 1982 and sold to Activision in 1986. It specialized in sports games, developing and publishing at least one tennis, boxing, baseball, football, basketball, hockey, golf, wrestling, and racing game. While GameStar might not be too well known today, Scott Orr is as he was contracted to re-design the first John Madden Football game for Sega Genesis. Of course, that game was a huge success and Electronic Arts hired him shortly after that where he worked on many EA Sports games before leaving the company in 2001.

GameStar albums: Facebook - Google Photos