Chack'n Pop - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Chack’n Pop (1984)

Have you ever heard of Taito’s Chack’n Pop? Until Christopher Tupa chose it for his latest Retro Arcade Art project, I certainly had not. Right off the bat, Chack’n Pop has some interesting history. While the title screen reads it was a 1983 title, it has been reported that it actually was released in 1984. A cross between Bomber Man and Arabian, Chack’n Pop certainly stands out!
Chack'n Pop - Title Screen

Interestingly enough while no sequels to the game would be released. Taito did actually keep some elements of the title, namely the characters. For example two of the characters appear in 1995’s Bubble Memories – The Story of Bubble Bobble III, namely the Monstas and Mightas. In addition Mr. Chack’n has joined the bad guys in that sequel! As well as nods in Bubble Bobble with Level 29 being based on the stage design of Chack’n Pop, and this is only naming just a few of the references.
Chack'N Pop - Bubble Bobble - Level 29

Now then, the premise of the game is that Mr. Chack’n must regain the hearts of Miss Chack’n. Stolen by the Monstas and secreted away to an underground maze.

Thankfully for the players, you have bombs at your disposal to take out the enemies. However you can only use two, hurling them in separate directions at any time. You have to be careful though as the bombs can take you out as well. Of course making contact with a Monsta will result in a loss of life as well.
Chack'n Pop - Bombs Away

Those very bombs must also be used to break open the cages the Mighta’s have used to trap the hearts. If the Player frees all the hearts, they can escape through the upper right exit, assuming it hasn’t taken too long and the Mightas have sealed the maze.

In Chack’n Pop our main protagonist can get around the maze in unique ways. For one thing he can walk on both the floor and ceilings of the outcroppings.
Chack'n Pop - Ceiling

For climbing up to and over said outcroppings in a stage, Mr. Chack’n is able to extend his legs. It in fact effectively replaces the need for a jump button.
Chack'n Pop - New Heights

Not only does the Player have to worry about the Mighta attempting to seal the maze. If they take to long, eggs hatch more Monstas which easily will swarm the player. It appears however that there is a power-up that occasionally appears. Picking it up with allow you to run into your foes and defeat them, similar of course to power pellets in Pac-Man.
Chack'n Pop - Power Up

I have already mentioned that I didn’t even know this game existed. Just one of the many joys of having CTupa doing these art projects. I will definitely be adding Chack’n Pop to my list of games to cover on the Diary podcast.

You know some of the game mechanics of Chack’n Pop now. Ready to see it 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!

I have found no evidence of it but I assume Chack’n Pop influenced Lionel Ritchie’s Dancing on the Ceiling

[Via] Lionel Richie Vevo

Coleco ADAM - Title Card

The NEW Coleco ADAM Video Podcast

Three and a half years ago, I made my first Retroist Video Podcast and it was on a subject I care very much about: The Coleco ADAM Computer. That particular computer was the first I have ever owned and like many firsts, I have fond memories of the device. The original Retroist audio podcast was published in 2011 and like all of the other episodes, it is very informative. If you have never heard of Coleco’s computer or you don’t know much about it, I would recommend you give it a listen. However, if audio isn’t your thing, then keep reading.
Coleco ADAM - Coleco ADAM setup

A few years back, the Retroist asked if I was interested in making video podcasts of the show and well, obviously I said yes. My original idea was to give the video podcasts a dated look so I went with the 4:3 aspect ratio. This would be great if you were watching these on an old CRT television set. Over time I realized I could take advantage of the increased screen real estate of modern televisions & monitors with a 16:9 aspect ratio. At some point (the A Christmas Story podcast may have been the first) I started making the video podcasts with the modern aspect ratio. Looking back at the video podcasts I have produced, it bothered me that the podcast I wanted to convert most was stuck in 4:3. Not anymore. I present the NEW Coleco ADAM Video Podcast in 16:9 and though the trend is 4K, I went with 1080. Hopefully I don’t regret that in a few years… With the exception of the commercials, I didn’t use much of the visuals from the original video podcast. Just about everything you see in this video podcast is new.

If you want to see the other Retroist Video Podcasts, click here.

Scopitone - jukebox

Behold The Beauty Of The Scopitone Jukebox!

Friends, working with the Projectionist, I certainly have developed a love for film itself. As well as a desire to fill the Retroist Vault with all manner of coin-operated amusement machines. The other day while checking out some older gaming magazines I came across a British jukebox. This of course was an 80’s jukebox that played music videos. However this it turns out is not in fact a new idea. Case in point the Scopitone Jukebox!
Scopitone - Tel A Sign - Chicago

I did my very best to try and find some footage of those British video jukeboxes. Sadly I couldn’t find a single video. It did lead me though to a much earlier version of the device. The Scopitone jukebox. A 60’s coin-operated amusement machine that showed music videos, on 16 mm film.
Scopitone - Film Reels

Now to be truthful, it wasn’t just working with the Projectionist all these years that made me fall in love with film. I have obviously mentioned on various podcasts as well as posts that film has always been intriguing to me. The Scopitone jukebox is something entirely different than I’ve ever seen before though!

While the Scopitone jukebox reels can obviously be considered a precursor to what we would call the music video. While being low budget they still managed to attract all manner of popular singers. Neil Sadaka, Nancy Sinatra, Dionne Warwick, and Julie London to name a few. I particularly enjoyed the 16 mm reel featuring The Exciters singing Tell Him while visiting…a local zoo?

[Via] History Comes To Life

Now when a patron inserted their quarter into the Scopitone jukebox and selected which song they desired. Within the machine a rotating mechanism would spin to the correct 16 mm film selection. Then an arm would swing down with the projection mechanism, the light would be bounced off a mirror to be displayed on the screen.
Scopiton - Jukebox Playing

Ready to see the Scopitone jukebox in action?


The 16 mm film reel that is displayed in the video is of Joi Lansing, singing Web of Love!

[Via] JimVid 1

You want even more fantastic Scopitone jukebox musical entertainment? Then how about Bobby Vee’s The Night Has A Thousand Eyes?

[Via] Lucy Huto

Do You Remember “Sports” Cartoons?

A hippo and a cat (and sometimes a pig and/or a dog) engage in a competition of sports…and that’s not the beginning of a bad joke. In the world of 1980s animation, it actually exists as Sports Cartoons!

And in the spirit of the Olympics, there was no way I could let this one get past me!

But Seriously, What Are Sports Cartoons?

Sports Cartoons are a series of short cartoon produced by Lamb-Perlman Productions in 1985, and resemble the National Film Board of Canada’s animation style. The shorts feature anthropomorphic animals as the participants of various sports.

The participants are:

The Hippo….

The Cat…

The Big Cats…

The Pigs…

And the Dog.

The concept is simple – the animals (usually the Hippo and the Cat) engage in various sporting events. By his own disastrous design, the antagonistic Cat never wins.

However, through pure dumb luck, the sweet Hippo (or the Pig) always succeeds.

Actually, there was that one time The Big Cats won…

Cha-cha-cha!

That’s it, really. No dialogue, no voices (except for the screeching cat). The shorts range in running time – 40 seconds to two minutes in length.

Sports Cartoons As Filler Material

In the United States, Sports Cartoons filled commercial space between programs on Nickelodeon in the late 1980s and until the mid-1990s. I have vivid memories of watching the animals duke it out frequently, and loved watching the Hippo come out on top. When one watched, one never rooted for the Cat. You rooted for the Hippo (or Pigs).

Besides, the Hippo was adorable.

Those ears!

All told, the entire series ran forty-five minutes (for forty-five episodes), and saw a home video release by Family Home Entertainment.

Yes, mom and dad…you’ll love it too!

What Types of Sports Were Featured in Sports Cartoons?

Well…everything! And probably some you haven’t thought of! Common sports, such as Basketball, Baseball, Football, Soccer, Hockey, and Boxing had their moment, as did anything construed as a sport.

That’s right – nestled with the “typical” sports, Hippo, Cat, and Friends also competed in Darts, Chess, Skydiving, Karate, Swimming, Pommel Horse, Gymnastics, Skeet Shooting, Hot Air Balloon, Javelin, Shot Put (this one was a two-parter), Fencing, and Table Tennis.

And that’s not even scratching the surface!

Would You Like To See Some Sports Cartoons?

Of course you would!

And thanks to You Tube…you can!

Upload via Twin Peakser

Now do you remember?

Flintstone - Fred Flintstone

Yabba-Dabba-Don’t: Scandal Rocks The Flintstones!

Meet the Flintstones. Are they a modern Stone Age family or a family with a hidden past?

Flintstones - Betty and Barney Rubble

Neighbors Betty and Barney Rubble
“We thought they were so nice!”

Fred works at the local quarry and is a popular member of the Loyal Order of Water Buffalos. Other than occasionally being caught talking to an invisible friend Gazoo, Fred seems like an average Bedrock citizen.

[Via] D S

He was the star of a popular television series in the 1960s and is still a celebrity. It is impossible to waltz up and down the cereal isle without finding Fred on a cereal box. Unfortunately, it is all a sham. Karen Williams and a team of investigative reporters for The Retroist have uncovered undeniable evidence that Fred and Wilma have a sordid secret history that escaped the light of public knowledge.

When we first met the Flintstones, they were living under the assumed name the Flagstones. That should have been the first sign of a hidden secret. But shortly afterwards, Fred and Wilma’s hit TV series premiered and everyone forgot about their past.

What if they were living under a different name because they were trying to hide something? Or better yet…someone? Before we go any further, we should introduce the players in this unsolved mystery.

“Meet Fred Flintstone …
His boy Junior ….
Daughter Pebbles ….
Wilma his wife …..”

I know what most of you are thinking – who is Junior? What if cute little Pebbles wasn’t Fred and Wilma’s first child? What if they had a long forgotten son, Fred Flinstone, Junior? I know it sounds like the plot from an outlandish cartoon, but we have found undeniable proof.

Before September of 1960, when the Flintstones TV show premiered, Fred and Wilma were totally unknown, so William Hanna and Joseph Barbera began a publicity campaign. For adults, Fred and Barney promoted beer and cigarettes.

[Via] ToonORama

[Via] WeeL

For kids, there were Flintstone comic books and story books. And appropriately enough, that is where our story begins. These images come from the great site – Golden Gems.
Flintstones - Little Golden Book Cover

In 1961, Little Golden Books published their first book about the Flintstones.
Flinstones  - LBG Opening Shot

A few years before Pebbles was born, the Flintstones were Fred, Wilma, and Junior. While grilling, a little dinosaur snuck up and ate every hamburger that Fred had cooked. Fred was furious, but Junior thought the little dinosaur was adorable. After pleading with him, Fred gave in and let Junior keep the little dinosaur as a pet.
Flintstones - Junior and Harvey

Junior named him Harvey and built him a dinosaur house. Harvey was happy, but the more Junior fed him, the more Harvey grew.
Flintstones - Giant Harvey

Harvey grew so large that finally, Fred put his foot down and sent Harvey away. A few days later, Fred was fishing in a little row boat when a storm suddenly appeared and capsized his boat.
Flintstones - Fred's Boat Sinking

Harvey saw that Fred was in trouble and rescued him. After this, Fred decided that having a giant dinosaur for a pet wasn’t so bad after all.
Flintstones - Harvey the Dinosaur - Final page

And, they all lived happily ever after? Yeah, right! What do you think this is – a cartoon? While Fred and Wilma became famous, Junior and Harvey were never heard from again. Inquiring minds want to know – what happened to Junior and Harvey?
Flintstones - Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm

We interviewed Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm, but they claimed that they’ve never heard of Junior or Harvey. I don’t trust any of the Flintstones, but Pebbles may be telling the truth since she wasn’t born until 1963.

We also interviewed Fred Flintstone, but he is old and unfortunately his memory is fading. So, he was no help.
Rip Van Flintstone

The mystery remains regarding The Flintstones – what happened to Fred Flintstone, Junior?


Flintstones - Junior Flintstone - Milk Carton

If you have any information about Junior’s final fate, please contact any of The Retroist staff.