Sunday, October 1, 2023

Kenner Action Toy Guide 1990

This booklet from Kenner features eight action figure toy lines from 1990, three of which I don't actually remember. In 1990 I wasn't paying much attention to toys though I did collect Starting Lineup figures. Four of the toy lines included are based on the cartoon spin-offs of popular movies: The Real Ghostbusters, RoboCop: Ultra Police, Beetlejuice, and Police Academy. The other three are Rat Fink: Rad Rods, Mega Force, and Shadow Strikers. Rat Fink is a character created in 1963 by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth and it is associated with actual hot rods. Mega Force is an original creation by Kenner that ended after one year. Shadow Strikers looks to be another Kenner original that released alongside a short-lived Shadow Strikers cartoon.

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Tokyo Game Show 1998 (Next Generation - January 1999)

Here is a look at the Tokyo Game Show 25 years ago while Tokyo Game Show 2023 is currently in progress. The four-page article below is from the January 1999 issue of Next Generation magazine. While it was published in 1999, the show -- which took place twice a year back then -- actually happened in October 1998, a little more than a month before the Dreamcast's launch in Japan. It's no surprise then that Sega had the largest presence at the fall 1998 show and the Dreamcast coverage accounts for half of this article. A few things regarding what's mentioned in the story: Blue Stinger ended up being a dud, Geist Force was canceled, Sega Rally 2 was a hit, and PocketStation never left Japan. I've also included scans of this issue's "Big in Japan" column featuring the first Mario Party, a Goemon game, and an interview about the development of the original Silent Hill game.

Saturday, September 16, 2023

The Adventures of Batman & Robin Sega Game Reviews

Another year, another Batman Day! As I posted last year, the third Saturday in September is designated as Batman Day. Batman has always been my favorite comic book character and so I've done a number of Batman-related posts over the years, on and off Batman Day. This year I'm posting magazine reviews of The Adventures of Batman & Robin games on Sega platforms. Sega published Genesis, Game Gear, and Sega CD versions which were developed by Clockwork Tortoise (Genesis & CD) and Novotrade (Game Gear). I've not played these games and I'm not familiar with Clockwork Tortoise as this might be its only game.

 Electronic Gaming Monthly (August 1995 & September 1995)

Sega Visions (September 1995)

Next Generation (November 1995)

In 1994 Konami also developed and published a game based on the animated series for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System but I couldn't find any reviews of that one. All I have is this ad.

If you're interested in more Batman, here are some links to other blog posts:

Batman Stuff - A look at a variety of Batman items I own. (Includes a video.)

The Joker Cycle Unboxing - I open and build the Joker Cycle toy from Kenner. (Includes a video.)

Holy Bat-Toys! - An article from Collecting Toys magazine.

1990's Batman Action Figures - This one has photos of many sealed action figures and a toy magazine article. (Includes a video.)

Batman: Return of the Joker Reviews - Magazine reviews of the Return of the Joker video game.

DC Comics/JLA Week - The intro post to a week of DC things features Batman among others (the Batman Stuff and Joker Cycle posts were part of this week). 

The Electronic Learning Machine - Another part of DC Comics/JLA week, this is a toy that has a DC Comics tie-in with a variety of hero and villain cards.

Saturday, August 26, 2023

German Game Magazines - October 2002

This post is a little different than the usual since it features magazines I cannot read and are beyond the year 2000 cut off I use for most of my magazine coverage. However, I was trying to think of a games magazine post I could tie into current events and this week the Gamescom video game convention kicked off in Cologne, Germany, and I just happen to own a couple game magazines from Germany. I've been following the news and have watched some video coverage, as well as took part in the Xbox Fanfest trivia contest in which I did quite poorly. I've not noticed any huge game announcements at the show as most of what I've seen is more detailed looks at upcoming games we were already aware of, release date changes, and interviews. 

Getting back to the magazines, my father had a business trip to Germany in October 2002 and asked if I wanted anything so I said how about some video game magazines. He picked up Germany's version of GamePro and one simply titled PC Games. I do not know any German and hope I'm not posting any adult language here but I thought it would be fun to take a brief look at the two magazines anyway, though primarily just at some of the ads. The ads can vary completely from those found in the U.S. or they can be nearly identical. I did also scan a few pages from the review sections of each issue. When seeing the magazines in person one thing that is immediately apparent is that they are taller than U.S. magazines. Both are approximately 11.75" long and 8.25" wide while a U.S. issue of GamePro is 10.75" tall and 8.5" wide. The spines are very tight which did lead to the edge of some ads being blurred or cut off slightly. 

This magazine includes a DVD I never attempted to watch. From what I can gather there are no demos, just news, previews, trailers, and some bonus materials, like footage from an Xbox event and something to do with Nintendo. For this one I scanned the page featuring the review staff and three pages of reviews. Some of the magazine's reviews are up to four pages but I stuck with the shorter ones. A few notes about the ads: Pro Tennis: WTA Tour is known as WTA Tour Tennis in the U.S., Shadow of Memories is known as Shadow of Destiny in the U.S., and the TimeSplitters 2 ad is six pages that I am posting in two parts (first two open to reveal a four-page spread).

PC Games
This magazine comes with a CD containing demos, videos, and even game patches. It doesn't put the review staff on one page, instead it has a small photo of the writer with the review. The reviews are also divided by genre with the genre page featuring a short interview and a top 10 chart. I only scanned two genre pages and one review here. You can probably assume from the ads (and the covers of both magazines) that first-person shooter and real-time strategy were among the two most popular types of PC games at the time. Aside from games, this magazine has a bunch of Internet service and hardware ads too. In both issues I did not scan every ad as I avoided M-rated games and some less interesting ones.