Let’s Play The 1979 Black Hole: Space Alert Board Game!

About a week ago, one of my good friends and co-workers at the Arkadia Retrocade sent me some images of a rather retro board game purchase thanks to eBay. As you can see from the image above it was 1979’s The Black Hole: Space Alert game which was produced by Whitman for the Walt Disney company. I did in fact own this back in my youth and had some very fond memories of playing it with my Father so I was totally looking forward to playing the game once again.

It came in awfully quick and last Wednesday when everything started getting quiet at the arcade a group of us decided to crack it open and geek out with some vintage 1979 board game action. Was it everything I remembered? Yes. It was an absolute blast!
Arkadia Retrocade - Vic Sage - The Black Hole
To my left is Luca, then Andrew with his back to the camera, and then the owner of the game, Rhi…you can only see her hand in this image. That will teach her to lean forward next time, right?

I chose the character of V.I.N.CENT…naturally…and Luca chose Dr. Kate McCrae, Andrew picked Lt. Charlie Pizer and Rhi went with Captain Dan Holland. Sadly in the game you can’t play the characters of Dr. Alex Durant (Anthony Perkins) or Harry Booth (Ernest Borgnine). I do remember that back in my youth when I had this game myself I was upset that there weren’t cardboard images of the characters.
The Black Hole - Space Alert - Player Pieces
The game board is quite large which I guess is why it’s made out of paper. For what it is worth Rhi really scored on this purchase, besides just a small amount of water damage the game is absolutely pristine.
The Black Hole - Space Alert - Board
Starting on the Palomino, the Players receive a hand of four cards and take one from the draw pile in attempt to match the symbol on the board or color so they can move forward one space.
The Black Hole - Space Alert - Palomino
The Black Hole - Space Alert - Cards
There are cards featuring Maximillian and the Android soldiers of the villainous Dr. Hans Reinhardt and these will let you take some well placed short cuts…assuming you can pull those cards.
The Black Hole - Space Alert - Paths
Early in the game it looked like V.I.N.CENT and Pizer were going to be the first ones to reach the Space Probe and escape the doomed Cygnus but an incredible amount of bad pulls from the card deck got me stuck on the board for like 6 complete turns.
The Black Hole - Space Alert - Maximillian
The Black Hole - Space Alert - Probe
Before we knew what hit us, Kate using some amazing strategy took the lead – Luca did a great job of thinking ahead, making sure she had the cards she would need to zip across the board. Which brings up a good point about not just this game but I think a lot of the board games that were aimed at younger players back in the day…you needed some strategy as well as a bit of luck. So Holland, Pizer, and V.I.N.CENT watched as Kate boarded the Space Probe and left us to be consumed by the ravenous Black Hole…just kidding…we all know Kate wouldn’t do that, she was just the first one to the probe.

This game was still incredibly fun to play 37 years after it was first released but one of the things that I really was impressed with was the actual card holder with The Black Hole logo imprinted on the plastic. Very late ’70s and early ’80s. It might be a small thing but for some reason it really made me happy to see that.
The Black Hole - Card Holder - Space Alert

Do You Know That Daniel Craig Was In A 1993 Episode of Zorro?!

When I was growing up I was always a fan of comic books. Captain America and Batman being two of my favorites as a kid. So is it any real surprise that when my Father told me about the 1957 Walt Disney Zorro TV series that I totally became interested in all things regarding “Zorro, the fox so cunning and free.”?

[Via] Free Dog Shampoo

Thankfully for myself I was eventually able to see that wonderful TV series when the Disney Channel had one of their free weekends back in the early ’80s. I honestly loved it, Guy Williams (Lost in Space) performance as the leisurely Don Diego de la Vega is fantastic, especially considering his very real athleticism and skill with a blade as Zorro that was on display each episode.

[Via] Board Uploads

So imagine my delight when I learned back in 1990 that the Family Channel was bringing a new Zorro series to television, one that starred Duncan Regehr (Dracula from 1987’s The Monster Squad) as both Don Diego and his costumed alter ego. Batman had come out just a year earlier so the timing was perfect to bring to a new audience Johnston McCulley’s 1919 literary character…one that obviously had an influence in the creation of Batman.

[Via] Zorro2850

Which leads us to this clip from the fourth season episode entitled “Death and Taxes” that originally aired on January 16, 1993 that just happens to feature future James Bond star, Daniel Craig, as the villainous Lt. Hildago.
Zorro - Daniel Craig

[Via] larry

This video says that it’s Daniel Craig’s first role but that actually was in 1992 when he appeared in The Power of One, I also need to point out that in that same year he appeared in the pilot episode of Covington Cross…as a guard on the walkway. At least in that role he didn’t get the sign of the Z carved into his clothing!

Toon In: Watch Jim Cummings Perform 17 Classic Disney Characters!

Welcome back friends to a new installment of Toon In! We are doing something a little different with this offering as we aren’t sharing a classic cartoon but this video spotlight on Jim Cumming, a legendary voice actor with 465 acting credits to his name. Many of them from the vast roster of characters from Walt Disney animated features and television series.

In this video from D23 you will see Jim provide voices from characters such as Winnie the Pooh to Zummi Gummi. So take about two minutes from your busy schedule and treat yourself as you watch a master at work.

Now I absolutely count myself a huge fan of Darkwing Duck but I first learned of Jim Cummings thanks to his work as the speedy Witterquick of the Spectral Knights in the still awesome 1987 animated series Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light!

[Via] Film Gungfu

Perhaps you would like to learn just a little more about Disney’s The Gummi Bears? Well then, why not take a listen to Episode 053 of the Retroist Podcast?
gummi-bears

Until then I’ve gotta run..I’m late for work…thankfully I have Witterquick’s Power Staff!
“Sheathe these feet in the driving gale, make swift these legs, o’er land I sail!”

Toon In: Robin Hoodlum (1948)

Welcome back friends to another dose of Toon In, that part of the week where we can shine the spotlight on an animated short or classic cartoon worthy of your attention. This week we have a 1948 offering from the Fox and the Crow UPA Oscar nominated short entitled “Robin Hoodlum”.

The celebrated UPA animation studio turns out to have come about because of the strike in 1941 by the Walt Disney Studios animation department. When a majority did not return to the animation department, like layout artist John Hubley (Dumbo, Bambi), they found an open door with the Industrial Film and Poster Service in 1943. IFPS would become UPA and found itself securing a contract, one that was highly sought after, with Columbia Pictures. The first work the company produced was for Columbia’s the Fox and the Crow characters, which had originally been created by Screen Gems and they delivered 1948’s Robin Hoodlum, a delightful short that shows us that things in Sherwood Forest weren’t exactly as we were told.

Fox and Crow - UPA

So please Toon In with UPA’s The Fox and The Crow’s Robin Hoodlum!

This archery tournament is going to take a while.

Retro Records: Peter And The Wolf LP Narrated By Alec Guinness (1952)

Image and audio courtesy of Kiddie Records Weekly.

Image and audio courtesy of Kiddie Records Weekly.


Back in my youth I listened to a Peter and the Wolf record quite a bit, though mine was the 1969 Walt Disney version…and while I have very fond memories of it I have to say in truth I think this version with Alec Guinness as the narrator is the superior LP. A big thanks to Kiddie Records Weekly for uploading this on their YouTube channel for our listening enjoyment!