Remember in the 80’s there was this promise of household robots could head to the fridge and fetch a few drinks for its thirsty owners? This opener would sort of fulfill that pipe dream by having a robot assist with opening a beer bottle. Progress!
There would be no robotics involved, just a bottle opener molded into the shape of Nintendo’s famous peripheral. R.O.B. himself would split in two, his lower base serving as a display stand with a magnet holder.
R.O.B. was completely useless as a video game peripheral, but as a bottle opener? I can think of no greater calling.
Thanks to Netflix I recently revisited Justice League Unlimited, and finally got acquainted with Batman: The Brave And The Bold. Both series feature Booster Gold and his sidekick, a hovering robot named Skeets.
And Skeets being such a versatile robot, he struck me as something that would translate to many neat products, such as: a webcam, virtual keyboard projector, night light, USB Hub, desktop speaker, digital projector, and so on. For now I’m happy to use Skeets as a lamp, mostly because he’d look cool and would also serve as a life-size prop of sorts.
I’m a little surprised that there aren’t several Skeets products on the market already. In both shows he struck me as toy-like in his appearance, and his voice sounded like something emitted from a sound chip that are common in toys today. Lots of opportunity here in my opinion.
A few notes: the lamp could collapse to show Skeets in his normal form (above right), and his red eye could be used as a night light perhaps? The lamp would use a doughnut-shaped halogen or LED light. And yes it would be cool if it came with a number of phrases voiced by Billy West (the voice actor who voiced Skeets in both shows).
You might recall that a few years ago I posted a mockup of a stereo that looked like Blaster, the popular cassette-playing Autobot (or Audiobot as I like to call him). It’s something that I always kind of wanted in real life, so I’ve kept an eye out for existing stereos that I could enlist for such a project.
Then a few months back I found an RCA stereo that could do the job. It had a midsection that extruded out just like Blaster’s yellow tape deck. The speakers were also ideal too (I’d flip them upside down if needed). So I placed an order for the stereo, and even ordered some Autobot stickers from Reprolabels. The plan was to meticulously disassemble and paint the stereo.
Alas my order was pushed back to June (even if I choose express shipping!), and all other reputable stores don’t have this in stock. I’ve decided to throw in the towel and cancel my order, clearly this 5 year old stereo model is no longer being made (attempts to contact RCA fell short too).
I thought it would be a fun surprise for the blog, instead I will just share the mockup and my aborted plans. I will continue to keep an eye out for a stereo system that will fit the bill, and I will also attempt to do more IRL projects going forward.
UPDATE: A couple of helpful folks on Twitter pointed me to a reputable retailer and I ordered one, will get it in a week…so things are a go now! (Here is the link – Canadian customers only)
UPDATE 2: Derailed again. The product is out of stock.
I mentioned on Twitter that I was surprised that no one opened a real-life Mos Eisley Cantina for geeks like me. In fact there seems to be a complete absence of geeky bars and pubs, which is an untapped market in my opinion.
One thing bars could do is hang a geeky sign like this No Droids Allowed notice at their entrance to greet customers. Nothing like a display of intolerance towards robots to endear your establishment to customers.
Notes: It could also say “We don’t serve their kind here!”, which was the phrase spoken in the film; I just wanted to be direct to those no-good robots. There is the Storm Crow Tavern in Vancouver BC that is very geeky, which is why I gave them a shout-out here.
Pacific Rim is my most anticipated movie of the year. It will hit theaters in July, with the Blu-Ray release sometime in October or November. That said it’s not too early to offer up what I would like to see for a Blu-Ray case: a design based on the giant transport crawler seen in the trailer.
My intent with this design is not to offer a case-and-action-figure combo. It is create a standalone Blu-Ray case that doubles as a stand for a Pacific Rim NECA figure, which would be sold separately. The Gipsy Danger robot you see above is an approximation of NECA’s 7″ figure that is currently available. Not only do you get a cheaper Blu-Ray case, you’d get to adorn it with your giant robot of choice.
The platform has a tray which slides out like a drawer. The tray rests on some wheels which allows it to glide smoothly when opening and closing. All the tank treads are molded plastic, and would have small wheels embedded within; though I’d only like the treads under the tray to have wheels, making this case stationary.
If additional discs (or booklets) are needed this design can be altered to include additional trays, or the existing tray could have a folding flap on top that can hold a few additional discs.
This is the smallest case design I have posted yet. It is rough 5″ x 5″ x 1.5″. That’s roughly four CD cases stacked together.
My favorite thing about this design: the case is really just a display stand, so even after packaged media goes extinct, it would still be useful.
It would be great if NECA and Warner Brothers could enlist some synergy to release something like this (or perhaps a full-fledged case-and-figure combo even). You seldom see that kind collaboration for Blu-Ray releases, in fact I can only think of McFarlane Toys releasing Walking Dead Blu-Ray sets.
Be sure to check out my Gipsy Danger hockey jersey design on my other site.
I love Zombies as much as the next geek, but it seems just about every major video game is offering a Zombie mode or Zombie DLC. There are other alternatives to Zombies that shooter games can employ to shake things up.
Hands-down my dream DLC would be a recreation of the firefight from the opening scene of T2: Judgment Day. Not only would you have a faction of gun-toting robots, but also giant mech vehicles and laser rifles; all in a post-apocalyptic setting. That’s the kind of DLC that would drive game sales, instead of the other way around!
You don’t even need the Terminator license to make this a reality. Just create a faction of evil robots that players can use for their match games. Team Fortress 2 did something like this recently, for their Mann Vs. Machine mode (though the machines are non-playable). The Battlestar Galactica license would also be ideal in the form of a Cylons vs. Colonial Marines match.
Besides robots you can also enlist aliens to guest-star for DLC. I’m talking about the kind of humans vs. aliens warfare you’d see in District 9 or Battle Los Angeles. Having humanoid aliens that are in scale with humans make them ideal for gameplay balancing, and they are also easier to implement into games as well. If you’d like to take it a step further and use larger aliens (say, the Arachnids from Starship Troopers), that is also d0-able, as long as the odds are even for all players in the game.
Robots and Aliens are the more obvious replacements for Zombies. G.I. Joe Vs. Cobra is something that might do-able for Call of Duty as Activision and Hasbro are in cahoots these days. How about a Planet of the Apes deathmatch featuring simians vs. humans? Maybe an army of time-traveling steampunk warriors? Or those leather-wearing armored-vehicle-driving crazies from the Mad Max films? Maybe a bunch of tattooed/pierced cannibals like those from Doomsday?
Something other than Zombies now and then. Please?
This USB Flash Drive design is based on the T-800’s chip processor, seen primarily in Terminator 2 Judgement Day. I opted for the intact version of the chip, which can be seen in the special edition version of the film (the scene where Sarah and John remove it from the T-800 to repair him).
This would’ve been more ideal as a memory card for a video game console, but those are going extinct now. So I opted for a basic USB flash drive.
I just noticed I made a mistake with this design: the cover should fold back even more, allowing for the USB plug to have complete clearance for plugging-in — my bad! I was also tempted to add a Cyberdine Systems or Skynet logo, but the chip in the film didn’t have any markings so I kept it authentic, making it look almost like a life-size replica prop.