Retro New Year's Eve

Vic Sage’s Retro New Year’s Eve 2016!

When you work at an arcade in this day and age, a retro New Year’s Eve is to be expected, right? Over the last couple of years I have been glad to share with you the Holiday event at the Arkadia Retrocade. What better way to celebrate a retro New Year’s Eve than being surrounded by vintage games.
Retro New Year's Eve - 2016

For the many fans of the Golden Age of arcade games, this is most certainly the place to be. Especially on a New Year’s Eve. From my previous posts for the Holiday you might recall that I try to bring something special as well. I am referring of course to the vintage Kool-Aid, nay, that sweet nectar of the Gods. The Great Bluedini!

While I do in fact still possess a precious few of those Great Bluedini packs I bought 26 years ago. Like the previous year I had to turn to e*Bay for help to make sure I had enough. And let me expain that I insist on using only the vintage Kool-Aid packets to make the delicious beverage. Although having said that…it’s getting harder and more expensive to do so every year. But it is all worth it for the Players to be able to enjoy five gallons of the greatest Kool-Aid flavor ever created!

Friends, I don’t believe I’ve ever shared this bit of info before. But back in my youth I had another name for the Great Bluedini. I called it the Pure Source – in reference to 1982’s TRON of course.

Anyway, there was a bit of a hiccup in this retro New Year’s Eve plan…I had to work at the hotel. I was not happy about this to say the least. But that is part of being an ‘adult’ I suppose. So I made sure that the Great Bluedini was dropped off at the arcade before work.

In addition I enjoyed some of the tasty beverage with some very special people at the arcade. The Retroist’s own Gary Burton with our good friend, Alex.

One of my fellow concession employees at the arcade, Jonah Bright aka The Iron Monkey. Who I think you’ll agree has the greatest glasses ever made!

As well of course – sharing a cup of the Blue with Shea Mathis. Who you might remember is the owner and manager of the Arkadia Retrocade – besides being one of my best friends.

There is one other thing I had to do differently this year, while dropping off the Great Bluedini. In the previous years I’ve made a point of always pulling off the Minus World glitch in Super Mario Bros. After the clock has struck midnight and the New Year has officialy begun. Why? Well – quite simply, the first year we had the retro New Year’s Eve party, there were Players present who had never heard of this glitch.

So in this case, I had to perform the trick to visit the Negative World a little earlier than normal.

With a bit of a heavy heart but a belly full of the Blue I had to go to work. I’m not sure how many of you work the night audit shift at a hotel. But as you can imagine – New Year’s Eve can be a handful. Thankfully the fact I was missing the fun at the arcade was lessened by the photos that were being sent to me throughout the night.

Hannah, Lisa, and Shea supervising the disbursement of the Blue!

So how did I celebrate my own retro New Year’s Eve this year?

By reading Guillermo del Toro’s At Home With Monsters and sipping my own mug of Great Bluedini!

So here is to 2017, my friends. May it be a brighter and filled with even more retro fun!

Charlie Brown’s Summer Fun View-Master Reels (1972)

I’ve found of late that if I’ve had a rather hard day at work or perhaps I’m feeling just a little down that all I really need to do is head into the living room, turn on the overhead light, lay on my back and pull out my container of View-Master reels. I am still just as captivated by the 3-D images contained on those little white reels today as when I was a kid.

I am fortunate enough to still own my original View-Master and many of the reels that I had in my youth. That doesn’t mean I don’t try to collect the one’s I never had when I was younger of course but to honest every time I turn around I’m floored by a set of reels that I never knew existed. Like with this 1972 Charlie Brown’s Summer fun set that has been scanned by Lance Cardinal, these in particular have something I do not recall seeing in other reels, dialogue on the the images themselves. From what I can tell it seems that Charlie Brown, Schroeder, and Lucy are having to contend with Snoopy continuously interrupting their game of croquet.

All images courtesy of Lance Cardinal.

All images courtesy of Lance Cardinal.

All images courtesy of Lance Cardinal.

All images courtesy of Lance Cardinal.

Now you are going to want to hop on over to Lance Cardinal’s blog to check out more of the View-Master fun from the Peanuts gang, but you also need to his hand built Muppet Theater playset. It is certainly one of the most awesome fan created things I’ve had the pleasure of seeing.

All images courtesy of Lance Cardinal.

All images courtesy of Lance Cardinal.

DVD REVIEW: This is America Charlie Brown

ThisIsAmericaCharlieBrown_Warner

When our pals over at ol’ Warner Bros. Home Entertainment sent over a copy of their newest release in the Peanuts catalog, This is America, Charlie Brown, I was intrigued. Here was an 8 part series combining the seemingly disparate elements of Chuck and the gang with key moments in American history. I wondered how would these mesh? I mean, sure Snoopy has always had one foot (paw?) entrenched in the high-flying combat of WW1 (I can’t believe I didn’t take the easy road to a dog-fight joke…), but this was a bit more in-depth, and the fear that the series would be more dry educational film than entertainment (always a danger in productions such as this) loomed large. So were those fears justified?

Let’s get the biggest thing out-of-the-way, this is indeed a production geared more towards education than anything else, but it is anything but dry. With the typical mature yet fun and spirited writing that has forever been a Peanuts signature quality, this feature manages to teach a broad range of history, everything from the first flight to space exploration to the history of jazz (fitting given the series long-standing association with jazz infused soundtracks), while giving plenty of opportunities for each member of the Peanuts cast to shine in entertaining ways.

Honestly, this production is of such high quality in every department; from animation, to writing to score, that I simply cannot believe it has been nearly completely forgotten (save for the episode Mayflower Voyagers which has appeared from time to time paired with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, the series has not been re-run ).

I do feel that a very large, and at first jarring, issue should be mentioned; namely that in an ultra-rare (though absolutely necessary) occurrence in the Peanuts franchise, adults are actually shown full body (displaying a similar design aesthetic to Bill Melendez’s previous work for the series)! As I watched, I had a sense that something was just “off” about the feature, and then it hit me; “Holy cats! You can actually see the adults…all of them!!!” I can recall only one other time when this has happened; 1980’s Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!).

Instead of fading into obscurity, this should instead be included in every elementary schools video library, as I believe that the Peanuts gang mixed with these vibrant periods in American history would completely engage students and provide a great supplement to often stuffy history books!

You can pick up your own copy of This is America, Charlie Brown here!

The Smurf Wrap-an-Egg from Easter Unlimited

Smurf Wrap-an-Egg

As it is Easter time, I thought I’d have a quick look around for some retro-inspired Easter Eggs. This was the first thing that caught my eye!

The 1984 Smurf Wrap-an-Egg package encourages you to decorate 12 eggs in ‘just seconds’! It’s easy to do, there’s no fuss and no messy paints or dyes! So that’s a win for everyone, right?

Looking at the instructions, I’m pretty sure the children needed to be supervised for this task as you were required to dip the wrapper-on-egg combo into boiling water for 3 seconds. Once you were done, you would be the proud owner of some hard-boiled eggs with Smurf Wrappers atop… actually, I’m starting to think this was a raw deal for those craving a sweet treat!

There were also Rainbow Brite and Peanuts versions too:

Wrap an Egg

Did any Retroist readers ever do these?

Dog of 1,000 Faces

When I was a kid, my mother, father, and sister all enjoyed assembling jigsaw puzzles. Everybody in my family enjoyed working jigsaw puzzles but me. I found them exceedingly frustrating to solve and greatly preferred making up stories about the people in the puzzles than actually putting them together.

Even if I did enjoy solving jigsaw puzzles, I’m not sure I would buy one from a thrift store — every step of the way I would convince myself that pieces were missing. That being said, I did enjoy the artwork on this one. I’m not sure there are 1,000 versions of Snoopy in this picture, but there are more than I’ve seen in any one place.

For some reason, all these dogs are making me want to eat a Sno-Cone.