Undertale is a PC game much loved in my house. My oldest loves the characters, their snappy dialogue, and the universe they inhabit. I love that the game has just a whiff of Ultima IV‘s morality system (you have to decide between “pacifist” and “genocide” approaches to the game, or you can remain neutral, and the game’s characters will treat you according to that choice and the reputation that arises from it). I love the innovative combat system that deftly straddles the fence between turn-based and real-time combat. And yeah, I kinda love the characters too, just because my kid loves them. And we both love the music from the game. When I learned from a friend that Arizona-based Fangamer had a series of Undertale character figurines on the market…well, it was an expensive discovery, but totally worth it. Pretty simple transaction, really: I fill Fangamer with the contents of my Paypal account, and they fill me with Undertale characters and, presumably, determination. Continue reading
Every Star Wars diorama I set up in my bedroom as a kid had the same problem — a lack of extras. Ships and starring roles were never a problem — I had plenty of those — but what I didn’t have were the dozens of extra Stormtroopers needed to make a convincing scene from the Death Star. Darth Vader didn’t look near as menacing with only two Stormtroopers standing behind him, and my cantina scene looked downright sad with only Greedo, Walrus Man, Snaggletooth and Hammerhead hanging around the bar.
In the late 1970s, thanks to the popularity of Star Wars and sci-fi in general, there was a giant resurgence in the popularity of space-related toys. Many were licensed, such as Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica and Black Hole toys. There was also a flood of generic, non-licensed toys as well. One popular line of such toys was Tim-Mee’s Galaxy Laser Team.
Tim-Mee is known for releasing small plastic toys of almost everything. From farmers and farm animals to army men, circus animals, policemen, firemen and fantasy monsters…you name it, Tim-Mee cranked ’em out. If you spent any time at all on the toy aisle like I did as a kid, you probably remember them. Most of them were packaged in clear plastic bags, sealed with a cardboard label at the top. Continue reading
Hands down one of the coolest merchandising tributes to classic video games I’ve ever seen have been in a couple of series of “stage figures” released onto the Japanese toy market under the Dot Graphics banner. The extensive series of scenes from Super Mario Bros. depict almost every major event in that game, complete with moveable parts, while a similar (but sadly smaller) series of mini-dioramas depict events from classic 70s and 80s Namco arcade games. To say that both of these selections are merely cool is to not even come close to doing them justice. Continue reading
You may or may not have noticed that here in the summer of 2005, theLogBook.com has been featuring a lot of games and other items by Namco, the Japanese video game maker who gained worldwide fame with games like Pac-Man, Galaga, Dig Dug and many more. Namco, formerly the Nakamura Manufacturing Company, celebrates its 50th year of operation in 2005, so it seems only fitting. Another one of the items released just in time for that anniversary is this nifty set of colorful figurines commemorating some of the company’s games. Released only in Japan, the figurines may not represent what western fans of classic games consider to be well-known, high-profile titles, but even with the small dioramas depicting scenes from lesser-known games, the design and craftsmanship of these toys are impressive. Continue reading
Ken! Joe! Jun! Jinpei! Ryu!
Don’t recognize the names? Okay. Let’s try it again.
Mark! Jason! Princess! Tiny! Keyop!
That’s a little more like it. Most American viewers, especially anyone who ever sat transfixed by the TV after school in the late 1970s and early 80s probably remember these as the heroes of the animated series Battle Of The Planets. Continue reading
As previously seen in ToyBox, Kenner hoped they were latching on the next big thing in the world of post-Star Wars toys when they landed the license for the Q*Bert video game characters. Continue reading
The year was 1983. The Star Wars franchise was winding down, and the Pac-Man craze had mostly subsided. What was a toy company like Kenner to do? The next best thing to Pac-Man at this point was to hop onto a multicolored flying disc with Q*Bert.
The D. Gottlieb Co. video game was an almost instant hit because of its unique game play and an extremely marketable cast of characters. CBS rushed a Q*Bert cartoon onto the air, and Q*Bert merchandise began to hit the store shelves. Continue reading
Whereas Coleco only had non-exclusive toy and electronic game licenses for Pac-Man, the company had grabbed almost all rights to Nintendo’s Donkey Kong. The primary reason for this was to ensure that the game would be the first game packed in with the ColecoVision game console. But Coleco also took advantage of the license to produce small PVC figures of three main characters from the Donkey Kong games in 1982. Continue reading
In 1982, at the peak of Pac-Man Fever, Coleco introduced a line of Pac-Man toys, including a half dozen bendable PVC figures based on the game. The characters included Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Blinky the ghost, Mr. Pac-Man, Mrs. Pac-Man, and – perhaps oddest of all – “Pac-Angel.” Other companies also cashed in, and Midway – Namco’s American licensee for the game – handed out the rights to produce Pac goods like a bunch of dots in a maze. Continue reading