Tomy Lupin LSI Tabletop

Tomy released some really great handhelds back in the 80s, and Lupin is no exception. Adorning the same name as the famous animation over here in Japan (wonder if there were lawsuits), you have to shoot your way through mazes in a bloody violent orgy (the ‘bloody violent orgy’ is dependent on imagination). ?


A few details:

  • Release – exact year unknown, but in the 80s sometime
  • Power – 4x C size batteries
  • Display Type – VFD
  • Price then – Unknown
  • Price now – $25 – $90


The VFDs (vacuum fluorescent display) really stand the test of time very well. I am always impressed when I get one that plays just like the day that it was made.


Again, they didn’t seem to catch on that the controls are better with the D-Pad on the left. ?


In use the Tomy Lupin is one of my favourite Tomy games so far (not that I’ve played a heap of them though). The controls are very responsive and the mix of key grabbing, maze navigating, and pure shmup madness are a winning combo. They don’t usually go cheap, but it’s one definitely worth grabbing if you’re into VFD based handhelds. ?

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Tomy Kingman LSI Tabletop

Cant afford a home console, Game&Watch, or Arcade Cab and want to play DonkeyKong? The Tomy Kingman LSI Tabletop may very well be the answer. 🙂


A few details:

  • Release – 1983
  • Power – 4x C size batteries
  • Display Type – VFD
  • DonkeyKong clone
  • Price then – Unknown
  • Price now – $30 – $100


Although a DonkeyKong clone it is different enough that you don’t immediately feel like you’re playing an exact copy. Yes, you still have to move upwards and jump over objects hurled towards you by a freakishly handsome monkey who is obviously into interspecies relations – is it still called bestiality when it’s initiated from the animals side? Anyway, yes it is similar to DonkeyKong in that respect – the gameplay, not the bestiality you filthy animals. The thing that makes this a little bit different is on the second stage where you are avoiding objects coming straight down.

Another thing that may be glaringly obvious to DonkeyKong fans is the fact that the controls seem to be on the opposite side than what you may be used to. I was actually suprised how quickly I became accustomed to this setup though.


The VFD (vacuum fluorescent display) on the little machine is really great. I am not sure of the life on these sort of displays, but the one I have looks clear and bright.


All up a nice little machine that’s well worth having if you’re into the old Tabletop VFD games. Does it replace DonkeyKong though? Nope, not at all. Nothing can replace DonkeyKong for the thrill of climbing, jumping, killing apes (sorry PETA), and getting the girl, but this Tomy handheld is a nice little diversion to the drudgery of life. 😀