Toasters and Chainsaws
|Toasters and Chainsaws|
"Toasters and Chainsaws" is an arcade title mentioned and arcade marquee seen on screen of a 1982 special news segment entitled "Video Fever - Games People Play", Josh Littman reporting (possibly with WISH-TV in Indianapolis or WSB-TV in Atlanta). The recording we have access to via YouTube aired as part of the ABC7 / KABC-TV (Los Angeles) Eyewitness News broadcast.
Some people say about "Toasters and Chainsaws" that "by all reports it was never finished or released, it is unknown how far along this game progressed" or even ""Toasters and Chainsaws" failed on test out the door and was scrapped."
However, it's clear from the context of the news segment that the name "Toasters and Chainsaws" is intended to be fictitious: in order to both be humorous and to protect the actual name of the game being worked on, after a reporter discusses how cut-throat the industry was and how secretive Taito's R&D department had to be back in those days. Taito would not be advertising their next big product on television. 80% of Taito USA's games came from Japan, so it's a bit silly to watch the Taito employees and executives pretend that they have big secrets to protect.
John Morgan of "Zoo Keeper" fame in 2001 appears to remember that day's interview:
In 1982, Keith Egging was the Director of Creativity (or some weird title like that). He always had a human skull on his desk which opened up on a hinge and was filled with Hershey's kisses. One day a TV news crew came over to do some interview, and Keith showed them around. He took them back into our area and really played it up (feed them some pretty thick bull which they really ate it up). He took them to the farthest office of cubicles and said that this was DEEP THOUGHT - where all the heaviest thinking took place. Of course this was just made up (the office being picked for it's distance only), but hey, they bought it. The main programmers (me, Mark Blaszczyk and Rex Battenberg) took off on this and other of Keith's tall tales and frequently made up whoppers about everything under the sun to one up each other with our far fetched stories. Pretty cool for those days.
The game depicted on-screen was really "Wild Western", released May 1982, footage seen on screen while interview and discussion of "Toasters and Chainsaws" takes place. Despite "no last names", it was determined by InsertCredit.com that interviewed in the segment were Rex Battenberg and Mark Blaszczyk.
According to Brandon Sheffield after his 2011 InsertCredit.com article, he verified that he was able to contact Rex and Mark and verify that "Toasters and Chainsaws" was never a real game. It was a fake name to throw people off the trail for that news report, since people were so secretive about what they were making back in those days.
Said Mark in 2014, "it is correct that Toasters & Chainsaws was never a real game. It certainly was never tested. All it was was a marquee. Keith Egging came up with the name to try to trigger our creativity to come up with some new game concepts."
It would not be surprising if Taito had a lot of different marquees made up for when people were shown around, just to make sure that what they were working on didn't get leaked.
On pg. 52 of Vidiot Magazine vol. 1 no. 3 (May 1983), Keith Egging mentioned that "(a) lot of times the programmer will have the name (before he invents the game. We're presently doing one called 'Toasters and Chainsaws', and the game evolved from that name."
Chainsaws & Toasters (slot machine) naming coincidence
Oddly enough, in 2001, IGT (International Game Technology) developed a slot machine called "Chainsaws & Toasters". Despite the fact that Mark Blaszczyk had worked in the slot machine industry, according to InsertCredit.com, neither Mark Blaszczyk nor Rex Battenberg have heard of this slot machine.
- "Chainsaws & Toasters" (slot machine) at OhioGaming.com.
- "Chainsaws & Toasters" (slot machine) at YouTube.
See also: Chainsaws & Toasters.
- First mention of "Toasters and Chainsaws" on "Video Fever - Games People Play" news segment - Josh Littman reporting, at YouTube.
- Second mention of "Toasters and Chainsaws" on "Video Fever - Games People Play" news segment - Josh Littman reporting, at YouTube.
- Screengrab of "Toasters and Chainsaws" marquee from "Video Fever - Games People Play" news segment.
- "Toasters and Chainsaws" at Insert Credit.
- "Toasters and Chainsaws" at KLOV Forums.
- "Toasters and Chainsaws" at unMAMEd.