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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Sea Battle

Box: 
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£15.00
Manual: 
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£15.00

Battle action on the high seas. Deploy fleets of ships. Lay mines. use diversion tactics. It's your strategy and skill on the line. Engage in sea combat and battle it out. Go full ahead to capture opponent's home base - Victory!

Q Bert

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Box: 
yes
£14.00
Manual: 
yes
£14.00

Q*Bert springs to life with all the adventure of the popular arcade! Colourful graphics and arcade-like sounds accompany the games lively action.

Popeye

Box: 
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£18.00
Manual: 
yes
£18.00

Climb aboard and join Popeye as you race him through a crazy maze in pursuit of Olive Oyl's falling hearts. The more hearts you help him catch, the higher your score. Of course, it won't be easy with Brutus and the Sea Hag around! Lead Popeye to his spinach in time and it's curtains for this pesky pair. If not - it's into the briny deep for this sailor! A fast and fun game for all ages!

Pitfall

Box: 
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£20.00
Manual: 
yes
£20.00

et me introduce myself. I'm Pitfall Harry, veteran jungle explorer. Fortune Hunting's my game, and yours, too, if you're daring enough to take this trip. Now don't be nervous. I'll be your guide through the jungle, and I'm one of the best.

NBA Basketball

Box: 
yes
£12.00
Manual: 
yes
£12.00

The speed and excitement of real basketball court action! Life like figures and authentic game plays as two teams compete in 48 thrill packed minutes. Put yourself at centre court!

Night Stalker

Box: 
yes
£10.00
Manual: 
yes
£10.00

Your man is trapped in the maze! Spiders, bats and robots are tracking him down! The robots and creatures never stop. Shoot one.another appears! Fire off six shots, then pick up a reloaded weapon. The higher your score, the trickier the robots become.

Mouse Trap

Box: 
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£18.00
Manual: 
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£18.00

You control a crafty mouse, weaving his way through a tricky maze of doors and corridors, munching on cheese bits as he goes. Hungry cats pursue him every step of the way, making his journey very hazardous!

Mission X

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Box: 
yes
£18.00
Manual: 
yes
£18.00

You control a World War II plane, bombing enemy targets and shooting down enemy planes. Awesomely dangerous, your mission takes you over combat ships, aircraft carriers, bridges, roads, trains, tanks, and the like, which you must immediately destroy.

Mind Strike

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

A futuristic, 3-dimensional space version of a chessboard game. Pit your skill against a computer, or another player. Alternate turns with your opponent or move simultaneously for a fast-action game. You can even sit back and watch the computer play itself. Use the keyboard to program the computer opponent to match your skill as you master the game. Select from over 50 challenging game boards. Requires the Computer Module Add-On.

Melody Blaster

Notes: 
Requires the Music Synthesizer Add-On
Box: 
yes
£0.00
Manual: 
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£0.00

The musical version of the popular video game, Astrosmash. And a fun, new way to learn musical notation. As musical notes fall from the sky in the pattern of a popular song, you must play the right keys to shoot them down. The faster you shoot down the notes, the faster you're learning to play your favorite songs! Requires the Music Synthesizer Add-On.

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