Xtension Gameplay Arcade Cabinets Are Perfect for Raspberry Pi Systems

I love playing classic arcade games. In fact, I love them so much, I spent several thousand dollars having a custom-built arcade cabinet put together. But you don’t have to spend nearly that much to have a professional looking cabinet these days, thanks to folks like Rec Room Masters and systems like their Xtension Gameplay cabinets.

The cabinets come in kit form, and make it easy for you to put together a great looking, full-size arcade system that won’t break the bank. The base 24″ system starts at $499.99, while the 32″ version starts at $749.99. They come with two-player Suizo-Happ arcade controls and everything you need to build a system – other than the computer, the display, and speakers. Thanks to bargain priced monitors and Raspberry Pi systems, you can add those things for under $250, and complete your arcade system for less than $1000. Rec Room Masters provides instructions not just for building the cabinet kit, but for adding on and setting up a Raspberry Pi arcade system.

If you want to splurge, they also offer an upgraded cabinet called the “Emulator Edition” which adds a real arcade trackball, and 10 buttons for controlling on-screen menus.

Rec Room Masters makes a number of other arcade cabinet designs, including cocktail style, sit-down, and virtual pinball machines. For more information on these and other arcade cabinets, head on over to their website.

Beast Kingdom Toy Story Alien Statue Makes Us Go “OOOOOOOOOH!”

Do you love the Toy Story series? Starting with Pixar’s 1995 classic, through last year’s Toy Story 4, the franchise been consistently packed with great characters, emotional story lines, and whimsical visuals. One of my favorite characters is the three-eyeballed alien species that Buzz Lightyear first encountered in the claw machine. Now check out this awesome collectible statue, inspired by the squeaky little green dudes.

The expert sculptors at Beast Kingdom designed this sweet 10″ tall sculpture that features one of these easily awed aliens taking a ride on spaceship arcade machine. It’s beautifully detailed, and looks like the three-eyed space creature just popped off of the movie screen. I especially love all the intricate controls inside of the spaceship.

It’s part of Beast Kingdom’s premium Master Craft series, so it’s definitely not a kid’s toy. And with a retail price of $259.99, it deserves a proud place on a nice high-up shelf where junior can’t get his or her hands on it.

You can pre-order this awesome Toy Story collectible now over on Entertainment Earth. It’s expected to ship starting this October. In the mean time, you can OOOOOOOOH over some classic Toy Story alien scenes below:

Hold Your Corn Like Wolverine with Corn on the Claws

Despite his many personality flaws, Wolverine is still one of my favorite Marvel characters. Having his entire skeleton replaced with Adamantium certainly didn’t help his attitude, I’m sure. On the plus side, it gave him some epic claws. Now, you can enjoy your corn on the cob just like Wolverine with these official Corn on the Claws.

Rather than the ordinary yellow corn on the cob skewers, these ones feature Wolverine’s blue-gloved hand with three pointy claws sticking out and ready to take on even the most defiant cob. And before you go complaining that they only have three claws on each one, I went and double-checked, and Logan only had three claws poking out of his knuckles too. For some reason, I thought he had more.

Sadly, they’re not made from actual Adamantium, so don’t go around expecting these to be indestructible. Fortunately, they’re cheap, so you can always buy more. 10 bucks will buy you four pairs of Corn on the Claws, and you can pre-order them now over on Gamestop. They’re expected to start shipping on 1/29/20.

[via Laughing Squid]

Hellgirl Stained Glass Window Is a Hell of a Piece of Art

I was a big fan of the original Hellboy movies with Ron Perlman as our cigar-chomping red hero. But as much as I enjoyed that series, I’ve never delved deep into the comics, so I’m not too familiar with Hellgirl. That said, now that I’ve seen this stained glass image of her, I’m intrigued.

This amazing work of stained glass art was handmade by Art Brothers Glass, in the classic Tiffany style. And no, they’re not talking about the 1980s Mall-pop singer. This intricate piece measures a whopping 41.3″ x 38.6″, and was made using 1470 individual pieces of glass.

This piece was created as a commission work for a Hellgirl fan in Poland, but Art Brothers would be happy to make you a custom piece like it. Something this big and intricate will set you back as much as $10,000, but there are lots of smaller and less complex stained glass portraits in their Etsy shop, with prices starting as low as $240. They also make stained glass pins in a wide variety of designs, including a number of pop culture characters.

[via Neatorama]

Modder Made Working GameCube Joy-Cons for His Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is a fantastic little gaming system, with a great library of exclusive games, and the ability to switch between a portable and home console in one. The standard Joy-Con gaming controllers that come with it are pretty good already – if a little small for those of us with bigger hands. Now after seeing a number of fake renders of the idea, some has gone and built a set of Joy-Cons based on the classic GameCube controller.

Shank Mods really wanted to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with a proper GameCube controller, so he set about the complicated and time-consuming task of chopping up a real GameCube Wavebird wireless controller to convert it into a Joy-Con. He sliced the controller in twain, then ripped out the guts and replaced them with the electronics from the Switch Joy-Cons. That way he was able to preserve the style and feel of the GameCube joystick, while preserving the full functionality of the Switch’s controllers.

But as you can see in the build video below, I’m vastly oversimplifying the work that was required. The project took months, and he had to basically redesign the entire interior of the Wavebird, and custom 3D print various parts to make everything fit and hold in place securely.

The end result is really impressive – the controller splits in half and mounts to rails on the side of the Switch, as well as a central rail for joining the controller halves back together. I’d love to see Nintendo offer a series of retro style controllers like this for the Switch, but for now, we have to leave it to talented modders like Shank to get the job done.

[via SlashGear]

Googly Eye Push Pins Have Got Their Eyes on You

You know what makes everything better? Googly eyes, that’s what. Simply slap some of these puppies onto any item, and it gives them instant personality. While you could just buy a bunch of sticky googly eyes and start gluing them to things, I think these push pins are a better idea.

Archie McPhee’s goofy Googly Eye Push Pins are a great addition to any memo board, and let you give every single item on your cubicle wall the eyeballs it deserves. I suppose you could even use them to embellish fruit and veggies like they did with that strawberry, but then you’ll want to eat it pretty soon so it doesn’t spoil from those extra holes you punched into its face. But can you really snack on something once you’ve bestowed it with the gift of vision?

 

If you’re ready to start slapping eyeballs on everything in your sight, head over to Amazon, and grab a set of 25 of these suckers. I do find it strange that these come in an odd number. I guess you’re gonna have a cyclops or a three-eyed monster somewhere on your wall.

Toilet Paper Robot Can Always Spare a Square

The Consumer Electronics Show is the place to go for the latest in televisions, computers, cameras, automotive technology, and all kinds of gadgets. Each year, the show also introduces us to its share of robots. Though the 2020 CES show brought along something a little different – robots that deliver toilet paper.

These silly little robots were commissioned by toilet paper company  Charmin, and are designed to bring you a fresh roll of TP when you’ve just run out. Dubbed the “Rollbot,” the self-balancing two-wheeled robots carrie a single roll on their top, and can be hailed using your smartphone when you’re desperate for another square to wipe with.

The robots are designed to look like the cute bears that poop in the woods in Charmin’s commercials, and feature a friendly digital face to help put you at ease in your moment of ease.

Of course there are number of big flaws with the idea. First, there’s the minor issue of how it would actually get into a closed bathroom or under a stall door. And how exactly does this thing reload without any arms? And finally, who would ever want to touch one of these things after they’ve been delivering toilet paper to desperate bathroom occupants?

[via The Drive]

 

Jawa Sandcrawler Custom Gaming PC: Utini!

As are many of you, I’m a huge fan of The Mandalorian. The Disney+ series is packed with great characters, tons of action and surprises, while still paying respects to the classic tropes of the Star Wars universe. One of the classic Star Wars vehicles to turn up in the show was the Jawas’ Sandcrawler, which made its debut in A New Hope. Now, a talented and resourceful maker has decided to build himself a workstation PC that looks just like the Jawas’ iconic land transport.

Jason Hurst loves building all kinds of things in his shop, but most of all has a passion for Star Wars stuff. His creations include everything from a wooden TIE fighter to a metal Slave One and Millennium Falcon. His Sandcrawler PC is definitely among his coolest projects.

To build the PC, Jason first created a cardboard mockup of the Sandcrawler, then used the cutouts as templates for cutting sheets of steel. After that, he welded the case together, added on those big caterpillar tracks on the bottom, and embellished it with lots of hand-scribed details. He then spent about two days painting it to give it that rusty, weathered look. In all, it took him about a month of hard work.

Jason documented the build process in the video clip below, which is well worth a watch.

Inside that big metal case you won’t find any Jawas or scavenged drone parts, but you will find a gaming PC that packs a water-cooled AMD Ryzen 9 3950x processor, AORUS X570 I Pro motherboard, NVIDIA GeForce GTX1070 graphics card, 32GB of Corsair Vengeance LPX 2133MHz RAM, EK Water Blocks, Noctua_at fans, and a 1TB M. PCIe Gen 4 SSD.

Be sure to drop by Jason’s YouTube channel and Instagram page to check out his many other builds, and to keep up on his latest creations.

Toyota Goes EPCOT with Its Own Prototype City of the Future

Not too long ago, I visited with Toyota in Tokyo to learn about their plans to transform from an automotive company into a mobility company – concerning themselves with all of the different ways that people need to get around, and not just cars and trucks anymore. As part of this massive initiative, Toyota now plans on building out an entire prototype city of the future.

The company has announced it will create its Woven City at the foot of Japan’s iconic Mt. Fuji, on a 175-acre parcel of land. The plan is to build the small city in such a way that it can be used as a testbed for all kinds of new technologies, including autonomy, robotics, personal mobility, smart homes, alternative energy, and artificial intelligence.

The city is being designed by Danish architect, Bjarke Ingels pf Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), whose team also worked on 2 World Trade Center, the LEGO House, and Google’s headquarters. Sustainability will be a key component of its design, from its construction materials and techniques, to its energy and food supplies.

At this point, Toyota hasn’t shared too many specifics, but the city will act as what the company calls a “living laboratory,” which will also test things like a hydrogen-powered infrastructure, and high-tech construction and manufacturing technologies.

In many ways, this prototype community is what Walt Disney originally envisioned for EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), though we all know that project ended up turning into a World’s Fair style theme park, rather than a living and working city. Toyota’s project looks to be much more of a true research community, initially starting with 2000 residents, and then growing from there.

Of course, with a project this ambitious, Toyota will partner up with other companies who want to test out their technologies as well, and to that end they are accepting inquiries from potential partners on the Woven City website.

Toyota hasn’t given any indication yet as to how long it might take to build Woven City, but the groundbreaking is set for 2021. I’m really excited to see this come together, and what kind of innovation comes out of the city of the future.

smART Pixelator Turns Your Images Into Pixel Art Templates

I have a very soft spot in my heart for pixel art, having grown up in the 1980s with rudimentary 8-bit and 16-bit video games dominating my formative years. So I really love anything that encourages the creation of pixel-based designs. The smART Pixelator does just that – letting you easily turn any image into a real life pixel art creation.

Working in concert with a mobile app, this battery-powered toy takes photos from your smartphone, and converts them into color images on its built in RGB LED matrix. This serves as a template onto which you can place colored pegs, sequins, or beads. Once your design is complete, you can remove the tray and frame your artwork. It’s basically like a modern day Lite Brite, except you can actually keep your completed designs.

If you use pixel beads, you can extract your images from the Pixelator and gently iron them through a special sheet to melt them into a permanent pixel art creation. As is shown in the video below, you can even create larger images which take up more than one screen on the device.

The smART Pixelator is available now over on Amazon. Prices start around $40, and they also sell add-on bead, peg, and sequin sets for about $15 to $20 each. I would have so loved to have one of these when I was a kid.