Arcade Zen (1982)

Arcade 1982-1

Los Angeles arcade, May 20, 1982. (Photo: Nick Ut/AP)

Only games I can make out are the two nearest the camera: Phoenix (1980) and Circus (1977).

I’m pretty sure that’s a Chuck E. Cheese’s hat next to the Yankees hat, as seen here.

(Photo via Forbes)

Pinball Machines: Gorgar (Williams, 1979)








It was fun when the devil was in style. Before Satan’s Hollow (Bally Midway, 1982), there was Gorgar. Designed by Barry Oursler, who designed the Joust and Defender pinball machines, with art by Constantino and Janine Mitchell, Gorgar was the first commercially released pinball machine to feature synthesized speech (I believe the first video game to do the same was 1980’s Berserk). There were seven words total—Gorgar, Speaks, Beat, You, Me, Hurt, Got—used in a number of different variations: “Gorgar Speaks,” “Me Gorgar,” “Me got/hurt you,” “You Beat Me,” and so on. See a demo, including speech, here.

Images are from The Internet Pinball Database, where you can see a lot more. Below is the last page of the flyer and a promo poster. Because nothing makes a dude want to play with metal balls and flippers like an attractive young woman scantily clad in bearskin.



Williams Joust Poster, 1982

Joust 1982

The artist’s signature is on the bottom left, but I can’t read it. Let me know if you know who it is or have a closer close-up.

UPDATE: Andy Goldman pins the artist as Python Anghelo, the gentleman who actually designed the game and did the cabinet art (why was the poster art here not used for side art?), who passed away last year. Thanks again, Andy.

(Image via Video Game Auctions)

Micronauts: Centaurus and Kronos (Mego, 1979)

Micronauts Centaurus

Micronauts Kronos

Micronauts Kronos-2

Carded Antron, Membros, and Repto are here. That’s all the aliens except for Lobros. Ken Kelly changed the nature of toy art, and arguably the nature of action figures, with these paintings.

1983 Placo Toys Catalog: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Weapon Sets




There’s “chain mail” on the Paladin helmet! All the sets and more, including Warduke gear, appear in the 1984 Placo catalog.

The Strongheart illustration is similar to that used on Coleco’s D&D Power Cycle (1984).

Star Wars T-Shirt Transfers, 1977

SW Transfer 1977-5

SW Transfer 1977-3

SW T-Shirt 1980

SW T-Shirt 1977-3

SW Transfer 1977-8

SW Transfer 1977-6

Lots of Empire Strikes Back transfers here and here.

(Images via eBay)

Board Games: Clash of the Titans Game (Whitman, 1981)





I had the Alan Dean Foster novelization, the action figures, and I think one of the Whitman jigsaw puzzles, but I didn’t know about the board game. Simple spin, move, and draw affair: Each player has to get his/her Perseus all the magical equipment he needs to defeat Medusa and the Kraken.

The cover art is a copy of the movie poster by Dan Goozee (note Bubo had to be moved so as not to be obscured by the title letters), but the interior and card art is original. I wish I had some better close-ups. I think Whitman used the same artist for the puzzles, which are hard to find.

(Images via Board Game Geek)

Tron Video Game Tournament, 1982





That’s Cindy Morgan (Lora/Yori) and David Warner (Dillinger/Sark/MCP) in the first two photos. One of them looks luminous, and it ain’t the one dressed like a bum. Do you remember the monitors on top of the arcade cabs? No added pressure or anything.

According to the promotional poster below, the finals were held at Madison Square Garden on July 6th and 7th, 1982. Tron premiered on July 9th.


(Images via the Tron Forums, the Examiner, Kolonai, All in for a Quarter, and the Unfiction Forums)

Star Wars Fun Cup Assortment (Dixie, 1980)

SW Dixie-1

SW Dixie-2

SW Dixie-3







Really nice original art. Many of the cups were recolored and used for the Empire Strikes Back series released in 1981. The boxes are from the original Star Wars series. The cups are a mix from both series.

We always had Dixie cups in a little dispenser in the bathroom—wasteful, sure, but so much more civilized.

(Images via Flickr and Tumblr)


TSR/RPGA Miniatures Carrying Case, 1980




For serious nerds only! I’m not sure if it was a product for sale/giveaway or a DIY number. The way the foam is cut makes me suspect the former, but the logo is stamped on a piece of cardboard, so who knows? TSR founded the RPGA in 1980 to organize and run tournaments at conventions. If anyone has seen one of these before, let me know.

Item sold on eBay a while ago for about 15 bucks.




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