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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Stampede

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Box: 
yes
£16.00
Manual: 
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£16.00

Here's video game action as wild as the Wild West. Ride fast and rope as many stampeding calves as you can. They're all worth points. But keep your eyeballs peeled. You wont always travel on 'happy trails'

Star Strike

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£12.00
Manual: 
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£12.00

Here's a spectacular planetary adventure: You're in command of a lone spaceship on an attack run over an alien star. Below you, a trench will soon be pointed like a gun barrel at Planet Earth. Before that deadly alignment occurs, you must destroy FIVE targets - while you fight off squadrons of defending alien spaceships. The faster you bomb all the targets, the higher your score.

Space Battle

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£12.00
Manual: 
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£12.00

Outer-space action, science fiction thrills! Computer-controlled alien invaders attacking! You check the Mother Ship radar map, deploy the defence. Ready, aim, fire missiles! Win the battle, save the day!

Space Hawk

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£12.00
Manual: 
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£12.00

Imagine a hunter, alone in Deep Space. You control his movements. He's armed with a gas blaster. His prime target is the white Space Hawk. If a Hawk, deadly gas bubbles, comets or amoebas touch the hunter, he tumbles into infinity. The longer the game goes on, the more exciting it becomes so. GET THE HAWK!

Space Armada

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£12.00
Manual: 
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£12.00

An armada of thirty-two bomb-dropping, moving targets descend on your defences. You have a supply of laser "guns" and bunkers that shield them from the sir attack. Shoot your laser and clear the screen. Another armada appears and it might surprise you with a new kind of attack! The higher your score , the more challenging the game becomes!

Soccer

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£10.00
Manual: 
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£10.00

Kicking, passing, scoring, stealing the ball! Intellivision Soccer puts you on the playing field! Two ten man teams, plus goal keepers compete for ninety thrill packed minutes.

Skiing

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£12.00
Manual: 
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£12.00

Alpine ski competition! Pick your course & choose the slope! The race is on! Manoeuvre through the gates. Jump the moguls & watch out for trees! Speed through the downhill runs. Edge through precision slalom turns. Go flat out to the finish line!

Snafu

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Box: 
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£18.00
Manual: 
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£18.00

Pit your fast thinking and reflexes head-to-head against a friend.take on the computer! Grab all the territory you can and get your opponents into a corner - trapped!

Royal Dealer

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Box: 
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£12.00
Manual: 
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£12.00

Fold up the card table and bring out the snacks! Here are four old favourites of card players everywhere - Hearts, Crazy Eights, Rummy and Gin Rummy.

Scooby Doos Maze Chase

Notes: 
Requires the Computer Module Add-On
Box: 
yes
£0.00
Manual: 
yes
£0.00

You're Scooby-Doo chasing ghosts through a baffling maze. When suddenly you discover you're the one being chased -- by the evil skull and crossbones. Drop magic obstacles to slow the Jolly Roger's pursuit. Choose from 10 pre-programmed mazes. Or, use the computer keyboard to create your own. Requires the Computer Module Add-On.

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