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RCA Studio II GOLD MINE! An interview with the Studio 2 Production Manager!

RCA Studio II Interview

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#701 CatPix OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:04 PM

There were still Pong consoles for sales at the time too, tho for a ridiculous sum (like 20$) so if the MPT02 was cheap enough to manufacture, they probably hoped to sell some based on the price.

The Hanimex HMG 7900 was released in 1983, and the sound and graphical habilities were akin to the MPT-02 :

 

 

Maybe a bit more powerful? Not by a huge margin anyway.


Edited by CatPix, Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:04 PM.


#702 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:11 PM

That's true, the 7900 was a bit better anyway but certainly a late release for what was out to compete with.
I just checked the old computer site and in the mini forum someone says they got a mpt02 in 1978...of corse they could be wrong....

#703 CatPix OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:46 PM

I wouldn't be surprised that they kept it for sale that long. And 1978 doesn't sounds odd, if RCA sold the blueprints to European or Asian electronic makers as soon as they decided to stop making it. Tho it sounds very early to me; maybe because I'm used to a market that was a bit more closed to such things. Germany and England were much more of a hotspot for videogaming. 3 Channel F clone makers in Germany, one in England, plus Interton and Radofin and their console. They embraced it early on, so maybe the MPT02 came there before 1980?


Edited by CatPix, Thu Jan 14, 2016 5:48 PM.


#704 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 6:15 AM

While this is just a preview, it seems to mention some video game but I don't know if it is a GI based one like the Soundic SD-050 series? The first cartridge/cassette seems to contain Pong type games, the second is racing games, then my French language skills lack in combination with I can't really make out what the text says. Though it doesn't really match the Studio II type of games.

 

https://books.google...J&q=hanimex jeu



#705 CatPix OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:36 AM

This it a "Pong Cart" description indeed, with the 10 games carts, moto race cart, car race, tank war, etc...

I would have never though about finding those type of information in Le Point :D (tho it's probably from an ad).


Edited by CatPix, Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:37 AM.


#706 carlsson OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:57 AM

Yeah. The thing is before 1982, there weren't that many computer or gaming oriented magazines, and those about electronics in general probably were targeted at a different customer group so I suppose for material about early video games etc you would seek advertisments in whatever daily papers or magazines you could find. This one obviously was courtesy of Google's search through the magazines they have indexed.



#707 CatPix OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 15, 2016 1:04 PM

Well Le Point is mostly a political magazine (and a rather serious one) so it's even more surprizing to me. Tho maybe they changed their editorial line over the years, of course.

And you'd be right. The earliest computer/video games magazines in France appeared in the mid 80's with the rise of Amstrad and Commodore.

Information on earliest systems would be scattered in all kind of generalist magazines.

 

http://www.amigaland...pdf-du-magazine

You can go there and look on page 42 to see "5 consoles for Christmas. You'll see a Prestige console, and a Radofin console.. with an unusual design, maybe a late model?

 

Amusingly, the report end with a warning that says :

Be careful; some consoles, almost pirates, won't guarantee that you'lll have a regular supply of cartridges Because those ones wo'nt be compatible with other systems, your brand new "Super-X" console will end too fast in the cupboard" :D



#708 Blazing Lazers ONLINE  

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Posted Sun May 1, 2016 11:45 AM

Got a bit of an update here, one I wish I'd noticed sooner:

https://davidsarnoff...as-video-games/

The TCNJ is actually one of the repositories that has information related to RCA and the Studio II, and (ending May 20th) they have an exhibition about RCA videogames. Check the link above. If anyone of us in/around NJ can get up there and report on what's there that'd be great :)



#709 Blazing Lazers ONLINE  

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Posted Sun May 1, 2016 12:01 PM

I'd also like to give a free bump to the following auction:

http://www.ebay.com/...88de245ced&cp=1

It's from Mike Pelletier, who also wrote the following article over at old-computers:

http://www.old-compu...ew.asp?r=2&a=14

Great guy, who was also kind enough to relate the following information: several years ago, there was an Ebay listing for the Studio II Tester. Does anyone here know anything more about this, or even who won it? This is good news, as it indicates that at least one is still out there somewhere, and might be traceable.



#710 Atari2008 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun May 1, 2016 12:34 PM

Thank you for this bump! I am watching it, but needed the reminder so thank you!, and I had a feeling from the post that the seller was a fellow retro gamer. Awesome! Great collection. Thank you. I'm looking to have an RCA S2 in my collection again. It's one of those offbeat consoles I like.

 

That exhibit looks awesome! I hope someone does go and can do a report-back.

I'd also like to give a free bump to the following auction:

http://www.ebay.com/...88de245ced&cp=1

It's from Mike Pelletier, who also wrote the following article over at old-computers:

http://www.old-compu...ew.asp?r=2&a=14

Great guy, who was also kind enough to relate the following information: several years ago, there was an Ebay listing for the Studio II Tester. Does anyone here know anything more about this, or even who won it? This is good news, as it indicates that at least one is still out there somewhere, and might be traceable.



#711 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:24 PM

finally got some raw footage of the Academy Apollo 80:

 

Planning to edit this with some commentary explaining documenting things but this is stuff in some raw format:

 

 

I stupidly forgot to add Biorhythm to this video but it will be in the final  video.



#712 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2016 6:55 PM

Nice job tld1985 ;)

This reminds me I have been meaning to post about what might be a 10th rca s2 variant.

I recently aquired 2 cib rca s2 clone games.
They have identical carts and boxes to the soundic and hanimex releases, but they came with nice full production manuals that are fully in italian. Also with small what appears to be addendum sheets. I have yet to get them translated to see if any info can be pulled from them.

Of course the Hanimex manuals are identical to the soundic ones but are in french. Just as these are identical to the soundic ones but in Italian (and the additional little sheets)

So I tend to think possibly we have another variant which would be a rebranding of the soundic system with a new name as the Hanimex was. Or we at least have a region specific release by either soundic or Hanimex specific for the Italian market.
I guess a competitor for the trevi that surfaced recently.

Interesting stuff to me :) pic attached

DSCN5564.JPG

#713 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:06 PM

10th?

 

 

1)Toshiba Visicom

2)Trevi M-1200

3)Conic M-1200

4)Mustang 9016

5)Hanimex MPT-02

6)Soundic MPT-02

7)Academy Apollo 80

8)Sheen M-1200 version 1

9)Sheen M-1200 version 2

 

is that correct?



#714 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:25 PM

Well I was counting the rca s2 itself as 1, but yes if we count both versions of the sheen then this would make 10 as well if we don't count the parent system ;)

#715 Blazing Lazers ONLINE  

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Posted Mon Jun 20, 2016 7:26 PM

finally got some raw footage of the Academy Apollo 80:

 

Planning to edit this with some commentary explaining documenting things but this is stuff in some raw format:

 

 

I stupidly forgot to add Biorhythm to this video but it will be in the final  video.

 

Looking forward to seeing Biorhythm and your commentary, and what you already have is absolutely amazing- especially the test Doodles in the final few minutes. I can't help but imagine some sort of homebrew that makes use of the different color display capabilities, or even a very basic sort of video-synthesizer. Some of that color programming info is known to have originated here in the US, and I want to think all of it was, which would in turn be further indirect confirmation that some of the "overseas exclusives" were in fact planned US releases, if only for the Studio III.

 

Nice job tld1985 ;)

This reminds me I have been meaning to post about what might be a 10th rca s2 variant.

I recently aquired 2 cib rca s2 clone games.
They have identical carts and boxes to the soundic and hanimex releases, but they came with nice full production manuals that are fully in italian. Also with small what appears to be addendum sheets. I have yet to get them translated to see if any info can be pulled from them.

Of course the Hanimex manuals are identical to the soundic ones but are in french. Just as these are identical to the soundic ones but in Italian (and the additional little sheets)

So I tend to think possibly we have another variant which would be a rebranding of the soundic system with a new name as the Hanimex was. Or we at least have a region specific release by either soundic or Hanimex specific for the Italian market.
I guess a competitor for the trevi that surfaced recently.

Interesting stuff to me :) pic attached

attachicon.gifDSCN5564.JPG

 

Amazing- yet another clone??? I think you're right there- a 10th system is likely given that those games exist. It took almost 40 years for the Trevi to surface, and the existence of other clones cannot be ruled out. What's really interesting is that one of the games you have says "Schoolhouse II" (in English, no less)- I would have thought that the "II" would be pointless if it was the only title in the series that saw an overseas release. Maybe a "Schoolhouse I" did see some sort of foreign release, like how Bingo was sold abroad without any extra materials? Those look like they would fit in another clone system- would it be possible to try that and see if there's any gameplay or text differences?

 

Congrats on that acquisition, though- you've really got me jealous there! It's good to see these have been preserved. Before today their existence could only have been guessed at :)



#716 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:15 PM

Not that interesting but not yet shared these.  Scans of the Academy Apollo 80 carts' Front, Back and Top. 

 

General note for maybe the 1 person who cares.. sometimes the label was stuck on the opposite way round

 

c1.jpeg c1back.jpeg c1top.jpeg

c2.jpeg c2back.jpeg c2top.jpeg

c3.jpeg c3back.jpeg c3top.jpeg

c6.jpeg c6back.jpeg c6top.jpeg

c9.jpeg c9back.jpeg c9top.jpeg

c10.jpeg c10back.jpeg c10top.jpeg

c11.jpeg c11back.jpeg c11top.jpeg

 

Side with sticker:

cs.jpeg

 

MISSING and WANTED URGENTLY!

 

#4 - Math Fun (Known to exist)

#7 - Baseball (Only known evidence is the picture of the cart on the box)

 

#5, #8, #12, #13 (Bingo, Tennis, Computer Quiz, Gunfighter (unknown which is which and unknown if they even exist for this clone))


Edited by TLD1985, Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:31 PM.


#717 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:28 PM

 
Amazing- yet another clone??? I think you're right there- a 10th system is likely given that those games exist. It took almost 40 years for the Trevi to surface, and the existence of other clones cannot be ruled out. What's really interesting is that one of the games you have says "Schoolhouse II" (in English, no less)- I would have thought that the "II" would be pointless if it was the only title in the series that saw an overseas release. Maybe a "Schoolhouse I" did see some sort of foreign release, like how Bingo was sold abroad without any extra materials? Those look like they would fit in another clone system- would it be possible to try that and see if there's any gameplay or text differences?
 
Congrats on that acquisition, though- you've really got me jealous there! It's good to see these have been preserved. Before today their existence could only have been guessed at :)

Yes, they certainly point to the possibility of another clone. Would be interesting if someone like gig could have distributed an italian version...?

I agree that schoolhouse 2 does suggest a 1. I could easily believe 1 does exist and just not found. But I could still see it not existing. It probably at least suggests they planned to release 1.
Maybe they planned to do a non usa centric version but it never came to fruition?

The carts do fit in all the clones, well not visicom of course. They will work in a studio 2 as well if the top is removed. I would be extremely surprised if they varied from the soundic and hanimex games. As I believe soundic made all the mpt02 games and is why they did not brand them at all.

Thanks for the congrats, well they are safely in my collection anyway for preservation. I am fairly certain I have the largest rca s2 and clone collection now. Nice to have all this stuff together, hopefully I can do something special with it someday. As well as my Arcadia clone collection. :)

I do have a spare mpt02 soundic victory system cib (well no foams but everything else is there and in nice shape) and I have been planning to put it and my last couple spare victory games up for offer here but have not found the time. I am happy to take any pm's from people if they might have interest in the meantime.

#718 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:12 AM

Don't treat this as 100% accurate but quickly charted up all the clone systems and seen/known of games that are/were in peoples hands

 

raritystudioiii.png

 

Computer Quiz has yet to even surface in the wild for any of the clone/studio III systems

 

Next rarest are Tennis/Baseball/Gunfighter. So far only seen on the MPT-02 systems.

 

It seems all the colour games are the common ones, except for Bingo which seems slightly rarer.. perhaps because people knew what "Bingo" was compared to "Biorhythm".



#719 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 22, 2016 2:59 PM

Does anyone know or got any source of finding out about the actual company "Academy" as I've had a look and can't find anything on them at all.



#720 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:11 PM

All I know about them is they supposedly were a British company and that they also made 2 pong type consoles. I don't know what kind of company they were besides that but I would assume they must have had other ventures....these probably being a side venture....
Like trevi made small appliances and car radios primarily.

#721 TLD1985 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:25 PM

I googled their old Address.

 

ACADEMY HOUSE
THORNTON ROAD
BRADFORD

BD1 2LB

 

didn't bring up anything apart from some address finder site that said the building number was "250 Thornton Road"

 

Google mapping shows this building/company at that location:

 

https://www.google.c...12!8i6656?hl=en

 

 

Googling again that company brings up this detail:

 


 

Wrapid Manufacturing Ltd. is a High Quality Specialist Converter and Manufacturer supplying Food and Industrial customers globally as Europe's largest Distributor of DuPont Teijin Mylar® polyester films.

Formed in 1978 and operating from Bradford, England, the total activities of our business span Ready Meal lidding film to Circuit Boards alongside the Greetings Card and Printing Industries.
Established 1978 - All Rights Reserved

Head Office & Registered Address: Wrapid Manufacturing Ltd
250 Thornton Road, Bradford, BD1 2L

 

© Copyright Wrapid Manufacturing Ltd
Established 1978 - All Rights Reserved - Registered in England No 3562515

Head Office & Registered Address: Wrapid Manufacturing Ltd
250 Thornton Road, Bradford, BD1 2LB

 

 

Now of course it could be a co-incidence but the Academy Apollo 80 seems to have been released in 1978.  It wouldn't surprised me if this was another one of those stories of a electical/engineering company trying to make pong machines...

 

so I guess I should e-mail them to see if they were "Academy"
 



#722 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:49 PM

You have me with 1978 and circuit boards. I would bet that's them ;)

#723 lazzeri OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:58 AM

Amazing thread. Blew me away.

Thank you all for sharing your knowledge and personal collections.

Edited by lazzeri, Thu Jun 23, 2016 3:58 AM.


#724 stupus OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jun 23, 2016 9:26 PM

So I just opened my spare mpt02 cart of pinball. It already had the screws accessed.
This is the soundic victory style cart.

What is very interesting is the cart board is labeled conic...strange.

Now someone could have put a conic board in it, but it's very unlikely.

It's funny because I have opened ormatu carts (the arcadia clone) and they are labeled sheen. And I have opened palladium carts (another arcadia clone) and they are labeled polybrain.
So obviously these different clone families shared common distributors and just were rebranding.

Here is a pic of the cart board:

20160623_164018.jpg

Has anyone opened a rca cart to see what they say? I am very curious now about that.

#725 CatPix OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:32 AM

Since RCA created them, it would more than likely say RCA, or give the name of the PCB manufacturer. Buuut it might be interesting to see if they used different ROM (I was surprized to open an European Channel F cart and find a Fairchild name in it AND a round ROM chip)






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