Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Star Wars Movie Viewer


Star Wars hit our screens in the early days of the home video wilderness, and though there was lots of cheap merchandise associated with the film, getting a home copy of the movie itself was a real investment.  Home movie enthusiasts could find "highlight reel" versions of Star Wars on Super 8 film, or you could watch an even shorter version using this toy movie viewer made by Kenner.

Kenner already had this movie viewer toy in their catalog before Star Wars came along, so it was relatively easy to create a Star Wars cartridge to snap into the viewer (they also had a projector model).  The operation is easy - you simply hold the viewer up to a light, and the crank moves the film along showing a short compilation of several scenes from the blockbuster movie. 

The scant 45 second cartridge manages to cram in plenty of stunning special effects shots, the droids, and the climactic (spoiler alert!) lightsaber fight.  This Movie Viewer is mine from when I was a boy, and from the condition of the film, I clearly watched this highlight reel a LOT.  This was the first time that I could watch footage backwards and at variable speeds, so this device was probably my first exposure to the idea of analyzing a film - as only an 8 year old can.

Movie Viewer type toys are pretty much gone today given that a child can just get a full quality DVD of a film, and even watch it on the go using a cheap LCD player.  Even dedicated children's formats like  VideoNow aren't significantly different from their original sources.  That said, I remember really enjoying having even a little piece of Star Wars that I could watch as much as I wanted.  I guess that's called "on demand" now...


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