Well before Power Rangers or TNMT, Ultraman was a live-action TV series, establishing a new type of sci-fi adventure, kitschy kaiju characters, salarymen superheroes, and sparkly special effects. Rarely broadcast in America, it’s now streaming on Pluto TV with select titles on-demand on Shout! Factory TV.
THE BEST Retro
Jeremy Messersmith’s heartfelt folk tune looks back fondly on his childhood days playing video games. The track is accompanied by a wonderful papercut animation by Eric Power that includes imagery from classic games like Joust, Ms. Pac-Man, Galaga, Tetris, and Asteroids. From the album Mixtape for the Milky Way.
Orange is our favorite color, so we’re having a hard time resisting this retro-style alarm clock inspired by the plastic-fantastic styling of the 1960s. Created by Penco and TWEMCO, the battery-powered clock features a mechanical flip display, and a shiny orange ABS plastic case with white-on-orange flip tiles.
Before cell phones, phone booths were the best way to get in touch when out and about. Enclosed for privacy, the confined glass spaces served as a useful prop for scenes of secrecy, suspense, revelation, and wonder in movies and TV. Little White Lies pays homage to the once-ubiquitous street fixture in this great video essay.
Celebrate your love for Namco’s classic arcade game with this series of premium wearables from Brava Fabrics. The collection includes a mix of cotton shirts and wool sweaters embellished with pixel art characters. Our favorites are the printed long-sleeve shirt and the less subtle, holiday-friendly Jacquard sweater.
Retro software experts Squirrel Monkey look back a series of fictitious programs from the late 1980s that were designed to help people talk to the dead and predict the future. Early PC software was apparently way creepier than we remember it. And yes, we know the World Wide Web didn’t actually start until 1989.
Atari, working in collaboration with UNIS Technology, Ltd. is bringing back its 1970s arcade classic PONG. This tabletop gaming system has a 7.9″ LCD panel and offers both classic 2-player mode, and 1-player vs. AI mode. It runs on USB power or AAA batteries and is expected to be released in time for the 2020 holiday shopping season.
We already know what Siri might have been like back in the 1980s, now Squirrel Monkey imagines another virtual assistant existed during a time when voice synthesis and voice recognition were in their infancy. We love how it uses a cassette recorder to download songs from Amazon Music.
Back in the 1970s, actor and voiceover artist Morgan Freeman starred on the PBS kids’ show The Electric Company. SPGOALS TV dug up this classic bit, in which the normally stoic Mr. Freeman plays a vampire with a taste for something other than blood. We wonder how Vincent would do with an Impossible Burger.
McLaren’s MSO customization division has created the ultimate motorsport look for its incredible Elva supercar. This very special version of the 804 hp lightweight racer looks incredible in the classic blue and orange Gulf livery that was an icon of 1960 and 1970s McLaren racing.
From Chiquita to Count Chocula, from the Geico Gecko to the Jolly Green Giant, mascots have long been a staple of the advertising industry. Author Warren Dotz’s two-volume series is filled with characters from the iconic to the obscure, from the lovable to the downright weird.
The CGI in TRON seems primitive by today’s standards, but back in 1982 it was not only groundbreaking, it pushed the limits of available technology. Using modern tech, the guys at Corridor Crew decided to see if they could accurately replicate the famous light cycle scene in less than a day.
Go back to the ’80s with this retro-style speaker that looks like an old-school Walkman. Instead of popping a cassette in, stash your smartphone inside of it, then clip it onto your belt loop for full effect. It has working control buttons and a 3.5mm aux in jack. Why not go all-in and use it with that Bluetooth cassette player?
Back in 2000, Tiger Electronics released HitClips – a tiny audio player designed to get tweens to buy digital music. Techmoan looks back at this ridiculous cash grab for kids’ money and its significant limitations. Along the way, he debunks some misinformation and myths about the toys.
Editor Matthew Highton likes to recreate the openings of classic TV shows using only stock footage. He recently remade the title sequence from the 1970s hit Happy Days, and the result is pretty great. Matthew did a respectable job capturing the feel of the original and made some pretty amusing selections for the cast images.
Super Impulse makes teensy replicas of classic arcade games. New for Fall 2020 are versions of BurgerTime, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Mappy, and a special Hello Kitty Pac-Man. They’ve also got a tiny Pop-A-Shot if you’re into boardwalk basketball. Keep an eye on Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target for these latest releases.
Timex takes us back in time for this remake of a classic 1980s wristwatch. Combining a retro LCD screen with faux analog hands, the LCA Reissue is easy to read, and offers stopwatch, countdown timer, and alarm functions. It has a stainless steel or gold-tone case with a matching metal link band.
MezcoToyz present a boxed set of action figures inspired by Walter Hill’s classic film The Warriors. The retro-style 5 Points set includes Swan, Ajax, Cleon, the Baseball Fury Leader, and Baseball Fury Lieutenant, along with tiny baseball bats, spray paint, a Molotov cocktail, a pipe, switchblade, chain, and spiked wooden plank.
My Arcade makes pocket-sized gaming systems that each play three classic arcade games. They feature accurate 8-bit graphics, arcade-inspired case designs, and a crisp 2.75″ color display. Available games include Bubble Bobble, Rainbow Islands, Dig Dug, Galaga, Galaxian, Xevious, Ms. Pac-Man, Sky Kid, Mappy, and more.
Trekkies either love or hate the J.J. Abrams-produced “Kelvin Timeline” Star Trek movies. But maybe the haters would like them more if they starred the cast of The Original Series. Well, thanks to Futuring Machine, deepfake tech, and some clever editing, we no longer need to wonder what that might have been like.
AListProductions used footage from 1970s to 1990s DC Comics movies and TV shows to create their vision for what a Justice League movie might have looked like back in the day. It’s certainly looks more entertaining and less morose than Zack Snyder’s version.
Do you need a break from your regular music playlists? Then open up this video, hit play, and drop it into a background tab. Jorf assembled this epic 10-hour and 53-minute mix of 227 tracks programmed by various chiptune musicians and played with the classic 8-bit sounds of the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Artist Basil Wolverton was known for his amazingly offbeat illustrations that blended science fiction, fantasy, and humor. The books Creeping Death from Neptune and Brain Bats of Venus chronicle his work from 1909 to 1952, during which time his images were published by everyone from Marvel to MAD Magazine.
NoQuarterArcade handbuilds these sweet mid-century modern style arcade tables which play a wide variety of classic arcade games. They come with authentic arcade quality controls for two players, and pre-loaded with a number of games. They sell a 60-in-1 version, as well as a 412-in-1 version, and an 800-in-1 version.
The Martin Scorsese classic Taxi Driver and the TV series Taxi have at least a few things in common: a New York City setting, an ensemble of quirky characters, and… taxi cabs. So it made perfect sense to video editor kingkida to combine the two, giving Robert De Niro a starring role on a 1970s ABC sitcom.
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