Palitoy Pocketeers

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There was an influx of cheap(ish) handheld electronic games at the tail end of the Seventies and beginning of the Eighties (think Grandstand’s ‘Invaders From Space’ game, a clone of Space Invaders). This was beginning of the home gaming revolution, which would quickly overtake Arcades as the preferred environment for gamers worldwide. Before the electronic handheld game, and during its early years, there was a competitor, made by Palitoy, called Pocketeers, a range of distinctly non electronic handheld offerings.

You can see why the pocketeers lost out to the electronic games – the Pocketeers take on ‘Space Invaders’ does not have the same dynamic quality that the likes of ‘Invaders From Space’ has;

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Basically, you wound up the barriers, they moved from side to side and you had to fire a tiny ball and try and hit the U.F.O at the top of the screen. That was it. No waves of attacking aliens, no damage to shelters that protected you from the invaders missiles. Bit boring, with limited appeal. I remember being excited at the prospect of playing, but feeling VERY let down by the reality. Ho hum.

What it did do well, and one I particularly enjoyed, was the Fruit Machine, providing you didnt mind not getting any cash if you got 3 bells etc….
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There is a bit of detail about the game here;

World Of Stuart on ‘Fruit Machine’

The excellent ‘World Of Stuart’ website has loads of information about the Pocketeers – well worth a look;

World Of Stuart

For an overview of Grandstand Games, and other handheld electronic marvels, have a look here;

Retro Games site – with a feature on hand held electronic games

For an exhaustive look at the handheld gaming, check this out;

handheld museum

Mego / Palitoy Marvel Toys – 1970’s

One of those unfilfilled childhood wishes. I wanted all of the ‘Fist Fighting Super Heroes’, but I had to make do with Captain America battling Batman & Robin, because I didnt have any ‘super foes’. I remember really wanting Spiderman & The Lizard, but again, my dreams were smashed against the rocks of financial hardship…..

I also desperately wanted the Batmobile,

but had to settle for the small Corgi replica Batmobile (with Batboat) and the tiny 1 inch figures of Batman & Robin;

Yup, I was a spoilt brat without the budget. This makes me feel better though. This is a fantastic clip of the UK Palitoy advert for ‘Fist Fighting Super Heroes'(about £2.25 each!!).

Mego were the manufacturers of these toys, with Palitoy selling them under license over here in the UK. Some great resources here; article on Marvel action figures
An article on Mego toys
Dedicated Mego Action Figure site

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Palitoy were a great company, giving us British kids the wonders of Star Wars figures in the 70’s and 80’s, as well as Action Man, Action Force & Marvel licenses like Micronauts. Not only that, they had the only real rival to Subetteo – ‘Striker’. Based in Coalville, Leicestershire, they sadly closed in 1984. Some links for Palitoy;
A Striker tribute site
Lovely site – shows the conneciton between Mego & Palitoy

Post Apocalypse IV – Warriors Of Atlantis

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This one deviates a little from the other early-to-mid eighties post apocalyptic action films. Not only is this one directed by the notorious Ruggero Deodato (Cannibal Holocaust, The New York Ripper, House On The Edge Of The Park), but isnt set in a post apocalyptic world. The film does, however, borrow heavily stylistically from Mad Max II & John Carpenters ‘Escape From New York’, as well as from Italian films such as ‘The New Barbarians’ (aka ‘I Nuovi Barbari’).

It starts of with a team of scientists off the coast of Miami working to raise a sunken Russian nuclear submarine from the ocean bed. In the process of doing this they disturb and discover an ancient Atlantean relic from the sea floor and bring in an expert to analyse of it. However, during their attempts to raise the submarine off the ocean fllor, radioactive material leaks from its missile warheads and triggers the re-emergence of the lost civilisation of Atlantis. The resulting tidal wave destroys the platform and leaves a handful of survivors. They (the survivors) are rescued by two Vietnam vets-turned-heavies who are out relaxing after their latest job. The boat eventually runs aground on a Carribean island nearby and upon going ashore it is discovered that the island is devastated and its inhabitants wiped out. The aggressors are a vicious group of well-armed raiders led by ‘Crystal Skull’ and are the descendants of Atlantis’ original race. Their motivation is to set about reclaiming the world and adding the scientists who survived the tidal wave to the list of victims. For those survivors it is a fight for survival as they struggle to stay alive and defeat the raiders and send Atlantis back to the ocean floor.

This is another film where the promise of the poster art far exceeds the budget! Great artwork, DYNAMIC and EXCITING!!

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Here is the trailer for the film;

IMDB entry for the film

Wiki entry for Ruggero Deodato

Cold Fusion review of the film

Eat My Brains reviews the film

Bigfatpav review of the film