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Coleco Industries, Inc. Annual & Quarterly Reports : 1981 to 1986


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#1 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:35 PM

Around 2016 I bought a bunch of Coleco Industries, Inc. annual and quarterly reports from eBay.  I actually bought these on behalf of retroillucid so that I could scan them as he didn't have a scanner at that time.  Over a period of a few months I completed the scans and spent many hours cleaning, correcting, cropping and aligning them, PDFing them as well as adding bookmarks and making them searchable (OCR).  At that time retroillucid had plans to release these PDFs on his ColecoIndustries.com website but unfortunately he hasn't found time to do this or to develop that website further.

 

As far as I know scans of these documents had never been produced before and only a select few collectors had ever seen the content of these reports.  That is until a few days ago when Rey released his scan of the 1983 annual report.  This prompted me to dig out my scans again and to ask retroillucid if he was okay with me releasing them all here on AA.  I heard back from him yesterday with a green light to go ahead - thanks J-F  :)

 

So, I'm pleased to be able to release these here for your review and enjoyment.  These are fascinating documents and provide an insight, albeit a carefully tailored for shareholders insight, into Coleco Industries financials as well as their past, current and future plans.  Reading them in chronological order really gives you a sense of how quickly the ColecoVision and ADAM made such an impact on the fortunes of the company and how quickly they were both dropped.  Makes for sad reading in that context.

 

The reports provided in chronological order are:

  • 1981 Annual Report*
  • 1982 Annual Report
  • 1983 Annual Report
  • 1984 Mar Interim Report
  • 1984 Jun Interim Report
  • 1984 Sep Interim Report
  • 1984 Annual Report
  • 1985 Mar Interim Report
  • 1985 Jun Interim Report
  • 1985 Sep Interim Report
  • 1985 Annual Report
  • 1986 Mar Interim Report

* Note that the 1981 Annual Report came with a thick supplemental booklet titled "Coleco 1932 - 1982".  This is the history of the Coleco company through that period written by Coleco and so is about as close as you'll come to an official history of the company - at least until the end of 1981 that is.  I also have a scan of this booklet, but this deserves a thread of its own so I'll post that soon.

 

On a side note, I'm particularly interested in trying to determine how many ColecoVision units were sold through the life of the system.  This has been a somewhat contentious issue with reports ranging from 2 to 6 million worldwide.  Unfortunately, verifiable documentation publicly available to date only confirms the ~2 million figure (as of April 1984) and does not include sales through to the end of 1984 and sales of the remaining ColecoVision inventory in 1985.  Interestingly, from the 1985 Annual Report, production of both the ColecoVision and ADAM continued into 1985, albeit while being rapidly wound down.  However, Coleco seem to have been careful in not stating how many ColecoVision units were produced and sold beyond that stated in their 1983 annual report (greater than 2 million).  In my opinion, with sales and production continuing through 1984 and part of 1985 this figure could easily have approached, or possibly exceeded, 3 million worldwide.  There are dollar amounts stated in the 1984 and 1985 annual reports attributed to the ColecoVision and ADAM inventories and sell-offs so I'm hoping that someone knowledgeable in such things might be able to give some estimates of what the underlying inventories and sales might have been. 

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#2 TPR OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 29, 2018 2:51 PM

Soooo..... 1982, huh?  That looks like it was "their year!"  :grin:



#3 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 29, 2018 3:05 PM

Soooo..... 1982, huh?  That looks like it was "their year!"  :grin:

 

Indeed.  What's telling is that the 1983 report has the ColecoVision and ADAM pushed heavily throughout the report, full page spreads etc.  The 1984 report - not so much - Cabbage Patch rules from then on with consumer electronics having become a dirty word.



#4 Rey OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Sep 29, 2018 6:03 PM

So great you were able to share these with us! Thank you.

#5 retroillucid ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:11 PM

Now, I need to send you my Coleco Catalogs collection (over 60 different ones) so you can scan all of them ;) :P

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  • coleco catalogs.png


#6 Rey OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:31 PM

Now, I need to send you my Coleco Catalogs collection (over 60 different ones) so you can scan all of them ;) :P


!!!

#7 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:40 PM

Now, I need to send you my Coleco Catalogs collection (over 60 different ones) so you can scan all of them ;) :P

 

Gulp !!!



#8 retroillucid ONLINE  

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Posted Sun Sep 30, 2018 6:01 PM

Soooo..... 1982, huh?  That looks like it was "their year!"  :grin:

 

Definitely, it was their 50th anniversary  :) 


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#9 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Oct 1, 2018 4:37 AM

Can you get an idea of total colecovisions manufactured by looking at serial numbers?

Some facts from the reports:
1983 electronics sales: $403.9M
1983 colecovision sales: 1.5M (2M total colecovisions)
1984 electronics sales: $98.5M
1985 electronics sales: $56.2M

If you take a ratio of total electronics sales of $98.5M in 1984 and $403.9M in 1983 and apply to 1.5M 1983 colecovision units you get 365k colecovision units for 1984. Now it's not that simple as the numbers includes adam sales which went up in 1984 and cartridges and table-tops which went down in 1984. There's also some more sales in 1985, and that year saw colecovision price reductions meaning higher than expected unit sales. I would be surprised if total colecovision sales lifetime worldwide exceeded 3M; maybe between 2.5M and 3M.

Some other facts from the reports:
In 1982 coleco shipped 6M Atari and Intellivision cartridges, 2M colecovision cartridges, 3M table-tops, and about 500k colecovisons.

In the 1982 annual report they talk about having introduced the Super Game Module (maybe at CES Jan83) and also introducing a computer module for June (1983). So the plan at one time was to have both a super game module and a computer module for colecovision.

In 1983 coleco shipped 1.1M table-tops, fewer atari and intellivision cartridges, more colecovision cartridges, 1.5M colecovisions, and 95k adams.

In 1984Q1 coleco had $186.1M total sales of which colecovision and adam made up approx. 50% or $93M. Electronics was only $98.5M for all of 1984. So they didn't sell many colecovisions the rest of 1984.

#10 jfcarbel OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 4, 2018 11:23 AM

Now, I need to send you my Coleco Catalogs collection (over 60 different ones) so you can scan all of them ;) :P

 

Okay tease us with some pics from the inside of some ADAM of Colecovision console.



#11 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2018 9:20 AM

Some facts from the reports:
1983 electronics sales: $403.9M
1983 colecovision sales: 1.5M (2M total colecovisions)
1984 electronics sales: $98.5M
1985 electronics sales: $56.2M

If you take a ratio of total electronics sales of $98.5M in 1984 and $403.9M in 1983 and apply to 1.5M 1983 colecovision units you get 365k colecovision units for 1984. Now it's not that simple as the numbers includes adam sales which went up in 1984 and cartridges and table-tops which went down in 1984. There's also some more sales in 1985, and that year saw colecovision price reductions meaning higher than expected unit sales. I would be surprised if total colecovision sales lifetime worldwide exceeded 3M; maybe between 2.5M and 3M.
 

 

Taking that ratio to estimate ColecoVision sales in 1984 may not be that far a stretch.  On page 22 of the 1984 annual report where it is directly comparing 1984 to 1983, it states that "The decline in sales of Consumer Electronics was primarily due to reduced sales of ColecoVision products (my emphasis).  The increase in shipments of the ADAM Family Computer System in 1984 was largely offset by provisions for price reductions and returns recorded in the last half of the year."  So, 1984 consumer electronics sales being a quarter of the 1983 sales can be mainly attributed to the ColecoVision.

 

If one does take that ratio then sales of ColecoVisions in 1984 would be around one quarter that in 1983, i.e. around 375,000.  Plus the sale of the remaining inventory in 1985 which is likely much less than the 1984 figure.

 

So, I agree that total CV sales (1982-85) would not have exceeded 3M and suspect that they were much closer to 2.5M than 3M.



#12 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2018 10:19 AM

But then again - reductions in the selling price of the ColecoVision through 1984 and especially into 1985 would drive up the estimate of how many units were sold.  So, perhaps unit sales were in fact closer to 3M than 2.5M.  Damn, I wish Arnold Greenberg would just drop in a post here and put me out of my misery!!!



#13 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2018 10:24 AM

You should be able to get an idea of how many colecovisions were manufactured by looking at serial numbers.  Sales can't exceed the number manufactured.



#14 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2018 10:28 AM

You should be able to get an idea of how many colecovisions were manufactured by looking at serial numbers.  Sales can't exceed the number manufactured.

 

But do we know the logic behind their numbering sequences?  Plus I believe that different numbering sequences were used in different countries.



#15 mr_me OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2018 10:36 AM

Sure, you need a nice collection of serial numbers from all over; and identify the different sequences.  Most will be north american, Canada might have had different serial numbers than the US.  What would you estimate european sales at, more than 300k?  Were there significant sales in south america?



#16 Ikrananka OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Nov 5, 2018 10:41 AM

There was also Australia.  Lot's of different serial numbering.  Now, if only CBS Electronics records of units sold were available....






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