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TIGER ELECTRONICS: Diarrhea in Your Hand, Batteries Not Included

Wow!  Forty articles!  I actually did forty of these things – which is more of a commitment than I have ever made to anything – including my ex-wife!  Since this is such a monumental occasion, I’m writing this at the Flashback to the Present anniversary party at my local bar.

Just me, my broken-down Brother WP word processer, and a double whiskey.

Which is kind of sad if you think about it…

Well, in any case, I’m going to review something special for this edition of Flashback to the Present.

Something we all know and love.  Something that was the biggest disappointment of my childhood.

The Tiger Electronics Handheld Toys.

If you’re anything like me, you either bought one of these with your allowance, received one as a gift, or was given a hand-me-down from a friend.  Why?  Because these things were so damn cheap. 

Tiger started in 1978 and focused on low-tech electronic learning toys and handheld video games.

The company itself had this magical way to license pretty much anything that was cool at the time – Batman, Double Dragon, Duck Tales, Ninja Turtles…  

They would print brightly colored cases that included the characters that you know and love, a tiny LCD screen, and a few buttons – most of the time two action buttons, a directional pad, and a few options (on, volume mute, etc).  The devices would usually run about $20, and were limited to the single game (where, as mentioned above, the Game Boy and others could swap games through cartridges).

The tiny screen would have a single image of a character and the background would be a series of simple images that would have simple movements depending on the type of game – racing, fighting, adventure.

But really, it was just a little black blob that sorta-kinda looked like a character (if you squinted) that would vaguely kick/punch/jump or drive if you had the reflexes of a ninja on crystal meth. 

The Tiger Electronics game is the childhood equivalent of a sushi from 7-11; you’re starving but you can’t afford REAL sushi so you go, “Hell, I don’t want a hot dog that’s been sitting there all day.  I’ll go with the sushi that’s $5!”  Then, you go home and you have diarrhea all afternoon.

That’s what Tiger Electronics games were: diarrhea in your hand.

And so, like my 40th celebration, the Tiger Electronics Handheld Games were a huge disappointment.  Since the company is still pumping these things out, use this as a warning to stay away.

Now I’m going to hit the Golden Tee at the end of the bar and try to impress these chicks by saying I wrote The Grapes of Wrath.  

Until next time…

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