Strong Fellowship – Day 5

My first week at the Strong has ended, and the thing I want most of all is to GET BACK THERE and DO MORE RESEARCH! I’ve enjoyed it so much that I rarely check Facebook or e-mail while there. That’s when you KNOW you are doing something you like. I’m not held back by any need to communicate.

This week was fairly successful, and I THINK I may still be on track. I went through several years of Play Meter – 1975-1987, and there are still a couple years left. This is an excellent trade publication, with good articles, in-depth interviews (including two with Nintendo’s old VP of Marketing for Coin-Op, Bill Cravens), reviews, performance charts, etc. The most valuable articles seem to be the Year in Review and State of the Industry for each particular year (in the November and December volumes). The news articles also give a detailed look at how the industry evolved – especially since for the most part, these were published bi-monthly.

I started going through RePlay, another coin-op trade publication, but this one isn’t nearly as good (even if it’s edited by Eddie Adlum, who you may remember from Steve Kent’s Ultimate History of Video Games). The magazine seems focused more on jukeboxes than pinball or video (hence the name), but I think that shift past 1980 (still early on).

They didn’t have another trade publication called Tilt, but I was introduced to a cool magazine by Marvel called Blip. Published in comic book format, it’s for younger kids and has no-holds-barred reviews of games (including searing critiques of ET and Pac-Man) as well as a comic of Donkey Kong and a comic of The Hulk trying to figure out how to work a Rubick’s Cube (don’t hold your breath for pics – I’m not allowed to share any b/c of the paperwork I signed). However, you might be able to Google it… August 1983 issue. The comic was produced by Stan Lee.

Next week I will be going through the rest of RePlay and Play Meter – probably RePlay at least through 1986 or 1987, Play Meter probably through 1989, since that was all they pulled – and then there are two shelves worth of Playthings magazine, a toy industry trade publication. HOPEFULLY I can finish the coin op mags by the end of Monday and get Playthings done by Wednesday… I have no idea how much is left to go through, but I do want to check the Atari coin op archives as well as the Ralph Baer papers, and there’s also a stack of catalogs to peruse. Hopefully I can finish all that in 10 days…

Oh yes – they also took my picture, which should be going up on their blog and Facebook soon…

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