Space Invaders - Uncle Vic

Get Out On The Dance Floor With 1980’s “Space Invaders” By Uncle Vic!

When it comes to music inspired by Golden Age of the arcades the only one in my youth that I was really aware of was Buckner and Garcia’s 1982 classic Pac-Man Fever.

Pac Man Fever

Just a few days ago though I was introduced to a new one, at least for me, from a performer named Uncle Vic (Nice name) with “Space Invaders”.

[Via] Off The Charts 365

Image courtesy of The Golden Age Arcade Historian Blog.

Image courtesy of The Golden Age Arcade Historian Blog.

Doing a little research led me to the awesome The Golden Age Arcade Historian , not only finding that awesome photo of Uncle Vic himself but explaining that the musician who was born Victor Earl Blecman got the idea for a song about Space Invaders when in 1980 at a show he was performing at his own night club, he kept losing the attention of the audience to the Space Invaders machine in the back of the club.

Claiming he wrote the song in about 30 minutes in his bathroom, Space Invaders it seems caught on thanks in no small part to the delightful Dr. Demento radio show. Although that isn’t the only arcade game related song that Uncle Vic produced, he also had 1981’s “It Won’t Beat Me” which was inspired by Pac-Man!

[Via] Vicarious Rips

Looks like Pac-Man needs a pocketful of plumbers!

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Lunch Box Stash

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During a recent trip to a local antique mall I found this little stash of metal lunch boxes. Of course, I had to investigate.

There were a few good ones there — the Indiana Jones, the Six Million Dollar Man, and He-Man ones caught my eye. Unfortunately they were all in the $20 range, had rust, and were missing their Thermoses. The ones on the other side of the aisle (Pac-Man and Rambo) had no rust and included their Thermoses, but were $50 each. I already own the Pac-Man and Rambo lunch boxes, but even if I did, $50 is too much for me.

I never understood the appeal of those generic lunch boxes, like the ones here with the girl on the side. What kid wouldn’t prefer having lunch with an officially licensed lunch partner?


The Video Game Typography Series


I’ve recently become obsessed about a certain blue hedgehog from my days as a Sega junkie. I was a big fan of Nintendo in the late 80’s and early 90’s but Sega managed to sway me (for a time) with the introduction of the Sega Megadrive (Genesis to most of you) and their cool new mascot, Sonic the Hedgehog.

I was brought up on NES classics in the Mario, Zelda and Metroid franchises and initially had no interest in this new speedy upstart. That all changed when my neighbour found a shiny black machine under his Christmas tree and invited me to witness it. Sonic was a revelation – superbly presented, amazingly fast and packing a punch with both its visuals and audio, I was hooked and would spend hour after hour playing through that first game. I bought into the Megadrive at the earliest opportunity and, for a time, turned by back on Nintendo. The Super Nintendo did eventually take pride of place in my bedroom, but not before I’d mastered two more Sonic games and numerous other titles.

I’ll be posting more about Sonic over the coming weeks, just to get it out of my system, but in the meantime, here are some wonderful typography posters by artist Kody Christian, headed up my Sega’s supersonic hedgehog.




Check out the artist dA gallery for more, including Pokemon, Halo, Mega Man and Donkey Kong.

Image courtesy of Instructables.

The Game Is On With This Pac-Man Inspired Squirrel Feeder!

Image courtesy of Instructables.

Image courtesy of Instructables.

You never quite know what you’ll find waiting for you when you use your internet search these days, I happened to type in Pac-Man and the first thing that popped up was for this awesome Pac-Man inspired squirrel feeder over at Instructables!

The creator of this piece of art goes by the name of The Papier Boy and included this text with the image you see above:
“The squirrels in my back yard have been asking me for entertainment for years. They are so jealous of the bird’s air hockey table. So I thought they might like a vintage arcade machine. But the ones I found on Craigslist were really expensive. Especially for a bunch of squirrels that probably won’t take care of it anyway.
So I decided to build them one. Most of the squirrels in my neighborhood are children of the 1980’s so I figured they would love something that would remind them of their youth. Pac Man would be perfect! I mean, who doesn’t love Pac Man? It’s a classic.”

Better yet we have this video of it in action.

[Via] WN


Retro Arcade Poncho

I’ve never owned a poncho, let alone a “rain” poncho. I’m a firm believer that the more sleeves, the better. I guess when it comes down to it, that makes me anti-vest and pro-Snuggie. That being said, if you ever find yourself in “Riding the Storm” or caught in the middle of the “rains down in Africa,” there are worse things to be caught wearing than this:


Of Batteries and Epoch Men

One retro thought often leads to another. In my case, one retro thought often leads to ten others. I had to change a AA battery in my wireless mic today. As I did so, I began to wonder if my daughter’s generation will even know what disposable batteries are. It’s possible they won’t. It’s possible they will be so used to recharging everything via USB cable that they will never know the “joy” of trying to find replacement batteries for your handheld electronics, of learning AAA, AA, B, C and D, of trying to figure out which way the batteries were supposed to go in, of losing the lid to the battery well, and all the other quirks that went with batteries. Batteries weren’t toys, but they were so connected with the toys of the 80s that I have a lot of quasi-fond memories about them.
That thought led to a memory of one particular handheld device I had and my time trying to find batteries for it. That device was called Epoch Man.
Epoch Man was clearly a Pac-Man clone (re: rip off). I realized that even at an early age. But it somehow found its way into my grubby hands and I loved playing it. Until the batteries went out. The way batteries ran out in these devices is that the device would flicker in and out of life. It wouldn’t just shut off completely. It would still linger for a while. Because of this, I thought the problem was the device and not the batteries, and I responded as any reasonable grade-schooler would: I hit it. With my hand. Hard. Too hard, in fact. Though this technique did somehow draw a few more seconds of Epoch Man-playing power out of the batteries, it had the unfortunate side-effect of breaking Epoch Man permanently. The broken Epoch Man hung around my toy box for a little while as what I would years later come to call a “brick”, and then it disappeared.

It’s one of my saddest memories. Rip-off or not, I really liked Epoch Man, and I was sad to see him die and disappear. But that’s how it went with handheld electronics in the age of batteries.