Kaneko Video Glove (1991)

This final post for tonight is a museum post of the Kaneko Video Glove, a promotional item for the game Air Buster for the Sega Genesis, circa 1991.

I still somewhat remember the circumstances behind how I chose this game. Through some sort of special occasion like acing a test or some other achievement, I earned myself a game purchase. All I had to do was pick one. There was a conversation with a classmate (the prank call guy) where he strongly advocated for this game, and I listened to him. It turned out to be a pretty good buy, as Air Buster is a very enjoyable game (minus the load times, which was probably the first time I ever had to wait for a console game to load).

The game came with a coupon redeemable for this glove, which may seem like a gimmick in retrospect, but at the time it definitely increased enjoyment not only in Air Buster but other games as well. I felt like a professional gamer getting ready to go to work or a pilot preparing to save the world. For a 10-year-old kid, it was real.

Now, it’s another item from childhood to say goodbye to. From what I’ve seen on the internet, this item is a rare and collectible piece of gaming history so I’ll be putting it on eBay for someone else to treasure. Of course, since I’ve already worn the glove (and actually, it still fits), it probably won’t fetch much. Still, it’s probably better than chucking it in the trash.

A last bit of interest: the ads of the time showed the glove as being right-handed, with a Kaneko logo on the back. The actual glove is left-handed, and the Kaneko logo is on the tightening strap.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Kaneko Video Glove

Kaneko Video Glove

Kaneko Video Glove

Kaneko Video Glove - Shipping Envelope

Kaneko Video Glove - Letter

Emporium Capwell Locator Tag (1991)

Here’s an interesting relic from the past, a locator tag from Emporium Capwell, a San Francisco department store that closed in 1995. The tag was for our 27-inch Toshiba CF2767 TV, which I sold via craigslist in the early 2000s. I don’t know if the date on the tag is the date that we got the TV, but prior to the 27-inch we had a Sharp 19-incher with a faux wood veneer, our first TV. I played a lot of Master System and Genesis games on that TV, which later became our kitchen TV. I don’t know if it’s interesting or sad, but in our tiny 1-bedroom apartment, we ultimately had 3 TVs: the 27-incher in the bedroom, the Sharp in the kitchen, and a 32-inch XBR in the living room. We must have really loved watching TV.

Emporium Capwell Locator Tag

Emporium Capwell Locator Tag

Take Hold of the Sega Adventure (1987)

Here’s another poster straight off the wall of my childhood room, a Sega 1987 poster and game lineup, “Take Hold Of The Sega Adventure” and “Get In Touch With Sega Software”.

I really like this one. Looking at it now, I am reminded of many nights before bed looking at all the games that I already had for my Sega Master System, and all the games that I wanted to get. Since this poster came out in 1987, a lot of the games were from around the time when I first got the system as a kid in Hong Kong. Some of the games would remind me of my time in Hong Kong, playing them at my friends’ houses. Now that I think about it, it seemed like all the kids in my little circle of international-school friends had Sega, and I wonder why we never got into Nintendo.

There was one game that I remember playing, Great Football, that I had no idea how to play. I had not yet moved to America and learned the game. Great Soccer was another game that I played at a friend’s place, but of course we knew how to play that, being in British Hong Kong. It was always interesting going to your friends’ homes as a kid. It seemed like each place had its own smell, and different parents had different levels of hospitality. Actually (and speaking of hospitality), I do remember one Japanese kid who had a Famicom at his house. I think he had the floppy drive, too.

Looking at the poster now, I also wonder why it took me twenty years to take it out of the blue bag, unfold it, and actually look at it like I used to (it really is a cool poster). Did I just not have time? Or did I think I had all the time in the world? I think it must have been the latter. At the time we moved out of my childhood home, I was starting my second year of college. Studying happened, girls happened, then graduation, then vacation. Next was first job out of college, unrealistic expectations, get fired, then 3 years of not working. Then, it was start over, find a new job, do well, move out, get a car, get married, get promoted, get burned out, and go on Adventure 2012, and then the last 4 years: move to Hong Kong, live free for one year, work for one year, come back to the USA, live with parents, work 3 months out of the next 24. In a nutshell, the past 20 years of my life. It was a long time, and in between all those things happening, adding up year after year, I never took the time to look in my closet, look inside the blue bag, and take a look at this poster. I must have figured it would always be there.

What’s next? I don’t know. In these past months, I’ve been taking all these pieces from my life up to this point, scanning or photographing them, and then bidding them goodbye. What am I getting ready for? In the past I’ve mentioned getting light, so that when the time comes, we’ll be able to move. But where? Maybe a new life where I enjoy everything in front of me, where nothing is in the closet. Kind of like when we were kids, when things were simple, and all we had was our Sega, when it was so much easier to focus on one thing because that was all we had. It’s a frequently and incorrectly used word, but I do believe it is ironic that I’m trying to get back to the past by letting go of it. It’s very difficult, and sometimes I want to just keep hanging on, like saving this poster after 20 years of not looking at it. But I think maybe, if I’m not careful, my life will become like this poster, stuck in a closet, stuck in time, and another 20 years will have passed.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post, with extra and nostalgic commentary.

Poster - Take Hold of the Sega Adventure - 1987

Game Lineup - Get in Touch with Sega Software - 1987

Life-Like Train Set Registration Card

Like many kids growing up, I was fascinated with trains, and owned a train set. My first and only train set, bought some time between 1989 and 1990, was manufactured by Life-Like. Later, I would buy extra tracks, cars, and a Bachmann locomotive, but I never got another train set. Still, while I had it I enjoyed it to the max, creating a little town with a railroad crossing and even an airport (with those old foam WWII warplanes from Chinatown).

As I recall, I read about true hobbyists nailing their tracks down on a piece of plywood and wanted to try the same thing, except I didn’t have any plywood, nor did I have the space. I was just a little kid in a little tiny apartment with my train set taking up a quarter of the kitchen. So, I nailed my tracks down on the deck outside the bedroom, which worked fine until it started raining. My train phase ended after that.

In these past months of throwing out old things I’ve actually scanned a couple of other train-related items, so perhaps I’ll post them here at a later date. For now, here’s the registration card from my first and only train set.

Life-Like Train Set Registration Card

Life-Like Train Set Registration Card

Page from Bay Area Computer Currents May 19 – June 1, 1992

Here’s a nice artifact from the pre-internet days of computing, from almost exactly 25 years ago: a page from Computer Currents magazine, a free publication that was available from those metal boxes at various street corners.

I don’t remember why I kept this particular page. In May of ’92, I was just finishing my first year of high school, and I certainly did not have the funds for a new computer, but it looks like I saved this page for the Stellar USA ad. Maybe I was already pining for an upgrade to my 386. Maybe there was a game that I wanted to max out settings on. But why a vendor from Berkeley? I’d probably never even been there at that point. I guess it will have to remain a mystery.

It’s fun to see prices from that time period and to see how far we’ve come. The upgrade technology on the second page is interesting as well (more here). Looks like at the end of the day, it always has been and always will be about the balance between cost and performance. Very fascinating indeed.

Bay Area Computer Currents - May 19 to June 1, 1992 - Page 73

Bay Area Computer Currents - May 19 to June 1, 1992 - Page 74

Now You’re Playing with Super Power!!

As I mentioned in the last post, I’m going to switch it up for a bit, scanning posters and catalogs in addition to magazines. Here’s the first scan from a blue shoulder bag belonging to my father that I used to store video game memorabilia: a Super Nintendo poster.

This is an earlier poster (as illustrated by the poster code, GP-SNS-USA-1) featuring a number of launch titles for the SNES. On the back of the poster is a giant ad for Nintendo Power magazine. Before this post I had always thought that I received a free copy of the magazine from buying my SNES after Street Fighter II came out, but checking the magazine now it is the May 1994 issue, which means I got it way later. Perhaps it was a free sample from a game purchase?

(Exciting update: while proofreading this post, I remembered that it was a free copy from buying my Game Boymy memory did not fail me after all!)

The blue shoulder bag contains a number of goodies, including the original envelopes (that I thought I’d lost) that the Sega Helpful Hints sheets were sent in. There are also a number of posters that I removed from my wall right before we moved out of the little San Francisco apartment that I grew up in. As you can see from this SNES poster, the holes from the staples used to hang the poster are still in it.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane!

Super Nintendo Poster GP-SNS-USA-1 (Now you're playing with Super Power!!)

Super Nintendo Poster GP-SNS-USA-1 (Get the Power!)

DOS Resource Guide, Number 4 (1992)

DOS Resource Guide, Number 4 (1992)

This last museum post of the day is a copy of DOS Resource Guide, Number 4, from 1992.

In the late 80s and early 90s, Apple had a strong hold on the educational sector here in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our schools ran Apple IIs, so when the time came for our family to purchase our first computer, I wanted an Apple IIe badly. Of course, my family decided to go with an IBM PC with MS-DOS installed, and I ended up having to learn a whole new system. In retrospect, it was one of the better things to happen to me in my life, as it set me on a path to becoming an IT guy. DOS Resource Guide was an indispensable tool in that endeavor.

This was my first issue, and I probably read it cover to cover, multiple times. It’s where I cut my command-line chops, with many of the skills learned then still in use today. I loved this magazine so much I even signed my name on the first page.

Sadly, it probably has been over two decades since I last looked at it. Like all my other magazines, it was sitting in my closet, and later on my bookshelf. Now that I’ve discovered digitized versions of my old magazines, I’ve noticed that I actually read them a lot more. I look forward to revisiting DOS Resource Guide in the coming days.

As always, hope you’ve enjoyed this museum post.

DOS Resource Guide, Number 4 (PDF, 92.4 MB)

Electronic Arts 1990-1991 Catalog

Electronic Arts 1990-1991 Catalog

Tonight’s museum post features an earlier catalog from Electronic Arts, circa 1990. As I mentioned in the previous EA post, I was a more of a fan of their earlier releases, and this catalog was one of my favorites, featuring not only Sega Genesis games, but computer and Nintendo ones as well, and also productivity software.

As life continues forward and I accumulate new experiences and memories, some things become forgotten regardless of how much I like them. This catalog is an example. It’s something that I’m not even aware of as it is happening. One moment the catalog occupies a large space in my consciousness, and the next it’s in a blue storage basket under my bed. I don’t even remember how it got there. Over the years, I would occasionally pull things out to see what kind of goodies I could find, and this catalog would be in that basket along with a bunch of other games-related material. Later, I cleared out the basket, only to store the docs in a clear IKEA storage box. It’s so strange how we “clean” our rooms by moving things from one corner to another.

Now, in 2017, I’ve finally scanned and disposed of the catalog. The IKEA box is empty. It’s hard to accept that life is about endings just as much as it is about beginnings, that nothing lasts forever, that all good things must come to an end. I’m still working on accepting this indisputable fact, but in the meantime I’ll share this catalog with the world. It is a fascinating look into the history of EA, before it became the behemoth that it is today. As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Electronic Arts 1990-1991 Software Catalog (PDF, 12 MB)

Atari Lynx – Grey Matters, Volume 3 – 1992

Atari Lynx Grey Matters Magazine, Vol-3 (1992)

Tonight’s museum post features another EGM supplement, an Atari Lynx Grey Matters magazine, volume 3, circa 1992. Unfortunately, I separated this supplement from its main magazine years ago and have no idea which issue of EGM it came with.

My memory of the Atari Lynx is playing California Games on it at FAO Schwarz in downtown San Francisco. We’d stop by there pretty often since it was on the way home from Chinatown on Stockton Street. I still remember the song that played on repeat that must have driven the staff crazy (“Welcome to our world, welcome to our world, welcome to our world of toys.”). The video games department was on one of the upper floors (if not the top one) and I’d always rush up there to get my hands on all the games. They pretty much had all the games on the market, which was why I was able to actually play a Lynx there. I don’t remember the Lynx actually being on display anywhere else.

In terms of handhelds, I had a Game Boy, and my sister had a Game Gear. The Lynx, as pricey as it was when it first came out, was off the radar. It was new and cool and I would have loved to have one, but my parents weren’t interested. By the time the price on it fell, the newness was gone and there was no longer any compelling reason to get one.

Looking back at the system now, it looks like it would have been cool to have one, especially once the price fell to $99, but of course I’m looking at it now as an adult who has (or, to be more accurate, once had) disposable income. For a kid getting ready to start high school, it’s a totally different story.

As always, I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.

Atari Lynx Grey Matters, Volume 3 (PDF, 47.8 MB)

Sega Helpful Hints Sheet – Herzog Zwei

Tonight’s museum post features the helpful hints sheet for Herzog Zwei, a game for the Sega Genesis.

Before the internet, before 900 numbers, and before guide books, the way to get help for Sega games was via their helpline, 1-800-USA-SEGA. I called that number so much that I still remember the tune of the telephone touch-tones. Apparently, the phone reps that helped with the games used these helpful hints sheets as a resource. Once I found out that you could actually ask to have a copy mailed to you, I called all the time: “Hi, can I get the helpful hints sheet for Herzog Zwei?” I wonder if the phone reps eventually recognized the little kid who called all the time.

For many years, I kept this helpful hints sheet in a floppy black binder (as opposed to a rigid, cardboard binder). As part of my continuing mid-life-crisis cleanup, I finally scanned the contents of the binder and then disposed of it. At the last second, I decided to keep these helpful hints sheets, because they’re a relic from Sega; and because I didn’t want to just chuck them in the recycle bin. I have a fantasy that if I do end up getting rid of them, I’ll give them to another Sega fan who will treasure them as much as I did. At the end of the day, though, they’re just photocopies, so maybe they’re not really worth much to anyone.

As always, hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane.