December 17, 2006

THE TWELVE YEARS OF CHRISTMAS: YEAR ELEVEN

1983
No, that photo wasn't taken in a local video arcade, that was actually in my living room.
You must have been fooled by the Arcade Style graphics of Donkey Kong Junior. My folks, bless them, decided to feed my video game obsession once again with a ColecoVision. The controller was rubbish, but the games seemed light years beyond my old fashioned Atari, which was in fact obsolete with ColecoVision's special adaptor that allowed you to play Atari games (which I never actually got). Donkey Kong came with the system, so I had the whole ape family. In the coming months I managed to score Space Fury, Smurf, Dragonfire, Q-Bert and so on. Of all my old consoles ColecoVision is the only one that no longer works which is pretty upsetting because I could really go for a round of Cabbage Patch Kid right this second.
(Also note in photo: Jabba the Hut pajamas, mail away exclusive "M Network" Tron joystick for Atari, and the Little Tikes kitchenette which was secretly as exciting as the Coleco was.)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oooh, ColecoVision!!! Seeing it in the Sears catalog just made me salivate. Watching it in the store just made me crazy! I had struck a deal with my dad that if I saved up for half the price he'd match the rest. If I remember right the original retail was $150 circa 1982. What a beautiful Sunday making the purchase in the department store. Nothing like the smell of foam packing around electronics upon opening the box!

Remember the ADAM computer... the next evolution of the ColecoVision? Had that, too. Now all that remains are my cartridges. I thought about picking up a console on eBay but there are (or were) some decent Coleco emulators out there.

But, boy, back in the early '80s having a ColecoVision sure trumped everybody in the neighborhood. Take that Atari 5200 and Intellivision owners!

Brian O.

Kirk D. said...

I love your ColecoVision memory Brian. Videogame buying at Sears on a Sunday. Ahhhh.
And yes, that electronics smell IS the smell of Christmas for me.

A friend gave me his old Adam in the 90s but I just used it to play ColecoVision games. I've had two Colecos and an Adam and they've all stopped working. It's never occurred to me to look for an emulator (I'm already an avid MAME man)

My parents had ordered WarGames (based on the Matthew Broderick movie) for ColecoVision for my birthday, but it never came. The release got majorly delayed for some reason. I eventually found it in a thrift store for a buck in the 1990s, and it is possibly the worst Coleco game I own.

phoneyfresh said...

Wow this brings back memories for me! Sometime in the late 80's I acquired a Coleco Vision from my uncle, I might have been nine or ten. It was so fun to play on one of those big console TV's like the one in your pic. I had Donkey Kong, Smurfs, and Cabbage Patch Kids, all games you mentioned! I always thought Smurfs was lame how you died from running into a lump of grass. Cabbage Patch was my fave, how it had that little piece of plastic that slipped into the controller so the buttons coincided with the game. I loved decorating those rooms and trying to paint a bridge for my kid to cross over the stream.

Kirk D. said...

phoneyfresh- Ha! yeah the dying from clumps of grass, hills, and fences was hilariously lame. There was also a glitch where you could walk out of the Smurfette room and it looked like her skirt and eyes fell off (revealing nothing).

This post inspired me to look up some ColecoVision emulators. Virtual Colecovision is cool but half the ROMs won't work. Koleco is better, but it has a limited number of games built in. I played Smurf and Cabbage Patch Kids last night in fact.
I had a different Cabbage Patch game than you. Mine was Adventures through the Park which is just a Pitfall ripoff. Coleco take me away.

Moxie said...

God, I had that kitchenette. It was secretly exciting as my baby sister unwrapped it...

colecovision. I remember playing Buck Rogers for hours at a friend's house who was "lucky" enough to have one. :)

Kirk D. said...

Buck Rogers was one of the best. But not quite as fun as that kitchen.