Archive for R.L. Stine

Thrift Store Halloweekends – Tales from the Cryptkeeper LCD Handheld Game (Micro Games)

Posted in halloween, thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2014 by Christopher Pearce

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In our first Hallo-weekend post, we’ll be looking at the Tales from the Cryptkeeper LCD handheld game, made by Micro Games in 1994. I paid a buck for this in our local thrift store.

It’s hard to believe in this era of smartphones and incredibly sophisticated consoles, but handheld video games were a big deal in the 1980’s! Before technology allowed video games the portability they began to enjoy in the mid Nineties, these simple toys utilized “liquid crystal displays” to give players a video game like experience. Designed something like a cartoon, the LCD screen featured a number of printed images that worked in tandem with one another to replicate movement based on user interface. In other words, it was as low-fi as a video game could get and still be considered a game.

Despite their limitations, handheld LCD games remained quite popular even after more sophisticated handheld consoles like Nintendo’s GameBoy and Sega’s Game Gear opened the market. LCD games were far cheaper than a GameBoy cartridge and like I said… most gamers were, if not contented by the limited game play, they were at least somewhat mollified. I also think one of the keys to the LCD handheld’s continued success after their day had come and gone was branding. Every TV show, movie, and video game worth a damn had a dedicated LCD game on the shelves. For some properties, this was a natural progression – as a kid, I owned a Tiger Electronics’ Batman game based on the ’89 movie I loved, as well as several others.

The game we’re going to be looking at today is an adaptation of Tales from the Cryptkeeper, an animated series based on the HBO original series Tales from the Crypt… which itself was an adaptation of the famous horror title published by EC Comics in the 1950’s.

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HPB Black Friday finds

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 30, 2013 by Christopher Pearce

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I hit up the Half-Price Books Black Friday sale every year. My main goal is to pick up stocking stuffers for Ellen and the boys but I have to admit, I indulge pretty heavily in some buying for myself. This year, although they stuck with the standard $5 gift certificate for early bird shoppers, HPB switched things up a bit. Whereas the store normally offers a blanked percentage off your entire purchase, this year you could either get 40% off one thing… or $15 bucks off of a purchase of $50 dollars. I went with the latter sale and above are a few of my purchases.

Elektra Lives Again is an out of print hardcover; although the material has been reprinted in some Daredevil collections, it hasn’t been presented in this original, oversized edition since 1990. That was good enough for me. Although Miller’s Batman work remains some of my favorite superhero comics, I have to admit, I haven’t read much of his Daredevil run – an isolated issue here or there is about as far as I’ve gotten. I will say this: the book is absolutely GORGEOUS. This was right before Miller started working primarily in black and white over at Dark Horse and as such, the last time Lynn Varley’s coloring really did anything for me. Super glad to have this big book in my collection.

I was excited to locate a copy of Spaceballs: The Book published by Scholastic Press under their Point imprint in 1987. The book was written by “Jovial Bob Stine” who we all know from my previous Thrift Store Find post on movie storybooks, is in fact Goosebumps writer R.L. Stine. I especially wanted a copy of Spaceballs: The Book because it’s clear the people behind this effort were completely in on one of the biggest jokes of Mel Brooks’ send-up… the omnipresent marketing machine behind Star Wars. This paperback looks like it came straight from the scene on Yogurt’s planet (“Spaceballs-the T-shirt, Spaceballs-the Coloring Book, Spaceballs-the Lunch box, Spaceballs-the Breakfast Cereal, Spaceballs-the Flame Thrower”) and that’s kinda cool.

Finally, I picked up Batman: Chaos in Gotham for the GameBoy Color… although I’ll be playing it on my GBA:SP. Batman’s weathered some fairly awful games over the years but most of his carts for the GameBoy system are surprisingly solid… and Chaos in Gotham is no exception. It’s a side-scroller with puzzle elements and it’s clear the design team went the extra mile on this one. The animation of the Batman sprite is fluid and appealing. He has a variety of moves and weapons and although I haven’t played very far into the game, there’s apparently a great level variety, with driving stages added into the mix later on.

thrift store finds: movie storybooks

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2012 by Christopher Pearce

Let’s talk about movie storybooks, shall we?

The format still exists, but in this day and age of home entertainment and instant access to everything on the internet, it’s in a somewhat weakened state. These are oversized picture books filled with production stills, movie storybooks were somewhat elaborate retellings of hit movies.

The appeal of these books was the same as for movie novelizations and photo novels – in the days before you could look up an image on Google or read a recap on a movie news website, these books let kids experience the films they loved without having to beg their parents to take them to the same flick a second time.

Here are three storybooks I’ve run across in the past few months, with limited commentary.

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