Quickshot is a name that should be familiar to all retro gamers. Manufactured by Spectravideo – a subsidiary of Bondwell – the range of products encompassed sleek gaming peripherals, mostly joysticks and joypads, that while being comfortable and responsive, didn’t have the best reputation for durability.
For that reason they were largely considered inferior to the much sturdier Competition Pros and Zipsticks.
Nevertheless, the latter weren’t the ones that went on to become the notoriously coveted golden GamesMaster joysticks Spectravideo fans would be Quick to point out. That supreme honour was bestowed upon various Quickshot models which looked the part and would never need to actually be played with. I loved them all the same, even the broken ones.
What isn’t widely known is that parent company, Bondwell, also dabbled in the toy market. But for the connection to the Amiga, their foray into the world of remote control ‘vehicles’ would have entirely flown under my radar… and I would never have had the pleasure to discover Deenie Dino and Dudley Duck. Why is this important? I’ve not quite sussed that out yet. I’ll be sure to let you know if I have a brainwave though.
Unveiled in 1989, each were of the type to possess a forwards, left and right button, yet no reverse function or mini steering wheel. Fairly common for cheaper remote control toys back in the ’90s, especially the ones with wires that had to be followed. You wouldn’t want to let them get to the ‘end of their tether’.
What did however make them distinctive is the ability to transmit the operator’s voice over a range of 20 feet via a built-in amplified speaker. I suppose you could sneak up on someone really slowly and quietly from behind and then holler down the receiver from afar, startling them out of their skin. Oh what a jolly jape was had by all. So I’ve heard. I’d have been far too mature for that kind of nonsense.
If you had Deenie and Dudley you could even drive them into yonder distance, 19.999 feet away and stage an electronic puppet show of sorts. Supplying both voices yourself; perhaps one male and one female. Because you wouldn’t have had any real friends if you were doing this for entertainment. So I’d imagine. Limitless, are the possibilities!
If you found yourself growing tired of looking at the same old pair of eyes (?), luckily these were interchangeable. You could even opt for shades to pull off that iconic ’90s attitude vogue all the marketing people thought would translate to instant appeal at the time. It largely explains the origin of ‘Cool Spot’, and also his rapid vaporisation into obscurity as the phase soon passed.
Would you believe all this was made possible courtesy of a measly two 9 volt and 4 AA batteries? You might if you’d attended the 86th annual American International Toy Fair, seeing as Dudley was featured as part of an effort to reinvigorate the plateauing market. That’s according to a New York Times article entitled ‘Toys That Teach‘, which goes on to explain that the push this year – 1989 – was into the edutainment market.
A dinosaur and duck duo used to spook the neighbours, or remotely delivery your dinnertime meal order to your perplexed parents, not really pushing the boundaries of educational development, would likely have been sidelined. Which would explain why there’s barely a mention of the terrible twosome to be found online. Searching eBay (via Google’s archives) revealed a single, long-since expired listing from 2016 that sadly includes no pictures because eBay have purged them for storage conservation reasons.
Curse them! Have they no respect for vintage toy history preservation?
*Spiritual inspiration courtesy of Dino Dini… possibly-maybe-not-really.