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DZ-Jay

Intellivision test market... or markets?

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I've read articles that say that Mattel test marketed the Intellivision in Fresno, CA in 1979 and then released to the general market in 1980. However, I've also seen other articles where they say something more general like "the Intellivision, released to test markets in 1979..."; which suggests that there was more than one test market.

 

Does anybody know for sure if there were more than one test market in 1979? The reason that I ask is because I am trying to piece together my memories to determine precisely when I got my first Intellivision. Up until recently, based on the recollection of various events in my life, it all seemed to point to 1979, when I was 8 years-old. Of course, this is not possible if the console was not available until 1980.

 

I grew up in Puerto Rico, and I know that many American companies used that region to test market products for the wide Latin American market, and sometimes for the general American market as well (yep, we're all guinea pigs over there, apparently). Therefore, I could imagine it being quite possible that Mattel used Puerto Rico as a test market in 1979, and I got my console when it was hot off the press. However, I do not know if this is an actual fact, and is likely not.

 

I'm getting old and my brain is a rats'-nest of broken memories and half-forgotten images that sometimes conspire to give some false impressions of my childhood. It is very possible that my mind is once again playing tricks on me.

 

I do remember getting my console when it was very new, not many people had even heard of it, and very few cartridges were available. I recall the games catalogue that came with the console had many of the titles I later would enjoy as "coming soon," though I would be hard-pressed to recall which ones specifically. Even TV commercials hadn't even started playing (I noticed them in heavy rotation later that same year).

 

So, does anybody know the facts: was there more than one test market for the Intellivision? Was Puerto Rico one? In any case, when the Intellivision was finally released to the general public in 1980, does anyone know on which month or quarter it happened?

 

Help me complete this puzzle. :)

Edited by DZ-Jay
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Sounds like some questions the Intellivisionaries could ask a few of their guests, including Keith.

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I understand about memories being broken. All this time i been saying i got my Intellivision on Christmas 83. But now i'm starting to think that maybe i got the system earlier that year as a random gift and just got more games for it on Christmas. I just can't remember anymore and haven't ran across any pictures to tell me one way or the other.

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I can't even remember why I am posting in this thread.... hold on........

 

 

You kids get off my lawn!!!

 

 

 

 

 

I have similar memories of when we first got our intv....but i remember getting a pong machine. But I can't remember the year. I would guess I got intv in 83-ish. Cause I remember bins of ultra discounted games in stores.

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I have similar memories of when we first got our intv....but i remember getting a pong machine. But I can't remember the year. I would guess I got intv in 83-ish. Cause I remember bins of ultra discounted games in stores.

 

stop, stop, stop...that's my story!

 

Bought my Intellivision in early '84. And soon after that I discovered the discounted games! ;-)

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Same, Kay*Bee had lots of bargain games. Guess that's part of why they went out of business, they didn't sell well enough at regular price and lost too much.

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My girlfriend swears she got a Colecovision almost a year before history says it was released in North America. Memories can be fuzzy, but she did grow up in the main product test market for Canada at that time, so anything's possible.

 

If anyone has any way to put together test market info from the 80s, I'd love to see it.

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Here's what Keith Robinson told me:

 

"To my knowledge, the Intellivision was test marketed in several Gottschalk's department stores in central California. I have no records of it being test marketed anyplace else, although I suppose someone — even in Puerto Rico — could have ordered it by mail from Gottschalk’s"

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Hi, nurmix, thanks for following up with Keith. I guess that settles that question. Any chance of Keith knowing on which month or part of the year the general release of the console occurred, in 1980? I believe I got mine during the summer or early fall, but we already established that my memory is flaky.

 

-dZ.

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I saw them for sale in Los Angeles where I grew up no later than the summer of 1980.

 

I got one for Christmas that year after convincing my Dad that I had to have one.

 

This seems correct as I recall it.

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I saw them for sale in Los Angeles where I grew up no later than the summer of 1980.

 

I got one for Christmas that year after convincing my Dad that I had to have one.

 

This seems correct as I recall it.

I got mine during the summer--after school closed. I remember this because my parents promised to get me an Atari if I passed my classes. I didn't do that well, but my Grandfather wanted to give me the present anyway. Except that my family opted for getting the new-fangled Intellivision which they discussed was better than the Atari. :)

 

I thought it was in 1979, but it must have been on 1980, then.

dZ.

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DZ it felt like 1979 to me too...and it may have been.

 

That or 1980 at the latest! So long ago!

And whenever it was I was certain the Intellivision was better. I believed it then and I still do today. What a great system! Wolfy62

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