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A History of Gaming Platforms: Mattel Intellivision
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A History of Gaming Platforms: Mattel Intellivision

May 8, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 5 of 9 Next

Despite this flurry of activity, however, the future of the Intellivision's add-ons were anything but certain. Mattel Electronics had a management shake-up in mid-1983 and shifted its focus to software -- including for competing video game and computer systems -- rather than hardware.

This shake-up took priority away from initiatives such as the ECS and Intellivoice; only the Intellivision consoles would continue to receive advertising and software support. In the end, only a music keyboard add-on and five cartridges were released specifically for the ECS.

Following industry-wide losses from The Great Video Game Crash and too many costly dalliances in hardware development, Mattel Electronics was closed in January 1984, and its assets sold to a liquidation company owned by Terry Valeski, who was previously Mattel Electronics' Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales.

In addition to handling old inventory, Intellivision, Inc., sold some complete, but previously unreleased cartridges.

Once most of the old Mattel Electronics inventory was sold, Valeski bought out Intellivision Inc.'s remaining assets from the other investors and formed INTV Corporation.

INTV Corporation hired former Mattel Electronics programmers to produce new Intellivision games. The company also released the INTV Master Component (called INTV System III and INTV Super Pro System, among other names), which was based on the easier to reproduce Intellivision Master Component, but with minor cosmetic changes.

Like Atari's 2600 Jr., INTV's system was marketed as a low-cost alternative to the newer and more powerful systems of the day, with the main console selling for less than $60 and many of the games for less than $20.

INTV continued to produce new product up to 1990, when the company filed for bankruptcy protection, closing its doors for good in 1991.

During INTV's operation, Mattel did not remain idle. The toy company became involved in the video game industry again by affiliating with Nintendo in 1986.

Mattel not only produced new software and peripherals for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), but also handled distribution throughout Europe in 1987 and Canada from 1986 to 1990 on Nintendo's behalf.

Although most of the 1990s were quiet on the video game front for Mattel, in 1999 the company acquired a major computer software publisher named The Learning Company, but gave it away a year later after incurring heavy costs associated with the acquisition.

Article Start Previous Page 5 of 9 Next

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