The Virtual Boy was Nintendo’s ill-fated attempt to create a 3D virtual reality gaming system back in the 1990s. The system required that gamers align their eyes with a tabletop viewer, much like those things they make you look into when you get a vision test at the DMV. It produced red-on-black images using LEDs and rapidly moving mirrors, and was controlled with an external joystick that you couldn’t look at while your eyes peered into the headset. Now, more than 25 years later, a talented modder has managed to build a completely working version of the Virtual Boy as a handheld.
Shank Mods says he spent almost a year on his “Real Boy” conversion, which incorporates an authentic Virtual Boy motherboard and is not an emulator. It takes real Virtual Boy cartridges, displays them on a modern LCD screen, and has a built-in controller with bright red LED backlighting. The build required creating several custom circuit boards and developing code for the custom controller circuit. The whole thing is wrapped up in a custom red and black 3D printed case.
Shank explains how the original Virtual Boy worked and the challenges in converting it to a handheld in the video below:
I remember back in 1984 when I got my hands on the first Apple Macintosh computer how excited I was to use MacPaint. I had seen it demonstrated at a convention, and the idea that I could create my own artwork on my computer was pretty awe-inspiring to me as a 16-year-old kid. Over the years, I’d abandon MacPaint for more sophisticated apps like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Still, there’s something kind of special about working within the limitations of black-and-white pixel art. So if you long for the simplicity of MacPaint and 1-bit painting, check out DitherPaint.
This browser-based drawing app was created by BeyondLoom, and lets you create black-and-white images using various primitive brushes and dithered patterns. For those unfamiliar with the term, dithering is a technique of using patterns to create in-between shades. In the case of 1-bit art, you get shades of grey. DitherPaint lets you apply these patterns to your brushes too. It’s also got a nifty tool that lets you create animated patterns by listing the sequence of patterns you want to use. You can also load in existing color or greyscale images, and it will automatically dither them, giving them that awesome 1980s Macintosh look. So what are you waiting for? Head on over to DitherPaint now and see what kind of creations you can come up with.
Velma, Fred, Daphne, Shaggy, and Scooby-Doo are always on the hunt, unraveling new mysteries, munching on Scooby snacks, and getting stoned in the back of The Mystery Machine. Now your dog or cat can join in on the fun from inside of this Mystery Machine Pet Carrier (affiliate link) from Buckle-Down. The $60 bag is made from quilted polyester and has vented mesh windows for your pet to look out from, with a large U-shaped zipper roof and Velcro closures. Which makes me wonder why can’t real vans use zippers and Velcro? There’s also a clip inside for attaching a collar, and a removable base pad which adds comfort and makes for easy cleanup in case your pet likes to barf on car rides.
Unfortunately, if you have a Great Dane or another big dog like Scooby-Doo, there’s no way he’s fitting in this thing. It measures just 15.5″ L x 10.5″ W x 10.0″ H on the inside, which is definitely more Scrappy-Doo size. Or in Amazon reviewer Norma’s case, it’s perfect for two chihuahuas.
When is a sandwich, not a sandwich? When it’s a shoe, of course. I mean, I’ve heard the expressions “I’ll eat my hat” and “Eat my shorts,” but never “Eat my shoes.” Still, I’m quite impressed with the food artistry on display here.
Japanese artist and designer Manami Sasaki is an expert at turning bread and toast into beautiful and edible works of art. I mean, just check out their mouth-watering Instagram feed, and you’re gonna get hungry. Among Sasaki’s many delectable creations is this sandwich that looks like a sneaker. It’s made of precisely cut and sculpted pieced of bread glued together with flour and water and filled with veggies inside of the sole. I prefer my sneakers with ham and cheese, but that’s just me.
I suppose I could try and make my own sneaker sandwich, but I think it’ll just end up looking like a blob of bread with fingerprints all over it.
We know that Pac-Man has a thing for dots and ghosts. And while the yellow dot-gobbler and his ghostly enemies look pretty great as pixel art, I think they’re even better all lit up in neon. This awesomely geeky Pac-Man light comes from Neon World Custom, which makes all kinds of amazing and vibrant lights using silicone tubing filled with LEDs, resulting in an impressively accurate neon effect, and without any of the downsides like broken glass tubes, slowly-leaking gas, or high voltage electrocution.
Each one is handmade and would look amazing in any game room. For that matter, you could put it in your dining room or master bedroom if your significant other is into retro gaming too. The Pac-Man LED Neon Light is available on Etsy. It comes in sizes ranging from 23″ x 6″ to a massive 55″ x 14″, with prices from $225 to $400. Neon World Custom has lots of other cool lights in their shop, like this LED neon cheeseburger and light-up astronaut. They can also make custom designs to your specs, so be sure to check them out.
Now can I have a neon maze to go with my neon Pac-Man?
Are you one of those people who is cold no matter what? Perhaps you need some heated pajamas to keep you warm. The Damegi 4GW Heated Jumpsuit should do the trick. Sure, you might look silly wearing this outfit if you venture outside, but if you’re parked on your couch playing video games and nibbling on Doritos, you should be just fine.
Sitting somewhere between a snuggie and a heated blanket, the Damegi 4GW is designed for gamers and anyone else who could use a warm-up. It’s made from a soft and stretchy velour fleece that won’t limit movement in case you wear it while VR gaming, or even while you toss and turn in bed. It’s got a pair of USB-powered heaters inside which start warming up in just about 5 seconds and achieve their maximum temperature in under 4 minutes.
If you need to go to the bathroom while wearing it, the jumpsuit includes an easy access flap for that too. Or as Google translate explains: “Toilet System 6.0 while wearing on: provides a more comfortable buttocks.” Yeah, Toilet System 5.0 is so last year. And if tend to lose all your heat through your head, they’ve got you covered, literally. This thing has a hoodie built-in, and you can even zip it up to cover your face, though they’re very clear that you shouldn’t sleep with it covering your face if you want to breathe.
So if you’re feeling chilly today, you can grab the Damegi 4GW from Amazon Japan for ¥14,220 or about $132 USD.
Do you not like having your drink can sitting out on your desk? You could get toss your can in your desk drawer, or you could hide it inside of a miniature Xbox Series X. This tiny video game console looks just like the real deal, though it’s designed to hold a drink can instead of playing games. I suppose you could put a Raspberry Pi game system inside of it and use it to play games if you really wanted to.
Etsy seller QTechV makes this 3D-printed mini-game system, complete with green LED lighting. It’s the right size for one of those 16 oz. energy drink cans, each of which provides enough caffeine to keep a gamer going for 18 minutes. So you’re gonna need to buy a bunch of these miniature Xboxes if you want to store a day’s worth of energy drinks.
Do you love all things outer space? Enjoy a trip to the heavens every time you wind up this interplanetary music box, currently available from Coolthings Australia for $100. At its center is a wooden model of Saturn, surrounded by tiny space shuttles, astronauts, and satellites.
I didn’t know we had any satellites in orbit around Saturn, but hey, the aliens on the ringed planet need their DirecTV and Dish Network shows too! Each music box is handcrafted, and plays the tune Emperor (Concerto, Op 73 No. 5), which I can only imagine is a reference to Emperor Palpatine and his quest for interplanetary domination. Check it out in action in the video clip below:
That was delightful and soothing. But who’s gonna clean up all that space junk when we’re done with it?
If there’s one thing you can count on when you eat Cheetos, it’s that you’ll have orange cheese dust all over your fingers and anything they touch. So what’s a neat freak to do when it’s snack time? Chip Fingers to the rescue!
You know those silly fingerless gloves that were all the rage thanks to Madonna back in the 1980s? Well, Chip Fingers are basically what they did with all of the fingertips they cut off those gloves. Except these are made out of food-grade silicone instead of non-food-grade black lace. They come in a set of three, so you can grip your Cheetos without worry about your fingers turning orange. They work equally well with Doritos and other messy snack foods. You can grab a set for about 15 bucks on Amazon (affiliate link).
Also, did you know that Cheetos aren’t even orange because of the cheese? Nope. They get their trademark orange hue thanks to a petroleum-derived artificial color called FD&C Yellow 6, aka Sunset Yellow FCF. I learned that from a college research paper, I kid you not.
Do you know what would have Star Trek: The Next Generation even better? If the entire crew was made up of ducks. Well, thanks to the guys at Numskull, that can now be a reality. That is, assuming, that your reality is played out with action figures on a cardboard cutout of the bridge of the Enterprise.
The series of TUBBZ collectible figures includes duck versions of Jean Luc Picard, Deanna Troi, Geordi La Forge, and Worf. They look so much better as ducks than as humans if you ask me. I’m only disappointed that they didn’t give them new duck names. I guess I have to do all the work. Let’s go with Jean-Luc Canard, Deanna Decoy, Geordi a l’Orange, and Worf, because I couldn’t find my Klingon-to-Duck dictionary.
You can pre-order all four figures from Just Geek for $12.99 each, or two for $20. While you’re there, you can grab some Original Series duck figures.