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.

TRON Arcade Game On Your Tabletop

When “Tron” hit movie theaters in 1982, it was at the height of video gaming culture. Though opinions of the film differed at the time, looking back it's an interesting time capsule of both motion picture and video game technology. You could say the same about the marketing. There was a toy line (modest by today's standards), a number of home video games, and a pair of classic arcade games.

If you've never seen either Tron cabinet in real life, you've missed an 80's spectacle. Both were bedecked in the graphics of the movie, with blacklight and even holographic effects. The best known of the two arcade cabinets is likely the one simply called “Tron” (“Discs of Tron” was an amazing walk-in affair). It was really four games in one, including the lightcycles game that has been reproduced on every computer platform ever. One of our RT heroes Peter Hirschberg created a supremely detailed 3D model and flythrough video.

Surprisingly Tomy was able to capture the spirit of the arcade game through the three subgames of their  tabletop mini arcade version. The little cabinet is translucent so you can see the real high-tech circuitry running the show (predating the iMac by lots of years – harrumph) as well as some stylized circuit board art to make things look even more tech. The screen itself had fixed characters like any LCD-type game, but even within these limits, they were able to capture the fun of the arcade's different levels.

Tron_screenThe Tomy tabletop usually seems to get around $50 on Ebay, though there seem to be some bargains available right now. The full-sized arcade cabinet has maintained a high value thanks to it being such a spectacle on its own, often netting $1000-2000. The harsh criticisms leveled at the original film back in the 80's seem to have bleeped out of existence with time (or duty cycles). Tron has grown from a cult film to a property worth bringing back – the sequel is expected to res up in 2011.

Download a higher quality version of Hirschberg's Tron cabinet video
Ebay link to tabletop Tron games on auction right now

First electronic game ever?
Coleco's mini Pac-man arcade cabinet


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