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.

DVD Wishlist: Johnny Sokko And His Flying Robot

Robo_body_shot2 Just to show what a lifelong fan I am of bizarre science fiction, one of my earliest TV memories is of "Johnny Sokko and His Flying Robot".  In the early 70's when I was four years old, the live-action Japanese import ran on a Chicago UHF station way up the dial.  I saw Giant Robot years later as a movie compiled from TV episodes on local horror show Svengoolie, but that was a very long time ago...

The story follows the adventures of young Johnny who discovers a massive flying robot in a hidden island base.  The inventor bequeaths the Egyptian Pharoah styled robot to the boy, giving the child a radio watch to control the massive automaton.  Robo_missile_fingersThe robot's extraordinary design concealed rockets and guns in nearly every orifice - missiles even shot from his fingertips!  Every episode pits the robot against giant monster-of-the-week (I remember one being a giant eyeball...) to save the people of a toy-sized Tokyo.

The show's human sized bad-guys are agents of Gargoyle: decked in skull-embroidered berets, 60's Italian sunglasses and beatnik beards.  Bad_guy_3Get this... these evil agents have explosive implants that are set off in case of capture.  Whoa.

The show featured a lot of gunplay, including regular scenes of 8 year old Johnny fighting the baddies with a handgun.  Imported 70's Japanese animation was always heavily edited for violent content, making it hard to believe that so much of Johnny Sokko's live-action brutality remained intact.  Maybe this is why the show has been off screens for decades...

Johnny_watch_2 The complete 26 episode series has been issued on LaserDisc and DVD in Japan, but never here in the US (though a revival animated series from the 90's is readily available).  Luckily for Chicagoans, the next few weeks will see a new classic TV station - and Johnny Sokko is on the schedule!  I may be more excited about Giant Robot coming on TV today than when I was in my formative geek years.

Download Giant Robot episodes from Amazon


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