Five Things – 9.16.13

1. Coleco Gemini – In the ’80s, Coleco wanted to be Atari pretty bad.  Who wouldn’t? The Atari 2600 was the top dog, and the Colecovision was lagging behind.  So what did Coleco do? In 1982 they released an expansion module for the Coleco that made the system compatible with Atari games.  Atari obviously didn’t like that and sued…and lost.  The ruling was that since it wasn’t using actual Atari hardware, it wasn’t infringing on anything.  The ruling gave Coleco the impetus to just go ahead and create an Atari 2600 clone, named the Coleco Gemini.

 

Gemini

 

Basically a 2600 with a paddle controller.  And a little more compact.  And without that sassy woodgrain.

 


Coleco took this dirty trick a step further and made a deal with another of our favorite dirty-trick-companies to offer the Gemini in a Columbia House Video Game Club, similar to their cassette and album business.

Columbia Software Clube

A dirty trick that’s probably paid off more in the aftermarket of collector’s items than it ever did in it’s real life cycle.  At least that kid in the video gained the respect of his peers by doing what they told him to do.

2.  Computer Critters – Computers were finally becoming a household thing in the ’80s, and someone somewhere thought that it’d be helpful to run a few cartoon PSA’s featuring woodland creatures in strange nuclear families giving viewers computer tips:

So the rabbit is the racoon’s father? And the cat is the sister? I’m a little confused as to how this family came together.  I also think it’s pretty funny that the thinking at the time was that we would use computers to create our own databases for EVERYTHING.  That was going to be the big function of computers.  I’m glad we missed that turn and instead opted for taking pictures of our lunches and sharing them with friends from high school.

 

3.  Super Mario Stop Motion – No words.

 

4.  Radioactifs – A beautiful illustration of the radioactivity inherent in the ground…I think….from Mondorama.

Radioactifs

 

5.  Float on Air – Finally, an impassioned plea: Does ANYONE remember this ad from the backs of magazines such as Boys Life or Archie Comics?

Float On Air

Does ANYONE know of ANYONE who actually got the plans for this and made it? I can’t find anything about it anywhere, and it’s driving me bananas! Help me find answers!

 

-ds