Mattel Electronic Football

Are you ready for some Mattel Electronic Football?

I still have my Mattel Electronic Football. When I was a kid, a friend of mine had the Coleco version and compared to my version it had a ton of features. That was cool for someone who was really a big football fan. My fandom was, and still is, casual. So I found it way too complicated. He, on the other hand, said mine was way to simple. It was an argument we could never settle.

Mattel Electronic Football was released in June of 1977. It was the second game released by Mattel and was sold through Sears. It was unclear how well a handheld electronic game would do in 1977, so naysayers limited the number that were produced. Boy, were they wrong!

Millions of these electronic gems would hit the market. For years afterwards you would find them for sale in stores. Eventually they would move to the secondary market. I can’t think of a flea market or garage sale that I visited in the eighties, where you could not find one.

Sadly people often forgot to take the batteries out of these when they put them in storage. When the batteries rotted, they corroded the interior of the game, ruining them. By luck, mine was stored without batteries and I still have it today. Although, the lights are a big dim and the is scuffed and scratched. I still like to take it out and play with it. Especially at this time of year, when football is everywhere.

So on this contentious game day I am asking all of you, which was the better electronic football? Were you on Team Mattel or Team Coleco?

Watch this classic commercial for Mattel Electronic Football

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Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
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