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Airplanes, Rocketry, Missiles, Spacecraft and things that go WHOOSH! in the night.
What's flying around my head at the current time.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Comrade Pac Man 

An working example of an East-German arcade game has surfaced in a museum in England. One of only two or three remaining in the world, it offers an insight into what passed for consumer goods in the communist bloc in the late 80's.

I remember the best model kits were old Frog molds that were exported out of England when that company closed down in the 70's. Most of the boxes were cheap; rough cardboard, flimsy and poorly printed with decals that were just about unusable. The kits themselves were, well, if the basic shapes were there, the rest had to come out of the spare parts box. The parts tended to fit where they touched and that's about all.

East Germay's VEB Plasticart along with the various Russian and Polish kits were really crude. The only other ones that were half way decent came out of a Czechoslavakian company called Kozavody Prodechev(?) (most of us just called them KP), and they were fairly good, but still not of western quality.

The Czechs and Poles have come a long way since, and some outfits out of the former Soviet republics have started to rival the standard of model kit makes such as Tamiya and Hasegawa as well as Airfix and Revell/Monogram.

BBC - Wiltshire - Features - Fancy a game, comrade?
KP means "Kovozávody Prostějov" ("metal works in Prostějov"). The company still exists and makes models (kopro.net).
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