Ben Cooper Costumes - Title

These Vintage Ben Cooper Costumes Were A Surprise

Friends, of course those of us of a certain age remember the Ben Cooper line of Halloween costumes well. Perhaps best known for just how wide Ben Cooper threw its net in regards to merchandising. Finding one of these delightful costumes in the wild never fails to bring a smile to my face. Especially when I dropped by my local Vintage Stock and discovered they not only had three Ben Cooper costumes for sale – but they also were still in their boxes.

Ben Cooper actually got his start designing sets as well as costumes for the legendary Cotton Club. With the Great Depression however, the entrepreneur noticed that Halloween was still popular. So he decided to go for the licensing of Walt Disney characters beginning in 1937. Thanks to partnering up with Fishbach’s Spotlight in 1942, Ben Cooper costumes became super popular. Sears, J.C. Penney, and Woolworth’s carried the easily affordable costumes and helped cement the company as a household name.

[Via] Cool Old Videos

Now as soon as I stepped through the doors of my local Vintage Stock. It was indeed like my eyes were magnetically drawn to the display of vintage costumes. Thankfully the staff as always were kind enough to let me start snapping photos of them all. Almost as if they are used to me doing such a thing, right? First up is Gary Gnu from 1981’s The Great Space Coaster.
Ben Cooper Costumes - Gary Gnu

[Via] TGS Coaster

Next up is an icon I am pretty sure doesn’t really require any introduction. In the early 80’s it isn’t like Pac-Man wasn’t a worldwide phenomenon!
Ben Cooper Costumes - Pac Man - Mask

However that does not mean of course I won’t remind you of the Diary podcast. Although in this case the featured game was 1982’s Pac-Man Plus.

What of the third Ben Cooper costume though? Do you recognize this charming adventurer?
Ben Cooper Costumes - Frank Buck - Mask - Bring 'Em Back Alive

Frank Buck. The world famous big game trapper and collector of wild animals?
Ben Cooper Costumes - Frank Buck - Bottom of Box

You will recall I mentioned that Ben Cooper was known for licensing pretty much any pop culture icon. In this case that does include the main character from 1982’s Bring ‘Em Back Alive.

[Via] Ran 5900

Which I should add if you don’t check out that intro to the short lived series is none other than Bruce Boxleitner. Also appearing in the show was his co-star from TRON, the beautiful Cindy Morgan. I am not sure if her character was available as an costume option for Halloween that year, but it wouldn’t shock me if one was available.

How about we close this out with this vintage 1978 Woolworth’s TV commercial? Featuring quite a few of Ben Cooper costumes I might add.

[Via] William Presley

Coleco evolved mini arcades - Rainbow Brite - Robotech

Coleco Evolved Mini Arcades – Rainbow Brite & Robotech?!

Friends, the other day the Retroist Vault was all abuzz with the news of the Coleco evolved mini arcades Kickstarter. Gary Burton was kind enough to drop on by for a visit with the news in fact. The Coleco evolved mini arcades are a retro throwback to the classic early ’80s tabletop games. Although this time it isn’t the likes of Pac-Man and Frogger that we will be playing. This go around we are getting games for both Rainbow Brite and Robotech!

[Via] Scottith Games

As far as I know, Mr. Arcade, the spokesman for the original Coleco tabletop won’t be returning. However at the very least the designs of the plastic shell are staying 100% the same. Well, the housing is the same. The Coleco evolved mini arcades will feature:

  • Full Color LCD Display
  • Powerful new gaming chip set
  • Revamped joystick and accurate action buttons
  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion battery pack
  • Highly-detailed, colorful Rainbow Brite and Robotech art wraps

Coleco evolved mini arcades - Kickstarter

First of all I did indeed say the units will feature these because with 26 days to go, they’ve already reached their goal. At the time I submit this post, Coleco has netted $56,674 on a $30,000 goal. There is of course a stretch goal, a whopping $180,000 one at that. It is however a mystery to everyone…I hope though it’s an new Smurfs game!
Coleco evolved mini arcades - 180,000 stretch goal

How about we take just a moment to talk about the games? Rainbow Brite: Journey to Rainbow Land is an RPG style offering. Judging by the video below, it has most certainly been inspired by the likes of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. In this game you will attempt to help Rainbow Brite and Starlite thwart the plans of Murky and Lurky.
Coleco evolved mini arcades - Rainbow Brite

With Robotech: The Macross Saga you will get to pilot a legendary Veritech fighter. Standing as the ultimate and probably last defense for the Earth from alien invaders. Besides looking like you can switch between pilots, your Veritech can transform into Guardian, Fighter, and Battloid modes.
Coleco evolved mini arcades - Robotech

If you want to support the Coleco evolved mini arcades, you can follow the link to their Kickstarter. Now then, how about checking out the pitch video and the games in action?

Sinistar - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Sinistar (1983)

Sinistar! For this week’s Retro Arcade Art pick, CTupa has certainly picked a classic. Furthermore this legendary arcade title was the subject of the 15th episode of the Diary of An Arcade Employee Podcast. And really when you get down to it. It has indeed hard to deny the importance of Sinistar as an arcade icon.

I honestly believe that there is no other game, from the Golden Age of Arcades. That causes you to start panicking, your palms to sweat like Sinstar does. Think about it for a second. While Donkey Kong is busy tossing barrels at you, he stays put. The ghosts from Pac-Man certainly can give chase but at the very least you have the power pellets to ward them off.

Sinistar however seems to take pleasure in your impending doom. Announcing his arrival and taunting the Player as well. Before of course rushing towards your tiny space vessel in an attempt to eat you in a single bite. The speakers on the cabinet vibrating as it lets loose a mighty roar. Which I can truthfully say made me jump the first time I heard it in my youth.
Sinistar - Boom

Not that the Player is totally defenseless of course. Thanks to shooting the various floating planetoids in a stage, you receive Sinibombs. Easier said than done as mining these planetoids generally will let those bombs float out into space. Where the red enemy Worker drones hastily scoop them up…to build the fearsome Sinistar. The Player can blast the drones with their fire button and reclaim the Sinibomb if they are quick enough.
Sinistar - Red Enemy Drones

Throw into that mix the Warrior vessels. Who are constantly dogging you, taking aim and blasting your ship into atoms. The Player can destroy the Warriors by shooting them as well. However in later levels they kind of swarm you and it’s hard to dodge and shoot back at the same time. Back in the day I think this was considered one of the toughest games at my local arcade.
Sinistar - Warriors

Friends, you generally play a round just valiantly trying to keep alive. On the run. There are so many times you will release your payload of bombs to see them intercepted by a Worker or Warrior. However thanks to the scanner at the top of the screen you can attempt to fly away and mine more planetoids. As well as constantly keeping an eye on the location of Sinistar!
Sinistar - Run

When Williams Electronics released Sinistar to the arcades in 1983, they already had a slew of classics under their belt. The previous year they released the likes of Joust as well as Robotron: 2084. Throw in Moon Patrol and Bubbles, you have a pretty stellar line up. I must add that the game also had one of the most beautiful environmental cabinets ever produced!
Sinistar - Rear of Cabinet

The design elements on the cabinet are astounding, such as the engines at the rear of the cabinet. Not to mention how its very design really gives you an immersive experience. Especially with the rear speakers behind your head while playing. It is a version of the arcade game I didn’t even know existed until we got it at the Arkadia Retrocade.
Sinistar - Front of Arcade Cabinet

You have some info on how Sinistar works now. So why not watch the game in action for yourself?

[Via] World of Longplays

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!

Jungler - Christopher Tupa

Retro Arcade Art By CTupa: Jungler (1981)

How many of you Arcade Addicts out there played Jungler back in the day? While I was indeed familiar with Christopher Tupa’s pick for this week’s Retro Arcade Art. I will certainly admit that I never had the privilege of playing Jungler in the arcades of my youth.
Jungler - Marquee

Jungler happens to be one of the many maze games from the early 80s. Obviously Pac-Man is the most famous of that genre. However back in 1973 Atari heped start the arcade maze craze with Gotcha!

While Jungler was developed by Konami it was in fact Stern that produced the game. You might now Stern for it’s arcade classic titles like Berzerk, Scramble, Tutankham, as well as Pooyan. The goal of the game is to control your white colored snake (Jungler?) as it navigates a maze.
Jungler - Screen 1

The problem is you have three other snakes in the maze with you. They want nothing more than to catch and devour you. The enemies comes in three different colors as well as lengths. The green snakes are shorter than Jungler and if a Player makes contact with the head it will safely devour them. A yellow snake is the equal length of the Player. While you will be able to eat them- they won’t cost you a life if you make contact in the maze. The red snakes however are longer than the Player and will result in death if it catches you.
Jungler - Red Snake

This isn’t a game though where you just have to constantly be on the run from your foes. Not at all. Jungler as it turns out happens to be able to shoot at the enemy snakes. Each successful hit will shorten a snake by one segment. Of course the enemies will do this randomly as well so you always have to be on your toes.

I was quite shocked while doing research to learn that Jungler did not receive a port to the popular home consoles of the day. It did have versions on both the Arcadia 2001 console in 1982 as well the Tomy Tutor a year earlier. On the other hand it at least got a handheld version thanks to Gakken.
Jungler - Gakken

As I previously mentioned earlier in the post. Jungler was a game that just wasn’t found in my neck of the woods. Thankfully I was able to play it when the Game Room dropped on the Xbox – a classic gaming option I might add that should have stuck around.
Jungler - Arcade Cabinet

Ready to see Jungler in action?

[Via] H. Gallo 64


Now remember that 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!

Don’t forget to review CTupa’s previous entries in his Retro Arcade Art project!
(Beezer)
(Bomb Jack)
(Devil Fish)
(Dig Dug)
(Inferno)
(Kangaroo)