Saturday, April 24, 2021

Year 5: April Update

Star Wars and LEGO are possibly the two most common topics in these monthly updates and this post is no different. Shortly after I wrote last month's update Warner Bros. announced that the upcoming LEGO Star Wars game has been delayed and currently has no new date. This week LEGO unveiled a 2,314-piece R2-D2 build that will debut on May 1st at a price of $199.99. Of course, it launches just ahead of Star Wars day on May 4th and this year also marks the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm. I am working on a few things to post that day too. The plan is at least one toy video and one toy photo blog post. In other LEGO and video game news, Nintendo's Luigi is getting his own LEGO starter course on August 1st.

Have you heard of the Evercade? It is a handheld system that released in the U.K. a year ago but it is sold on in the U.S. as well. All the games have PEGI ratings rather than ESRB and most are retro titles packaged on compilation cartridges. Now the manufacturer, Blaze Entertainment, has revealed a console version called Evercade VS that will retail for £89.99 (about $125). If Blaze is willing to try this then either the handheld version is doing well or the company is looking for new ways to succeed.

I don't talk too much about indie games here as I don't play a lot of them. However, I certainly read about them as I plug them into the database I work on during my day job and I do like to promote games for kids so now I will. This past week I came across Little Mouse's Encyclopedia that is available on PC, Mac, Xbox One, Switch, iOS, and Android. This is the second game by Circus Atos, the first was a hidden-object game titled Under Leaves. Both games have strong nature themes and a lovely art style so, although I've not played them, I do find them appealing. 

While I love video games, children really shouldn't play a ton of them like I did when I was young. They can be good tools though to get kids interested in educational subjects and I think nature is a good one. It's something I'd like to get my nephews to see the value of as it took me until my late 20s to start spending a fair amount of time outdoors. Owning a house kind of requires that but I also now enjoy gardening, hiking, and photographing nature. Those are definitely three things that can have a calming, peaceful effect in today's world where we can easily be overwhelmed by negativity and technology.

Thanks for visiting,

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

[YouTube] PrestoMagiX

Created by Gillette's Paper Mate division, PrestoMagiX was a product where users transferred characters and objects onto a page with a related background using a pencil. Like Colorforms, the idea was to create a scene but the original PrestoMagiX could only be used one time since they are not removable once transferred to the paper. However, PrestoMagiX did evolve and later made products that mirrored Colorforms called Stick 'N Lift. Many of the sets featured characters from comic books, movies, and cartoons, though there were others without a special license, such as Discovery of America, Animals of Africa, and Moon Exploration.

I showed a sealed Wonder Woman package back when I did a DC Comics post that I'll show again here. It's not in the video though because I can't figure out where I put it; losing things seems to be a specialty of mine these days. This one has the Paper Mate logo on it while the others say American Publishing Corporation which appears to have taken over in 1979 while production was moved to Italy.

An almost unused set I have is Captain Caveman Haunted House. Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels was a cartoon from Hanna-Barbera that aired from 1977-1980. If you compare the packaging you'll see they both refer to them as games. The Paper Mate one above says "Dry Transfer Game" and the others below say "Rub Down Transfer Game." I couldn't say why as there is nothing involved that would indicate they are games. 

Next is a Looney Tunes set titled Bugs Bunny at the Circus. I applied most of these though Bugs isn't looking so hot and part of his foot is still on the decal sheet.

Here is a Super Transfer Set featuring G.I. Joe from 1986 or '87 that is double-sided. A singe-sided version with only the jungle background was also released. PrestoMagiX made other G.I. Joe sets in both the small and large formats in 1982 and 1983 as well. This set included a MagiX Stick to use for transfers instead of a pencil but I cannot locate that and likely no longer have it.

The last item is the Coloforms-like Stick 'N Lift set of the Transformers. One thing I find odd about this one is Jazz, Starscream, and Sunstreaker are drawn on the background despite those characters also being included as decals. They are small enough to cover up at least if you don't want the same character appearing multiple times in the scene.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

Video Games & Computer Entertainment: Gaming Goes Hollywood (June 1989)

This post is an article  scanned from the pages of Video Games & Computer Entertainment magazine's June 1989 issue. Titled Gaming Goes Hollywood, it discusses the sudden surge of game publishers wanting to nab movie and TV licenses in the late '80s to base games on and the recent releases at the time. Licensed games would have a rather spotty track record until the past decade where we've been able to enjoy much higher quality titles based on some popular licenses, such as High Moon Studios' Transformers series and Rocksteady Studios' Batman Arkham games. Glancing at the cover of this issue you might think that's a stock movie photo of RoboCop but take a closer look and you'll see the cyborg officer is actually holding an NES Zapper light gun.