lego-dimension-knight-rider-set-io9

There Is A LEGO Knight Rider Set. No, Really!

That isn’t a fanmade Knight Rider set from the Brothers Brick, that is an official LEGO set – a Knight Rider set that should hit store shelves next February.

So this Knight Rider set means LEGO is going to take over the world, right?


Pretty much. At least in regards to pop culture retro related properties. I mean, please don’t get me wrong but who is it that you think LEGO is aiming this Knight Rider set to? I say it is most definitely the likes of us that visit The Retroist!

That isn’t all that LEGO is making for us retro-minded fans though. I previously shared the information about the upcoming LEGO Dimensions sets besides Knight Rider back in June. You might remember we are also getting Gremlins
lego-dimensions-gremlins
The A-Team
lego-dimensions-the-a-team
Mission Impossible
lego-dimensions-mission-impossible
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
lego-dimensions-e-t-the-extra-terrestrial
and last but not least The Goonies – or at least Sloth from that film.
lego-dimensions-sloth-the-goonies

Why should we care about a LEGO Knight Rider though?


I know there may be a few of you out there that are asking yourself this very question. You are all dead to me. Just kidding of course – but how can you not get excited about a LEGO minifig version of David Hasselhoff, I mean Michael Knight?
Image courtesy of io9.

Image courtesy of io9.


My friends, please listen to me. We are lucky enough to live in a time where by next year you will be able to have Dr. Peter Venkman of 1984’s Ghostbusters driving K.I.T.T. through Gremlins’ Kingston Falls!
Image courtesy of io9.

Image courtesy of io9.


I kind of think that LEGO has made some amazing and excellent choices with Knight Rider and the other retro properties. In fact I believe I couldn’t be more impressed if they suddenly announced they were releasing a set for…

A huge thank you to Andrew Liszewski of io9 for the heads up on the Knight Rider set. Hey, if like myself you are geeking out over this release and need to pass the time until February, you can always keep Hasselhoff’s True Survivor on constant loop, right?

[via] DavidHasselhoffVEVO

worm-war-i-atari-2600

I See Some TRON In This 1982 Worm War I Ad

Worm War I is a 1982 game that was developed by Sirius Software for the Atari 2600 and released by 20th Century Fox Games. I was able to find out that the programmer for Worm War I was David Lubar who also programmed the Atari 2600 titles Fantastic Voyage, Nexar, Bumper Bash, Space Master X-7, Flash Gordon, and Activision’s River Raid II to name a few of his accomplishments in the video game industry.
worm-war-i-david-lubar

Didn’t you mention TRON?


I certainly did and I think for some very evident reasons. Let’s take just a moment and compare an image from the Worm War I commercial featuring the player’s tank in action.
worm-war-i-tank-shot
All right. I now ask you to compare that image above with this quick snippet from 1982’s TRON.

I think you can see the obvious similarities between the two. Not just with the tank but even the electronic battlefield of the two seem a little similar wouldn’t you say? Considering that TRON was released the same year I believe it is more than understandable that it would have influenced Worm War I commercial design.

TV Days
I have not had the pleasure of playing Worm War I for myself but thanks to AtariAge and the High Retro Game Lord‘s YouTube channel we can see how it played – kind of a cross between Space Invaders and River Raid

Image courtesy of Atari Age.

Image courtesy of Atari Age.

Whatever became of David Lubar?
I mentioned some of the Atari 2600 titles besides Worm War I that David worked on at the beginning of the post – he also had a hand in games for the Nintendo Gameboy, Super Nintendo, and the Apple II as well as the Atari 800.

I learned that beginning in 1994 while he was still employed as a video game developer he focused on his true love. Writing. By the end of 1995 had sold six books – today he has published over 24 books.

Why don’t you take just a few moments out of your busy schedule and listen to David talk about why he became a writer yourself? I bet you will find it just as interesting as I did!

[Via] Adlit

dragons-lair-storybook

32 Years Later I Get To Read This Dragon’s Lair Storybook!

Dragon’s Lair, the 1983 Laserdisc arcade game holds a very special spot in my heart. I have certainly gone on enough about it on The Retroist these last six years as well as the 10th episode of the Diary of An Arcade Employee Podcast.
Dragon's Lair ad
Why? Well, the easiest answer is I was totally captivated by the animation from Don Bluth and his studio but I also was at that right age to become enamored with the idea of becoming a valiant knight attempting to brave the perils of the Dragon’s Lair.

While it certainly has plenty of Players who seem to rail against the game…well…being a game on rails, I still find myself captivated by it today as when I first walked into my local Showbiz Pizza and saw the line of Players waiting their turn.

I think that the only real complaint I ever had about Dragon’s Lair was the lack of merchandising. It wasn’t until Dragon’s Lair 3D: Return to the Lair was released back in 2002 that we fans finally got our hands on some proper action figures!
dragons-lair-return-to-the-lair-toys

So what merchandise was available for Dragon’s Lair in the early 80s?

  • There were some excellent buttons that fans could get from the Don Bluth Animation fan club.
  • Aladdin Industries Inc. released an incredible metal lunch box.
  • Dragon's Lair - Lunchbox - PJ Gamers - OVGE

  • The Don Bluth Studios published the Tele-Story Presents Dragon’s Lair storybook – which came with an audio cassette tape to listen to while reading the story.
  • A set of Dragon’s Lair flip books that you could yet again order through the Don Bluth Animation fan club back in the day.
  • Milton Bradley produced a board game based on the popular arcade title – which I just so happened to be lucky enough to get my hands on, thanks to a good friend and co-worker at the arcade.
  • There were some cheap toys manufactured by the Larami Corporation for Dragon’s Lair but these were just cheap plastic bugs and slingshots with the game’s logo stamped on the packaging.
  • I'm happy to say that I have the Dragon's Lair Sling Darts!

    I’m happy to say that I have the Dragon’s Lair Sling Darts!

  • I think one of the greatest Dragon’s Lair produced pieces of merchandise was Fleer’s exceptional sticker and rub-off game cards.
  • Dragon's Lair Stickers C

  • Last but not least Marvel Books – yes – as in Marvel Comics, released a series of coloring books and storybooks with images from the game as well as some minor puzzles and word searches.

I am happy to say that after 32 years I finally was able to get my hands on one of those Dragon’s Lair storybooks!

Are you finally going to talk about the Dragon’s Lair book?!

Yes. Calm down, friends. I was just giving you some of my personal thoughts and background info on the merchandising for the game. Yeesh. Dragon’s Lair: The Quest for the Stolen Fortune was designed by Paty Cockrum and Marie Severin – with the word games, mazes, and crossword puzzles created by Suzanne Weyn.

It finds Dirk the Daring being summoned to the Royal Palace where he is put on the trail of the dastardly and deadly Lizard King!
dragons-lair-dirk-the-daring
dragons-lair-dirk-versus-the-pit
Naturally after the reader helps Dirk navigate the traps left behind by the Lizard King…
dragons-lair-dirk-escapes-the-fire
dragons-lair-the-lizard-king-ha-ha-puzzle
..they must attempt to vanquish the evil ruler.
dragons-lair-dirk-versus-the-lizard-king
dragons-lair-the-lizard-king-puzzle
Thankfully if a younger reader found themselves stuck they could always take a quick peek in the back of the book to get the answers they needed.
dragons-lair-the-answer-pages
Now I know that I said I was lucky enough to get my hands on this book, the truth is I was only able to read through it when I dropped in at the arcade. You see, Shea ordered the book from eBay for one of our Players – a young boy who very much like I was at that age captivated by the Dragon’s Lair arcade game.

So I guess in truth my quest for these books still awaits!

vintage-computers-and-retro-video-games-justin
Shoot the Core

Shoot the Core with maps of Gradius

Where I find that maps of the Konami classic ‘Gradius’ help you to discover hidden levels!

I’ve written many times before about my love for the Gradius shoot-em-up series from Konami (see here, here, here, here and here). You would therefore assume that I’m something of an expert at “shooting the core”. This is very true, I think I am, and especially so for the version that introduced me to the Vic Viper: Gradius on the MSX.

I was recently reading on online post about bonus levels. This article touched upon the four bonus levels that can be reached whilst playing Gradius. “FOUR?”, I thought. That’s odd, I only remember three. The MSX bonus levels in Gradius can be reached by flying your ship to specific points in specific levels. You can fly through the mountain in stage 1, manoeuvre between two Moai heads in stage 3 and fly through two more mountains in stage 4. How can I reach the fourth bonus stage?

gradius stage1 msx

Turning to the internet, I went in search of new knowledge, and found answers over at MSX Solutions. Here I discovered that stage 7 has one final access point to the fourth bonus stage. Better yet, they have a brilliant map which tells you where to fly, and provides the full layout for all of the stages, including the four bonus levels.

I never imagined that a simple 80’s shoot-em-up was in need of a level map. However, now that I’ve seen it, I want more! These images are works of art and I think they would make excellent room decoration. Just imagine having a wallpaper border wrapped around a room depicting the entire epic journey of the Vic Viper. Bliss!

Art from this post is taken from the Nemesis (Gradius) map by Fabio Albergaria, 2005. Original artwork is of course from the Konami game “Nemesis” on the MSX, 1986.

Custom Atari 2600 LEGO Set - PowerPig

The Custom Atari 2600 LEGO Set You’ve Always Wanted!

Custom LEGO sets are popular for a very good reason, not only does it give fans a chance to add that one item they desperately want to their collection, perhaps something that LEGO itself hasn’t gotten around to as of ye. Of course another reason is that it also allows builders to show off their considerable talent – like with this particular Atari 2600 Lego set that you know you’ve always wanted.

What is the story behind this LEGO Atari 2600?


Well this Atari 2600 set was created by one Chris McVeigh aka PowerPig and is actually entitled “This Old Basement” and is part of his pixel bundle. After taking a quick moment to hop on over to his little spot on the internet it is readily apparent that Chris has a lot of skill at creating such custom LEGO sets. It’s not just the Atari 2600 set you can pick up, yep, you can totally buy these – but there is also a set for the Intellivision and Colecovision. All of that is before you start scratching the surface of his other categories like arcade cabinets, cameras, radios, food, and even Bonsai trees!

Images courtesy of PowerPig's Builds.

Images courtesy of PowerPig’s Builds.

What is so special about this custom LEGO set?


I think that answer is plainly obvious but how about we take a moment to check out the detail that Chris has added in this LEGO set? First of all that television set should look very familiar to those of you who grew up in the 80s or perhaps just might be a fan of Stranger Things. Not only does it have those rabbit ears – but check out the control knobs…offering thirteen channels and a volume control – and a dark ‘wood’ colored finish.

As for the game that is playing on the television – to me it looks like a cross between 1981’s Lock ‘n’ Chase by Data East and Atari’s Slot Racers from 1978.

Image courtesy of AtariAge.

Image courtesy of AtariAge.

This table/cabinet looks to me like the type I remember seeing in the late 70s – a perfect place to store your opened Atari 2600 game boxes but it also marks the perfect location to place your rug. I love that this LEGO set has a trusty Luke Skywalker figure in his X-Wing pilot gear close at hand with a cold can of cola within easy reach as well – hey, gamer fuel was important then as it is today!

Custom Atari 2600 LEGO Set - table - PowerPig

Last but certainly not least in this Atari 2600 LEGO set is…the Atari 2600! While Chris brilliantly constructed it’s intentional ‘simple’ design doesn’t let us fans of the system know if this is a Heavy/Light Sixer from 1977 or the 1980 CX2600-A model. Although I have to say I love the detail McVeigh put into it all – what with the cords that attach to the the joysticks and 2600 plus that ‘wood veneer’ front.

Custom Atari 2600 LEGO Set - Atari - PowerPig

So make sure to hop on over to PowerPig’s Builds and pick up your own Custom Atari 2600 LEGO Set or see what else Chris might have to offer you for own collection!

A very big thanks to AtariAge for the use of their scanned Slot Racers box art in this post.

He-Man - The Power Glove - Shirtoid.Com

He-Man Has The Power On This T-Shirt…The Power Glove!

He-Man, the most powerful man in the universe is certainly no stranger to possessing relics and weapons of vast power and might. Since the Masters of the Universe toy line first hit the sheves back in 1981 – Mattel made sure that their valiant hero was outfitted with not only a strength-magnifying breastplate and harness but also one half of the Sword of Power – the Sword of Grayskull itself!
He-Man and the Power Sword
But perhaps He-Man has yet to obtain an item of such power in his many adventures presented so far whether in the Filmation animated series, games, or comic books over the past 35 years than the item he has claimed on this particular T-shirt. The Power Glove!

Image courtesy of Shirtoid.com

Image courtesy of Shirtoid.com


I came across this T-Shirt by way of Shirtoid – a site that does it’s best to find the greatest in retro inspired shirts like the merging of the Masters of the Universe and Nintendo’s awesome Power Glove. From there when you find a T-Shirt you can’t live without you follow a link to the actual shop that is selling the clothing – “I Have The Power Glove” by the way was designed by Jason Yang and is offered on Shirtwoot!, although I would add that you do not have to have that design printed just on a shirt.

I suggest while you are looking over the collection of He-Man shirts over at Shirtoid you might want to listen to some fitting 8-Bit music, like Studio Megaane’s cover of the He-Man and the Masters of the Universe theme!

And above all remember…