Two things made me stop dead in the street at lunchtime.
The first was walking past a mobile phone shop. My contract is nearly up for renewal, and I am going to attempt to talk my current provider into giving me a new phone and a better deal, by threatening to switch to a different network.
As I walked past this shop, I stopped quite abruptly. My sidekick kept walking, but turned around just in time to see some guy narrowly avoid walking into me. Needless to say, the sugar in our veins, coupled with the elation that arises from being out of the office, raised this simple event to the status of “funniest thing that has ever happened.”
The second thing that made me stop was a sudden recollection, of a toy I had when I was a kid. Does anybody remember these:
This was the Barcode Battler. It was fantastically bad.
The concept was that you would scan in a barcode and it would be converted into some mystical character or powerup or something. Some were provided with the set, but the real beauty came from scanning in your chocolate bar wrappers, upon which point you’d realise that you had, in your possession, the weakest and crappest warrior that ever existed.
The graphics were on a par with half a dozen digital clocks. Who am I kidding, there were no graphics. It was all just a bunch of numbers. All the trouble that the manufacturers went to when making up these characters was sadly wasted, as when it came to battle, all that mattered was the transitive nature of the field of integers.
It was a dreadful toy, and I probably only played on it for a couple of hours before chucking it to one side.
As a final note of interest, Barcode Battler was a lot more popular in Japan, where it led to Barcode World, which actually spawned Pokemon. So now we know who is to blame.