25 Facts About Mattel Electronics


Mattel Electronics identified a new but expensive chipset from National Semiconductor and negotiated better pricing for a simpler design.

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Mattel Electronics formed its own software development group and began hiring programmers.

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Early in 1982 Mattel Electronics relocated from Mattel headquarters to an unused industrial building.

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Every cartridge produced by Mattel Electronics includes two plastic controller overlays to help navigate the 12-button keypad, although not every game uses it.

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Mattel Electronics had a competitive advantage in its team of experienced and talented programmers.

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Don Daglow was a key early programmer at Mattel Electronics and became director of Intellivision game development.

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In December 1979, Mattel Electronics had production design working units but decided on a significant internal design change to consolidate circuit boards.

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In mid-1982, the FTC ordered Mattel Electronics to pay a monthly fine until the promised computer upgrade was in full retail distribution.

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Mattel Electronics provided a full refund, but customers without a receipt received for the Keyboard Component, for the BASIC cartridge, and for each cassette software.

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In 1982 Mattel Electronics introduced the Intellivoice Voice Synthesis Module, a speech synthesizer for compatible cartridges.

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Mattel Electronics planned to use that connector for wireless hand controllers.

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Mattel Electronics built a state of the art voice processing lab to produce the phrases used in Intellivoice games.

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However, at $79 the Intellivoice did not sell as well as Mattel Electronics expected, and Intellivoices were later offered free with the purchase of a Master Component.

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One functional difference was the addition of a video input to the cartridge port, added specifically to support the System Changer, an accessory released in 1983 by Mattel Electronics that played Atari 2600 cartridges through the Intellivision.

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Mattel Electronics secretly changed the Exec internal ROM program in an attempt to lock out third party games.

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Programmers at Mattel Electronics discovered the audio differences and avoided the problem in future games.

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In 1982, with new machines introduced by competitors, Mattel Electronics marketing wanted to bring an upgraded system to market sooner.

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In February 1983, Mattel Electronics opened an office in the south of France to provide European input to Intellivision games and develop games for the ColecoVision.

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At the June 1983 Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago, Mattel Electronics had the opportunity to show off all their new products.

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However, by October 1983, Mattel Electronics' losses were over for the year and one third of the programming staff were laid off.

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In France, the Mattel Electronics office found investors and became Nice Ideas in April 1984.

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INTV Corp continued a relationship that Mattel Electronics had with Data East and produced all new cartridges such as Commando in 1987 and Body Slam Wrestling in 1988.

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Intellivision games became readily available again when Keith Robinson and Stephen Roney, both former Intellivision programmers at Mattel Electronics, obtained exclusive rights to the Intellivision and games in 1997.

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At the 2011 Consumer Mattel Electronics Show, Microsoft announced a version of Game Room for Windows Phone, promising a catalog of 44 Intellivision games.

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Mattel Electronics described Intellivision as "the most mechanically reliable of the systems… The controller worked with perfect consistency.

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