January 18, 2007

WOULD-BE WEEBLE #5


It's time to get back to my ongoing series of fake Weebles. Once I create enough I'm hoping to put them together and actually update that dusty old Secret Fun Spot which has gone virtually untouched since even before I started this web log (also called a "blog").
You recognize the Weeble right? Why, it's Tron! He deserves to be a part of my imaginary Weeble brigade for so many reasons. (And not just because he adorned my pajamas.)

As a boy I pleaded with my dad to get me to the cinema for this one. However, my desire to see it was the result of a misconception. My brain had led me to believe that the film was based on a Marvel Comic which had caught my eye on many occasions.. Rom: Spaceknight. I suppose it was the combination of the similar names, typefaces, and shiny guys that confused me.
Well, I can thank my ignorance and my father for getting me into the theater because as the feature played my mind was transported to a wonderful place, not unlike an orange getting zapped by a laser. It combined everything I loved.. video games, animation and even frisbee.

As if the film weren't enough, there was the fantastic arcade game.. an instant favorite. And how could it not be? The first time I encountered the machine was at Walt DisneyWorld during my 1982 summer vacation. I was already aware of its existence having seen it featured on an Entertainment Tonight segment, but the morning I entered the Magic Kingdom's newly expanded "Penny Arcade" I was not prepared to find literally dozens of virgin Tron games set up in multiple clusters of four, back to back to back to back. It was a perfect introduction to the game, however my decision to spend many precious theme park hours playing a soon-to-be widespread computer game was quite poor.

6 comments:

Devlin said...

I guess it's a generational thing...I'm just enough older than you that TRON was perhaps the culmination of a string of increasingly crushing disappointments that Disney had been visiting upon me since about the time of PETE'S DRAGON. I mean...CANDLESHOE? CONDORMAN? RETURN TO WITCH MOUNTAIN? Most appallingly of all...THE BLACK freaking HOLE? (To make that one worse, on three opening nights in a row in December 1979, I went to THE BLACK HOLE, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, and METEOR. It was enough to make a kid cancel his STARLOG subscription, I tell ya!) Still, I thought "Okay, surely Lucy won't pull away the football THIS time!" So, of course, she did, AND the tree ate my kite, AND the cat next door trashed my doghouse! (How's that for an overdone metaphor?) That said, I really do like the action figures a lot, and the trading cards as well. And, even though I don't actually like any of the games (either arcade or Intellivision), I've got to say that those are probably the best-looking cabinets of any video game ever. And that's all I have to say on the subject. Oh, except to say that I do profoundly regret not seeing that year's TRON-themed DISNEY ON ICE. The program makes it look horrifically entertaining.

Kirk D. said...

devlin- ha ha, so many abominations mentioned in one post! Just the thought of poor old Condorman makes me laugh. And yes, Black Hole left me feeling terrible. I just wanted my Star Wars after that.
I think going into Tron with my ROM confusion did away with any mental Disney baggage. I was aware of the film's dryness, but I guess that Lightcycle bit was enough to cover all sins.
You're right about the game cabinets, I think they had a built in blacklight because those graphics really popped.
Tron on ice sounds boggling. I did witness the Tron Disney electric parade float during which they played the Pointer Sister's song 'The Neutron Dance.' Get it??!!

Todd Franklin said...

Ok, this is your best Weeble so far! I have a nostalgic soft spot for old Tron. True this electric Wizard of Oz wasn't a great movie, but boy did it look cool to this video game crazed kid!

Too bad there wasn't a ROM movie back then. In college we had to pick a published work for my script writing class to adapt and I picked ROM.

I must say I liked The Black Hole.

Jeff Pidgeon said...

The TRON Weeble is great! How did you make it?

Kirk D. said...

todd- I can't believe you wrote a ROM script. That is awesome. You deserve the ROM toy more than anyone in the world.

jeff- Glad you like it! Sadly my "would-be weebles" exist only as an image in cyberspace (kind of like the real Tron!) I drew his body and face in a vector illustration program (relying heavily on reference material from the film) and then I imported that drawing into Photoshop where I shaped it and slapped it on top of a photo of a real weeble (in this case it's the ghost from the Haunted House) Then I digitally roughed it up to give it some age and voila!.. a new force in the fight against the Master Control Weeble.
(PS- I happened to be surfing your cool flickr photos just last week.. Great stuff!)

Anonymous said...

I was on Google searching for Weebles, I am collecting them when I came across your image of the Tron Weeble - t's chaosome!