The other day when I showed up to open the arcade, I found that Shea – the owner and manager of the Arkadia Retrocade, had picked us up a new television. Not one of those late 70’s and early 80 models that we use for the Atari 2600 system or the Sega Genesis… this one was kind of special as it was the Takara Tomy A.R.T.S Showa series TV. A line of collectible gadgets that are based on actual products – like old television sets and record players. In all honesty I was completely blown away by the Takara Tomy A.R.T.S television when Shea pulled it out of the box. I mean it truly made me bust out laughing in appreciation at how much thought was put into the design of the TV set itself -the faux wooden cabinet and buttons for vertical hold, brightness, tone, contrast, off and on, as well as a working channel knob. Things those of us of a certain age remember quite well – say like when visiting their Great-Grandparents every Saturday morning?
The Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. television is used with your cell phone – sliding it into the side of the cabinet after downloading an app on the Apple store or Google Play. This app allows you to ‘program’ five channels – YouTube or wherever you wish to direct the app – so that when you turn the channel knob, a soft button presses against one of those channels on your phone. Which of course looks like your flipping through the individual channels – plus you need to set up the aspect ratio in the app so that the TV screen looks correct. In addition you are able to select a time period for your TV to be picking up broadcasts – so that it resembles a black and white set from the 50’s or the groovy color of the next decade or the 1980’s as well as digital television.
That last one is kind of important as the other options gives you a distinct type of static while watching your channel. One that I might add is humorously fixed by gently ‘banging’ on the top of the Takara Tomy A.R.T.S set. Something that yet again – those of us of a certain age might recall having seen our Family do to help ‘fix’ the signal on the television set.
Now while sadly my Razer phone is just too darn big for this collectible, Shea was able to get his to slide in the side easy enough – the back of the set which includes a piece of cardboard resembling the back of such an old TV set folds down so that you can adjust the phone – to make sure that button is able to press against the phone itself.
For my test with my friend’s phone, I programmed one of the channels to play a classic episode of The Twilight Zone – 1959’s Walking Distance. Since it originally aired on October 30th of 1959 I naturally chose the 1950’s setting on time period selection – which included a pretty amazing horizontal bar that would show up now and again.
If my little review of the Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. television has piqued your curiosity, I am happy to say that you can purchase one on Amazon for a little over 45 dollars – plus you can see the collectible and app in action for yourself, thanks to YouTube.