Wild Puffalumps
VCR Plus

VCR Plus. Where Were You When I Needed You?

The VCR Plus. Man, I wanted one of these back in the day. Well guess what? I have one now and it’s totally useless. The deal was that your newspaper would print little code numbers in the TV section and you’d find the number of the show you wanted to tape, type it into the VCR Plus and it’d record the show for you.

It was mad cool at the time but since they don’t print the numbers anymore it’s straight of no use to anyone, plus, who outside of me uses a VCR to tape stuff? There must be some fools out there but not many. Give me a big bow wow if you still tape stuff on a VCR!

Anyway, I saw this at The Dig the other day and had to get it. It was like a dollar. Looks to have been unopened too which is cool.

VCR Plus Box Back

I don’t know what’s so cool about that. I guess it still has some 90’s air in there which I must have inhaled when I opened the box.

VCR Plus Unboxing

That’s kind of gross really. What if there was some sort of 90’s virus that has long since died but has been lying in wait for a chance to reemerge? Guess what fool. It’s in your body now.

I wonder if I could get my local newspaper to start printing the codes again or maybe I could crack the code myself and use it to record some of the dumb shows I watch nowadays, like Supergirl or Lucha Underground.. Prolly not.

I do like this though. It’s sort of an early version of the DVR. It was sort of ahead of it’s time in a way but not really. Like a lot of things from that era.

I just sort of looked into it and it turns out that the VCR plus worked on an algorithm that used the numbers to determine the time and channel it would record on. Kind of sort of high tech, I guess. There is all sorts of math involved in this and I don’t know if it’d be worth the trouble to crack. I say this like I could crack it or something. I barely passed algebra. Like, barely..

Want more off beat shenanigans in your life? Sure you do. Well, you can find them and you can also find my weekly podcast The Toys R Us Report over at ISeeRobots.Com. You won’t be sorry for long.


A New York City Train Ride to Coney Island in 1987

I remember heading over to New York City in the 1980s and riding on the subway. It was a memorable and somewhat scary experience, where I never felt in danger, but just felt what I can only describe now as sensory overload. This experience has been hard to translate into words. It is a snapshot of a past that is really best witnessed first hand.

That is why I was very excited to find this home video that was shot in 1987. In it, a group of friends and family take a ride on a New York City Subway line from Union Square all the way out to Coney Island. In the video you will witness the sights and sounds of this journey, including graffiti covered subway cars, sleep passengers, scratched and dirty windows and floors and most shockingly, webbed toes.

While I prefer clean and untagged subway experience. Part of me would like NYC to redo a car with a graffitotagged theme as a moving museum piece. The problem with that becomes, do you then discourage people from adding new graffiti?

Oh well, at least someone had the sense to grab a video camera and take it along for the ride. It is a pretty magical experience that I hope everyone enjoys.

Showbiz Pizza 1987

Enjoy This Wonderful 1987 Showbiz Pizza Birthday Party Home Video!

I’ve spoken about my fond memories of the Showbiz Pizza of my youth many, many times before on the site. Just the other day I stumble upon a disco album released by the Rock-afire Explosion that I hadn’t heard of before, so hoping that it was on YouTube I instead stumbled across this really wonderful birthday party home video from back in 1987.

Uploaded to Michael Grados’ YouTube channel I can only assume he is in fact the young boy the birthday party is behind held for. In the video you will get to see not only the birthday antics that Billy Bob and the employees of Showbiz Pizza engaged in, but a bit of the floor show from the Rock-afire Explosion as well as some of the sweet, sweet vintage birthday loot that Michael received for his birthday!

The funny thing about this birthday video and like the few others I’ve now found…they never turn the camera to the floor of the Showbiz Pizza arcade itself. I have a few photos from my own birthday that was held at Showbiz and not one of them captured an image of the vast number of classic arcade titles on hand for the guests to play. Even so I am so grateful that people like Michael are uploading these little slices of the 80s for our viewing enjoyment, brings a big smile to the face.

Workout Your Waist
Image courtesy of stiGGy's Blog.

This 1992 News Clip Wonders If Laserdiscs Will Replace The VHS Format

I picked up my first Laserdisc player around 1994, thanks in no small part to a fellow co-worker at the Razorback Theater. Roger had a huge collection of Laserdiscs and at that time well before DVD’s it afforded a young cinephile the opportunity to lay their hands on some truly special releases such as the Extended Edition of Aliens, or the spectacular and rather expensive box set releases for Walt Disney’s Archive Editions of Tron and the Nightmare Before Christmas. These were packed to the breaking point with extra features as well as interviews and commentaries that made the $40 to $100 purchase worth while.

Image courtesy of stiGGy's Blog.

Image courtesy of stiGGy’s Blog.

By the time I switched over to DVD I had amassed a fair collection of Laserdisc titles myself with 79 films and TV series that I do still possess today and if I were to have more space in the living room I would have the player hooked up right this second.

So it was nice to stumble across this video uploaded by Scott Simpson on his YouTube channel, sharing a news clip from 1992 that aired on WGRZ-TV in Buffalo focusing on whether the Laserdisc was going to have the muscle to push out the VHS format.

A big thanks to stiGGy’s Blog for sharing that photo of the Archive Edition of Tron you see above.