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.

Forgotten Puppet TV Show From Astro Boy's Creator

That's what I say too... 'Oh!'

I am an unabashed fan of Gerry Anderson's many classic puppet series. The 1960's Thunderbirds, Stingray, and Captain Scarlet shows, are TV puppetry's hat trick, but he started even earlier in 1957 with The Adventures of Twizzle. We all know someone who looks like this...Anderson's puppetry career spans several decades, and enjoyed plenty of successes. So I always wondered why there didn't seem to be any competition in the "serious" puppet field.

As it turns out there were several such series that tried to get away from the more toylike puppet adventures that dotted TV of the 50's and 60's. Some of them just didn't have Anderson's trademark attention to realism (I realize that addressing anything of Anderson's as "realism" is stretching a point), or the surprisingly gritty plots of his adventure series. Still, these other series have a charm of their own. here is one of the earliest examples.

A true artist, down to the beret.How come Astro Boy never has a shirt on? Osamu Tezuka is considered by many as the father of Japanese animation, having created Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, among countless others. A prolific artist (who famously turned down an offer from Stanley Kubrick to work on 2001), Tezuka created a 92 episode TV serial adventure "Galaxy Boy Troop" from 1963-65 that combined both puppetry and cartoon animation. The techniques are not as refined as Anderson's, but what is interesting here is to see Tezuka's character designs translated into real 3D figures. You'll see lots of anime touches in this video clip, especially the massive eyes! 

The original films of the series were feared lost forever, but a few clips turned up from a French translation recently. So if you speak Japanese, or read either French or English, you're in luck. When rare clips like this turn up, it always makes me hope that series thought lost are just squirreled away in some basement somewhere.

Educational puppets By Houghton Mifflin

Zanbot 3 - die-cast toys from anime series


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