Retroist Scoreboard: The Dog and Jedi and Klown Days of Summer

Now I know why the major soundtrack labels unloaded an entire vat of music on us last week: it’s getting hot enough to melt compact discs.  (If you’re hot, they’re hot – bring them inside!)  Fortunately, we’ve got a little splash of interesting classic soundtrack news to cool you off.

Composer John Massari has kicked off an IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign for his orchestral re-recording of his own score from the Chiodo Brothers’ cult classic, Killer Klowns From Outer Space.  Re-recordings are wildly varying in quality, but this one is worth your attention: the original composer is behind it, and as he states in his crowdfunding pitch, he always had it in mind as an orchestral score, but the film’s budget limited him to synthesizers.  Also, one only has to pitch in at the $20 level to get an autographed CD of the new recording when it’s done.

Music Box Records has released a very small run (750 copies!) of Georges Delerue‘s score from the 1980 TV series Les Chevaux du Soleil (Horses Of The Sun).  Some music from this series has been presented on prior compilations of Delerue’s work, but this is the entire score from the original sessions, adding over 40 minutes of material not heard before.  Liner notes are included in both French and English.

Also: I missed one earlier this month.  (So many labels, so many soundtrack releases…it happens.)  Moviescoremedia, a label based in Sweden, has release George Shaw‘s score from the Star Wars fan film Way To The Rebellion.

Wait, what?  A soundtrack from a fan film?  It’s not completely unheard-of: there are CDs and/or downloads available of such fan-made projects as Starship Farragut and Star Trek: Renegades (both of them Trek spinoffs), and they’re worth a listen – some of the fan film composers have gone on to “real” projects (though I challenge you to watch Star Trek Continues and tell me that’s not a “real” project).

POW! To the moon!

Shaw, as it happens, already has several “real” projects behind him – Way To The Rebellion was just his chance to be John Williams for a day.  To fill out the CD, some of Shaw’s prior Star Wars-related scores are included, such as First Asian Jedi and Dealbreakers: She’s Never Seen Star Wars?!.  The samples you can listen to on the web site sound big-screen – this is a real orchestra, not a suitcase full of samples.  As someone once said…impressive.  Most impressive.  You can watch Way To The Rebellion in its entirety to get a taste for the music.

Will there be “new” classic film music to talk about next week?  Stay tuned.

Last Jedi Trailer by way of the Apple IIc

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer By Way Of The Apple IIc!

That is something you will not normally read, right? The Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc . Because as a matter of fact, who would think that is even possible? Thankfully for all of us fans of retro as well as movie buffs, one artist decided to do that very thing. Moreover this Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc manages to make it even more awesome!

The artist in question I should add is Wahyu Ichwandardi or Pinot as he is known on Twitter. Furthermore he had this to say on his Twitter channel on remaking the trailer using solely 1984 technology.
“It’s not just about a nostalgia journey, but also a tech history lesson. Kids have access to the old tech to experience better, beyond. And show it to my children.
New tech old tech, we just need to respect the tool to create something beyond its original task.”

Last Jedi Trailer by way of the Apple IIc

I think you will absolutely agree with me, that Pinot just said something very wise. In addition to something incredibly true. Pinot by the way also used two other bits of 1984 technology as well. Broderbund’s Dazzle Draw which is a bitmap paint program that was developed by David Snider. Who you might know better as the designer for the groundbreaking 1982 pinball simulation David’s Midnight Magic.

In addition, Pinot of course had to animate the Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc…by hand.

He did this by using none other than the Koala Pad. A drawing tablet released by Koala Technologies. Naturally. In fact, Pinot was kind enough to comment on Rob O’Hara’s 2012 post just a few days ago.

Animating The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc took 48 140KB double density disks. As well as 288 image files with a total of 6MB. Obviously a whole heck of a lot of work went into bringing this labor of love to fruition.

However I think after you see the work for yourself you will totally agree on two things. It was totally worth it and Pinot has created something incredibly beautiful!

[Via] PinoDita

Having reveled in The Last Jedi trailer by way of the Apple IIc. Why not take a few moments and really see how much work Pinot put into the project?

[Via] PinoDita

Rancho Obi-Wan - Steve Sansweet

Sad News – Rancho Obi-Wan Has Been A Victim Of Theft!

Just a few weeks back I shared one of my personal memories of seeing Star Wars for the first time. Like so many of us the saga that George Lucas brought to movie screens in 1977 helped to shape our lives. That statement is perhaps no more truer than in regards to Steve Sansweet. A kind and generous man that has been described as being the Star Wars ambassador. In addition to being a collector he is also an author as well as President and CEO of Rancho Obi-Wan, a non-profit museum that in fact holds the largest collection of memorabilia from the saga.
Rancho Obi-Wan - Star Wars Collection

I want to add also that I was lucky enough to have met Sansweet at the San Diego Comic-Con. In the early 90s when he was giving a lecture about his vast collection.

Rancho Obi-Wan wasn’t established until 1998, beginning in one of three former hen houses in fact. Furthermore it wasn’t until 2011 when Sansweet retired as Director of Content Management and head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm. That was actually when Rancho Obi-Wan became not only a non-profit musuem but allowed fans to visit and enjoy his collection.

[Via] How Stuff Works

Which is why I felt like throwing up this afternoon when reading the news of a massive theft at Rancho Obi-Wan. Tom Berges of the exceptional I Grew Up Star Wars was kind enough to share this on the site’s Facebook Page. The reason I am sharing it here on The Retroist is to help get the word out about the possibility of fellow collector’s purchasing stolen property.

Here is the message from Sansweet on the official Rancho Obi-Wan website:
“Dear fellow Star Wars fans and collectors,

I need to share some distressing news with you because I need your help.

In February we at Rancho Obi-Wan found out that we had been the victim of a major theft that surreptitiously took place over many months in late 2015 through 2016.

There were more than 100 valuable items stolen, the majority of them vintage U.S. and foreign carded action figures, many of them rare and important pieces. Most have either been resold or professionally appraised for a total of more than $200,000.

The theft came to light after Philip Wise, a good friend, major collector and owner of several Star Wars websites, posted news of the theft of his rare prototype rocket-firing Boba Fett action figure from his Texas warehouse. Zach Tann, a respected toy dealer and collector in Southern California, immediately notified Philip that he had purchased that figure from Carl Edward Cunningham, 45, a well-known Star Wars collector and R2-D2 builder from Marietta, Georgia.

Tann further told Philip that he previously had bought many other rare Star Wars collectibles from Carl and sent a detailed list. Philip said that he quickly concluded by the quantity and quality of items that they had likely been stolen from my collection here in Petaluma, California.

Tann is working closely with us and authorities to help recover and return as many of the stolen collectibles as possible. Without Zach Tann’s call to Philip, which came despite great potential personal financial exposure to himself, we might still not know of the theft or its extent.

Carl surrendered on an arrest warrant from the Sonoma County, California Sheriff’s Department at the end of March and was charged with felony grand theft. He is currently free on bail with additional hearings in the case scheduled.

I have known Carl for many years, considered him a good and trusted friend, and played host to him at my home numerous times. I, and the staff at Rancho Obi-Wan, are devastated that he is the alleged perpetrator of the thefts. Not only have important items been stolen from the collection, but also our time, energy and ability to trust unconditionally have taken a blow.

If you have any information about Carl Cunningham’s activities or items that he has sold please write to tips@ranchoobiwan.org. If you think you may have purchased a stolen item, please be patient while we work through this process. It is our goal to resolve this situation as quickly as possible and to continue to use the collection at Rancho Obi-Wan to “Inspire through the Force” despite the destruction caused by one person.

Thank you for your help,
Steve Sansweet
Rancho Obi-Wan”

As Sansweet mentions in the closing of his announcement, Rancho Obi-Wan will continue to inspire. That is the takeaway from this heinous incident. With the help of a global community that spans generations, the love of the Star Was saga shines brightly.

Take a closer look at Rancho Obi-Wan with Steve Sansweet and Norman Chan of Tested!


Rancho Obi-Wan - Steve Sansweet - Tested

[Via] Tested

Burger Chef and Jeff - Drinking Glass

Retro Records: Burger Chef and Jeff Meet Cackleburger

Burger Chef and Jeff, does that name ring a bell? For those of us that grew up in the 70s of course it brings to mind the Funmeal. A boxed kids meal that provided puzzles and stories. Focusing on the adventures of Burger Chef and Jeff of course. The Funmeal also generally contained a toy or small collectible as well.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Funmeal Theatre

These were the mascots of the Burger Chef chain of fast food restaurants. Obviously. It bears pointing out that in addition to beating McDonald’s to the idea of the Happy Meal. Burger Chef was also quick to land the licensing for a little 1977 movie called Star Wars!
Burger Chef and Jeff - Star Wars

I will get to the subject of our Retro Records for this week in just a second. However I felt I should share a little more information about Burger Chef first. The restaurant got it’s start back in 1957, opening in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Fast Food

Thanks in no small part to focusing on smaller cities, for example my neck of the woods, they quickly expanded their reach. Furthermore in 1968 the chain was scooped up by General Mills which of course faciliated the expansion. By 1972 in fact they had 1,200 restaurants across the United States. It is important to realize that in that same year McDonald’s only had 400 more locations at the time.

I guess what I’m getting at is that it wasn’t a small operation. Now Burger Chef and Jeff were more than mascots, at least that was the case for me. I have mentioned before that growing up my Father and I didn’t have much. So generally once a month when I was taken to Burger Chef it was certainly a treat. One of those reasons I said they were more than mascots to myself is thanks in part to the TV commercials.

[Via] Eye 8h NBC

Burger Chef and Jeff - Mascots
I believe I have stated on more than one occasion that I was in fact a monster kid growing up. The kooky characters that Burger Chef and Jeff came into contact with like Wolfburger as well as Count Fangburger, the talking ape Burgerilla, and Cackleburger the Witch! I feel confident in saying these characters were certainly right up my alley!

You might want to listen to my first introduction to The Wolf Man in episode 53 of the Saturday Frights Podcast

Which indeed means I was very excited when Burger Chef was offering on of their 33 1/3 records. For this installment of Retro Records we are sharing Cackleburger Casts A Spell. I have hard a rather hard time tracking down the exact date but a few sources online point to 1976. You might also notice that the spelling on the record is different than the spelling for the character.
Burger Chef and Jeff - Cackelburger

Also of interest is that Burger Chef is voiced by the late and great Paul Winchell. Whose voice I think you might recognize from the massive animated series he was affiliated with. Paul provided the voice of Gargamel in the Smurfs, was Fleegle Beagle in The Banana Splits, as well as Dick Dastardly for many of the Hanna-Barbera shows.

So please join us on Retro Records as we listen to the adventures of Burger Chef and Jeff!

[Via] James Will

Star Wars Is 40 Years Old Today…I Think I’m Old Now

Friends, it’s hard to believe Star Wars is 40 years old. I will to admit to having a rather difficult time wrapping my head around that fact. As well as finding that I’m suddenly feeling my age. I also find myself flooded with many Star Wars memories. Having said that I felt I should focus on my first viewing of that groundbreaking film.

After all as Star Wars.Com reminds us. Star Wars is 40 years old today.

Star Wars is 40 years old - Star Wars.Com

Image courtesy of Star Wars.Com

I want to talk about Darth Vader’s appearance in the 1977 film. Moreover how I almost missed it thanks to my Father’s well-intentioned desire to protect his 5-year-old Son.
Star Wars is 40 years old

Of course when Star Wars was released back on May 25th, 1977 we didn’t know what to expect. In fact I don’t believe my Father or myself ever saw a trailer for the film until well after it had exploded in popularity. Moreover when we first saw Star Wars it wasn’t busy, if memory serves me correctly it was barely half-full. I can assure you however that the next week when we went to see the movie it was a whole other story. Lines around the movie theater!
Star Wars is 40 years old - Lines around theaters

Anyway, I am getting off subject. I was already put in a state of total awe with the appearance of the Star Destroyer. But as the rebel soldiers nervously awaited whatever was cutting through doors, a hand rose up and blocked my view. I yanked my Father’s hand down in time to see the Stormtroopers enter the Tantive IV, blasters firing away.
Star Wars is 40 years old - Stormtroopers

When Darth Vader stepped out of the smoke to survey the work of his Stormtroopers. My Father’s hand shot up again in front of my eyes. With all of my five-year-old might I began to slap at his arm, ducking so I could get my first look at Vader. Was I scared? Not in the least but I was definitely in a state of rapture as Vader proved he was dangerous as he was menacing.
Star Wars is 40 years old - Captain Antilles

As we were driving home I couldn’t contain my excitement over Star Wars. I was literally in sensory overload. While I had seen plenty of movies – great ones in fact, nothing had affected me like Star Wars. On the drive home I yammered away on everything about I loved about the movie. Of course I had to ask my Father why he had attempted to cover my eyes. The answer was…interesting.

“I don’t know. I was worried a monster lizard was going to come running out at the screen.”

While I could go on and on about what the film series means to me. As Star Wars is 40 years old today, I can’t think of a better memory to share with you all. Furthermore it is my hope that someday soon the Retroist might present a Star Wars podcast.

Until that day you can certainly enjoy the Star Wars: Droids episode of the podcast!
Retroist Star Wars Droids Podcast

For more fun featuring Darth Vader: It Only Took 37 Years To Put This Darth Vader Model Together!

While Star Wars is 40 years old today, this is a perfect time to remind you about the original Kenner lightsabers.

[Via] Ultimate Toy Collector