Saturday, February 25, 2023

A Question of Control (Video Games & Computer Entertainment - August 1989)

Here's an article from Video Games & Computer Entertainment all about game controllers in 1989. Back then there were a large variety of of joysticks being released, especially for home computers. Today most games play best with a gamepad and PC gamers can be found using the latest PC compatible Xbox and PlayStation gamepads. There are a lot less third-party controller manufacturers these days too, resulting in the most popular gamepads being from Microsoft and Sony. The one drawback of this article is that it does not have enough photographs. More than 20 companies/controllers are mentioned but only six images are included. I've used a few of these and that first image of a joystick from Wico is one of them. While I didn't own any Wico products, my neighbor had some for his Commodore 64 (C64). I did own a couple wireless Freedom Sticks from Camerica for my C64 but I think they both broke from the rapid back-and-forth movements needed to run fast in Epyx sports titles.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Kenner's Starting Lineup (White's Guide to Collecting Figures - November 1996)

This is a rather late post that sort of ties into the Super Bowl that airs in a few hours. I couldn't come up with anything else and I didn't have time to play a football video game for the YouTube channel so I scanned a couple magazine articles from White's Guide to Collecting Figures about Kenner's Starting Lineup toys. I'm not sure if I'd call Starting Lineup toys action figures since they aren't very poseable; they are simply mini plastic statues with moveable arms and heads. They launched in 1988 and I collected them for a while, maybe even a decade, though I did open them for a couple years. As the second article below mentions, they were a hot collectible back then, selling for double or more than the MSRP on the secondary market initially, but I don't think they do today. I've not looked too deeply into the current market so perhaps there are still some standout pieces, however, I believe most sell in the $5-10 range which is what they would have been priced at 30 years ago. Trading cards were included with the toys and at least one year they came with coins too. Previously I mentioned the figures and have a photo of a few baseball athletes in the Starting Lineup Talking Baseball post.

The first article is about the 1996 football series that focuses on the players appearing for the first time in "action figure" form. Some of those first-timers didn't succeed in the NFL, some had decent careers, and Isaac Bruce was the most successful of the bunch.

That was my weak tie-in to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, there aren't any Chiefs or Eagles mentioned and it's not the most interesting of articles so I also scanned "Starting Lineup's Greatest Moments" in the same issue where the magazine details the top ten most significant happenings for the toy line up to that point. Joe Montana in his Kansas City Chiefs uniform does make an appearance. That was a convention piece which I don't have as I never attended conventions. The 9th entry is about the collector's club that I did join for a few years. I also remember the Grant Fuhr figure being a big deal but cannot recall if I have one or not. 

I'm planning on watching the Super Bowl and have made a few predictions on the blog in the past in other toy and video game Super Bowl-related posts. I'm usually wrong though and I'm not a fan of either team but here is a guess: Chiefs 38-34.