My youngest son has recently taken an interest in the Disney Pixar Cars Dashboard that Father Christmas delivered to him half a year ago. This ‘game’ looks amazing at first glance and I’m sure my 18-month old loves ‘driving’ Lightning McQueen but, for me, it is a little lacking. I think the problem is that I had something a little more special when I was younger, I had the Tomy Turnin’ Turbo Dashboard.
I was around 5 or 6 when I played this driving simulator and it was probably my first proper introduction to video gaming. Of course, this wasn’t really a video game; the innards are mechanical, the various car functions are handled by timers, and there are no goals to accomplish. All of that didn’t matter though, this thing looked like a Porsche and the road moved along at great pace in top gear, and that was more than enough.
I’m certain that the practice I put in on this toy has since helped me conquer many racing games!
Tomy not only produced the Strolling Bowling game we all loved, but it also produced a set of simple, wind-up, T.H.I.N.G.S.-like games called Skill Squares. There were many great Skill Squares (including Rescue Copter), but one of the best was Goin’ Ape.
Not to be confused with the Tony Danza movie of the same name, Goin’ Ape was a little game in which you tried to knock colored balls into the looped arms of a swinging monkey. If successful, the monkey would drop the balls into a bin on the other side of the square. You could then rate yourself by the categories listed on the back of the square.
I unfortunately couldn’t find any video or other pictures of Goin’ Ape anywhere, but this one is still for sale on Ebay!
I loved blinddog’s post on the Hubot earlier today. It got me thinking about the Omnibots which we’ve also talked about. All these bots were very attractive to a young me in the 80s for several reasons: 1) They were high-tech, like all good 80s prodcuts. 2) They were similar to the robot from Rocky IV as Drahken said. 3) They were the buddies I’d always wanted from my toys.
Much as I wanted (and never got) an Omnibot, I’m sure I would have wanted this even more. Behold the robot that can give the Rocky IV bot a run for his money: the Armstrong Mobile Command Ride On Omnibot!
Admittedly, I don’t know much about the AMCROO. All I know is it is a Tomy robot you can ride on, and that’s all I need to know to desperately want it.
Now I would probably have been too old to ride the AMCROO even when it first came out, and I’d certainly be too old for it today. But had I know it existed back then, I would have wanted it anyway. And I still do.
Note: I got the picture and video from The Old Robots Website. There are tons more pictures of the AMRCOO as well as just about any other 80s robot you can think of.