Friday, May 22, 2020

Happy 40th Birthday Pac-Man

Pac-Man, arguably the most iconic video game character of all time, turns 40 today. Nintendo's Mario has likely supplanted Pac-Man as the most well-known game character, especially for the younger generation, but Pac-Man was huge in the early '80s and his impact on video games and pop culture should not be understated. Namco's (now Bandai Namco) yellow ghost chomper helped the arcade scene thrive and was plastered on numerous products, from lunch boxes and board games to apparel and cereal. The character also appeared in a Saturday morning cartoon in 1982 and had a hit song from Buckner & Garcia titled "Pac-Man Fever."

Pac-Man Plus arcade marqee.

Next Generation - Oct. 98
Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to put together a comprehensive blog post here so it's more of a compilation of some previous postings and photos/scans of a few items I own like the marquee above. With the blog being largely centered around video game ads there is, of course, a Namco ads post which has some Pac-Man ads with the rest at Facebook but I'll put all Pac-Man related ads below. I also scanned all the Namco newsletters in 2018 that always feature images of the character and a ghost. To the right is part of an article about game characters from the October 1998 issue of Next Generation magazine. It features an interview with Toru Iwatani, the creator of Puck Man which was Pac-Man's original name in Japan. This is the second page of the article to appear on the blog (first was for Crash Bandicoot) and one of these days I'll scan the whole thing and put it in one post.

Pac-Man Board and Handheld Pinball Games
The board game was released in 1982 by Milton Bradley and I do realize I've got the ghost's eye stickers on all wrong. I don't see a year on the pinball game from Diamond Toymakers.

The stickers from Fleer are similar to trading cards and packs included "Rub-Off Game" cards too. I'm scanning them inside of the plastic pages I keep them in to save time. I know that's not the best way to see them but I just don't have time to scan and edit each one individually. Also, a few are Ms. Pac-Man cards and I'm leaving a few regular stickers in the pages. The Pac-Man eating a ghost stickers are most likely unofficial. All the scratch 'n' sniff stickers (they still smell great!) are stuck inside an album which is why those have a blue background that says "Stellar Stinkies."

Video Game Ads
There are a lot of Tengen ads with a photo of a Pac-Man game box but I'm only going to include the ads that either have text about the game or where Pac-Man is a key part of the ad.

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