Mattel Intellivision

The Mattel Intellivision was test released in 1979 by Mattel Electronics, and was the first Video Games Console to have a 16Bit processor. The console had a 4K Internal Rom system, and was based on a General Instruments Chipset. The console came with two hand controllers built in which sported a twelve button keypad, four action keys and a direction disc. At the time when Atari was the only other major video game manufacturer, this control pad was very unusual.

General release went ahead in 1980, with four cartridges: Poker & Blackjack, Math Fun, Armour Battle, and Backgammon. The original price was $299 which was double the cost of Atari's game console, but this didn't affect sales - nearly 200,000 units were sold in the first year. With the promise of an imminent keyboard add-on which would turn the console too, consumers were interested in the new video games console.

In 1981 Mattel went ahead with an aggressive advertisement campaign, which proclaimed the Intellivision better than the number one selling consoles at the time - the Atari VCS (later the Atari 2600). This in turn generated a lot of media coverage of the 'war' between the two consoles, which in fairness did neither of them any harm. By the end of its second year the Intellivision had sold close to one million consoles.

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Although the promised keyboard add-on never appeared (this was one of Mattel's original selling points - the fact the console would also act as a computer - something that never actually passed the test phases) a voice synthesis add-on was released in 1982, known as the Intellivoice. This was a 'plug-through' adapter, that added speech to games which supported this feature. These included B17-Bomber, where you would hear orders passed to you from your co-pilots!

The Intellivision soon had new competition from the Colecovision, which had better Graphics & Sound, support from arcade companies like Nintendo, Sega & Konami, and even had an add on adapter that allowed it to play all the Atari games currently on the market. As a result, the Intellivision lost some of its market share to the new console.

In an attempt recoup some of their losses from Atari & Coleco, Mattel introduced the Intellivision II in 1983, which was a cheaper looking black plastic unit, retailing at $150 (I'm sure this is just a coincidence, but Atari moved away from their 'wood grain' console, to the sleeker black-plastic 2600 around a similar time!). And, just like Coleco had done the previous year, they also introduced the System Changer Module, which allowed Atari 2600 games to be played on the Intellivision.

Unfortunately for Mattel (and indeed Atari, Coleco & MB) the influx of new consoles and cheap video games causes saturation of the market - there simply weren't enough sales to go round. All four main console manufacturers slashed the prices of their consoles, resulting in massive losses, redundancies and eventually the crash of the American Video Game Market. Enter stage right a Moustached Italian Plumber and a Japanese Pachinko machine manufacturer, and a whole new era of video gaming is born.

So that's the potted history of the Colecovision. A console which lost out to the video game crash due to poor management decisions and market saturation. A shame really, with over 100 titles, the console was starting to have a nice catalogue, thanks to the 'Blue Sky Rangers', Mattel's in-house software development team. However, titles such as Space Armada, Star Strike & Mission X still get some play time around my house - the Intellivision is still the console of choice for my missus. And with the recent release of Intellivision Lives for the X-Box & Playstation 2, a whole new generation are being introduced to these games too.

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Vectron

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Look out! The nasties are back and they're after your energy bases. Hungrees, Splitters, Diamondbacks and Prizums gobble up your bases and attack your energy block.

Tron Solar Sailor

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£20.00
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Your opponent is the tireless Master Control Program! The Solar Sailor will be attacked relentlessly on its way to the MCP centre and the decoding phase. In both phases, you'll hear VOICES instructing, even taunting you to give you all!

USCF Chess

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£10.00
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£10.00

It's basic chess for the beginner.. it's a tactical opponent for the more advanced! Play for fun.play to improve your skills.play to win!

Tron Maze A Tron

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Inspired by the motion picture TRON from Walt Disney Productions. You are the daring, young programmer, FLYNN, zapped into the sprawling circuit maze of a computer system, by the evil master control program.

Tron Deadly Discs

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Based on the futuristic adventure Motion Picture from Walt Disney Productions. Your task is to bring TRON safely through battle after battle against computer-controlled attackers. Lethal saucers are the weapons. it's a soaring blocking, running fight.

Triple Action

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£14.00
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£14.00

It's three classic video games in one! Racing Cars -- You and your opponent race against the clock down a crowded highway. Battle Tanks -- It's a duel to the finish between two heavy tanks. One of you will end up as scrap iron. Biplanes -- It's a thrilling dogfight -- biplane style! Watch out for the control tower.don't get lost in the clouds. But most of all, watch out for that blood thirsty baron with a leather cap!

Tennis

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£12.00
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£12.00

You're at centre court! It's your coordination, judgement and reflexes in a fast-paced match competition! Lifelike, animated 'tennis players' do the running for you, on a regulation tennis court, designed to scale. You and your opponent put them through the paces - serve and rally, double fault and let service, too!

Super Cobra

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£0.00
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Set off on a high flying, dangerous gunship mission to destroy the enemy's base. Fly your helicopters through mazes, caves, and cities filled with tall buildings. The enemy tries to shoot your helicopter down with missiles, tanks, meteors, and even flying saucers!

Sub Hunt

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£9.00
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You go to seas in 4 submarines, one at a time. Your mission is to intercept and destroy six convoys of enemy ships, even though each convoy has a destroyer escort that can quickly fin you and fire depth charges with deadly accuracy.

Space Spartans

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£18.00
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The new wave in space adventure takes you beyond sound effects, beyond the skills you've already mastered. Space Spartans sends you on an odyssey against overwhelming alien odds, in a tougher than ever game that talks to you!

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