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At 0:1:18-A BLACK ALIEN INVADER STICKER FROM SPACE INVADERS IS ON WADE’S BACKPACK
At 0:01:44 one of the residents of “The Stacks” is receiving a delivery from a Pizza Hut drone.
At 0:02:13-Mrs. Gilmore is wearing a shirt featuring The Police album Synchronicity
At 0:02:45 Two Garbage Pail Kids stickers are visible on the wall one I can make out one which is Bony Tony
Also 0:02:45-A Garfield sticker is also on the van’s wall
At 0:02:46-Hanging from the wall is a damaged IPod Classic
At 0:02:47-Wade retrieves his OASIS retinal scanner off a a Commodore 64 joystick.
Also at 0:02:46-A 1980’s Batman sticker is stuck to the wall where Wade’s retinal scanner is.
At 0:02:47-a Nintendo NES Zapper is taped to the wall of the van.
Also at 0:02:47- a 1972-Doritos packet is tucked behind a drawer in the van.
Also at 0:02:47-a sticker of the pyramid from Q*Bert is stuck to a shelf in Wade’s Van.
At 0:02:57-Wade sets his glasses on a 1982 Masters Of The Universe lunchbox. A Masters Of The Universe Thermos is further along the drawer.
Also at 0:02:57-A POP ROCKS! Blue Razz packet is also lying upon the MOTU lunchbox.
At 0:02:57-beside the lunchbox is a 1980’s Coke can
Also at 0:02:57 A Carl’s Jr. fries packet is lying beside the lunchbox
At 0:03:16-Wade pulls his OASIS visor out of a 1981 Defenders T-Shirt.
At 0:03:18-A 1982 JOUST sticker is placed on the visor
Also at 0:03:18-A Space Invaders logo decal is on the visor
Also at 0:03:18-A Mattel Scratch N’ Sniff sticker is next to the Space Invaders sticker
At 0:03:24-A 1980’s Batman Symbol sticker is visible on the visor
At 0:03:40-we enter the OASIS to visit Minecraft World nice attention to detail with the blocks forming and creeper-face logo.
At 0:03:42-In Minecraft World a village below features Steve Alex and Minecraft pigs and sheep avatars (maybe NPCs?)
At 0:03:47-on the sports world a golf player does the Gilmore swing from Adam Sandler’s Happy Gilmore.
At 0:03:55-In a Sports World mini-game named Hurricane Hang-Gliding a small house flies through the wreckage referencing the Gale House from The Wizard Of Oz (well in the 1939 movie it was a Tornado but still a reference)
At 0:04:04-a group of OASIS sector portals are seen-some of these include Minecraft World and LUDUS school districts from the book.
At 0:04:17-get ready for some Batman references While in the Vacation Planet Wade explains that you could do multiple activities including climbing MT. Everest with Batman
The variation of the Batman show here is Micheal Keaton’s portrayal from the 1989 Tim Burton film.
Batman climbing MT. Everest is a reference to him and Robin climbing tall buildings in the 1966 Adam West tv series.
Also at 0:04:17-what’s interesting here is the climber below Batman. He definitely looks like Link from Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda series but I’ve heard Warner Bros. Couldn’t get the license so maybe a Robin Hood Avatar?
At 0:04:21-Wade says you can go to a planet-size space Casino this is taken directly from one of the episodes from the Anime Cowboy Bepbop.
At 0:04:30-we can hear a School bell ring as ships pass the planet Ludus which is of course the school Wade attends in the novel.
At 0:04:40-As Wade introduces the types of Avatars users can choose in the OASIS the Cyclops from the 1958 fantasy film The 7th Voyage Of Sinbad stomps out of the entry point.
At 0:04:41-Frankenstein (1931) and The Wolf-Man (1941) from their classic Universal horror movies emerge from the OASIS entry point as Thr Wolf-Man howls and Frankenstein’s Monster swings his arms around wrapped in chains.
0:04:42-A female Avatar switches her avatar to Injustice 2’s version of The Flash.
At 0:04:43-Zitz and Rash from the 1991 NES game Battletoads emerge from the entry point.
At 0:04:43-Alex Murphy A.K.A Robocop from Paul Verhoven’s 1987 original Robocop film emerges from the entry point.
At 0:04:46-Wade says your avatar can be a Cartoon character as Marvin the Martin from the Looney Tunes cartoon series runs out of the entry point (he looks so cute and cool)
At 0:04:47-a group of OASIS users using Orrendi from the 2016 video game BattleBorn emerge from the entry point.
At 0:04:48-behind Wade Shayne and Auroxx (might’ve misspelled the character’s name) from Battleborn emerge from the entry point.
At 0:04:49-An Orc from World of Warcraft walks besides Wade when Wade is introducing his Avatar Parzival.
At 0:04:56-above on a walkway a younger version of Beetlejuice from Tim Burton’s 1988 movie is visible.
Also at 0:4:56-it appears Raiden from the Mortal Kombat video game series is interacting with another player.
At 0:04:56-Tracer from the video game Overwatch cuts in line for an OASIS portal.
At 0:04:57-Sonic from Sega’s video game series Sonic The Hedgehog taps his foot impatiently waiting for a line.
Also at 0:04:57-Catwoman is also in the line (it appears it is Michelle Pfeiffer’s Batman Returns variation.
At 0:04:58-John Bender from John Hughe’s 1985 teen film The Breakfast Club is seen entering a portal.
At 0:04:58-Night-Wing is seen entering a portal alongside John Bender (it appears it is the Arkham variation.
At 0:04:58-now take this with a grain of salt but I think can make out Sektor and cyborg from Mortal Kombat in one of the portal lines.
At 0:05:00 (under the walkway Wade is one is Commander John Shepard from the EA video game Mass Effect.
At 0:05:02-on the walkway is Attikus from Battleborn stomping past Wade.
At 0:05:04-while Wade is explaining the possibilities of the OASIS Hello Kitty Badtz-Maru and Keroppi from Sanrio skips beside him.
At 0:05:05-A Protoss Zealot from Starcraft II is on the walkway behind Wade.
At 0:05:05-Wade’s avatar Parzival wears a belt and holster worn by Han Solo in Star Wars:Episode IV-A New Hope
Also at 0:05:05-The Buckle on Parzival’s belt is the Tiger emblem from Thundercats (1985 cartoon series)
Also at 0:05:05-Parzival wears Converse’s Chuck-Taylor All stars (golden-winged(
At 0:05:07-Wade pulls up a holographic OASIS sector map that is in the same shape as a Rubik’s Cube
At 0:05:11-Wade finds out Aech is currently participating in a PVP match on Planet Doom a location in the 1984 anime Voltron.
At 0:05:20-On Planet Doom Mechanised scorpions from the 1993 computer game Ultrabots swarm the battlefield.
Also at 0:05:20-The scorpions go up against Knights and Ostriches from the 1982 arcade game Joust (in a deleted scene in the SDCC trailer Napoleon rides on a scorpion as he kills ostriches which lay green eggs like in the game.
At 0:05:22-Aech kills a beserker from Gears of War.
At 0:05:28-Aech eliminates a PVP tournament player taking the form of Robert England’s Freddy Kruger
Also at 0:05:28-Aech uses an MA5B assault rifle from Halo 3 to eliminate players.
At 0:05:29-When Freddy gets killed Kreig’s Buzz-Axe from Borderlands comes bursting out of his inventory
At 0:05:31-Aech kills Kitana from Mortal Kombat as a fan comes out of her inventory
At 0:05:31-Man-Bat from Batman:Arkham Knight swoops down at Aech only to be eliminated
At 0:05:37-Despite being an Assault rifle from Halo the SFX of the rifle is the Pulse Rifle from Terminator 2:Judgement Day
At 0:05:41-Duke Nukem from the video game series of the same name fires multiple rockets at Aech only to be eliminated by him.
At 0:05:44-(this is the weirdest thing in the movie) A player taking the form of an Emoji person attempts to kill Aech.
At 0:05:46-A Zerg from Starcraft is shot by Aech.
At 0:05:47-Aech picks up a EM1-Railgun from the 1996 Arnold Schwarzenegger film Eraser.
At 0:05:53-Daito’s Avatar is actually based of legendary Japanese film actor Toshiro Mifune (specially from his 1953 film Throne of Blood)
At 0:05:56-Aech kills Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat.
At 0:05:57-Scorpion from Mortal Kombat is fighting Daito and Sho before being shot by Aech.
Also at 0:05:57-The weapon Scorpion is using is a buzz-Axe from Borderlands.
At 0:05:58-Aech shoots Deadshot (it is his Injustice 2 variation)
At 0:06:14-E. Honda from Street fighter is on the mountain pushing other people off with his belly.
At 0:06:18-Chun-Li from Street fighter can be seen dodging traps before being burned by a fire trap.
At 0:06:26-we all saw this cameo. Jim Raynor from Starcraft II and shooting every player in sight.
At 0:06:27-yet another 1972-packaged Doritos Tortilla Chips behind Rick on the coffee table (I believe you see it in the film four times)
0:06:36-When we cut to a mother playing the PVP tournament the Guitar from Guitar Hero is sitting On the armchair.
At 0:06:48-when Daito slays a PVP player and his loot bursts out an O.G 1986 W.O.W Laser Tag pistol can be seen in the pile.
At 0:06:50-we cut to a girl screaming since losing in the PVP match. A poster for The Bangle’s 1984 album All Over The Place is on the girl’s bedroom wall.
Also at 0:06:50 - A Bedtime Bear plush toy from Care Bears is on the girl’s bed.
At 0:06:51-A Donkey Kong Jr. poster is on the bedroom wall.
Also at 0:06:51-On a shelf in the girl’s bedroom Care Bear figurines are visible.
At 0:06:54-Daito and Sho fight and shortly kills Jason Vorhees from the Friday the 13th horror series.
Also at 0:06:54-When Jason is slain various things comes out of his inventory (lots of guns) I could only make out another 1986 W.O.W Laser Tag pistol.
At 0:07:06-Tear For Fear’s song Everybody Wants To Rule The World plays.
At 0:07:06-Raphael from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014 Michael Bay film) passes Wade when Wade is talking to Aech.
Also at 0:07:06-Blue Beetle from Injustice 2 passes Wade.
At 0:07:07-behind Wade you can see Benedict from Battleborn
At 0:07:08-Leonardo from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (again 2014) passes wade while wade is talking to Aech.
At 0:07:12-Doc Brown from Back To The Future in his Part II outfit passes Wade on the walkway.
At 0:07:42-A framed poster of the video game Gradius appears on the wall in the Gregarious Games showcase room.
Also at 0:07:42-A Framed poster of Castlevaynia appears on the opposite wall in the GG showcase room.
At 0:08:01-Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor shortly plays over the start of Halliday’s last message video.
Also at 0:08:01-The quarters over Halliday’s eyes read:God We Trust 1972. 1972 was the year Ernest cline was born AND when Atari was founded.
At 0:08:05-At the funeral parlour there are various flower arrangements of the Starfleet logo and the U.S.S Enterprise ship along with a glass painting of the Starfleet logo from the sci-fi franchise Star Trek.
Also at 0:08:05-The coffin Halliday is lying in is Spock’s Mark VI torpedo in Star Trek II:The Wrath Of Khan.
At 0:08:10-Halliday rises out of the coffin of how Count Dracula would in various Dracula horror movies.
At 0:08:16-Halliday places a TOMY hand-held Pac-Man game on the coffin.
At 0:08:17-Halliday is wearing a Joust shirt.
At 0:08:21-On Halliday’s lapel he is wearing a SIMON pin.
Also at 0:08:21-A little harder to see but Halliday is also wearing a D20 pin from Dungeons and Dragons.
At 0:08:48-On the right side of the screen A High School student watching Halliday’s last message is wearing a Marvin The Martian shirt from The Looney Tunes.
At 0:08:51-Another High school student pulling out a screen is wearing a Pac-Man shirt.
At 0:10:04: Joan Jets and the Blackheart’s 1988 song I Hate myself For Loving you plays.
At 0:10:15-El Dragon from Battleborn passes Wade on the walkway.
At 0:10:27-On the copper key starting line Wade walks through aisles of IOI cars to pass The V8 Interceptor from Mad Max.
At 0:10:34-The Batmobile from the 1966 Adam West tv series Batman is visible throughout the race (love the safety siren flashing)
At 0:10:34-however the driver is not Adam West’s Batman and instead is the Batman from the Arkham games(you can see him moving around in the cockipit)
At 0:10:34:Ryu from Street Fighter is passing down the aisle of cars.
At 0:10:34-A modernised version of the Mach 5 from Speed Racer appears at the starting line next to Ryu.
At 0:10:59-Wade passes a red F1 racing car from the 1982 Atari game Pole Position.
Also at 0:10:59-Mr. T.’s GMC Van from the A-team appears at the starting line.
Also at 0:10:59-the 1968 possessed Plymouth Fury from Christine appears at the starting line of the copper key race.
Also at 0:10:59-Lara Croft from the Tomb Raider game series is having a conversation with Dizzy Wallin from Gears of War II before the race starts.
At 0:11:04-In the Oology department a Scholar is watching the Twin Pines Mall scene from Back to the future on a monitor.
At 0:11:06-A Halliday scholar is holding a sealed copy of DC Comics Presents:Superman and Superboy
At 0:11:09-A Halliday scholar is watching the Goodbye scene in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on a monitor.
Also at 0:11:09-A Wonder Woman comic panel poster is being studied by scholars.
At 0:11:10-It looks as if on a whiteboard scholars are studying The Glaive from Krull.
At 0:11:13-A group of Ooligists are studying Fruit Loops on a IOI monitor.
Also at 0:11:13-A Cap N’ Crunch cereal box appears on a scholar’s monitor.
Also at 0:11:13-in the Oology department a liberty island version of the map from Escape From New York appears on the TV screen.
At 0:11:28-while walking up to Aech at the racetrack Sub-Zero from Mortal Kombat walks past him.
At 0:11:29-Aech’s form of vehicle for the race is the Bigfoot Monster Truck which started the monster truck business and has appeared in multiple Hot Wheels sets.
At 0:11:48-Aech teases wade about not having enough money for fuel but can get a Something About Mary hairdo referencing the 1998 comedy There’s something about Mary.
At 0:12:09-Wade spawns in The DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the future.
Alright so Ernest Cline said during the New York race you can find Ghostbusters HQ and the apartment building from Batteries Not Included I haven’t found them yet.
At 0:12:29-When the horn for the start of the race blows out of Liberty’s torch the Domino Sugar factory appears behind the statue.
At 0:12:49-A blue F1 racing car from Pole Position gets rammed by an IOI vehicle.
At 0:12:52-Art3mis drives by on Shotaro Kaneda’s bike from Akira.
At 0:13:31-A sticker for the skateboarding brand Thraser appears on Artemis’s bike.
Also at 0:13:31-Two Scratch N’ Sniff stickers appear on Art3mis’s bike specifically a pear and Tomato great job stickers.
At 0:13:37- the K.I.T.T bar from Knight Rider is under the grill of Wade’s DeLorean.
At 0:13:45-When speaking about Art3mis to Aech Wade mentions he has seen all of her Twitch Streams.
At 0:13:53-when going over a ramp wade makes the DeLorean do the Corkscrew Junp from the 1967 James Bond movie The Man With The golden Gun.
At 0:14:03-The Pork Chop Express from the 1986 Kurt Russell film Big Trouble In Little China blocks the road for players.
At 0:14:05-Art3mis’s bike has an Atari decal on it.
At 0:14:08-on the street beside the pork chop express a diner appears named Ratners it was an old dinedeli that opened in New York in 1902.
At 0:14:14-Wade switches the DeLorean to Hover mode from Back To The Future:Part II when he gets a collision warning during the race.
0:14:16-when an IOI racer crashes and wade picks up has coins he’s using an Arcade coin slot machine to do so.
At 0:14:35-An IOI racer crashes in front of the national video centre (it is a place in New York basically a museum for technology like televisions and computers)
At 0:14:40-A Ms. Pac-Man decal appears on Art3mis’s bike.
Also at 0:14:40-The superhero logo from The Greatest American Hero appears on Art3mis’s bike.
At 0:14:41-very hard to see but at the bottom of Art3mis’s bike is a decal for skateboarding brand JFA.
Also at 0:14:41-Art3mis and an IOI racer pass a Movie theatre marquee that reads:Schwarzenegger Jack Slater III referencing the 1993 film-in a film Last Action Hero.
At 0:14:51 Rexy The T-Rex from the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World movies munches on vehicles in Chinatown (for those saying it’s just a random T-Rex it does the same roar as in the movies and has the same scars and marks on it’s face)
At 0:14:58-The final and hardest obstacle of all:King Kong. Like in all of the Kong movies he’s hanging off the Empire State Building circled by 1930’s bi-planes.
At 0:15:12-we get a shot of King Kong destroying rail roads in front of the Silvercups Studios building where the final battle in Highlander took place as well as an actual movie studio.
0:15:16-as Aech skids to a halt in Bigfoot the Batmobile gets knocked off the road right after skidding to the sound of the 1966 Batman tv series theme.
At 0:15:20-A 1975 Wonder Woman decal appears on Art3mis’s bike.
At 0:15:25-behind Aech in the scene where Art3mis jumps over the gap with her bike a Delta City billboard from Robocop appears.
At 0:16:29-When Art3mis brushes herself off from Wade’s rescue The Ace Chemical’s building from Batman appears behind her.
0:16:23-when Art3mis insepects her damaged bike an old advertising billboard called Come to the Caribbean appears behind her.
At 0:16:57-when Wade Aech and Art3mis enter Aech’s workshop Prince’s song I wanna be your lover plays.
Also at 0:16:57-leaning against the wall near the entry is Pee-wee Herman’s bike from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.
0:17:08-We all know this one:Aech is working on building an Iron Giant from the animated 1999 film of the same name.
At 0:17:13-A Cylon Raider ship from Battlestar Galactia is hanging on the wall.
At 0:17:22-Aech owns a Fraggle Rock-themed lunchbox to store all his miniature sci-fi ships.
0:17:23-When Wade opens the lunchbox we see various sci-fi ships these conclude of:The Galactia from Battlestar Galactia The Valley Forge From the 1972 sci-fi film Silent Running a colonial Viper from Battlestar Galactia and the Sulaco from Aliens.
At 0:17:24-a miniature model of the Swordfish II from Cowboy Bepbop is on the Aech’s worktable.
At 0:17:31-Wade mentions Aech owning a miniature Harkonnen Drop-ship from Dune and says it could get to Arrakis in seconds (while Arrakis was in the 1965 novel the drop-ship was created for the 1985 movie).
At 0:17:46-A faded mini-poster of Pole Position appears on the pole behind Aech.
At 0:17:47-on another pole below Aech is a poster for the Colecovision video game Gorf.
At 0:17:51-The TARDIS police box from Doctor Who appears behind Aech Wade and Art3mis when talking about repairing the Akira bike.
Also at 0:17:51-hanging from the roof is The Eagle 5 from the 1987 Star Wars parody film Spaceballs.
At 0:17:52-a life-size Swordfish II from Cowboy Bepbop appears in Aech’s workshop waiting for repair.
At 0:17:53-parked in Aech’s workshop is the 1969 250 GT California Ferrari from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Also at 0:17:53-hanging off the roof of Aech’s workshop is The EVA Pod from the 1968 Kubrick sci-fi classic 2001:A Space Odyssey.
Also at 0:17:53-a life-size Colonial Viper from Battlestar Galactia is hanging off the roof of the workshop.
Also at 0:17:53-The Thunderfighter from Buck Rogers in the 25th century is hanging off the roof of the workshop.
Also at 0:17:53-in the corner of the workshop is the enforcement droid ED-209 from Robocop.
At 0:18:18-Art3mis asks Wade what was Halliday’s favourite first-person shooter game. Wade replies by saying 007 Goldeneye based of the James Bond movie of the same name. His favourite character was Oddjob the villain. And his favourite player mode was slappers only where players could only slap to kill.
At 0:18:30-Art3mis asks what Halliday’s favourite racer game which was the 1981 SEGA game Turbo.
O:18:32-Wade says Halliday’s favourite food was Hot Pockets a microwaveable pizza snack.
Also at 0:18:32-while Wade and Art3mis are talking playing softly in the background is Just my imagination (running away with me) by The Temptation.
At 0:13:33-Wade says Halliday’s favourite restaurant was Chuck E. Cheese which is an Arcade and pizza restaurant. The restaurant’s founder Nolan Bushnell also happened to founded Atari.
At 0:18:35-Wade says Halliday’s favourite song was Video Killed The Radio Star by The Buggles which happens to be the first song to air on MTV in 1980.
At 0:18:37–Wade says Halliday’s favourite music video was A-Ha’s 1985 hit song Take On Me.
At 0:18:42-Wade and Art3mis complete a quote together which was Halliday’s favourite of Gene Hackman’s portrayal of Lex Luthor in Superman:The Movie:Some people can read war and peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the back of a chewing gum paper and unlock the secrets of the universe.
At 0:19:06-before Art3mis and Wade walk away a Castlevaynia poster is on the wall.
At 0:19:98- A Robotron 2084 poster appears on the wall of Aech’s workshop.
Also at 0:19:08-A Joust banner appears on the wall of Aech’s Workshop.
Also at 0:19:08-A GORF banner appears on the wall of Aech’s Workshop.
Also at 0:19:08-A poster for the 1985 Tengen arcade game Gauntlet appears on the wall of Aech’s workshop.
Also at 0:19:08-a poster for Galaga (1983 version) appears on the wall of Aech’s workshop.
At 0:19:54-The PO-024 repair E-Frame from the 90’s cartoon series Exosqaud appears in Aech’s workshop.
At 0:20:01:Art3mis nicknames Wade McFly referencing Marty McFly Back To The Future series.
At 0:20:39-You’ll need to turn the brightness up but when Rick holds up one of Wade’s gloves a Batman and SEGA sticker are on it.
At 0:21:54-Wade explains that his name Wade Watts was supposed to sound like a superhero’s alter-ego and examples Bruce Banner A.K.A The Hulk and Peter Parker A.K.A Spider-Man from Marvel Comics.
At 0:22:39-When Wade grabs out his OASIS visor a Street Fighter decal is on the side of it.
Also at 0:22:39A Midway games decal (a company who manufactured mainly all 80’s and 90’s arcade games) is on the top of Wade’s visor.
At 0:22:41-George Michael’s 1985 song Faith plays when Wade enters the Halliday Journals.
At 0:22:48-The interior design of the Halliday Journals is taking directly from the Shermer High library from The Breakfast Club.
At 0:22:50-Hello Kitty is sitting down at one of the journal’s tables interacting with another player.
At 0:22:52-A Ms. Pac-Man arcade cabinet is behind The Curator’s desk.
Also at 0:22:52:-A Dig Dug arcade cabinet is behind The Curator’s desk.
Also at 0:22:52-A Tempest arcade cabinet is behind The Curator’s desk.
At 0:22:56-The Curator’s design is based off Jeeves from the 1990 search engine Ask Jeeves.com
At 0:23:06-an Asteroids arcade cabinet is behind The Curator’s desk.
At 0:23:06-A Pong arcade cabinet is behind The Curator’s desk.
At 0:23:06-A Pole Position arcade cabinet is behind The Curator’s desk.
At 0:23:19-In one of Halliday’s recreated memories Halliday is playing in an Arcade with games like Joust Asteroids and Tempest.
At 0:23:20-A Revenge Of The Nerds poster is up on the wall in the recreated memory Wade and The Curator walk by.
At 0:23:23-Alright buckle up becuase there are a lot of stuff to cover: In Halliday’s cluttered room there are things such as an Astro Boy mask a vintage packet of Lays Potato Chips a Ladyhawke poster a speak and spell some Madballs a copy of Schindler’s Ark and a Raiders Of The Lost Ark poster.
At 0:23:39-Wade and The Curator walk past a memory labelled:Halliday playing his Atari 2600 with a carving of an Atari 2600 at the bottom.
Also at 0:23:39-The game Halliday is playing on his Atari 2600 is Defender.
Also at 0:23:39-Various toys and collectibles are scattered throughout Halliday’s room concluding of:A Marvin The Martian toy A Gizmo plush from Gremlins a toy model of The A-Team Van A Batman statue posters for Wargames and Rush 2112 Connect Four A SIMON toy an Etch-E-Sketch and a Castle Greyskrull play-set from Masters Of The Universe with He-Man and Skeletor action figures
At 0:23:41-A Framed poster for Black Tiger appears on the wall of The Gregarious Games breakroom.
Also at 0:23:41:In The Gregarious Games breakroom a framed poster for Legend Of Zelda:A Link To The Past is on the wall.
Also at 0:23:41-Further down the hall of the breakroom is a framed poster for Mortal Kombat.
At 0:23:51-Halliday and Ogden Morrow have a conversation about living in an Asteroids Arcade cabinet.
At 0:23:56-Halliday in the memory is wearing a Space Invaders shirt.
At 0:24:16-A framed poster for Galaga (1986 version) appears behind Morrow in the breakroom.
At 0:25:25-Halliday references Bill And Ted’s Excellent Adventure when talking about going backwards.
At 0:26:01-A Hello Kitty decal appears on Art3mis’s bike.
At 0:26:22-While it’s never said in the movie the Suxors is graffitied on the pedestal of Liberty (it was a nickname for the Sixers in the novel)
At 0:26:59-When Wade gets to King Kong’s stage Max Steiner’s 1933 original theme for King Kong plays.
At 0:27:44-Anorak says to Wade nice racing Padawan referencing the Jedi Apprentices in the Star Wars franchise
At 0:29:12-Ripley’s cargo-Holder from Alien appears on Planet Doom in Nolan Sorrento’s presentation.
At 0:29:23-In Sorrento’s OASIS IOI ad presentation Man-Bat from Batman:Arkham Knight appears on planet doom getting shot at.
At 0:29:24-In Nolan Sorrento’s presentation a pop-up ad for the EM-1 railgun from Eraser appears.
At 0:29:38-Bruce Springsteen’s song Stand On It begins to play.
At 0:29:40-Wade and Aech go to a mall called Avatar Outfitters referencing the store Urban Outfitters.
Also at 0:29:40-The Logo for Avatar Outfitters has the same calligraphic A as in the title for James Cameron’s film Avatar.
At 0:29:43-A Street Fighter booth at Avatar outfitters are selling combat moves as a holographic RYU does an uppercut move.
At 0:29:54-Blue Beetle from Injustice 2 is walking around the store.
At 0:29:54-An Overwatch booth at Avatar Outfitters is selling Pulse Pistols as a holographic Tracer does her spin.
Also at 0:29:54-A Dungeons And Dragons booth is selling magic spells.
At 0:29:59- booth in Avatar outfitters is selling weapons with a holographic Claptrap (a character in the game)
A4 0:29:59-Halo booth is selling assault rifles with holographic images of Master Chief.
At 0:29:59-in the far back left of the booths A Looney Tunes booth with a holographic Marvin The Martian appears.
At 0:29:59-In the far back right an Injustice booth appears (I can’t identify the hologram though). (Zoom In required).
At 0:29:59-A Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles booth appears in the far back with a hologram of Raphael (zoom-in required)
At 0:30:02-One of the items available for purchase in the iconic items booth is The Holy Hand Grenade from the 1975 Monty python film Monty Python and The Holy Grail.
At 0:30:07-while I can’t identify the actual item because it goes too fast but Wade runs past an item in the iconic item section with the Blizzard Entertainment logo printed underneath it.
At 0:30:07-Wade Runs past Dust-Brain from the Madballs toy line in the iconic items section.
At 0:30:08-Wade runs past The Peltzer Peeler Juicer from Gremlins in the iconic times section.
Also at 0:30:08-Wade runs by A Chucky doll from Child’s Play (which is where Aech presumably got the one used on Planet Doom) in the iconic times section.
At 0:30:09-Wade runs past a Plasma Pistol from Halo in the iconic items section.
At 0:30:11-Wade walks up and buys a magical item The Zemeckis Cube which is of course a Rubik’s Cube named after Back To The Future Director Robert Zemeckis that has the ability to slow and turn back time.
At 0:30:13-A hologram of The Wolf-Man appears next to The Zemeckis Cube booth.
At 0:31:05:When Nolan Sorrento enters the OASIS he is transported to the wreckage of a Tripod fighting machine from War Of The Worlds (1953 George Pal version)
At 0:31:29-Sorrento’s avatar Bossman59 features a Clark Kent hair curl from Superman.
At 0:31:52-I-ROK flicks away Perseus’s Shield from the 1981 version of Clash Of The Titans (sigh)(I-ROK has no respect for classics)
Also at 0:31:52-Indiana Jone’s whip from the Indiana Jones franchise is laying besides the shield.
At 0:31:58-I-ROK picks up the head of an eliminated player The Steampunk Pirate King and does a misquoted reference to William Shakespeare’s play Hamlet. I-ROK says I knew him well Sorrento parodying the line to Yorick:Alas Yorrick!! I knew him Horatio.
At 0:32:18-In the pile of weapons are tow Boomshot guns from Gears of Wars.
Also at 0:32:18-The Colonial Blaster from Battlestar Galactia appears in the pile of weapons.
Also at 0:23:18-Two Batarangs from Batman are scatted around the weapons pile.
At 0:32:22-The M1911 Colt pistol from Duke Nukem is also in the weapons pile.
Also at 0:32:22-The box containing The Orb Of Osuvox is the Mogwai box that Gizmo was kept in at the start of Gremlins
At 0:32:29-The inside of the orb is a polyhedral D20 dice used in Dungeons and Dragons.
At 0:33:11-When talking about the price of Parzival’s elimination from The Scoreboard I-ROK references a Tootsie Pop commercial with Mr. Owl biting to the chocolaty centre.
At 0:33:51-The vehicle Daito uses to get to the finish line is The Mach 5 from Speed Racer.
At 0:33:54-Sho pulls up to the finish line in a Smokey (literally) 1977 Trans Am Pontiac used in Smokey and The Bandit.
At 0:34:22-When Wade is reciting the Jade Key clue excerpt in his notebook he has linked the last two words in the clue: At Last” could be a possible reference to the song of the same now (doesn’t specify which one though)
At 0:34:29- On a piece of paper taped to the wall Wade has written down locations you can visit in the OASIS these conclude off-
The Star Wars Galaxy The Star Trek Universe Middle-Earth from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings/Hobbit. Vulcan from Star Trek Pern from Dragonriders of Pern Arrakis from Dune Magrathea from The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy Discworld from the book series of the same name Ring-world from the book series of the same name River-world from the book series of the same name.
From 0:34:30 to 0:34:31-taped to the wall is a list of John Hughes movies these conclude of-
National Lampoon’s Vacation Sixteen Candles Weird Science Breakfast Club Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Pretty In Pink Some Kind Of Wonderful Planes Trains and Automobiles Uncle Buck Home Alone Home Alone 2:Lost In New York
At 0:34:32-Taped to the wall is Wade’s analysis of the funeral scene in Halliday’s Last Message video. It is a breakdown of all the Star Trek Easter eggs in the scene including the Starfleet logo U.S.S. Enterprise and the photo torpedo
At 0:34:33-At the bottom of a Newspaper article taped to the wall of Wade’s Van it reads:OASIS Coin the next Dollar? A sly reference to Bit-Coin video game currency.
At 0:34:40-On a piece of paper taped to the wall Wade has written down the rules of The OASIS just like the book and it mentions Everquest the MMORPG Game.
At 0:35:30-On the right besides Kira and Morrow’s picture is a list of movies labelled: Set In New York
These conclude of-Ghostbusters. Big (1988 Tom Hanks) has been crossed out on the list. Mad Max (it was in Australia though?) The cannonball Run. King Kong . Escape From New York is highlighted on the list. See No Evil (1971 horror movie). And another misplaced title Back To The Future despite being set in California
At 0:35:19-Wade has written down instructions of how to get to the secret room in Adventure foreshadowing the climax.
At 0:35:21-When Wade goes back to the Halliday Journals Blondie’s song One Way Or Another plays.
At 0:35:27-The Arkham Knight passes Wade when he is exiting The Halliday Journals (he later returns inside)
At 0:35:28-A younger version of Beetlejuice spots Wade when Wade enters The Journals.
At 0:35:29-Supergirl from Injustice 2 jumps out of her seat to greet Wade.
At 0:35:31-Raiden from Mortal Kombat is sitting down at one of the Journal’s tables.
At 0:35:34-Dizzy Wallin from Gears Of Wars 2 runs up to the crowd that mobs Wade.
At 0:35:37-Blue Beetle from Injustice 2 is one of the fans in the crowd.
Also at 0:35:37-Ambra from Battleborn is one of the fans in the crowd.
At 0:35:38-Batgirl from Batman is one of the fans in the crowd.
At 0:35:47-Goro from Mortal Kombat pulls Wade away from his fans.
At 0:35:48-Lara Croft from Tomb Raider is one of the fans in the crowd.
At 0:36:02-When being led into a secret room Wade gets pranked by a Chestburster from Alien popping out of Goro’s chest revealed to be a puppet by Art3mis.
At 0:36:36-Art3mis pulls out Clark Kent Glasses from Superman and puts them on Wade for a disguise while roaming The Journals.
At 0:35:46-While Wade with his Clark Kent disguise goes into the archives Miko from Battleborn is behind him.
At 0:36:49-Benedict from Battleborn is behind Wade when Wade enters The Archives.
At 0:36:51-When Wade and Art3mis are entering The Archives an avatar behind them is wearing a pink Michael Jackson jacket.
At 0:37:00-In the memory outside of Halliday and Morrow’s office is a framed Metroid Japanese printed poster (original 1986 game)
At 0:37:03-Behind Art3mis Wade and The Curator is another memory which is set in The Happytime pizzeria from the novel.
At 0:37:17-There are some action figures on Morrow’s desk. One I can make out his Triceraton from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990).
At 0:37:32-When Halliday is talking to Sorrento you can see he is designing the Room 237 Bathroom from The Shining on his computer.
Also at 0:37:32-The Billy Idol album Don’t Stop is on Halliday’s desk.
At 0:37:44-A copy of Dungeon Magazine is lying on Halliday’s desk (I could not identify which issue though)
At 0:37:49-In a blink and you miss it moment when The Curator is fast-forwarding the Memory a framed Pole Position poster is outside the office.
At 0:37:53-On the shelf behind the desk is Def Leppard’s 1983 album Pyromania (zoom-in required)
At 0:38:02-While having a conversation with Morrow about the date with Karen Halliday says she prefers to be called Kira after the character in Jim Henson’s 1982 film The Dark Crystal.
At 0:38:39-As mentioned above the memory behind the three is of Halliday hanging out at The Happytime Pizzeria but in this frame you can see he is playing Joust.
At 0:39:48-Wade figures out that Kira is the centre of the 2nd clue and calls her Halliday’s Rosebud referencing the lost sled Rosebud in Citizen Kane.
At 0:40:02-When Art3mis flips the quarter The Curator gives to Wade it makes the sound effect of a 1-up from the Super Mario Bros. Games.
At 0:40:17-Earth Wind and Fire’s 1975 song Can’t find love plays when Art3mis asks Wade on a date.
Alright in Aech’s 80’s basement recreation there is soo much Easter eggs and memorabilia so forgive me if I miss any.
At 0:40:46-posted on the wall is a Save Ferris poster from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off another Metroid poster and white Space Invader decals.
At 0:40:46-hanging from the wall is the neon sign for the dream bar Cocktails and Dreams in the 1988 Tom cruise film Cocktail.
At 0:40:46-below the sign is a Dark Crystal poster.
At 0:40:46-Ripping through the floor is the nuclear rocket from Weird Science.
At 0:40:46-A Pac-Man bin lies besides a Pac-Man arcade cocktail cabinet.
At 0:40:46-an Airplane! VHS tape is on top of boxes.
At 0:40:46-multiple VHS tapes for the 1986 Jim Henson film Labyrinth are scattered around the floor of the hangout.
At 0:40:06-Retro packets for Potato Chips brands Lays and Ruffles lay against the coffee table.
At 0:40:06-Incredibly hard to see but under a pile of VHS tapes is a VHS tape of Caddyshack (zoom-in required)
At 0:40:46-Marty Mcfly Jr.’s rainbow cap from Back To The Future:Part II lies besides an vinyl record player.
At 0:40:06-Lying against the wall is an Emulator II keyboard used in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
At 0:40:46-on the wall besides the couch are three mini-posters stuck on it:A Donkey Kong arcade poster A Pole Position II poster and a 1983 Galaga poster.
At 0:40:06-A Kermit The Frog plush from The Muppets is lying against a shelf besides a Hot Wheels play-set.
At 0:40:06-An ALF plush from the 1986 sitcom ALF is sitting on top of the television
At 0:40:06-A Speak &Spell used in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is lying on the shelf.
At 0:40:50-A Beastmaster poster is next to the mirror.
At 0:40:50-A Star Trek:The Motion Picture poster is in the corner of the room above The Emulator II Keyboard (you need to turn brightness full up to see)
At 0:40:50-A copy Analog Computing magazine #10 is leaning against the crate below Wade’s feet.
At 0:40:50-above the mirror is a Mayor Goldie Wilson election poster from Back To The Future. A Wil Wheaton election poster is across from Wilson’s one (if you recall Wheaton was the Vice President of the OASIS in the novel)
At 0:40:50-In a blue crate below Wade’s feet is Run D.M.C’s 1986 album Tougher Than Lever.
At 0:40:50-A Wargames poster is on the wall besides the mirror.
At 0:40:50- the first issue for Nintendo Power featuring Super Mario Bros. is located on a stack of magazines in Aech’s hang-out
At 0:40:50-A Big Trouble In Little China poster is located behind a chair in Aech’s hang-out.
At 0:40:50-A cutout of Tom Selleck’s face from Magnum P.I. Is posted on the wall in Aech’s hang-out.
At 0:40:50-A Cookie Monster cookie jar from Sesame Street is on the the bench in the hang-out
At 0:40:50-A poster for Labyrinth is next to the Tom Selleck cutout
At 0:40:50-A Cap N’ Crunch cereal box is laying on the counter next to an overturned Fruit Loops cereal box.
At 0:40:50-at the very far back of the counter is The Peltzer Peeler Juicer from Gremlins
At 0:40:51-Wade selects Prince’s Purple Rain outfit for a possible outfit for his date.
At 0:40:54-In the reflection of the mirror a Breakfast Club poster is seen.
At 0:40:57-Wade switches his outfit to Michael Jackson’s Thriller costume and even does the dance (one of my favourite artists along Queen who are unfortunately not referenced in the film)
At 0:40:57-Next to the mirror is the original poster for Mad Max.
At 0:40:58 White decals for Space Invaders are scattered on the pillar next to Aech.
At 0:40:58 The Pink Mattel Hoverboard from Back To The Future Part II is leaning against the wall.
At 0:40:58-On the coffee table are retro cans for Coca-Cola Pepsi and Tab (along with some D20 from D&D)
At 0:40:58-Below the coffee table is a E.T. The Extra Terrestrial VHS tape
At 0:40:58-The sword of omens from Thundercats is leaning against the wall next to the couch.
At 0:40:58-on the table next to the hula-girl lamp is the Golden Idol from Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
At 0:41:00-A Mad Max 2 poster is behind Wade when trying out outfits.
At 0:41:00-A Legend Of Zelda:A Link To The Past mini-poster is behind Wade.
At 0:41:02-Hanging from the ceiling is a miniature Thunderfighter from Buck Rogers In The 25th Century.
At 0:41:02-A Banner for 1980 video game Missile Command is on the wall behind Aech.
At 0:41:04-On the back of Wade’s punk outfit is the logo for 80’s rock band The Dead Kennedy’s
At 0:41:05-Wade switches to a Nick Rhodes outfit from the band Duran Duran.
At 0:41:07-David’s computer speaker from WarGames is on top of the cocktail cabinet.
At 0:41:07-in a pile of VHS tapes is a VHS tape for Breakin’ (or Breakdance) is on the floor.
Inside James Dyson’s Costly Decision to Kill His Electric Car
Dyson, spry and lanky at 72 years old, is wearing owlish blue-frame glasses and a copper-toned, thigh-length jacket evocative of a mad scientist’s lab coat. In his cut-glass English accent he’s running through his company’s latest wares: a hair dryer that uses circular airflow to avoid heat damage; a hair styler that wraps curls using a vortex of air; a bladeless oval air purifier that blows hot and cold; a combination water faucet and hand dryer. The list goes on, ending, inevitably, with a cordless vacuum cleaner, the category consumers most closely associate with Dyson’s name.
For all the eye-catching design and technological wonder of Dyson’s body of work, many in the audience are hoping he’ll make a pronouncement about the one much-discussed Dyson product that’s not yet for sale. Then the great man utters the words they’ve longed to hear: “the car.” He flicks to an aerial photograph, not of an automobile, but of the former Royal Air Force base in rural England where his team has been working in great secrecy to design an electric vehicle. “That’s about all I’ll say about the car this evening,” he declares. True to his word, he pivots to rhapsodizing about an LED lamp designed by his 47-year-old son and heir apparent, Jake.
Within weeks, the reason behind Dyson’s reticence becomes clear: He had already decided the car project was doomed. In fact, while he was exuberantly peddling vacuums and hair stylers, his bankers were unsuccessfully scrambling to find a buyer for the electric vehicle program to which Dyson had committed four years, hundreds of engineers, and 2 billion pounds ($2.5 billion). On Oct. 10, Dyson said his privately held company would cease work on the project, ending his electric car dreams before the first model ever rolled off the assembly line.
BUNKER MENTALITY: Reminders of World War II, like this hangar, remain at the former air base, where Dyson prototyped its doomed car.COURTESY OF DYSONIt was a gutsy decision and a rare public setback for Dyson, who, with his family, owns the entirety of the company that bears his name. He had put his estimable reputation on the line with the car, promising a “radically different” vehicle that would feature “revolutionary” battery technology while outperforming more experienced competitors. And he had promised to have it in customers’ hands by 2021, a dramatically short time frame for a neophyte automaker. In the end, a chagrined Dyson says the decision came down to a simple business proposition. “It just wasn’t commercially viable,” he said, in an exclusive interview with _Fortune_the day after news broke of the car’s demise. Although Dyson’s crack auto team successfully created an innovative new car, he wasn’t willing to price it below cost, as he believes the competition is doing. “It’s a tragedy, really, because our engineers have done a brilliant job.”
Dyson’s inability to produce a profitable automobile speaks volumes about the current perilous state of the electric vehicle industry, in which companies like Elon Musk’s Tesla and Chinese startup Nio are burning through billions of dollars annually with no sign of black ink on the horizon. The story of his audacious but ultimately failed project also says much about Dyson, the rare executive who can combine blue-sky dreaming with steely-eyed financial discipline. At a time when every company speaks about innovation and disruption, Dyson’s decision to kill his electric car is a case study in the delicate balancing act of embracing ingenuity while keeping an eye on profits.
Dyson thought he had a better shot than most. His company was thriving, with 2018 sales jumping 25% to a record $5.6 billion. Pretax operating profits topped $1 billion for the first time, driven by strong demand in Asia, where Dyson is a status-conferring consumer brand. Through its vacuums, Dyson’s company already was a global leader in electric motors. It knew batteries too, thanks to its cordless products. Key EV concepts like airflow and climate control also were present in all of Dyson’s appliances. “When we realized, almost by accident, that we had the technology to build an electric car, it was natural to go into it,” Dyson says. Back in 2015, when he first conceived of it, Dyson says there seemed to be ample room in the market for a chassis-to-moonroof rethink of what an EV should be. “You have to remember that four or five years ago, only Tesla was on the scene,” he says. “So it was a very different sort of environment.”
The inventor had made a career of proving skeptics wrong. He’d successfully reimagined one mundane household product after another, starting with an innovative wheelbarrow in 1974. He’d made his name and fortune with the bagless vacuum cleaner, which used a “cyclone” effect to draw dust out of the air. Launched in 1993, the vacuums featured a transparent bin that let you see exactly how much dust you’d sucked up. (He famously overruled marketing experts who told him no one would buy a vacuum that showcased the dirt.) New models included advancements such as ball-like handle attachments for maneuvering into tight corners. Slim cordless uprights were made possible by the company’s electric motor research. Dyson was also adept at extending his expertise into new categories, like the Airblade hand dryer as well as bladeless fans and air purifiers.
While a car may have looked like a leap, Dyson had been building up to designing one for years, in part because of a hankering to invent a solution for the pollution-spewing internal combustion engine. Affronted by the smell and smoke from diesel engines, in the late 1980s and early 1990s he developed a filter for the particulate belched by trucks, based on technology used in his bagless vacuum. But trucking companies refused to buy it, he says, because they didn’t want to have to empty the filter. He also blames U.K. and European regulators who insisted that diesel was “green and clean,” despite abundant scientific evidence of ill-health effects. “There was a sort of jilted feeling,” he says, acknowledging his search for new technology “has been lurking” ever since. Grand projects have been started for shakier reasons.
James DysonAt 72, the British inventor has been innovating his whole adult life. His contraptions span from gardening to hair styling.
InventorDyson’s first hit came in 1974, a redesigned wheelbarrow that replaced the typical narrow rubber wheel with a plastic sphere that resisted sinking into muddy ground. He called it the Ballbarrow.
Dyson then turned his attention to the bagless vacuum. It took a decade and 5,127 prototypes to perfect his design for the product that ultimately would make his name and fortune.
EnvironmentalistDyson has been worked up about pollution for decades, but not out of concern for global warming. He loathed the exhaust spewed into the air by diesel-burning engines popular in Europe. “I hated the smell,” he says. “I hated the black smoke.”
He developed a filter to capture diesel particulates but couldn’t persuade trucking companies to buy it. His dislike of fossil-fuel burning engines persisted.
Landowner, philanthropist, patriotAside from his day job, Dyson runs a profitable agriculture business. He owns more farmland than anyone else in the U.K., including Queen Elizabeth II.
His James Dyson Foundation runs an annual award program in 27 countries, in search of the most innovative inventions. To train more U.K. engineers, he founded the James Dyson Institute, which offers undergraduates free engineering degrees and work experience.
He also likes to display the work of other British inventors on the grounds of his company’s corporate campus in rural Wiltshire, 100 miles west of London. A Brexit supporter, Dyson had critics who chafed at his plans to relocate HQ to Singapore.
Secret KeeperDyson is a 14,000-person company whose paranoia for protecting corporate secrets, dating back to piracy of the Ballbarrow’s design, rivals Apple’s. It is an active litigant on its patent portfolio, having tussled with the likes of Hoover and Samsung.Employees generally operate on a “need to know” basis and are expected not to discuss projects outside their teams, including in communal cafeterias.
But this time the secret got out. The U.K. government accidentally revealed Dyson’s work on an electric car in an industrial strategy report it published online. That, and the increasing scale of the endeavor—which included a 200-million-pound refurbishment of the old RAF airfield to serve as the design and testing hub for the car and the hiring of hundreds of people—forced Dyson to come clean. In September 2017, he held a press conference in London to officially announce the project, saying he was committing 2 billion pounds to the endeavor, including 1 billion aimed at producing a breakthrough in battery technology.
Automotive experts thought the sum was paltry compared with what would be needed to build a car. But it was orders of magnitude bigger than anything Dyson had ever spent on a new product. Its Supersonic hair dryer, for instance, which it launched in 2016, had taken four years and cost $71 million to develop. Many also doubted Dyson’s premise that its technical know-how would transfer to electric cars. “An electric vehicle is not just a big hair dryer,” says George Crabtree, director of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Joint Center for Energy Storage Research at the Argonne National Laboratory.
Dyson was undeterred. The company was committed to rethinking the car from first principles—a philosophy that had underpinned Dyson’s success in household products. “We wanted to change everything and not use other people’s architectural layout,” Dyson says. The company would design all its components in-house, from motors to windshield wipers. “If you look at the way other auto companies operate, they treat components as black boxes,” says Andrew Clothier, Dyson’s director of technical research. They buy parts off the shelf and bolt them together. That’s cheaper and faster but comes at the expense of innovation, he says. Dyson would try a completely different approach. (Tesla also designs its own electric motors, battery packs, and chargers.)
The car Dyson’s team came up with was about the size of a Range Rover but with a longer wheelbase; a lower roofline; and a short, stubbed nose leading to a dramatically sloped windscreen, according to patent filings made public in May. Dyson says now the long wheelbase was necessary to accommodate a very large battery pack that would have given the car more range than any EV currently on the market. The tires were taller and narrower than usual too. That reduced rolling resistance as well as accommodating more interior space and, by allowing for lower tire pressure, provided a more comfortable ride. “We were after aerodynamic efficiency, rolling resistance efficiency, electric motor efficiency, and battery efficiency,” Dyson says.
Every EV on the road today uses “wet” lithium-ion batteries, in which a cathode made of lithium mixed with other metals (usually nickel, manganese, and cobalt) is separated from a graphite anode by an electrolyte solution. These cells are efficient but take time to charge and are prone to catching fire. Dyson thought he could gain an edge by using solid-state batteries instead. Such batteries, which replace the liquid electrolyte with a ceramic material and use a pure lithium metal anode, are the Holy Grail for EVs. They pack more power for their weight, meaning they would vastly extend the car’s range. They also charge far faster and are much safer.
Last year, Dyson selected Singapore as the site for his future EV factory. The company already made its other products in neighboring Malaysia, and it saw the region as a key potential market for the car. Then, earlier this year, Dyson announced it would shift its global corporate headquarters to Singapore too. The founder bought a $54 million penthouse apartment in the city-state. Tabloids leveled accusations of betrayal at the entrepreneur, who had called for a revival of British industrial prowess and is a prominent proponent of Brexit, the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union. Dyson notes he continues to employ 5,000 people in the U.K.
Most daunting was the competition. European and Chinese regulatory moves to ban gas engines in coming decades acted as a catalyst for major automakers. Together, they are expected to pump $300 billion into electric car development in the next decade. Suddenly, Dyson’s team faced a financial reckoning just as it was time to begin installing manufacturing equipment in Singapore. “Doing everything from scratch probably put up the cost,” Dyson reflects. He also says that because the company could not guarantee high volumes, it could not strike the best deals with suppliers, as it had throughout decades of building appliances. And, without revealing any details, he admits the battery that the company wanted to use was more expensive than industry standards.
Dyson always knew his car wouldn’t be cheap. He had previously joked to reporters that it might be more appropriate to talk about the size of the down payment required to buy one rather than the sticker price. But there’s expensive, and then there’s exorbitant. If his EV were to turn a profit, it would have to enter the market “right at the top end,” Dyson says. While he declines to reveal the price the company was considering, the Tesla Model X starts at about $104,000, and Faraday Future, a Chinese-backed startup in California, is planning to launch an ultraluxury SUV that may cost as much as $180,000. “It’s a price where we could sell some but not enough,” Dyson says.
A NOT-SO-SIMPLE PLAN: Patent applications hint at what a Dyson car might have looked like.Courtesy of DysonAt the end of the day, Dyson didn’t blink at the “sunk costs” of capital already invested in the car project. “It wasn’t the investment at all,” he says. “We’d already committed that.” Fiscally conservative, Dyson says he would never consider putting his company in financial jeopardy for the sake of his car. At the end of 2018, Dyson’s debt was a manageable 368 million pounds ($492 million), most of it long term. He refused to overleverage Dyson or take it public, which would dilute his control. “We don’t have endless shareholders’ money or the potential to raise shareholders’ money,” he says. “We’re a family business.”
Dyson says he focused on “the BAM”—the build and materials cost—of the car and therefore where he’d have to price it to earn an acceptable margin. What worried Dyson wasn’t the billions competitors were investing in EVs; it was their willingness to sell cars at a loss. Sam Abuelsamid, an analyst who tracks the EV sector for the consulting firm Navigant, says the break-even price for a generic electric car is about $80,000. Mercedes, BMW, and Jaguar all have electric luxury SUVs entering the market this year with a starting price of around $70,000. And Tesla and Nio are selling mass-market electric cars at half that price. (Tesla’s burn rate hit an annual pace of $3.5 billion in 2018—more than Dyson had pledged to its entire EV project.) Dyson feared his EV would look even pricier in comparison.
Once before, Dyson had faced a similar dilemma. In November 2000, the company unveiled a washing machine called the Contrarotator. The ingenious design had two drums that spun in opposite directions. But, as with the car, Dyson says, the company’s novel design and low volumes gave it little leverage with suppliers. “I worked out it cost at least two-and-half times more to make than a conventional washing machine,” he says. Ultimately, Dyson sold the washers for about 1,000 pounds ($1,500 at the time), at least 30% more than competitors’, and even then it lost money on every one. Eventually, in 2005, the company decided to discontinue it. Dyson vowed never to sell a product below cost again.
Before deciding to abandon the car, Dyson hired bankers to try to sell the division. They approached “all the people you might imagine,” says Dyson. (The _Financial Times_reported Jaguar Land Rover was among them.) No one bit. “We didn’t really get close to anyone,” he says. In late September, Dyson made the fateful decision to pull the plug.
Killing fledgling products actually isn’t that unusual for Dyson. “It’s heartbreaking,” says Stephen Courtney, Dyson’s concept director. “But it is sort of the nature of working in research.” Normally, the buttoned-up company fails privately and quietly. With the EV, competitors, gearheads, battery experts, and business journalists were scrutinizing its every move. “It was the hardest decision we’ve ever had to make,” says Dyson. “So many designers and engineers have put so much effort into it, and it hadn’t seen the light of day.” The company plans to find roles elsewhere for as many as possible of the 523 employees who worked on the car. But there won’t be room for all of them.
ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF DYSON
In a windowless industrial shed being constructed behind Dyson’s striking mirrored-glass D9 research lab, the company has built the largest advanced prototyping lab for solid-state batteries in Europe. Beyond EVs, solid-state batteries have potential uses in everything from mobile phones to consumer electronics to aircraft. And Dyson says it will continue its investment in them. “We think we’ve got something that is groundbreaking and revolutionary,” says Mike Rendall, Dyson’s head of energy storage industrialization. Called D9A, the new battery prototyping facility should enable Dyson “to bring solid-state batteries to market as soon as possible,” Rendall says.
The company is also investing heavily in robotics with uses beyond automobiles. Inside a section of the secretive D9 building, a team of 65 robotics researchers are working on machinery, much of it hidden under tarps for a journalist’s visit. It is clear from what little is visible—like the big brown armchair, curiously perched on a table, upon which sits something big under a sheet—that it is not simply an evolution of its existing robot vacuum cleaner, the Dyson’s 360 Eye. Dyson’s director of robotics research, Vincent Clerc, previously led SoftBank’s design of its humanoid robots Pepper and Romeo. Is Dyson developing a fully humanoid robot butler or maid? Clerc won’t say, although he allows that the company is focused on getting robots to perceive the world in three dimensions.
The day after canceling the car, Dyson seems subdued but philosophical. “There’s lots of exciting stuff,” he says of his product pipeline, including gadgets that may benefit from the automotive research. “And the silver lining of this horrible decision is we can concentrate on those.” Dyson may have missed his chance to beat rival billionaire Elon Musk. But the inventor seems eager to get back to the lab and put his name on yet another breakthrough product.
A version of this article appears in the November 2019 issue of Fortune with the headline “James Dyson’s Electric Shock.”### More must-read stories from Fortune:
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