Photo courtesy of MobyGames.
Two years after Rampage “hit” (pardon the pun) arcades, Midway’s big monsters made their way to the small screen in Data East’s 1988 version of Rampage for the NES. Rampage was ported to most home computers and game systems, each of which losing details (some small, some large) along the way. The NES version dropped Ralph the werewolf, retaining Lizzie the Lizard and George the Gorilla. It also dropped a bit of quality. The game is playable, but it’s not the best home version by far.
Unlike the arcade version (which required quarters to continue) or some of the other ports that limited the amount of times a player could continue, Rampage for the NES allowed players to continue as many times as they wanted, until their their thumbs went numb or the played through all 128 of the game’s levels.
One of my earliest actions figures memories is of playing with a Star Wars Hammerhead figure during a church service. The next earliest is a vague memory of a set of action figures. There were four of these figures, they had something to do with something that was happening on TV, and one was a lion. As it turns out, this is not another of my phantom memories. It is instead a quite accurate recollection of Mattel’s Flash Gordon action figures.
Mattel put out these action figures in 1979 to capitalize on the new Flash Gordon animated movie/series (which you can read more about here). I don’t remember the series, but I seem to remember the movie running in prime time and having a good degree of hype. I also remember watching it while having the action figures in hand, which might mean the figures were released prior to the show. The four figures I had were most the four figures in the line’s first generation: Flash, Ming, Prince Thun (the lion I remembered), and a Lizard Woman. The fact that I had all four seems odd to me, as I rarely had a full set of anything, and I seem to remember (but may be wrong) that Mom bought them as a set as some discount store.
Wherever they came from and however I got them, I enjoyed them quite a bit. Though the figures seem to lack some detail and features, they were still fun to play with, especially while the movie was on, and they made an impression on me. I guess humanoid lions and bipedal lizards have a way of doing that.