Saturday, July 2, 2011

Cover to Cover: Intellivision Spring 1986 Catalog (pp. 14-back cover)

Time to wrap up our most recent Cover to Cover series, with the final pages of Triton Products' spring 1986, late post-crash era, catalog of Intellivision products.

We're actually past all of the games, and page 14 presents a handful of completely unrelated products that, nevertheless, manage to give us a little bit of quaint, nostalgic humor.  Triton's warehouse was full to bursting with discount technology from a bygone time -- a typewriter, a printing calculator, and a fancy cassette-based boom box:

Page 15, the inside back cover, gets us back into Intellivision territory, with the now-relatively-rare Intellivision System III console.  This was basically a black-plastic version of the original Intellivision, and was more compatible with the existing Intellivision library than the interim model, the Intellivision II.  It was selling for $64.95, which may have been a hard pitch to make with the base model Nintendo Entertainment System retailing in the $80-$90 range  (though it only cost $4.00 to ship in 1986 dollars!)  But if you were reading this catalog and still didn't have an Intellivision, or more likely wanted a replacement unit, there it is.  The copy's reference to a "rich and growing" cartridge library was true, although the growth rate had slowed down tremendously -- and the console is "NEW!", which is technically accurate but a bit of an overstatement:

 Finally, we arrive at the back cover, which no doubt shocked a few video gamers when their "BRAND-NEW INTELLIVISION CATALOG" dropped through their mail slots in 1986, as though spirited through a time warp from a few years earlier.  The copy doesn't even promote the new games, just the quantity discount, but I would guess any interested party would have opened the catalog with all due haste.  (Excuse the dust, I've redacted the original owner's name and address.)

And that's it for this one.  The Intellivision was a fine system, powerful for its time with a 16-bit processor and a background graphics plane, though fast-action games were usually hamstrung by its unusual controller.  I'm glad to know that Mattel's console eked out an existence during the NES era, and I'm sure fans of the system were grateful for Triton's continued support, however briefly it lasted.

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