Pinball Champ - Coleco

Remember 1977’s Pinball Champ by Coleco?

Pinball Champ must have made quite impression when it hit the scene in ’77. While there were certainly handheld pinball games around by that time. It appears that Coleco was aiming for the teenagers when manufacturing this home version. Although it must be said that Pinball Champ wasn’t the only table Coleco was producing at the time.
Pinball Champ - The Fonz

That Fonz pinball table was released back in December of 1977. Just a few weeks in fact after an TV ad for Pinball Champ was released. Around the same time Coleco was also producing Super Shot as well as UFO Electronic Pinball!
Pinball Champ - UFO Electronic Pinball - Coleco

Here is something to keep in mind, friends. It was in 1976 that New York City repealed the pinball ban. A law that had been in place since the ’40s. As tables were seen as a form of gambling. As was proven when an undercover patrol officer on March 6, 1948 arrested a cigar store owner after playing on a pinball table in his establishment. The reason being cited as having “Unlawful possession of a gambling machine.” If you want to know even more – make sure to follow this link to the History Channel.

Pinball Champ - William P. O'Brien - BettmannGetty Images

William P. O’Brien taking a sledgehammer to seized pinball tables. (Credit: Bettmann/Getty Images)

It was a dark time for pinball fans to be sure. While what most of us consider pinball wasn’t released until 1950, with Gottlieb’s Spot Bowler. The basic premise of pinball has been around since the 1700s, such as with Billard japonais!
Pinball Champ - Billard japonais

As I have previously said, there were pinball games for kids by the time Pinball Champ was released. Just not quite as sophisticated as what Coleco was offering at that time. Although having said that I did in fact find a video for a 1965 Riverboat table by Marx.

[Via] Douglas Luthringer

While I am sure that you wouldn’t want to get too physical with those tables. I feel it is more appealing than your typical handheld version. Excluding of course this 1977 Star Wars pinball game.
Pinball Champ - Star Wars

I think it is far past time you get a chance to see the TV ad for 1977’s Pinball Champ!

[Via] The Museum of Classic Chicago TV

Coleco evolved mini arcades - Rainbow Brite - Robotech

Coleco Evolved Mini Arcades – Rainbow Brite & Robotech?!

Friends, the other day the Retroist Vault was all abuzz with the news of the Coleco evolved mini arcades Kickstarter. Gary Burton was kind enough to drop on by for a visit with the news in fact. The Coleco evolved mini arcades are a retro throwback to the classic early ’80s tabletop games. Although this time it isn’t the likes of Pac-Man and Frogger that we will be playing. This go around we are getting games for both Rainbow Brite and Robotech!

[Via] Scottith Games

As far as I know, Mr. Arcade, the spokesman for the original Coleco tabletop won’t be returning. However at the very least the designs of the plastic shell are staying 100% the same. Well, the housing is the same. The Coleco evolved mini arcades will feature:

  • Full Color LCD Display
  • Powerful new gaming chip set
  • Revamped joystick and accurate action buttons
  • Rechargeable Lithium Ion battery pack
  • Highly-detailed, colorful Rainbow Brite and Robotech art wraps

Coleco evolved mini arcades - Kickstarter

First of all I did indeed say the units will feature these because with 26 days to go, they’ve already reached their goal. At the time I submit this post, Coleco has netted $56,674 on a $30,000 goal. There is of course a stretch goal, a whopping $180,000 one at that. It is however a mystery to everyone…I hope though it’s an new Smurfs game!
Coleco evolved mini arcades - 180,000 stretch goal

How about we take just a moment to talk about the games? Rainbow Brite: Journey to Rainbow Land is an RPG style offering. Judging by the video below, it has most certainly been inspired by the likes of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. In this game you will attempt to help Rainbow Brite and Starlite thwart the plans of Murky and Lurky.
Coleco evolved mini arcades - Rainbow Brite

With Robotech: The Macross Saga you will get to pilot a legendary Veritech fighter. Standing as the ultimate and probably last defense for the Earth from alien invaders. Besides looking like you can switch between pilots, your Veritech can transform into Guardian, Fighter, and Battloid modes.
Coleco evolved mini arcades - Robotech

If you want to support the Coleco evolved mini arcades, you can follow the link to their Kickstarter. Now then, how about checking out the pitch video and the games in action?

Coleco - Skulk

Secaturs Laid Low By Bugs…Coleco Confidential!

Holy cats, how long has it been since I’ve graced you boils and ghouls with a lil’ purple prose from your’s cruelly ’round these parts? Too long I say…and just why have I made my return with all of the award losing style and grace I am known for? Well, because ol’ vicious Vic Sage posted about those sexy Sectaurs the other day and that got my ol’ noggin juices a flowin’!

You see, I lived my misspent youth in a bucolic little industrial town nestled within the foothills of the Adirondack mountains…and what we lacked in big box retailers and solid gold roller skate rinks we more than made up for in poopy smelling factories; 99% of which were leather mills…but oh, the other glorious 1% was a manufacturing plant for none other than Coleco (which I guess isn’t so strange when you realize Coleco started life as the Connecticut Leather Company).
Coleco - Davy Crockett

And what did those nimble lil’ fingers of those industrious workers put together? A bunch of stuff, but also Sectaurs…that is until the incident (cue dramatic music and thunderstorm f/x).
Coleco - Amsterdam - New York

You see, those bodacious bugs our insect pals road around on were covered in fur, and said fur was flown in from parts unknown (perhaps Symbion itself…or China…I’m going with Symbion), and said pelts, though synthetic, were loaded…nay, infested with fleas…and that’s all she wrote on that one. Alanis couldn’t have come up with richer irony than a bug based toyline taken down by bugs…
Coleco - Sectaurs Catalog

There are other stories too, like every kid in school who’s parents worked at that plant had a talking ALF doll…it was like unto a furry Dr. Theopolis (Theopoli…biddi biddi biddi…whatevs) hanging off their person dispensing that beloved Melmacian wit.
Coleco - Talking Alf Doll

Or the fact that enterprising scamps would scale the fence of the factory, steal Colecovision eproms from the dumpsters and sell them to kids sort of like (but definitely not for legal reasons) me. But that is a tale for another age my fine fiends!

[Via] Scottith Games

Speaking of Melmacian wit, cast your peepers on this vintage Coleco commercial for one of their dolls!

[Via] PhakeNam

Sectaurs - General Spidrax

It’s Time For 1985’s The Sectaurs To Take Wing!

By 1985 there were certainly quite a few massive hits in the toy market. For example, you had Masters of the Universe, Transformers, Jem , G.I. Joe, and Gobots to name a few. However for each of those successes there at the likes of Crystar, The Wuzzles, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons as well as Sectaurs!

[Via] RetroWinnipeg

Now in no way shape or form am I disparaging those toy lines. Especially in the case of the Sectaurs. They just sadly failed to connect with kids at the time. As a matter of fact in my youth I can recall only seeing the Sectaurs on the toy shelf once. That was at our local Sears department store. While my Grandparents were shopping I was getting to know the heroic Dargon and his flying stead Dragonflyer!
Sectaurs - Coleco - List of Characters

You can probably already guess that shopping trip didn’t end with me taking any of the toys home. Far from it in fact. Pants though…boy…did I get some exciting pants. Sigh.
Sectaurs - Plaid Pants Instead of Toys

That isn’t to say I didn’t become a little more familiar with the characters, thanks to the Marvel Comics series.
Sectaurs - Marvel Comics

Indeed there turned out to be an animated series for Sectaurs. Thanks to the wonders of the internet you can watch it too!

[Via] William Sweeney

Coleco obviously did their best to push this new toy line. It just wasn’t to be and soon they vanished. That isn’t to say they didn’t leave a mark. Because as a matter of fact they are about to make a return, thanks to a successful Kickstarter by ZICA toys!
Sectaurs - Dargon - ZICA toys

Sectaurs - General Spidrax - ZICA toys

The new toys while obviously not including those epic puppet insect steeds. Will at least be released in 1/18 scale, more in fitting with current toy lines. As well as having interchangeable hands and be packaged on a blister card. The original Sectaurs were 7″ tall, that’s only four inches shorter than a Barbie doll! Actually, fellow Retroist author Doug McCoy had something to say about the height of the toys too.
Sectaurs - Mantor - ZICA toys

Sectaurs - Zak - ZICA Toys

At the time of this post, there is still 3 days left for you to pledge to the Kickstarter. ZICA toys set a goal of $40,000 and have hit a little over $43,000 so far.

Now for a more revealing and professional look at the Sectaurs, why not watch this video by Toy Galaxy?

[Via] Toy Galaxy