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electro mechanical home consoles

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ive just leared of the little oddity known as "marx tv tennis". its an electro mechanical pong console, I never would have guessed such a thing existed. I know electromechanical arcade machines were popular before affordable displays became avalible, and ofcouse in timeless classics like pinball and skiball, but never had heard of such technology in a home console. does anyone know of any other electromechanical home consoles?

 

the marx tv tennis 1974

Z0080543.jpg

odd isn't it? you know, in that I must find one now kind of way.

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Blip was one. The were popular back in the day, so they can be had quite affordably now.

 

post-23476-0-73086900-1385986469_thumb.jpg

 

It had batteries for the LED, but the action was all mechanical. You'd twist the wind-up spring via the plastic dial, and when you hit the "serve" switch the LED ball would take an unpredictable path across the playfield, and your opponent would need to decide which of the three buttons he'd need to hit to return it back to you.

 

It was good quick fun against an opponent, though if you were both good you could rally back and forth for a while, sometimes until the spring ran down.

 

There was also a one player mode too, but that was a bit less interesting. Sort of like 1 player Pong.

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Blip was one. The were popular back in the day, so they can be had quite affordably now.

 

attachicon.gifTomy-Blip.jpg

 

It had batteries for the LED, but the action was all mechanical. You'd twist the wind-up spring via the plastic dial, and when you hit the "serve" switch the LED ball would take an unpredictable path across the playfield, and your opponent would need to decide which of the three buttons he'd need to hit to return it back to you.

 

It was good quick fun against an opponent, though if you were both good you could rally back and forth for a while, sometimes until the spring ran down.

 

There was also a one player mode too, but that was a bit less interesting. Sort of like 1 player Pong.

So it was clockwork? that is awesome!

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Cool topic. I don't know if there ever was an electro mechanical "home console", but there were many electro mechanical "games" or "toys". I don't really consider the Marx tv tennis as a "console". It was just another electro mechanical toy/game of the time. I remember Tomy made many of these type of games (so did Marx). Heck, Tomy had an entire line of wind-up games. Marx made electro mechanical "simulators" of sorts all the way back to the late fifties/early sixties. This isn't Marx but here is the Jimmy Jet (it's from the mid 1960's):

 

 

jet1.jpg?w=450

 

Here a commercial for it:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDMQPwE4unw

 

Always had a thing for electro mechanical toys.

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Cool topic. I don't know if there ever was an electro mechanical "home console", but there were many electro mechanical "games" or "toys". I don't really consider the Marx tv tennis as a "console". It was just another electro mechanical toy/game of the time. I remember Tomy made many of these type of games (so did Marx). Heck, Tomy had an entire line of wind-up games. Marx made electro mechanical "simulators" of sorts all the way back to the late fifties/early sixties. This isn't Marx but here is the Jimmy Jet (it's from the mid 1960's):

 

 

jet1.jpg?w=450

 

Here a commercial for it:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDMQPwE4unw

 

Always had a thing for electro mechanical toys.

 

I considered tv tennis a console because it was a rip off of pong, which is a video game, and represents it through an electromechanical mechanism. I remember marx and I belive tommy driving "simulators" from when I was a kid, but I would consider them to be electromechanical toys, rather than dedicated consoles with integrated displays. still I didn't know they made them as far back as the 50's, must have been amazing at the time really.

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I have a Tomy Terra Hit. build in 1979 according to the label on the back.

 

It does not run on wind-up but on electric motors.

 

I am genuinely impressed by the moving lightbulb that is the missible and the rather good "collision" .

 

404582TerraHit1.jpg

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Cool topic. I don't know if there ever was an electro mechanical "home console", but there were many electro mechanical "games" or "toys". I don't really consider the Marx tv tennis as a "console". It was just another electro mechanical toy/game of the time. I remember Tomy made many of these type of games (so did Marx). Heck, Tomy had an entire line of wind-up games. Marx made electro mechanical "simulators" of sorts all the way back to the late fifties/early sixties. This isn't Marx but here is the Jimmy Jet (it's from the mid 1960's):

 

 

jet1.jpg?w=450

 

Here a commercial for it:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDMQPwE4unw

 

Always had a thing for electro mechanical toys.

I made a slight mistake. It wasn't Marx I was thinking of, it was Remco:

 

Here's the Flying Fox from 1959:

 

Flying-Fox.jpg

 

Here's one from Ideal that is pretty cool, Fighter Jet (1959 as well):

 

fjet1.jpg

 

Both of these used batteries for lights and/or sounds. I guess that would be the closest thing to a video game back in the day.

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after digging around a bit it seems tommy made a slew of wind up and electro mechanical handhelds under the "pocket arcade" line. those mini arcades are pretty sweet looking to, check out the internals of cosmic clash.

 

Tomy-CosmicClashGuts.jpg

not as complex as the wind up games for shure, but its still very interesting.

 

@dragonstomper - that flying fox man, wow. just wow.

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I've opened up and repaired several Tomy electromechanical games that were non-functional. Following the motors and gears to learn how they work (and get working again) is a daunting but enlightening experience. The engineering and manufacturing required to make those games was incredible...

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I am really enjoying this thread, especially the flight simulators -- other than Blip, I have never seen any of these games.

 

When were the Tommy mini-arcades sold in stores? Early-1980s?

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I've been looking for a few early 90's ones for a while--especially Yeeaghh!! (and to a lesser extent Kongman)

Also one of the 80's Tomy pocket pachinkos was a lot more impressive than the rest.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uI5uMeaoIqE

 

Here's one thing I don't get--many of the early 80's games replicated the primative graphics of home console games.

Black and white blocky outlines instead of beautiful full color. I never figured out why. Heck, there wasn't even a need for them to be flat.

Edited by Reaperman

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We've had a thrashed one of those Jimmy Jets at my work for years.

 

I considered tv tennis a console because it was a rip off of pong, which is a video game, and represents it through an electromechanical mechanism. I remember marx and I belive tommy driving "simulators" from when I was a kid, but I would consider them to be electromechanical toys, rather than dedicated consoles with integrated displays. still I didn't know they made them as far back as the 50's, must have been amazing at the time really.

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If handhelds count I had a baseball one as a kid. I figured out how to cheat at it because if you didn't push the levers all the way you coult just barely engage the clockwork and make it run slowly.

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Here's the Marx one in action.. pretty interesting.

 

Although it looks a bit different than it showed in the old Sears catalog..

post-31-0-68504700-1498867293_thumb.jpg

Edited by NE146

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What about those little table pinball games like the Tomy Atomic Pinball? They could probably fall under this umbrella right?

 

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Blip was one. The were popular back in the day, so they can be had quite affordably now.

 

attachicon.gifTomy-Blip.jpg

 

It had batteries for the LED, but the action was all mechanical. You'd twist the wind-up spring via the plastic dial, and when you hit the "serve" switch the LED ball would take an unpredictable path across the playfield, and your opponent would need to decide which of the three buttons he'd need to hit to return it back to you.

 

It was good quick fun against an opponent, though if you were both good you could rally back and forth for a while, sometimes until the spring ran down.

 

There was also a one player mode too, but that was a bit less interesting. Sort of like 1 player Pong.

Speaking of Blip, markc74 over at BYOAC forum created an upright arcade cabinet based on it. Very cool :)

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,137295.msg1415987.html#msg1415987

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Here's the Marx one in action.. pretty interesting.

 

Although it looks a bit different than it showed in the old Sears catalog..

I have two of those like the one linked in the Youtube video. There are a couple of different versions out there of the Marx model.

 

I actually had one of these when I was little. Not sure what happened but one day it just disappeared. Fast forward a couple of years, found the name of it through a Christmas catalog... picked up one Ebay that was non-working (motor was that drives the spindle was sticking) and got it working.

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I have one of these in the box I found at the now defunct Riverside Antique mall years back. Should get it out and see if it still works!

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What about those little table pinball games like the Tomy Atomic Pinball? They could probably fall under this umbrella right?

If that does, then I'm in on this as I have their later one the Astro Shooter Pinball. I looked it up a few years back was surprised to see it went through a few art revisions but the guts stayed the same. The one I have is in really solid shape, still complete in the box too which helps in storing it.

 

 

I had that Blip! game a couple years ago I found at the flea market but it didn't last long, wasn't all that fun and then it up and stopped working from old age. I think the motor quit.

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LOL that Marx pong game it looks like a crt.

Intentionally so of course. :) http://www.grandoldtoys.com/toydb_Detail.php?id=1367

 

I'm surprised Blip is talked about as much as it is.. it's a game I thought everyone had in the 70's since the commercial played constantly. :lol: It was great but the only problem with it is you could memorize the order in which ball came to you so games got pretty non-competitive between 2 players once they learned the pattern. Still pretty cool though.

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