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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Pinball

Box: 
yes
£18.00
Manual: 
yes
£18.00

This is it! The sounds, skills, hits and misses of the all-time arcade favourite. There are three screen, each with differnt playing setups. You'll work your way up - if you're a sharp enough shooter. Pinball has bumpers, slippers and targets - even a tilt feature. Bonus points for big winners!

Reversi

Box: 
yes
£12.00
Manual: 
yes
£12.00

Here's an old favorite to really stimulate your strategic thinking! Bracket your opponent's pieces in any row (straight or diagonal) to "capture" everything in between. Play against a friend or take on the computer at any of three skill levels. Pick one of 3 board sizes... play short or medium-length games, or go for the challenge of the big hundred-square board! It's an easy game to learn. And takes smart moves to win!

Thunder Castle

Notes: 
Very rare game
Box: 
yes
£100.00
Manual: 
yes
£100.00

Guide your Knight through the deadly mazes of Thunder Castle, slaying evil dragons, sorcerers and demons as you go. Watch for gates that block your path... magic objects that grant special powers, extra points or extra lives... and magic creatures that energise your Knight. Complete all three mazes - forest, castle and dungeon - and the game starts over at a faster speed. Continue playing, increasing your score until all of your Knights lives are lost.

Beauty and the Beast

Notes: 
This game is brand new and sealed
Box: 
yes
£16.00
Manual: 
yes
£16.00

Horrible Hank has grabbed Tiny Mabel and climbed the old Mutton Building. Only Bashful Buford can save her. Help him scale the building - but watch out for those falling boulders! Birds and bats swoop down on Buford, and he leaps over scurrying rats. If Buford catches a heart Tiny Mabel throws him, he becomes invincible.

PGA Golf

Box: 
yes
£12.00
Manual: 
yes
£12.00

A demanding 9-hole course! You'll need all the concentration, control and strategy you can muster to come in under par. Sandtraps, rough, water-this course has them all! Play medal or match, single or best ball. Even figure your own handicap! You'll get all the fun, all the stimulation of a real game of golf, everything in fact, except the greens fee.`

White Water

Box: 
yes
£20.00
Manual: 
yes
£20.00

Shoot the rapids and hold on tight! Fight the river current and its obstacles. Look for adventures and treasure offered by Big Kahuna, Chief of the River Tribe. Hurry! The river reckons!

Ice Trek

Box: 
yes
£20.00
Manual: 
yes
£20.00

Survive the treacherous tundra filled with stampeding caribou and encounter the raging arctic river. You must make it across for the Ice Palace awaits! To free the Aurora, it's fire against ice on a slippery field of battle!

Advanced Dungeons and Dragons - Treasure of Tarmin

Box: 
yes
£18.00
Manual: 
yes
£18.00

The search for treasure leads to high adventure, as you wind through an underground maze of corridors, gates, hidden doors, ladders and rooms. Inside the maze are weapons, magical items, spiritual books... and the Tarmin Treasure! But beware. Within these walls also lurk deadly monsters and horrifying beasts... including the repulsiove Minotaur... just waiting for you!

Buzz Bombers

Box: 
yes
£18.00
Manual: 
yes
£18.00

Bees to the right of you! Bees to the left of you! Bees above you! Bees, Bees everywhere! Boldly into the flower garden you charge with your spray can, blasting those little Buzz Bombers into oblivion. Red honeycombs and yellow honeycombs checker your screen, trapping bees. Your friendly Hummingbirds darts in and out of honeycombs eating honey and scoring points for you. Spray every bee and you move onto the next level - provving once again that victory is far sweeter than defeat!

Mattel Intellivision Unbranded New RF Lead Loose

Box: 
no
£6.00
Manual: 
no
£6.00

An unbranded but brand new RF lead that will substitute the one that came with your console. Connects your machine to the TV - an ideal replacement if the original one that came with your console is lost or faulty. Length is one metre. This item is fully tested and is brand new.

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