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Astrocade - "The Professional Arcade" (Commercial, 1982)

Here's a commercial for another game system that never really got off the ground - the Bally Astrocade. I remember I got one of these years ago at a flea market and it had the most awkward controllers I've ever used. "The Professional Arcade" - for those times you want to do your serious business next to a pac-man machine.

Available at:

Team Electronic's - Algonquin, Illinois
Polk Brothers - Chicago, Illlinois

"Available Soon"

This aired on local Chicago TV on Sunday, June 20th 1982.

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This clip aired on Sunday, June 20th 1982, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

I think the only thing it was good for was a prop for various movies and TV. shows back in the '80's (like "National Lampoon's Vacation"...Russ, don't eat the truckster!).

Never really knew anyone that had this system.

Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Thursday, October 2nd 2008 at 12:15pm.

You can check out the Astrocade and other old home video games at Atari2600.com
Comment posted by Bertonator on Wednesday, October 8th 2008 at 8:41pm.

I wonder why they had to (or decided to) call it the "Incredible Wizard" instead of "Wizard of Wor", which was the actual game name, and what it was called on every other machine.
Comment posted by afdave on Thursday, August 12th 2010 at 8:06am.

It was probably a rip-off or something. Maybe they didn't want to pay the licensing fees or weren't allowed to license it for whatever reason. Perhaps the Astrocade programmers had already started working on the game, anticipating the licensing, but then didn't get it and they didn't want the game to go to waste.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, August 12th 2010 at 10:29am.

Man that was a great scene, Armitage. :-D
Comment posted by Pete on Thursday, August 12th 2010 at 11:36am.

Actually Fuzzy, I found at least one site that claimed it was licensed (although, maybe they just assumed that). Another thing might be they thought "Wizard of Wor" was just a "weird" name, and thought "Incredible Wizard" would sell better. Shenanigans on that I say! ;)
Comment posted by afdave on Thursday, August 12th 2010 at 11:55am.

I can't believe that the name cache' of "Wizard of Wor" wasn't enough for them no matter how strange they might have thought it was. Game systems were often sold to the public on whether they had the arcade hits or not, so I can't believe they wouldn't take advantage of this.
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Thursday, August 12th 2010 at 2:18pm.

Commercials for video game consoles remind me of a televlsion game I once saw in the mid-'80s. It was called 'Starcade' on Channel 60. Bascially its a game show where contestants play various video games to get a certain score before time runs out.
Comment posted by Loyal32Fan on Thursday, August 12th 2010 at 8:36pm.

I loved Starcade. I remember watching it on TBS.
Comment posted by Smctopia on Friday, August 13th 2010 at 7:20am.

The creators of Starcade have a website... starcade.tv, which has a LOT of clips from the original show. Good stuff.
Comment posted by afdave on Friday, August 13th 2010 at 7:30am.

Further update, I asked on the Twin Galaxies board, nobody has a definitive answer yet on "Incredible Wizard" vs. "Wizard of Wor", although they have a link to a typed up version of the manual that clearly shows it was licensed to Bally:

http://forums.twingalaxies.com/viewtopic.php?f=49&t=23558

Comment posted by afdave on Sunday, August 15th 2010 at 6:53am.

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This clip has been viewed 2705 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Thursday, October 2nd 2008.
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Most Recent Site Comments

Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - The ABC Thursday Night Movie - "The Return of the King" (Opening & Commercial Break, 1983) by FuzzyMemories on Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 10:23pm CT

MildApplause - This is another occasion when I wish we had Facebook style "Like" buttons on comments because I like your comment. :-) I too have wondered about the stories behind the people. Once in a while I get little glimpses like getting contacted by the kid in the Kraft Macaroni and Cheese commercial, or the little girl in the Jewel commercial, etc.


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - The ABC Thursday Night Movie - "The Return of the King" (Opening & Commercial Break, 1983) by MildApplause on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 8:10pm CT

Every time I see an actor or actress in an old TV commercial, and it's someone who I don't recognize and who maybe never "made it," I always wonder what that person's story ultimately turned out to be.

Like the two ladies here in the Sani-Flush ad. Both very attractive, and especially the brunette had some very endearingly cute and memorable characteristics. At the time both were probably thrilled to have gotten to do a national commercial, but then... ??? Work in theater? Go into writing? Go back to college and learn another trade?

We all have to ultimately find our own way in life. Of all these old commercials, and each of the actors in them, probably many have a fascinating and untold story.


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by Detroit4Chicago on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 8:01pm CT

Willie reminds me not just a "hobo," but he sure a lot looks like Foster Brooks.


Comment posted in WLS Channel 7 - ABC News Special Report - "Death of Bobby Sands" (1981) by Detroit4Chicago on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 7:57pm CT

I remember vividly this bulletin; it was also a period when I was preoccupied with the notion of death of human beings. I think we changed the channel from watching M*A*S*H and happened to see this. And this came on.

There were reports of Bobby Sands' hunger strike and it was all over the news. When I saw this bulletin, I was asking a lot of unresolved questions thereafter.

It was hard to understand at the time.

A few days later, another IRA member, Francis Hughes, also died of a similar hunger strike. And another, which whose name I can't recall, died soon after also.

Man, I remember this too well....



Comment posted in WBBM Channel 2 - Universe with Walter Cronkite - "The Science Behind Star Wars" (1980) by OddityArchive on Sunday, September 21st, 2014 at 6:45pm CT

I have a copy of this one too, albeit the Baton Rouge, LA broadcast. Always been reluctant to post it to YT because of all the LucasFilm footage though.


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by LaPrincess on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:20pm CT

My great grandma had this record. Strangely Boxcar Willie looks like he could be related to my guy friend.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by pvx on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 12:49am CT

In reply to Szake's, T.K.'s, and Fuzzy's comments regarding the letters flashing in the corners of the screen at the beginning--I have seen this as well in other national TV commercials on film from this era.

I have a really good hunch as to what this is--going from my experience working master control in local commercial television and handling the physical airing of commercial spots (albeit much later in the early 2000s on videotape and satellite-delivered video files for on-air playout, as opposed to the film print this commercial is most likely from), this is more than likely an ISCI (Industry Standard Commercial Identifier) code, an unique 4 letter & 4 number identification code assigned to national commercial spots that receive national network and/or local affiliate airing. Each ISCI code is unique to the spot for identification for advertisers, ad agencies, post-production staff, and the station's/network's traffic/logging, ad sales, and and master control personnel. A typical ISCI code is usually in the format of ABCD1234.

I'd hazard to guess that it must of been the industry standard in the 70s to have the ISCI code digits show up on the corners of the first few film frames of the spot, to ease identification for the master control/projectionist/editor at a station to know what spot it was while splicing it together with other commercial films to make a spot reel (or when threading the spot by itself up in a film-chain projector) for airing in a local commercial break.

When the transition to delivering commercials to stations/networks on videotape became more common practice, usually the ISCI code was displayed during the slate & countdown before the spot on the beginning of the tape (obviously not aired, unless the MCO screwed up and switched it up too early ;) )).

I wonder of the ISCI code of this spot is something like xMxHx0x3 (the "x"s being whatever letters/numbers displayed at the left side of the screen, which is mostly cut off in this video), say, something like IMGH1023?


Comment posted in Boxcar Willie - King Of The Road - 20 Great Tracks (Record Offer, 1981) by Phantom on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 5:10pm CT

This album came from Suffolk Marketing which also sold records of Slim Whitman, Jim Nabors, Jim Reeves & Cristy Lane.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by T.K. on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 4:04pm CT

I was able to stop on two frames... the first with M in the upper-right corner and H in the lower-right and the second frame with O in the upper-right and 3 in the lower-right. So... MO, H3? If it was flashing M-O-M, I'd think maybe it was a subliminal message to ask your mother to buy a ticket.


Comment posted in Marriott's Great America (Commercial, 1979) by FuzzyMemories on Wednesday, September 17th, 2014 at 1:39pm CT

Seriously though, it seems like the letters change in each corner very quickly, like it is cycling through something. I also see an 'O' in the upper-right hand corner. Can't we get the conspiracy nuts to break this down for us? This is probably bigger than the "subliminal" station sign-off message. ;-)


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