Trading Card Spotlight - Zack Hample

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Zack Hample who currently is displayed on card number 552, from the Superstars of 2013 Collection.  Zack has been the Arkanoid world record holder since the year 2000 and has put up numerous scores on the arcade version.  He is also the world record holder on catching baseballs in the stands at the MLB games he has attended.   He has collected more than 10,000 balls and has appeared on “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” for his accomplishment.  Zack has used his skills to write three baseball books and has used his collection to raise more than $200,000 for the charity Pitch In For Baseball.  

What was the first game you ever purchased?

The first game I ever owned was some primitive Snoopy Tennis game around 1984 on a handheld device that only played that one game. I can’t remember the first game that I bought with my own money because when I was young and playing NES and SNES, the few games I had were all gifts, and I never owned any gaming systems after that.

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Trading Card Spotlight - Victor Marland

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Victor Marland, who is displayed on card number 2815, from the Superstars of 2018.   Started in 2014, Victor began his current podcast, Ten Pence Arcade Podcast, focusing on arcade games from the 1970’s to the 2000’s.  Each episode focuses on a certain game, with videos, sketches, comedy, and reviews.   Victor and his cohost Shaun Holley (trading card 2816) compete against each other for each game they feature.   They encourage listeners to send in high scores form the game they feature on the podcast each time.  All scores he gets from the gamers are awarded points that they put in a high score table.   At the end of each year, they award a winner.   Victor & Shaun feature gamers all over the U.S. as well as the United Kingdom.  You can visit the podcast at www.tenpencearcade.co.uk

If you can design your own game, what would it be about and who would be the main character?

I’d do a sequel to Berzerk - but different to Frenzy. A souped up original Berzerk with new Ottos, different robots against you and more varied mazes would make a great game. Add in a co-op mode and it would be the perfect arcade game.

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Fairfield Trading Card "In Memorium" - Norman Zierold

It was brought to my attention that sometime last year, Norman Zierold passed away at the age of 90.  This week I would like to remember him by displaying his Fairfield Trading Card that was created for him in 2015.  

“That Reminds Me” is ‘A Conversational Memoir’ by Hollywood biographer and award-winning author Norman Zierold.  Rather than a chronology of his life, the author engages the reader in a conversational manner, relating various episodes from his life.  Norman started life in the Amana Colonies of Iowa. 

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Trading Card Spotlight - Alan Radue

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Alan Radue, who is displayed on card number 383, from the Superstars of 2012.  He is also featured on card 2210 from the Superstars of 2015.   Alan is the current world record holder on the arcade games Sea Wolf & Sprint 2.  Alan, who is a mechanical engineer in the automotive industry, created a home arcade in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.  He called it Tranquility Base Arcade which was named after the Apollo 11 moon landing.  Opened in 2008, Alan has 25 vintage arcade games from the 'golden era' in his collection and in 2011 won the Home Game Room of the Year Award.   One area that stands out to other arcades are his personalized bar stools.  Alan designs customized Arcade bar Stools for his arcade as well as others.   He has graciously donated personalized bar stools for Richie Knucklez Kong Off tournaments. 

Which company makes the best arcade games and why? 

I have a soft spot for Atari.  They were the only company that 'entered my home' when I was a kid through a pong console, the 2600 game console, the Atari 400 and eventually the Atari 800.  Playing a 'Real Atari Arcade Game' at an arcade was always a thrill back then and is still a thrill for me today!  That said there are so many wonderful arcade game manufacturers from my youth!

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Trading Card Spotlight - Joe LeVan

Our next Trading Card Spotlight features Joe LeVan who currently is displayed on card number 2206, from the Superstars of 2015 Collection.  Joe is the founder of “Challenge Arcade”, located in Wyomissing, PA. It was in the Berkshire Mall from 2004 until it closed in 2010.  His arcade held up to 80 vintage arcade cabinets.  It was home of many Arcade world records such as Donkey Kong 3, Burger Time and Mr. Do.  Joe is a big believer in keeping retro coin-op gaming alive and well.  He is currently hoping to reopen the Challenge Arcade in the future and until then enjoys restoring and preserving coin-op arcade gaming.   Along with his wife Sue, Joe strives to keep the past time alive with the media so others can understand and see how important the arcade culture was and is today.

What are your opinions about today’s generation of video games?  How do you compare them to older, classic games?

As a child I remember reading video game magazines and thinking of how great the graphics were on the upcoming games.  I remember wishing how cool it would be to play ultra-realistic games.  Now that we are nearing that era of ultra-realism, it’s ironic that I really miss those days of gaming.  Many modern games don’t really seem to have much of a point of playing in my opinion.  The art of achieving a certain score or getting to a higher level seems to have been lost for the most part.

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