Sunday, May 23, 2021

Year 5: May Update

Mighty Mouse Board Game (1978)
This month had one big day of posts here, on YouTube, and even Instagram which I finally put a few images on. That was Star Wars Day, of course, but since then I've not really done anything and haven't started any new projects. As has been the norm for the past year, I've been somewhat busy with life as the warmer weather requires more yard work and I do a little gardening, plus I'm sorting through more old board games for donation, sale, or the garbage. Unfortunately, too many of those were ruined by a musty basement and I expect the same when I go through my jigsaw puzzles.

Something I had been working on last month and completed early in May is getting all of the game ads onto Google Photos. I also went back through every gaming ads post since the blog began and updated the album links because many still had expired Flickr links that had to be replaced with Facebook and Google Photos. Along the blog header you'll also now see a "Game Ad Links" tab with all of the individual albums listed with links. I'm wondering if I should list the links ahead of the album names to give it a cleaner look? For example: Facebook - Google Photos: Activision rather than Activision: Facebook - Google Photos so that every line would begin Facebook - Google Photos down the whole page. Either way, that page is a convenient way to find the ads. For some reason Google Photos doesn't allow the sharing of a full page of albums as far as I can tell so I can only link to each album individually. Here is an image of what I get to see when I log in and it would be great if anyone could go there and browse all the albums at once but I can't find a way.


Lucasfilm Games and Dotemu are bringing back the 16-bit Zombies Ate My Neighbors (Genesis, SNES) and its sequel Ghoul Patrol (SNES). Both were originally developed by LucasArts but it wasn't publishing console games at that time so Konami published the first game and JVC Musical Industries published the second. The new versions are said to be enhanced with a quick save option and achievements, plus behind-the-scenes bonus content. Digital copies will be available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC on June 29th while Limited Run Games will offer some physical editions later. Xbox.com has both games listed as a single entry for $14.99. E3 isn't happening again, at least not in-person, so I'll probably skip predictions. We should still see a fair amount of game news in June.

   

Last month I ended the update about games for kids or families and I'll do the same here. Lately I've been contemplating yet another YouTube channel. If you recall, last year I launched Video Games 2020 which took a huge amount of my time as I recorded footage of as many physical releases as I could which was around 270 games. The goal there was to try and make a buck but I'm still far from 1,000 subscribers. It does get 25x more minutes viewed than the blog's channel though. Anyway, I'd like to get more recordings done for games designed for younger players, like PAW Patrol. I've played some on the blog channel but feel as if I shouldn't bog the channel down with too much modern game coverage and certainly not a lot of bad games as some of those tend to be. There would also be no commentary, just clips like I did for the VG2020 channel. One last thing to mention is I came across a U.K. website called Family Video Game Database that has some useful information, especially for parents that don't know a lot about gaming.

Thanks again for visiting,
Jonathan

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

LucasArts/Lucasfilm Games: The Adventurer - Spring 1991

As part of Star Wars Day and Lucasfilm's 50th anniversary, I've scanned the complete Spring 1991 issue of The Adventurer from LucasArts/Lucasfilm Games. This was a quarterly newsletter for fans that was printed on newspaper. It's rather big and not easy to scan, and was a bit too wide for the copier I used. While there is some skewed text due to the paper being wavy, all of the articles are legible. I do own the Fall 1991 issue as well and scanned that at the same time but I'll wait until later in the year to post that one. This issue has a surprising spelling error seeing how this is from the maker of Star Wars. On page 11 two of the image captions spell Obi-Wan Kenobi as Kenobe!







Star Wars: Mos Eisley Arcade

This is a toy photoshoot featuring photographs of a large Jawa action figure playing Tomy's Cosmic Clash arcade game. Originally I planned to do a video of the Tomy toy but like so many of my old electronics, it is not fully functional though it does sometimes light up the ships and scroll for a second. Being from the '80s (cannot locate a copyright on the toy itself), it is not a fancy handheld video game. Instead it is a toy where images of spaceships scroll along the bottom of the "screen" and the user hits a fire button to try and hit them. A successful hit results in a purple explosion to appear on the the large space above the ships.



After giving up on a video for it I noticed the size (it's 8.5" tall) might make it suitable to pair with another toy for a photo shoot and the Jawa is perfect for that. If arcade games existed in the Star Wars universe it wouldn't be hard to imagine a Jawa playing a dingy arcade game (while standing on a stool) in a dark corner of the Mos Eisley Cantina. The toy itself doesn't give off much light at all and as I mentioned it's not currently functioning properly so that light emanating from that space onto the Jawa is something I added to mimic a real arcade cabinet.




I also tried many artistic filters in Photoshop on one image and here are my favorites:


[YouTube] Star Wars: Kenner Mini-Rigs

Between 1981-1984 Kenner released nine Star Wars toys that did not appear in the movies that it called "mini-rigs" as they are small vehicles that retailed for $4.99 which was about the price of two action figures. While there were creatures the figures could ride, like Dewbacks and Tauntauns, most movie vehicles were on the medium to large side until Return of the Jedi's speeder bike. The mini-rigs offered an affordable option for kids to have more toys to use with their action figures. Kenner did release another original vehicle before these and once the movies ended a few more of its own creations appeared in The Power of the Force series. I'm going to leave a link here to a 2013 story on StarWars.com that details the toys that did not appear in movies though many did later turn up in the comic books: Offscreen, but Not Forgotten: Mini-Rigs, Body-Rigs, and Other Kenner Vehicles.


I own seven of the nine mini-rigs which appear in the video and the photos below. The two I do not own can be seen in the above catalog scans where the left image can be considered toys for The Empire Strikes Back and the right Return of the Jedi (action figures were sold separately). In the left image I do not have the Multi-Terrain Vehicle (MTV-7) and in the right image I am missing the Endor Forest Ranger. Kenner appears to consider four of the mini-rigs to be Imperial, three to be for the Rebel Alliance, and two for Jabba-the-Hutt's guards. 


I'll put the photos in the same order as the catalog lists them and I'm also including a piece of the MLC's packaging and the ISP's manual. Also, some of the stickers are peeling, I'm missing the front piece of the Captivator, and I intentionally didn't pick the action figures that would make the most sense. In most cases I chose what I thought would be more obscure or less popular characters for the photos because the mini-rigs fit that profile as well since they aren't in the movies. The choice of Admiral Ackbar was for humor as I thought he looked good in the MLC with its fish bowl-like bubble. 

Captivator (CAP-2)




Interceptor (INT-4)




Mobile Laser Cannot (MLC-3)




Personnel Deployment Transport (PDT-8)


Desert Sail Skiff




Imperial Shuttle Pod (ISP-6)





Armored Sentinel Transport (AST-5)




MLC vs. AT-AT