Memories of Fischertechnik Toys

When I was in elementary school, I loved science class. Not just because I enjoyed the subject, but because we had a very engaging teacher who was constantly challenging us and making science fun. I would learn an important lesson about how dedicated some teachers are in his class when a 100 piece kit of Fischertechnik toys showed up for us to use in class. This was not a large amount of pieces for a fill classroom, so the kit was rotated around to the different tables at which we sat.

Side note, I loved our science tables, they were made of this white material and had all sorts of science charts printed on them and 6-8 kids each shared one.

After a couple of weeks they finally made it to my table and we had a ball trying to build a car with them and with our teacher’s assistance we succeeded. The next week they moved to a different table and they were trying to build an elevator of some sort, I remember this because it was ambitious and our teacher really liked that.

The week after that, the kit was stolen.

It turned out to be one of the kids in school who did it. Their parents made them return it, but what I found out in the ensuing discussion was that this kit did not belong to the school. It, like many of the cool science stuff we got to mess around with came straight out of the pocket of our teacher. What is remarkable is that when the kit was returned, it went right back into service and the next year, another kit joined it.

As an adult, I really appreciate how someone could show such dedication, even when it goes completely unappreciated most of the time. My memories of science class will always be with me as will the fun I had constructing things using the Fischertechnik high-tech toy kits.

Here are some cool ads from the early 1980s, showing just some of the cool things you could build with the Fischertechnik 100. The only limit, was your imagination….

fischertechnik-03

fischertechnik-02

fischertechnik-01

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Their Leader in War and Love, the Dashing Captain Stubing

Did you know that in the made for TV movie Love Boat II they mention that the Captain, Gopher, Isaac, and Doc all served together in Vietnam? This pretty much blew my mind and since hearing this, all I can picture is them as some sort of A-Team, that survive not as soldiers of fortune, but as soldiers of love.

Now that I see Captain Stubing as the Hannibal Smith of the group, I can never watch the show the same way again.

stubing

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Play Four Games on your Game-Time Watch

When game watches hit my hometown, they hit big. Everyone wanted one and they were getting confiscated by annoyed teachers by the drawerful. Most of the ones I got to see were single game watches, nothing like this Game-Time Watch that plays Four games (not just one or two). That line in the ad about playing four games is by far the thing about this ad I like the most, but I also enjoy the lined about the watch having too many features for them to mention. What could those be besides the games?

game-time-watch

I have not been able to locate a Game-Time watch, so I guess that will remain a mystery for now. Even without knowing what those features are I am fairly impressed with the watch itself and would have loved to have it on my wrist back in 1983.

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All the world’s a stage when you got a Yamaha Guitar

Hiking was not something I got to do as a kid. I just didn’t live in the right environment for it and it was not something my family did for fun. As an adult though, I have come around to it and try to get out there when I can. On a recent hike in late summer, I was going up a pretty steep path and when I did I was greeted with some sweet guitar sounds from a guy who had brought his trusty acoustic guitar half way up the mountain to play.

I knew I had seen these ads by Yamaha when I was a kid telling people to do this, but this was the first time I saw it in action.

yamaha-guitar

It shows some unique dedication to you music when you are willing to haul a large rigid instrument along for the ride. Maybe he likes the attention it brings or maybe he just thinks that nature makes the best venue for playing his soulful folk rock? Either way, I think he and everyone who does what Yamaha was telling them to do in this early 80s’ ad, deserve a round of applause for helping to make the trails a little more interesting on a hot buggy summer day.

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Del Monte…because you work hard for your body

del-monte

Donna Summer’s “She Works Hard For The Money”, is completely underutilized as a song that can be parodied to sell goods and services. If you have something that even vaguely sound like “money” you can use it. This ad for Del Monte from the mid-1980 where they use “body” instead of money is a stretch, but it is a memorable stretch.

For future ad geniuses, might I suggest a bear singing about how they work hard for the honey? Or perhaps a parent who shops hard for the sunny….D. With “She Works Hard For The Money” the only limit is you imagination and a word that end in a “Y”.

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Journey To Krull – The Making Of The Film (1983)

Journey to Krull
A week or so ago there was quite of bit of talk about a post I had made earlier this year, “Did You Know That In 1983 We Came Close To Getting A Krull Pinball Table?”. With all of the great advice from Drahken and Dan H. on how to play that lost table thanks to various MAME programs I wondered if maybe I could dig up a better video on the actual table itself…which is how I found this 1983 documentary for the film narrated by none other than Tom Bosley.

If you too count yourself as a fan of Krull then you are going to love the behind the scenes footage of the cast and crew in this documentary!

[Via] Ends and Odds

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How Admiral Ackbar Ended Up On A Burgertime!

One of the most amazing things about where I live in NW Arkansas isn’t just the fact that I actually get to work at functioning arcade as I dreamed about in my youth. It’s that the area willingly accepts and embraces not only an arcade in it’s midst such as the Arkadia Retrocade but its local artists as well as independent restaurants like the amazing Hammontree’s Grilled Cheese!

So when Hammontree’s asked Shea if he could possibly secure them a Burgertime with a few modifications, he knew it was time to call on the talented Terry N. Thielen.
Picking up a rather well worn Burgertime wasn’t too hard, one of the chief mechanics (Bo Counts) at the Arkadia Retrocade took it into the repair bay and got it up and running while Terry had the task of cleaning up the machine so he could add some key graphics that would make it fit in right at home at Hammontree’s. You see not only is Hammontree’s a gourmet grilled cheese restaurant but they are mighty fond of the Star Wars films to boot…considering they have a velvet Admiral Ackbar portrait on the wall, a huge Millennium Falcon hanging from the ceiling, and in my personal opinion one of their best sandwiches happens to be called the Cheebacca.

So Terry got right to work on the machine…

Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.

Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.

The original owners, which just so happened to be a burger joint had added their own art to the cabinet…

Image Courtesy of Terry Thielen.

Image Courtesy of Terry Thielen.

…but Terry thought that a Womp Rat might look better hiding out in the front of the cabinet.

Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.

Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.

Chef Peter Pepper needed a little touch up as well, especially since grilled cheese is the draw at Hammontree’s, so the good Chef donned his new guise as Hammy Tree!

Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.

Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.


Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.

Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.


Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.

Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.

Since as I’ve already stated, Hammondtree’s owns a velvet Admiral Ackbar portrait it just made sense that the best character from Return of the Jedi should be on display on the cabinet, right?

Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.

Image courtesy of Terry Thielen.


Hammontree's - Burgertime - Terry Thielen- Arkadia Retrocade

Make sure to follow the link to Terry’s Facebook page to see some of the other amazing artwork he has done for the Arkadia Retrocade as well as his personal artwork. If you find yourself visiting NW Arkansas then drop on by Hammontree’s and tell ‘em that Vic Sage sent ya!

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