If only Throwback Thursday was a sport. I’d probably be the greatest athlete that ever lived!
Imagine being able to call yourself an “athlete” over nostalgia. Nostalete? Does that sound good?
Anyway, we’ll leave the sports and athleticism to the ones who truly have earned that title, and I’ll do what I’m good at…athleticizing my fingers for my latest writings!
Previously, on a different Throwback Thursday, I wrote about a commercial for a super realistic-looking series of toy guns, from a company called Entertech. I found the commercial on a video my husband (then my boyfriend) handed me to make a digital copy of, knowing I wouldn’t be disappointed (I haven’t been). Today’s commercial came out of my own collection, one I had completely forgotten about.
Don’t believe me? Dan Larson of Toy Galaxy covered the short lifespan of Entertech. It’s a great, very comprehensive overview, with visuals!
Upload via Toy Galaxy
In this video, he briefly glosses over one of the guns in the Entertech line, a hybrid of airsoft and paintball, non-motorized in function, but firing ink-covered balls. This toy was inspired by an LJN (Entertech’s parent company) video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System called Gotcha! The Sport.
Because 8-bit target practice is not enough, Entertech had to create the real deal!
And use the ultra snobby Snobby McSnooty to promote it!
It seems Entertech really liked to live on the edge, and “Gotcha! The Sport” was no exception.
As I said, “Gotcha!” was based on the video game of the same name, which in itself was based on the 1985 movie of the same name. That movie starred Anthony Edwards as UCLA student Jonathan Moore, who despite shyness, is a reigning champion at the paintball-style game “Gotcha,” which gets him into a whole lotta trouble during and after a vacation in West Germany.
This toy is actually geared toward teenagers (as it says “16 and up”), but the cynic in me doubts a parent could resist the temper tantrum of their under 16 child BEGGING for “that toy gun!”
I’m pretty sure Snobby McSnooty was at least 20 years old.
Entertech’s boasting of “The look! The feel! The sound…so real!” was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when it came to manufacturing realistic-looking toy guns. Battery-powered and with loadable cartridges containing water, 1980s kids could have so much fun depicting the horrors of war right in their own backyard. Naturally, the manufacturing of these realistic toy guns were not without (justified) controversy, and only a few years into their life, changes had to be made in the wake of children being shot by police for wielding these guns in public, as well as criminals using them for bank robberies.
Unfortunately for Entertech, necessary changes to make the toys look more toy-like were the beginning of the end, and I’m sure having a toy targeted toward teenagers that allowed you to play target practice did not help at all.
Plus the “goggles required” disclaimer just screams “someone filed a lawsuit over eye damage.” You know it did.
So I guess my question for all of you: does anyone remember Gotcha!, aside from it being a movie, or is this just something to be left behind in our oh-so-interesting-nostalgia file? For me, I had no clue it was a physical toy, but I do remember the movie and the video game (even though I never played it). Tell me what you know about it, I’d love to find out more. Bonus points if you or someone you know “played Gotcha!: The Sport!”
Have a great Throwback Thursday!
Oh boy, do I have thoughts! 🙂
First, Snobby McSnooty is Jim McMahon, quarterback for Super Bowl XX Champion Chicago Bears. 🙂
Second, I had this!!!
I was 14 when Christmas, 1987 rolled around. I BEGGED my father for this & of course he relented. I can’t remember if any of my friends also received it but I do remember one key thing about it.
It didn’t work.
No matter how much I tried to get that silly thing to shoot, nothing would come out. I could not figure it out. So into the closet it went with other long forgotten toys & games from the 80s.
Fast forward three years. Obviously I didn’t use the internet to figure this out but somehow, I learned that soaking the paint discs in water allowed them to shoot. Guess what? It worked!
I never wore the googles, but as a now 17-year old riding around in my friends cars, a lot of drive-by shootings (with paint only!) took place in my neighborhood.
In fact, the garbage can that sits next to my desk as I type this, is the same garbage can that was in my bedroom growing up. It’s metal & rusted on the inside, but you can still make out the unmistakable mark of a Gotcha! paint pellet that exploded in the can as I tested it out.
Thanks for covering this!!
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Oh wow, facts and a great story to go with is, and proof that it existed! Thank you for your firsthand knowledge of the product, especially figuring out how to get Gotcha! to work!