Monday, May 14, 2007

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK #61 Blip; The Digital Game (Tomy)

It's difficult for me to believe that this toy, Blip. The Digital Game is thirty years old! It was released by Tomy (No. 7018) in 1977, at the dawn of the Atari age and was advertised as a good alternative to new-fangled video games. The box blares: "Take it Anywhere. NO TV set is needed."

Designed for ages 6 and up, Blip, an electronic game, originally sold for 9.99. The back of the box reads: "Blip is the TV type game that you can take with you anywhere. It's player against player when you BLIP it with a friend."

Hey, I want to BLIP it with a friend...
Seriously, the game box offers a detailed diagram of the playing console, a sort of electronic tennis court in a sense, and shows a "Permanent Light Emitting Diode (L.E.D.)," "Numbered BLIP buttons," an "Automatic Timing Mechanism," "Individual Serve Buttons," "Automatic Digital Scoring" and a "Game Selector Switch."

The description on the back goes on to report how to play BLIP. "Now, press the serve button and watch the light emitting diode (L.E.D.) come at you. But don't watch it too long. To win, your hand must be quicker than the BLIP."

My hand is always quicker than the BLIP...

"Quickly press one of the numbered BLIP buttons to send your L.E.D. back where it came from. If your opponent misses, it's score one for you on the automatic digital scoreboard."

The box also admonishes us to "Take BLIP anywhere. On boats, trains, cars, rocketships and planes."

The back of the console also features instructions for 2 players. It warns you that "if you choose the wrong space" (to hit back a BLIP), "or push the button too late, the ball will stop on your side of the court." The object of the game is twin, to score up to 10 points.

In other words, this electronic fun is clearly a prehistoric Game Boy, no? And clearly, it's also a variation of Pong (a four-letter word like BLIP), a game that was very, very popular in 1977.

I owned this game as a kid and loved it. It really seems antiquated today, but I'm just fascinated by these pre-video electronic games. I wonder, would a kid raised on video games still find BLIP fun? I'm going to find out. As soon as Joel is old enough, I'm MAKING him play it.

When he's bugging me. I'm going to say "Joel, go play with your BLIP."

"But Dad..."

1 comment:

  1. Hey John, you can always buy him a Nintendo DS to go with the Blip, and have him play both if he bugs you.