Finish The Game With The LEGO TRON: Legacy Set!

It certainly isn’t every day you find out that a LEGO TRON: Legacy set is being released, right? That is exactly what happened though when I got to work yesterday and checked my messages. As you surely could expect, everyone here at the arcade equally lost their minds. On an average day we probably bring up TRON or TRON: Legacy multiple times a day. I suppose we are just of that age where the dream of working at an arcade really seemed like the most magical job ever.
LEGO TRON - Arkadia Retrocade

If you’ve listened to any of my Diary of an Arcade Employee podcasts, you know that it truly is. Even when I’m down on my hands and knees scrubbing bathroom floors. The truth of the matter is I am in fact living the dream. Not that securing this LEGO TRON: Legacy set wouldn’t make it just a bit better.
LEGO TRON - Legacy

You can hop on over to the official LEGO site and get a better look at the set. It looks like it is being released on March 31st. This official LEGO TRON: Legacy set is from LEGO Ideas, which began in 2008, as well as giving 1% of royalties to the designers. In this case the original designers were the BrickBros UK after getting 10,000 votes that is. Thankfully Disney and LEGO were able to come together and now we totally have an TRON set about to be released.
LEGO TRON - BrickBros UK

LEGO TRON - Rinzler - Identity Disc
Contents of the LEGO TRON: Legacy set include:

  • Includes 3 LEGO minifigures: Sam Flynn, Quorra and Rinzler.
  • Features 2 buildable Light Cycles for Sam Flynn and Rinzler, and a TRON grid/display base.
  • Sam Flynn’s Light Cycle features a minifigure seat, authentic features and assorted translucent-blue light-style elements, including power stream effects.
  • Rinzler’s Light Cycle features a minifigure seat, authentic features and assorted translucent-orange light-style elements, including power stream effects.
  • TRON grid/display base features 2 detachable parts, attachment points for the 2 Light Cycles and translucent-blue elements.
  • Divide the grid to recreate the Light Cycle chase scene from Disney’s TRON: Legacy movie, or use it to role-play the disc battle scene with the minifigures.
  • Includes Quorra’s sword.
  • Accessory elements include Sam Flynn and Quorra’s blue Identity Discs, and Rinzler’s 2 orange Identity Discs.
  • Attach the discs to the back of each minifigure.
  • This construction toy includes a booklet with building instructions, information about the set’s fan creator and LEGO designers, and the lowdown on Disney’s TRON: Legacy movie and its main characters.
  • Each Light Cycle measures over 1″ (5cm) high, 6″ (17cm) long and 1″ (4cm) wide.
  • TRON grid/display base measures over 8″ (22cm) wide and 3″ (9cm) deep.

LEGO TRON - Lightcycle Wall

Now the real question is if we are getting more LEGO TRON products in the future?

[Via] Disney Movie Trailers

I’m not talking about just TRON: Legacy of course. Perhaps this is the first step in opening up the Grid to products from both the original movie…

[Via] Tate Smith

…and even the underappreciated but amazing TRON: Uprising?

[Via] The CGBros

Battle of the Network Stars - Robin Williams

1977’s Battle Of The Network Stars Was Intense!

Battle of the Network Stars was kind of a big deal. In my youth I certainly didn’t pay much attention to sports. Perhaps the occasional basketball game or boxing match would pique my interest. However on the whole I just wasn’t that interested. Until of course I caught wind of the Battle of the Network Stars. This was a sporting event that not only myself but my Family became addicted to. Say what you will about an basketball upset – I ask though how that can compare to the likes of William Shatner and Richard Hatch competing against Tim Reid in canoes? Of course you also had the fact that your favorite networks were naturally going head to head in Battle of the Network Stars!

[Via] TV News Themes 1

The whole point of the television show, which began in 1976 and always aired on ABC. Was that three teams composed of the top talent for each network would face a variety of challenges. Golf, tennis, cycling, swimming, obstacle course, running, bowling and more were the types of events the stars would compete in.

Furthermore each of the teams would pick a team captain. Generally a team consisted of eight to nine stars. I will definitely admit that there were certain celebrities that I didn’t recognize. But that added to the fun as in fact this caused my Family to pick different stars to root for. For example my Father and Grandfather were huge fans of Robert Conrad of The Wild Wild West fame. While my Grandmother and myself were rooting for Richard Hatch of Battlestar Galactica!
Battle of the Network Stars - Richard Hatch

One of the absolutely joys of watching these old broadcast, in which there were 19 specials from 1976 to 1988. Is of course to see all of these celebrities hanging out and having fun. Although having said that, at some of these events things got a little too serious. Nothing physical of course but I recall some of the stars getting into shouting matches once or twice. Although those instances were very rare in my personal opinion.
Battle of the Network Stars - Robert Conrad

How could you not want to tune in to see the likes of WKRP in Cincinnati‘s Tim Reid competing alongside LeVar Burton (Roots) and The Incredible Hulk‘s Lou Ferrigno.
Battle of the Network Stars - Levar Burton - Lou Ferrigno - Tim Reid

Actually friends, Reid would appear as Venus Flytrap in WKRP in Cincinnati beginning in ’78. It was probably his roles in Maude or What’s Happening!! that got him a spot in the Battle of the Network Stars. Besides the many celebrities such as Gabe Kaplan, Robert Urich, Debby Boone, Charlene Tilton, Joyce Dewitt, Maren Jensen, and many more – the legendary Howard Cosell would act as host and commentator on the events.
Battle of the Network Stars - David Letterman

When all of the major competitions were completed the network that had the least amount of points were disqualified. Leaving the remaining two to go head to head in an epic tug of war to crown the winner.

Enough background on the Battle of the Network Stars. Ready to watch this 1977 compilation featuring the likes of Robin Williams?

[Via] Clippety

Actually there was one other sporting events that I was a fan of in my youth. That was of course 1977’s Laff-A-Lympics!

[Via] Hewey 1972

G.I. Robot - Weird War Tales 113

Whatever Became Of DC Comic’s G.I. Robot?

Friends, when it came to my tastes in comics as a kid, they were…well…weird. Sure I loved to pick up Batman when I could as well as Superman too. It was another DC Comic title that I gravitated to the most however and that was of course Weird War Tales. Why? That naturally had to do with being a monster kid and science fiction buff. Which is the reason I loved both The Creature Commandos and G.I. Robot!

G.I. Robot - Francesco Francavilla

Artwork is courtesy of the always impressive Francesco Francavilla.

I find it rather funny that in my youth, my Father was rather set against me picking up the likes of The House of Mystery. Yet had no qualms about me snatching up an issue of Weird War Tales. I don’t know, perhaps the former just had scarier cover art or something?
G.I. Robot - The House of Mystery

G.I. Robot actually first appeared in another DC Comics title. That was Star Spangled War Stories #101. As matter of fact this would be the first of six robots to be known as the G.I. Robot, with this first unit known as Joe.
G.I. Robot - Star Spangles War Stories

I can only assume that Joe stayed put when he ended up on Dinosaur Island. Which I certainly hope will one day make it into one of the live action DC films. The second robot with the G.I. moniker appeared in Star Spangled War Stories #125. This time it was a unit known as Mac who was teamed up with the original Suicide Squad, the team made up of WWII soldiers.
G.I. Robot - Mac

Mac made it a whole issue before sacrificing itself to halt a rampaging T-Rex. It was in Weird War Tales #101 that a brand new G.I. Robot was introduced known as J.A.K.E. 1 (Jungle Automatic Killer – Experimental Number 1). In this case the unit was teamed up with Sgt. Coker as they served in the Pacific War. Coker I should add is not only demeaning to his partner but frequently cruel as well.
G.I. Robot - J.A.K.E. 1

J.A.K.E. 1 made it twelve more issues until it too, like Mac, was destroyed. As you might have guessed though it is quite hard to keep a G.I. Robot down for the count. J.A.K.E. 2 appeared in Weird War Tales issue # 113. This is where I actually was introduced to the character!

Soon though he was teaming up with the likes of the Creature Commandos. Which is how the unit found itself on a rocket shot from Berlin, straight into outer space, to their apparent deaths.
G.I. Robot - Creature Commandos

While the Creature Commandos were later found to have survived the trip, the fate of J.A.K.E. 2 hasn’t been revealed in the comics. Although the DC Comics Encyclopedia makes mention that the robot survives up until the 31st century!

Since those issues of Weird War Tales there has been a J.A.K.E. #6.1, which was revealed in 2008. As well as a special mini-series that also began in 2008 entitled The War that Time Forgot. Written by the legendary Bruce Jones, it threw in a ton of Silver Age characters. Such as Enemy Ace, the Viking Prince, Tomahawk and of course a new G.I. Robot. One that I must point out calls itself…Joe.
G.I. Robot - The War that Time Forgot

What does the future hold for DC Comic’s robotic soldier? Obviously only time will tell but I am more than willing to bet that we haven’t seen the last of this particular comic character!

Did you know that the G.I. Robot made an appearance in 2010?

Not in a comic book of course but on the popular Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode entitled Plague of the Prototypes!. Not just our favorite military robot either, Sgt. Rock makes an appearance alongside Batman as well!

[Via] GameSpot Universe

Retroist Toys R Us Podcast

Retroist Toys R Us Podcast

On this week’s show, I talk about the world’s biggest toy store, Toys R Us. I open by talking about how I felt special going to Toys R Us, because it felt like it was a store meant for me.

I originally attempted to record this show a few years ago and was not happy with the result. While I eventually planned to attempt it again, I thought that with the chain being in the news recently that I would take another shot at recording. On the show, I talk about the person who founded the store, Charles P. Lazarus, the evolution of the store, the mascots, bankruptcies and much more.

If you like vintage commercials, you are in luck, I laced this episode with a couple of classic ads. I wanted to add four times as many, but held myself back.

I am sad Toys R Us appears to be dying, but I am hopeful that someone will figure out a way to revive the brand. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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Listen and download the Retroist Toys R Us Podcast

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Qbert's Qubes - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Q*bert’s Qubes (1983)

Friends, I know you know that wonderful video game icon Q*bert. Do you happen to know of the sequel to the hit 1982 arcade game though? That is certainly why Christoper Tupa has selected Q*bert’s Qubes for this week’s Retro Arcade Art project. While including some of the same elements from the 1982 title. 1983’s Q*bert’s Qubes brings a whole new level of gameplay!
Q*bert's Qubes - Marquee

Released by Mylstar in 1983, the company was previously known as Gottlieb, it in fact was inspired by the Rubik’s Cube. It has been said that Warren Davis, the designer of the original Q*bert , had proposed a sequel to Gottlieb. Of interest is that the sequel in fact went through more than a couple of name changes during development. The team suggested everything from a simple Q*bert 2 to 2*bert and even Qubes. Before they group decided that Q*bert’s Qubes was the way to go.

While the Rubik’s Cube definitely inspired the game. It’s gameplay totally features elements of tic-tac-toe. The player must help Q*bert match the target cube which is displayed in the top right corner of the screen. Each time our orange-colored hero hops in a desired direction, the cube beneath his oversized feet will rotate. If the rotation results in the cube matching the target colors it will turn green.
Q*bert's Qubes - Target Color

However, just like in the original game, Q*bert will have to be wary of foes as he is hopping around the 25 cube formation. Gone are the likes of Coily as well as Ugg and Wrongway. Now the Player must contend with the likes of Rat-A-Tat-Tat. Thankfully in Q*bert’s Qubes if one of these pests lands on a cube that is rotating they will fall to their demise.
Q*bert's Qubes - Rat A Tat Tat

There are also the Meltniks who appear in the game in a variety of colors. Along with a holdover from the first game, the purple ball. Each of these foes will happily hop down the stack of cubes to the bottom. Of course if they make contact with Q*bert the Player will lose one of their lives.
Q*bert's Qubes - Purple Ball

Now I should mention that the colors of the Meltniks are important. Because it actually involves the way a Player is able to defeat them. In Q*bert’s Qubes when the Meltniks land on a cube, whose color matches their own, they dissolve!
Q*bert's Qubes - melting

Beyond that, there are now green turtles that can show up in a stage. These are for bonus points and it is quite safe for Q*bert to crush them under his feet. Which is just a horrible, horrible thing to do, right?
Q*bert's Qubes - Turtle

Furthermore, while getting a tic-tac-toe in the early stages isn’t too difficult. That all goes out the window in later stages when you have to line up two or more to clear a level!
Q*bert's Qubes - tic tac toe

Ready to see Q*Bert’s Qubes in action?

[Via] Old Classic Retro Gaming

As always with CTupa’s Retro Arcade Art project, you can purchase the artwork featured in this post. The originals are ink and watercolor and are 5″x7″ on 8.5″x11″ size paper. You can hop on over to Christopher’s Official Site to contact him as well as check out more artwork from his project!

I hope you won’t forget to check out CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project as well!