September 2008

Atari 2600 Nostalgia, Web Sites, and Custom Labels

posted on Sep 27, 2008 | Comments (3)

classic Atari logo

Other than Nintendo, Atari is the most widely used and associated name with
video gaming. Though the company, as many of us knew it, has been largely
out of business for 15 years, it still rules the roost in terms of classic
gaming. Like many, the Atari 2600 was the first video game system Rob and I had.

Here are some great web sites dedicated to the Atari family of home consoles
and computers:

  • Atari Age is unquestionably the central hub for Atari enthusiasts, with its heavily used forum. All the news, finds, information, expertise, and game trading is there. It also has scans of cartridges, boxes, and manuals, plus screenshots, emulators, and ROMs for the Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Lynx, and Jaguar.
  • Atari Guide has a huge amount of game, box, and manual scans for Atari and the NES. It also has a master list of Atari 2600 games and pictures of the cartridges, all in one page.
  • Atari Mania takes the visual archive to the utmost degree. There’s an enormous amount of scans of games, catalogs, you name it. All Atari systems are covered.
  • Atari Protos has the most updated and thorough information and research on the many Atari prototypes and unreleased games that exist. Check it out and find out why games like The A-Team, Garfield, and Planet of the Apes never got released.
  • Pitfall Jones has done the unthinkable! He has consolidated all of the scans of cartridges and screenshots of every Atari 5200, 7800, and 8-Bit Computer game! You can see what every cart looked like, all in one place.
  • Atari Gaming Headquarters has a wealth of information for all the Atari consoles and computers, as well as Atari developed arcade machines. Marquees, artwork, advertisements, screenshots, and more.
  • Atari 8-bit Forever is a tremendous source of information for the long line of Atari 8-bit computers.
  • Atari is an online store for a large number of hard-to-find classic console parts and games. It is very well maintained.
  • Atari has the most detailed technical information on the oft-forgotten Atari 7800 Pro System.
  • Atari Museum is just what it says it is.
  • 4 Jays has a ton of products to purchase for classic systems.
  • Best Electronics has untold amounts of official Atari vintage products, especially for making repairs.
  • The Video Game Critic is my favorite video game quick-review website. He’s got just one screenshot, a short paragraph or two, and a grade for each game. His opinion is unbiased and his web site is organized so much better than the overkill you get on sites like IGN.
  • Digital Press Video Games has the tremendous game rarity and price guide. Of course, the forum is the hub for all classic and modern gaming discussion, no matter what console or computer.

There is one more website I’ve come across, the Atari 2600 Label Maker. The Atari 2600 had fantastic and unique artwork on the cartridge labels. Well, now you can make your own Atari game, so to speak! To that end, I’ve gone a step further (probably right off the cliff) and with the help of Photoshop…

Here are 140 fake labels of Atari 2600 games. Some are prototypes and unreleased games, but most are licensed titles that could have been made in the late 1970s and early 80s for the 2600: TV shows, cartoons, movies, etc. Some of these labels I found on the Atari Age forums and were done by members Marc Oberhäuser, Atariboy2600, and user42. I took some of their work and put it on scans of real cartridges. I created the majority of these labels, though.

In any case, I think this is the largest custom, faux, “what-if” Atari 2600 label archive in one place!

Popular 1970s and 80s TV Shows:

Magnum P.I., The Fonz, T.J. Hooker, Rockford Files, Knight Rider, Starsky & Hutch, Chips, Columbo, and Kojak

Space: 1999, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Charlie’s Angels, Bionic Woman, and The Six Million Dollar Man

Popular 1970s and 80s Children’s Shows:

Batman, Wonder Woman, The Hobbit, The Secret of Nimh, Scooby Doo, and Woody Woodpecker

Fraggle Rock, Inspector Gadget, Rainbow Brite, Voltron, Transformers, Thundercats, Dungeons & Dragons, Transformers, and Alf

Popular 1970s and 80s Sci-Fi Movies:

Diamonds are Forever, Moonraker, Close Encounters, Logan’s Run, Star Wars, The Black Hole, Escape From New York, The Island of Dr. Moreau, and Blade Runner

Popular 1970s and 80s Action Films:

First Blood, Rocky II, Death Wish, Escape from Alcatraz, Jaws, The Poseidon Adventure, Conan the Barbarian, The Beastmaster, and The Road Warrior

Popular 1970s and 80s Cult Movies:

Deliverance, Swamp Thing, Clash of the Titans, Death Race 2000, Evil Dead, Hercules, The Warriors, Gone in 60 Seconds, and Rollerball

Popular 1970s and 1980s Childrens Movies:

Grease, Annie, Herbie the Love Bug, Bad News Bears, The Muppet Movie, and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Popular 1970s and 80s Comedy Movies:

Smokey and the Bandit, Caddyshack, Slap Shot, Cannonball Run, Revenge of the Nerds, 1941, Police Academy, Blues Brothers, and Daffy Duck’s Fantastic Island

Children’s Game Prototypes by Atari:

Dumbo’s Flying Circus, Donald Duck’s Speedboat, Snow White, Garfield, Good Luck Charlie Brown, Miss Piggy’s Wedding, Grover’s Music Maker, Bugs Bunny, and Sport Goofy

Licensed TV and Movie Game Prototypes:

Care Bears, Star Wars: Ewok Adventure, Incredible Hulk, Planet of the Apes, Dukes of Hazzard, The A-Team, Dune, The Pink Panther, and The Lord of the Rings

Other Game Prototypes by Atari:

Rubik’s Cube 3D, Elk Attack, Polo, Wizard, RealSports Basketball, Aquaventure, Boggle, and Combat Two

Other Game Prototypes by Third Party Developers:

Secret Agent, Meltdown, Pompeii, Wings, McDonald’s, and Save Mary

Ports of Popular Arcade Games of the Era:

Monaco GP, Le Mans, Galaxy Ranger, Space Ace, Dragon’s Lair, Mappy, Destruction Derby, Lode Runner, and Lady Bug

Goofy Games:

The Paunch Stevenson Show, Super Mario Bros., Alien vs. Predator, Jerry Hunt, Kiss: Destroyer, and Once Upon A Spy

Almost All of Mattel’s M Network Releases, Had They Featured the Intellivision Artwork and a Standard Cartridge:

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Tower of Doom, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin, Adventures of TRON, Anteater, Armor Ambush, Astroblast, Bump ‘n’ Jump, Burger Time, Dark Cavern, Frogs and Flies, Master of the Universe: The Power of He-Man, International Soccer, Kool-Aid Man, Lock ‘N’ Chase, Loco Motion, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Space Attack, Star Strike, Super Challenge Baseball, Super Challenge Football, and TRON Deadly Discs
Faux Atari 2600 Labels of Mattel's M Network games

Our Trip to Live with Regis and Kelly

posted on Sep 13, 2008 | Comments (1)

Kelly Ripa and Regis Philbin with NASCAR drivers

On Wednesday, September 10, 2008, Greg and I were audience members at Live with Regis and Kelly. The guest was Wayne Brady. The musical performer was…Wayne Brady, again. There was also a pre-recorded interview with actress Shirley MacLaine. Wow, we woke up at 6:30 a.m. for this?

Then, Regis and Kelly announced they were going to record an extra segment that would air during one of next week’s episodes and asked us audience members to stay an extra half hour. To Greg’s surprise, the segment featured the top NASCAR drivers, which was great because he’s a big fan, but for some reason, they were throwing ice cream at each other. What sense does that make?

Live with Regis and Kelly audience

In the screen shot above, you can see us in the audience! We’re the two pixelated blobs wearing white shirts.

After thinking about it for a while, I realized NASCAR fans must love ice cream, judging from how out of shape many of them are, so maybe the whole thing made sense after all.

Flickr – Live with Regis and Kelly, NYC 9/10/08

Celebrity Look-a-likes in the UK

posted on Sep 10, 2008 | Comments (4)

Somehow, don’t ask me how, I came across a celebrity impersonator/look-a-like agency in the United Kingdom called Fake Faces. Some of the stand-ins either look nothing like the real person, or are simply wearing the costume of the celebrity’s most famous character, yet bearing little resemblance otherwise.

However, many…in fact most…are very good indeed, almost having me do a triple take. Here’s a few spot-on impersonators of some of our favorite celebrities.

Eddie Murphy and Sean Connery:

fake Eddie Murphy fake Sean Connery

It’s England, so they’ve gotta have The Beatles (George, Paul, John, and Ringo):

fake George Harrison fake Paul McCartney fake John Lennon fake Ringo Starr

They have a group photo of the George, Paul, and Ringo impersonators with a guy who looks nothing like John Lennon at all. Again, these guys look like the older, modern day Beatles. Perhaps they are insinuating that John Lennon would be fat and wearing a French beret if he were still alive?

fake Beatles

For fun, here’s a guy who is supposed to be Billy Connolly. He has the expression and the hair down, but he seems to be constantly dying his goatee different colors. Why?

fake Billy Connolly

Episode 110: Saturday, September 6, 2008

posted on Sep 6, 2008 | Comments (3)

The Paunch Stevenson Show episode 110

In this episode:

  • celebrity deaths (Don LaFontaine, Bill Melendez, Walter “Killer” Kowalski, and Jerry Reed),
  • voice actors Peter Cullen and Victor Caroli,
  • the box office grosses of The Dark Knight (2008) and Titanic (1997),
  • “Convoy” by C. W. McCall,
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) starring Samuel L. Jackson,
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special (1978) starring Bea Arthur and Art Carney,
  • Eddie Murphy’s career,
  • What Ever Happened To? (Judge Reinhold),
  • Nick Fury: Agent of Shield (1998) starring David Hasselhoff,
  • Esteban and the Jeff Bridges voice,
  • syndicated TV shows in the 1990s (Xena: Warrior Princess, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Renegade, etc.),
  • listener email from Paul in Missouri,
  • the Paunch Stevenson Show marathon,
  • Sylvester Stallone’s face,
  • vitiligo,
  • Michael Jackson’s 50th birthday,
  • Bill Cosby’s rap album State of Emergency,
  • Rob’s picture with “Macho Man” Randy Savage and Miss Elizabeth in Belleville, NJ, in 1986,
  • Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin,
  • and the popular vote scam.

Download this episode:
53 minute MP3 file – 24.3 MB (right-click to save)

Listen to this episode:

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