In 1980, the entirety of the Intellivision system could fit on a half page of the JCPenney Christmas Catalog. You can see why the Atari 2600 had an advantage that year. In this catalog it was offering twice as many games and the system was nearly half the price.
The big toys dominated the 1986 lineup which was the beginning of the end for the 1st generation fans. I wanted everyone of these vehicles, but my family couldn’t keep up and I think I just rounded out my collection with some Dinobots that year. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I got some of the +$20 vehicles.
In 1986 you could get the most well-named Cobra accessory ever released, The Terror Drome. I wanted it so much, but never got it. Instead I got number 12 The Dreadnok Stinker. Not the best copter, but it had a sweet swivel gun. Eventually with some liberally applied black marker it became the perfect vehicle for Dr. Mindbender.
My friend Keith was the first kid in our neighborhood to get a ColecoVision and me and all of the rest of Atari players were just blow away by the faithful arcade quality games. I think I spent an entire weekend at his house when he got his system, playing just Donkey Kong. The graphics were amazing for the time, but the controller hurt my hand so much that the next weekend I was back on my Atari.
The siren song of amazing graphics is hard to resist, but if your system is difficult to use, you will lose your audience. ColecoVision, I hardly knew ye.
Enjoy this full color scan of the 1985 LEGO product catalog. Its amazing how unsophisticated the LEGO systems were compared to today’s sets. Still, thumbing through this catalog makes me want want the Space System.