Toonami Mobile Game Unit
Pictures and report
"Many Lawn Gnomes died to bring us this information."

There has been little fanfare or even information on one of Toonami's biggest campaigns: the Toonami Mobile Game Unit. One of our favorite FanMonkeys had a chance to go to one of the stops.
This...is his story.

The Toonami Mobile Game Unit Experience: A Multimedia Report
By: Matt Hazuda(aka MDawg957)

May 11, 2002. A day that will forever live in infamy.... Just kidding.

Actually May 11, 2002 was the day that the Toonami Mobile Game Unit came to visit my hometown of Virginia Beach, VA. I know a lot of you won't like me for saying this, but to me it was a partial letdown.

Let me start at the beginning. I was born on September 22, 1981...... Wait that's a little too far back. Actually it all started about 2 weeks before, around April 28th. I was watching Toonami when all the sudden a commercial came up that I thought was just another Toonami promo, but then this lady came on and started talking about "Come see the Toonami Mobile Game Unit in Virginia Beach," and my heart just about stopped. I was like "What the?" and just about screamed out load in joy. I had heard about the Mobile Game Unit in the old Revolution Board, but I didn't think anything like that would come to my town ever. The last major video game thing to come to my town was Nintendo Power Fest '94, but that's another story. At that moment I decided that I would be going to this event no matter what. I didn't really think about mentioning this to anyone else until it was brought up in a thread in the Toonami forum at Toonzone, and then the greatest webmaster ever, TylerL, mentioned that he'd lik!e pictures from the event, and the commercial, since his site hadn't got a copy yet. I made it a point to get the video at that point and spent about 3 days watching Toonami and recording every commercial break searching in vain for the commercial. (ed. note: Now you know how I feel :p )

Finally on day 4 of my recording adventure I hit paydirt and was able to videotape the commercial. Unfortunately, my video capture skills are poor at best, so I got in touch with Tyler again and made arrangements to mail out my copy of the video out to him. This was about a week before the magic moment, so I still had a lot of waiting to do. Every time I saw the commercial, I couldn't wait for Saturday. Those next few days felt like weeks. Then it finally came. Saturday. I woke up early to do some errands, and then came back home and picked up my digital camera(the only thing I hate worse than video capture is processing photos and then trying to scan them in on my 1 picture per 5 minutes scanner) I pulled into the shopping center where the Game Unit was to be and came upon my first disappointment. The Mobile Game Unit was kinda small. more like the Mobile Trailer Unit. Where I was expecting a huge ass truck like, I got this. "That's OK" I thought. I still get to go for those prizes the!y mentioned in the commercial for playing the Toonami game "Core Quest"

I got in line behind about 8 other kids(there were about 5 lines you could go in to play the game with about the same number of kids in each. It was about then I noticed that I was the oldest one there besides the parents. Luckily I invited a friend of mine to tag along for the experience, so it didn't feel as awkward. Anyways it turned out that for the "Core Quest" game, each person got 5 minutes of play time and you got prizes depending on how many points you scored according the scrolling text thing/timekeeper that was in the middle of the unit. The prizes included a poster and some stickers(which everyone got just for playing), a nice Toonami keychain, a Toonami T-shirt, and a Toonami watch for a really high score. It took about 30 minutes of waiting to get to the game, and in the meantime there were some video booths that were next to the line that had a constant loop of Toonami hosts Tom2 and Sara explaining "Core Quest." The bad thing for me was the sun was out with a vengeance that day! and I was totally unable to get any decent pics of the movie. On the 2 screens above the "Core Quest" monitors were 2 screens that played loops of the "Advanced Robotics," "Mad Rhetoric," and the Toonami promos that played in movie theaters. As nice as that was it did get a little boring.

It was finally my turn to play after an extended wait and was able to play "Core Quest." I walked up to my station and sat down and Sara came up on screen and explained to Tom2 that the Absolution was running low on energy and Tom had to go out in to some old abandoned asteroid mine to pick up energy crystals. The controls were simple enough. Tom had to fly through the mine on his jetpack and get to the core to get the needed energy. The only thing to do was to move the mouse since there was no fire button at all. It was kind of difficult the first time I played, since I kept crashing into the obstacles since they came at you so fast(the game was obviously designed in Shockwave and will probably show up on the Toonami webpage in the future) My first score was really bad, but I scored enough for a keychain, so I went up to the claim booth to pick it up along with the poster and stickers that everyone gets, which turned out to be stickers for the upcoming Powerpuff Girls movies. The keychain !was kind of plain, I was hoping for a Tom keychain, but it was just a Toonami logo. My first Toonami keychain is still my favorite one though. I asked the girl at the booth if it was at all possible to get a pic of the watch and T-shirt since I wasn't sure if I would win them, and so she let me take a picture of her sporting the T-shirt and then showed me the watch

I took my prizes and headed back into line to try and get the T-shirt I really wanted. After another 45 minute wait in line, and feeling much more confident, I sat back down and started to play the game again. I did much better this time and crashed way less this time than the first since I knew what was going on this time. I was doing well, but I looked up at the clock and realized there was only about 45 seconds left and I hadn't scored enough points for a T-shirt yet. I played the game as good as I could in those last seconds and was able to get the score needed to get the shirt and was excited. About this time, I realized that I needed to get home to pack up for a trip we were going on the next day, so I bid farewell to the Toonami Mobile Game Unit and got in my car and headed home to photograph my loot for Tyler to put up on the site.

The Toonami Mobile Game Unit was a fun experience, but I think it could have been better. The size of the trailer made it seem like it was to that important. Also rather than just looping the same promos over and over again, I wish they had maybe played some actual Toonami shows like DBZ or a Gundam series, or maybe even "The Intruder" or "Lockdown." Also though it was promised in the commercial, there was no free pizza(and me without eating lunch didn't help either). The waiting to play the game was probably the worst though. 5 minutes a player is pretty tedious when you're behind 8 other people. Maybe they should have made it 2 or 3 minutes instead to speed up the line. Besides that, I scored some good prizes, and left a happy person.

Viva la Revolution!

TMGU Pictures
Click to enlarge


The side of the trailer with TOM and the Absoltion


The Big Sign


...A Toonami-branded truck.


A look at the whole trailer setup


The game booths


A closer look at the game booths


It's either the Core Quest logo, or the reflection of MDawg. You decide.


How the save the Absolution with just one easy-to-read screen.


A mid-game "cinematic"


Some of the loot. PPG stickers and a Toonami watch.


I don't think she's paid to be a t-shirt model.


The t-shirt and keychain


New school keychain, old school keychain.


The oh-so-cool Toonami Poster


The TMGU commercial


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