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My LaserDisc Player

6.5.2023

It was a great weekend. Hope you had one too. My brother and I went on our regular weekend “toy odyssey” through New Jersey and New York. This weekend I took my brother Mark to Hidden Treasures in the Livingston Mall in north Jersey. Hidden Treasures is an amazing collectible shop that may have no rival. The shop is a toy museum and a Christmas catalog rolled up into one. Since my best friend Eric introduced me to the shop a couple months ago, I’ve made the trip up the NJ turnpike from Philadelphia four times. And I have never been disappointed.

Hidden Treasures Collectibles & Antiques in the Livingston Mall, NJ
Hidden Treasures Collectibles & Antiques in the Livingston Mall, NJ (Photo Credit: hiddentreasuresnj.com

During my last visit, after purchasing some rare Star Wars toys, I spotted a LaserDisc player on my way out. It stopped in my tracks! I had been looking for a player for a long time. Its cost was reasonable but whether it worked or not needed to be determined. So I said I would return the following week. However, I didn’t get back until three weeks later, which was this past Saturday. And I was leaning away from buying it because I was not sure it would play Japanese LaserDiscs even if the player was working. But after the shop work Ezra determined it was working, I bought it and prayed that it would play my Japanese Godzilla LaserDiscs (LD) when I got home. And it did!

My Pioneer CLD-1070 LaserDisc player
My Pioneer CLD-1070 LaserDisc player

Why a LaserDisc player you may ask? Growing up LDs were available but they were never popular. Although they had a great picture, they were as big as 12-inch vinyl albums and very expensive. And unlike VCRs, LaserDisc players could not record. But the idea of watching Godzilla on LD was very attractive. LaserDiscs were very popular in Japan. Since 2001, DVDs replaced laserdisc in North America, the price of Godzilla LaserDiscs plummeted. For that reason, I assembled a small LaserDisc collection over the years picking them online and during trips to Japan. I couldn’t play them but the cover art was cool. So I placed them on my shelves as backgrounds for my figures.

My Godzilla LaserDisc Collection

My Japanese Godzilla LaserDisc Collection (left to right): Toho VideoDisc Godzilla (1954), Ghidorah The Three-Headed Monster (1964), Destroy All Monsters (1968), Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (1974), Terror of MechaGodzilla (1975), Godzilla (19854), and Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (1993)

I purchased a Pioneer CLD-1070 LaserDisc player (18.39 x 18.19 x 9.69 inches, 20.4 pounds). LaserDiscs first appeared in 1978 as a home video format. They were the first commercial optical disc storage medium. LDs gained some steam in the 1990s but never surpassed VCRs and VHS tapes.1 Now that I have a working LaserDisc player, let project “Record My Godzilla LaserDisc Collection” begin. Yesterday, I did a test recording of Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (1974). Check out a compressed web version.

[videopack id=”31228″ width=”626″ height=”268″]https://mykaiju.com/wp-content/uploads/ld-gvsmecha.mp4[/videopack]

A low-resolution Godzilla vs MechaGodzilla (1974) LaserDisc sample recording

Then my friend John used Adobe Premiere to upscale the video to 4K. And it looked impressive! Now I’m determined to fill in the missing movies in my Godzilla LaserDisc collection.

References

1. Wikipedia: LaserDisc