Today and all through Labor Day weekend, the Electric Theatre Arcade is officially open! The ringleader behind this retro arcade is my good friend Mike Freeland and his dream of owning an arcade is closer than ever before. This is the second limited engagement for Mike's arcade and it serves as a blueprint for when the Electric Theatre Arcade opens permanently. Each game in the arcade has a story behind it. Like an urban Indiana Jones, Mike has been on countless adventures trying to rescue these games so they can be enjoyed once again. Some of these adventures have been captured in a new documentary. Filmmaker Brad Johnson has created a fantastic film about Mike's dream of owning an arcade. Click on the video below and watch the fantastic trailer for Electric Theatre Arcade: A Vintage Documentary!
If you find yourself in Kansas City this weekend, be sure to visit the Electric Theatre Arcade in Independence, Missouri. Click here to visit the official website for times.
Support retro arcades!!!
Friday, August 31, 2012
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Back in 1984, Eveready Batteries jumped on the Dungeons and Dragons war wagon and made available this cool dragon poster. I missed out on the poster and didn't know it even existed until I found this newspaper ad. Did anyone have this on hanging on their wall?
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Calling all retro video warriors!!! The Electric Theatre Vintage Arcade will be open four days this labor day weekend, starting on Friday August 31st and ending September 3rd! Here's your chance to relive some of those 80s arcade memories! The arcade will be located at Square Pizza in Independence, Missouri. Players will have a chance to play Asteroids Deluxe, Tempest, Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, Robotron, Centipede, Missile Command, Moon Patrol, Paperboy and many more classic games!
I blogged about this arcade last year and the eventual plans will be that the Electric Theatre Vintage Arcade will have a permanent location. Until then, please support retro arcades and pass the word about the Electric Theatre Vintage Arcade. Visit their website for all the details and the download link for flyers to print or share on blogs and social networks!
(Click on the pages to read!)
Next week I'll post the final Star Trek related article from this mag. Tune in for James Doohan: His Rocky Road to Happiness.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Thursday, August 16, 2012
Let's slingshot around the sun and travel back to the 60s for a day of shopping with Leonard Nimoy and family. I discovered this photo spread in the June 1968 issue of TV Star Parade and it's a real treat to see. It's especially fun for all of us Trek fans that missed out on the first and original Trek craze. (I became a fan during the rerun days of the 70s!) Articles like this one gives us a glimpse of a time when Star Trek was new and people were wanting to learn anything and everything about the show. Tons of TV and gossip mags featured as much info on the actors as possible.
I like that the photos from this article make it look like Leonard just walked off the Star Trek set to go shopping with his family. Leonard is still sporting his Spock hairdo and is even wearing a similar shirt like his alter ego. His pointy ears are probably stuffed in his pocket and in a few hours he'll return to the studio ready for the next Start Trek scene. (Click on the pages for a closer look!)
Tune in next week as I'll post the Shatner article from this same issue.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Joe Kubert was one of the best in comics and one of my all-time favorites. I guess the best way to honor such an amazing talent is to show off his artwork. The first lady of Neato Coolville surprised me with this original sketch from Joe for my 40th birthday. In 2010, Joe added an original sketch in 100 copies of his How To Draw from Life. The buyer had the option to choose the character and as you can see my wife chose Joe's best known character, Sgt. Rock. Really this sketch is kind of a souvenir, representing all of those DC War comics that I grew up reading.
He started drawing for comics in his teens and continued up until his death at 85. It's hard to imagine how many people Joe inspired through his artwork and through his teaching.
Rest in peace Joe Kubert. You will be missed!
For more info on Joe Kubert visit The Kubert School website.
Read Mark Evanier's article.
Joe Kubert artwork at Comicart Fans
Friday, August 10, 2012
Ocean's Eleven was released to theaters fifty-two years ago today and it's nothing less than 127 minutes of pure coolness. A heist movie starring the Rat Pack set in the neon jungle of Las Vegas with a Saul Bass title sequence! What's not to love about this movie? A few years ago, I added a small group of costume test photos to my collection. (Thanks Dan!) I've been meaning to scan and share these photos for some time and today is the day. Click on the photos for a closer look!
Sammy Davis Jr. as Josh Howard in front of the Sands.
Peter Lawford, Norman Fell and Clem Harvey stand behind. At the side is a profile of director Lewis Milestone. (One of the best scenes in the movie is the last scene in front of the Sands. These are the costumes for that scene.)
Dean Martin as Sam Harmon at the Sahara.
(Hmm...is that coffee in Dino's cup?)
Buddy Lester as Vince Massler in front of the Sands.
(I think Buddy is growling at the cameraman.)
Henry Silva as Roger Corneal at the Flamingo.
Clem Harvey as Louis Jackson at the Desert Inn.
Richard Benedict as Curly Steffans in front of the Sands.
Norman Fell as Peter Rheimer at the Desert Inn.
Cesar Romero as Duke Santos at the Flamingo.
Helen Jay as 2nd Girl at the Flamingo.
(Her only scene is with a group of party people who leave the Flamingo and go to the Sands.)
Louise Black as a tourist at the Flamingo.
(Apparently her scene was cut from the film. In a second trailer (not found online) she can be seen for a split-second in front of Peter Lawford at a Flamingo souvenir stand.)
C. Harrison as Security Chief at the Sands.
(You can see by his toothy grin that this extra is excited to be in the movie. It also shows in his only scene when he escorts Red Skelton out of the Sands. He almost winks at the camera as if he's telling the audience, "Hey, look at me, I'm in a movie!")
That's all for today. Now go watch the original Ocean's Eleven!
Thursday, August 09, 2012
I was sad to hear about the passing of Jackie End, the creator of Freakies cereal. She was an amazing talent that helped shape a generation of kids through her various advertising creations throughout the 1970s. (Visit Freakies.com for a special message about Jackie from the Freakies.)
Here's the award winning first Freakies commercial.
I have fond memories of eating Freakies cereal and playing with the Freakies cars and figures. Most of my jeans were covered in the patches like the one seen above. Jackie's crazy characters from Freakies and from her other cereals, really had an impact on my imagination.
Unfortunately, I never had the chance to meet Jackie, but was introduced to her in the pages of Kevin Meisner's 1990s cereal fanzine, The Freakie Magnet. Click here for a PDF of FM #2 and scroll down to page 10 for Jackie's article, The Real Freakies.
In three parts, here's a video interview with Jackie produced by Kevin back during The Freakie Magnet days.
Besides her work for Ralston cereal, she has a large resume in the world of advertising. Here's a classic commercial for Safeguard soap that was written by Jackie and stars Tom Selleck.
Another childhood favorite created by Jackie is the Bic Banana crayons and pens campaign. Watch this over the top and funny commercial starring Charles Nelson Reilly.
Jackie was a true ad wizard and continued to create quality advertising work!
Click here to read Jackie's obituary from the New York Times.
Thanks Jackie for creating so many wonderful characters!
Rest in peace.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
If you were a kid in the 80s, you probably remember M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. From 1985 to 1988, Mattel produced these little pink wrestler guys that were about two inches tall. The M.U.S.C.L.E. acronym stands for Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere. Wow, a million is a daunting task for a kid to try and collect 'em all. Luckily, the letter M was false advertising and there were only 236 figures available in the United States. I discovered M.U.S.C.L.E. at our local Revco drug store when I was 15 years old. I noticed the display of clear trash cans filled with the little figures and it brought back memories of Mattel's Slime container from the 1970s. Plus, I loved little figures like plastic army men, gumball machine figures and those crazy Happy Meal Space Creatures. Even though I was too old, I just couldn't help myself and bought some M.U.S.C.L.E. in a can.
Here's a can that I saved from back in the day and it's still sealed.
Opening the trashcan was similar to opening a pack of trading cards. You didn't know what you'd get and for me that was the best part about M.U.S.C.L.E. My toy playing days were over, but like a lot of nerdy kids from the 80s who didn't want to grow-up, we played roll playing games instead. Me and a friend came up with our own game using M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. It was a simple dice game where each figure was assigned a strength number. Each player would put up one figure for battle. Taking turns, each player would roll a six or nine sided die. The number on the die would be subtracted from the strength number of the opposing M.U.S.C.L.E. figure and added to the strength number of the attacking figure. The M.U.S.C.L.E. figure that ended up with zero would be the loser and handed over to the winning player. Yes, we played for keeps!
Even though I quit buying the figures, these little weird guys who looked like rejects from a Mad Max movie continued to hang out in my room. Some would eventually die horrible lil' deaths from BB gun target practice. On a bored Saturday night, we even melted one in the microwave. Yep, we put the minotaur guy in the microwave and watched him melt into a bubbly mess of smokey pink and black ooze.
In the 90s, I eventually sold off the majority of the figures and only saved a handful of my favorites. Yesterday, I finally dug them out of storage and snapped some photos.
This guy reminds me of one of the slayers from the movie Krull.
I don't collect M.U.S.C.L.E. but there's a bunch of dedicated fans out there that do. Check out some of these M.U.S.C.L.E. websites. Nathan's M.U.S.C.L.E. Blog, The University of M.U.S.C.L.E., M.U.S.C.L.E.Figures.com and LittleRubberGuys.
Also, M.U.S.C.L.E. like figures are back in vogue with the release of O.M.F.G. by October Toys and S.L.U.G. Zombies by Jakks Pacific figures.
Thursday, August 02, 2012
Here we go again for another edition of comic book wallpaper! This time we go way back to the Golden Age of comics. I've remixed seven comic covers for you to make your computer desktop a bit more heroic. All are 1920 X 1080. Click on the image to make it go big and then save as a desktop wallpaper. Click on the comic title to see the original cover. Click here and here for the last two comic wallpaper posts. (Wow, that's a lot of clickity clicks!)
I used Plastic Man's face from Police Comics #35