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8/28/15

The Weekly Links: The Real Karate Kid Bully, Zelda Vs. Peach Princess Fight, Transforming Optimus Prime Cake

Welcome to another edition of The Weekly Links, your weekly source for the best '80s content on the web! I found alot of great stuff this week from videos to podcasts to transforming birthday cakes.

In two weeks I'll be flying up to cover Retro Con 2015 in Philadelphia, PA! This will be my first convention and I'm really looking forward to meeting some of my favorite childhood voice actors and also getting some snapshots with the DeLorean Time Machine. My pal Wyatt and I also will be participating in a M.A.S.K. panel thanks to our Agents of M.A.S.K. fansite. I'll be pulling double duty for both sites and can't wait to share my findings here on RD80s. Head over to Retrocons.com and take advantage of discounted passes for the event on Sept 12-13. If you go, drop me a line and let me know. I'd love to meet some of my internet friends in person!

I stumbled onto several cool action figure giveaways this week. Today's the last day to win a purple Skeletor M.O.T.U.S.C.L.E. figure from The Fwoosh. You can also win a couple T2 ReAction figures from Cool Toy Review. And last but NOT least, today's Funko Friday Giveaway at Entertainment Earth is a set of Back To The Future Vinyl Idolz figures!

Also check out these RD80s articles posted this week that you might have missed:

The video of the week came my way via Kotaku and features an interesting take on one of my favorite '80s movies The Karate Kid. The video makes several good points about Daniel being the initiator to many of the confrontations with Johnny. I didn't totally buy into it, but was still entertaining.

TWL Video of the Week
"The Karate Kid: Daniel is the REAL Bullyby J. Matthew Turner


Enjoy the rest of this week's links!

MOVIES
TV
A Different World Heads To Logo - TV Classic 'R' Us
Captain N: The Game Master - How I Spent My Childhood


MUSIC


VIDEO GAMES


POP CULTURE
7 Cereals We Miss - How I Spent My Childhood

Watch The 1989 MTV Documentary "Decade 1980-1989" On YouTube (VIDEO)

On the cusp of a new decade in 1989, MTV released one of the first retrospective documentaries on the 1980s. Decade: 1980-1989 covered all the fun topics like TV, music, fads, and technology, but also went in-depth on many social issues like drugs, sex, racism, AIDS, and war. 

The 90-minute documentary captured a true look at the decade through the eyes of some of its most influential people. MTV's farewell to the '80s would go on to win a Peabody award in 1990 for excellence in TV broadcasting. I view it now as the forerunner of shows like VH1's "I Love the '80s" and more recently NatGeo's "80s: The Decade That Made Us."

Watch the full documentary embedded below or on YouTube and experience the '80s through the MTV we remember...

8/27/15

New Music Video Features '80s Icons In Claymation And Narration By John Carpenter

The sythnwave band Gunship has released a new retro-tastic claymation music video to go with their self-titled debut album. The "Tech Noir" video features '80s pop culture icons like Robocop, He-man, and Rocky created by claymation sensation Lee Hardcastle (Ghost Burger.) Earlier this year, Gunship appeared on the Carpenter compilation album by Retro Promenade which is probably how they were able to get horror film legend John Carpenter to narrate the "Tech Noir" video!

Need any more reasons to watch? The main character in the music video is able to load VHS tapes into his chest which enables him to become all of these '80s characters! With my love for retrowave music, claymation, and '80s pop culture, my head pretty much exploded after watching and I absolutely had to share. Check out the music video below and then also preview Gunship's album which is now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, and Spotify. Also visit Gunship's online shop for a rad boxset featuring an autographed CD album, download, poster, t-shirt, and sunglasses!





via Nerdist

8/25/15

Comic Book Review: Punky Brewster Volume One

One of the classic sitcoms from the '80s was Punky Brewster, the story of an young girl abandoned on the streets of Chicago who befriends and is eventually adopted by a lonely widower. It was a very charming story that aired for four seasons on NBC from 1984-86 and starred the duo of Soleil Moon Frye and George Gaynes. The show would also spawned an animated spinoff It's Punky Brewster in 1985-86.

Skip ahead 30 years and Roar Comics, the middle-grade reading division of Lion Forge Comics, has rebooted the classic series as a graphic novel! The transcendent message of this non-traditional family has a new home available now in digital and paperback formats. Listen to what Roar Comics has to say about their new Punky Brewster series:
Just like the original, our graphic novel Punky is a bright eight-year-old girl who has been abandoned by her mother and lives on the streets of Chicago with her puppy sidekick. Punky thinks she doesn’t need help, but after getting picked up by the police she enters a foster home where she meets Henry, a long-lost relative. Punky decides he’s the adoptive dad for her but she has to convince the foster home, judges and lawyers, and possibly Henry himself. Luckily, she’s got an unbeatable resource — her limitless reserve of Punky Power! Television veteran Joelle Sellner (Teen Titans, Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes) and breakout new art talent Lesley Vamos have crafted a fun, funny, and real story about one little kid’s unassailable optimism and indefatigable search for a place to call home.
I've had the opportunity to read the complete Volume One series and enjoyed it very much. My immediate reaction upon finishing was to seek out some old episodes on YouTube. In comparison, the new graphic novel captures the heart of the original series while adjusting the origin story to reflect more aspects of foster care. Punky is still that gruff, intelligent kid that runs away and can take care of herself on the street, but the new story incorporates more of the foster system than I remember from the TV show...and I believe that's a good thing. Adoption and foster care seemed to be more prevalent on TV in the '80s with popular shows like Diff'rent Strokes. The modern twist on Punky's tale still keeps the charm of the story while educating middle-schoolers on foster homes and parenting. I enjoyed reading on the shear nostalgia factor and Punky Brewster fans will as well, but I also wouldn't hesitate to give to my 10-year old or 8-year old to experience "Punky Power."

Punky Brewster: Volume One includes the first 8 comics released by Roar Comics in one collection. It's the complete story of meeting Punky, her transition to foster care, the growing relationship with Henry, and their court battle to official grant Henry adoption. The Volume One paperback is now available on Amazon which is currently less than $10 or you can download individual issues through Amazon KindleComiXology, or Comic Plus stores and apps.

All images courtesy Lion Forge Comics

Check out the RD80s review and podcast of Knight Rider #1 too!

8/24/15

Watch The Unaired Pilot Promo For 'The Real Ghostbusters' Animated Series (VIDEO)

In September 1986, two animated Ghostbusters shows battled for adolescent viewership on American television. After a dispute with Columbia Pictures, Filmation created an animated series based on the their 1975 live-action Ghost Busters show. When negotiations fell through Columbia hired DiC Entertainment to produce a show that would continue the adventures of the popular 1984 film.

The animated war was clearly won by The Real Ghostbusters show, airing 173 episodes including two spinoffs compared to the standard 65 episodes produced by the Filmation show. Thanks to a recent Nerdist article, I stumbled onto the unaired pilot promo for The Real Ghostbusters! It's basically a 4-minute introduction to the show using the popular theme as the background and featuring several ghostly encounters. Fans of the animated series will notice a few subtle differences like matching uniforms and a Slimer character more like the ghost in the feature film. For fans of the show, this should be a real Stay Puft treat! Enjoy!

8/22/15

Game Review: Pac-man 256

Pac-man returns like never before with a fun "glitchy" new spin on the classic arcade game. Bandai Namco's new app has taken the infamous Pac-man kill screen and converted it into an endless runner format that should please both modern and retro gamers. Take a peek at the trailer...


There have been many adaptations of Pac-man over the years, but I think the new Pac-man 256 captures the heart of the original while adding fun new elements. The characters, maze, fruit, and pellets all have the classic feel. The major difference comes with the ghost's movements and Pac-man's new power-ups. 

Every ghost has a different movement depending on its color. Pink ghosts are fast, but only follow Pac-man in a straight line. Blue ghosts always run in a circular pattern. Plus there are new ghosts like the gray ghost that sleeps and only becomes awakened when Pac-man nears.

The new power-ups are a-maze-ingly fun! Pac-man now can use lasers to zap any ghost in his path, bombs to blow up any ghost within the blast radius, become enlarged to pancake any ghosts in his path, and 12 more fun new pac-weapons. Each power-up can be upgraded using coins to last longer during the game.

Two more features in Pac-man 256 give the classic game new elements. Eating a chain of pac-dots without encountering any blank spaces can be very beneficial. Not only does it boost your score, but reaching the magic 256 number destroys every ghost on the screen! And then you have Pac-man's main nemesis, "the glitch." Other than avoiding all ghosts, Pac-man must now stay on a steady ascent toward the top of the screen or the glitch will appear at the bottom to devour him and end the run. 

Like I mentioned before, Pac-man 256 uses coins for upgrades but also features credits which you'll need to have to play with the power-ups. Luckily, credits are time-based and the 6 inital credits are renewed over a period of 60 minutes. Credits and coins can also be earn through special prize boxes which can be opened by completing goals (like destroying 10 ghosts with the laser) or through watching promo videos.

I'm a huge Pac-man fan and my love for the game has rubbed off over the years particularly on my 8-year old son. We decided this morning to both download Pac-man 256 on our Android tablets and see how it measured up. Both of us were really surprised at how well we liked the game both in looks and gameplay. It's safe to say we both have a new favorite app to enjoy together.

Pac-man 256 is available now as a FREE download in iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon app stores. You'll also have the option to buy extra credits or pay a flat $8 charge for unlimited lifetime credits. For more gameplay action, check out IGN's video review below. I highly recommend Pac-man 256 for '80s kids and their kids!


Headline image courtesy Impulse Gamer

8/21/15

The Weekly Links: He-Man Reboot Gets New Writer, Behind The 'Pee-Wee's PlayHouse' Title Sequence, LEGO Ideas Stay Puft Reaches Goal

Welcome to another edition of The Weekly Links, your weekly source for the best '80s content on the web! I didn't get a chance to post links last Friday so I'm back this week with a double dose of dated decadence!

Mental Floss released some facts about The Neverending Story this week and it inspired me to rediscover the film with my kids. I had been cautious about showing it too early to them (now 10 & 8) mainly because of the nightmares I had as a kid. Well let me tell you know, probably the worst part of the film was watching the dated animatronics of Gmork (the wolf.) The boys really weren't scared at all which was kind of a relief. It's still a great film and after the recent experience, I honestly wouldn't mind a remake just to update the special effects. Recent reports have told though that it's not likely the rights will be obtained, so our childhood memories should remain preserved.

I've added several new articles since the last Weekly Links, so here's what you might have missed:

My favorite video this week comes from The Gaming Historian and features his review of The Unofficial Game & Watch Collector's Guide. I remember these LCD games well as a kid. I know a friend of mine had one of the Game & Watch games and I had many others myself like Burgertime. Yeah, watching a book review is kinda boring but for some reason I really enjoyed the history lesson about Nintendo's early entries into the video game market. I think you'll enjoy it too...

TWL Video of the Week
"The Unofficial Game & Watch Collector's Guide Reviewby Gaming Historian


Enjoy the rest of this week's links!!


MOVIES


TV
Pee-wee's Playhouse (1986) - Art of a Title
The Facts of Life Heads To TV Land - TV Classics 'R' Us
13 Classic '80s Shows That Need a Reboot - TV Fanatic
This Is What The Cast Of Cheers Looks Like Today! - PlayBuzz
The 15 Most AWESOME Things Mr. T Has Done - How I Spent My Childhood


MUSIC


VIDEO GAMES


POP CULTURE

Turn Your iPhone Into A VHS Camcorder With This New App

Are you sick and tired of HD video and sound? Do you wish you could go back to the days of analog and having to adjust the tracking on your home movies? Then retrofit your Apple device with the new VHS Camcorder app from Rarevision.

Turn your quality videos into crap and embarrass your friends with this new app that converts your iPhone/iPad into an '80s camcorder. You can even add the date and make it look like something from an old America's Funniest Home Videos episode! Check out the totally rad things this app can do:

  • Realism: the most accurate app ever for simulating aged videotape recordings
  • The most beautiful tape noise, static and tracking distortion the world has ever seen
  • On-screen date and time graphics--you know, when cameras actually did that
  • Fake the on-screen date so people think you're way younger--or older--than you really are
  • Phony zoom lens feature dramatically enhances the cheese factor
  • Control the effect using your finger or by shaking your device during recording
  • Don't think we forgot to make things sound bad--we didn't
  • Easily share videos from within the app or through Camera Roll
  • Built-in clip viewer for playing back, deleting and sharing clips
  • Widescreen recording option (but would you REALLY want to use it?)
  • Choose your frame rate: 24, 25 or 30
  • HD video recording on iPhone 4s and newer devices (1080p requires iPhone 5 or better)

Here are a couple YouTube videos demonstrating the app, one shot in New York City and another in the KTLA newsroom...



The VHS Camcorder app by Rarevision is available now in iTunes for $3.99 (if your an Android user like me, you'll have to pine over a future Google Play release.)

Image courtesy Rarevision
Found via Forbes

8/20/15

DIY Prop Shop Builds Ripley's M41-A Pulse Rifle From 'Aliens' (VIDEO)

I've found some pretty cool DIY videos in the last month and here's another that kicks some serious alien butt. Back in July, I found a couple videos on Back To The Future like how to build a Delorean Time Machine from Pepsi cans and also a hoverboard prop.

Well, the DIY Prop Shop who showed us how to build that hoverboard for about $30 is back to turn a $27 toy gun into Ripley's grenade-launching M41-A Pulse Rifle from the 1986 film Aliens! Check it out!


Image courtesy Xenopedia
 
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