November 2005

At last - a fresh newsletter from Intellivision Productions! It has been a busy year; in addition to developing new products (see below), Intellivision cosponsored or supported the Classic Gaming Expo in Burlingame, California; the "I Am 8 Bit" art exhibit in Hollywood; the IGN Live Video Game Show in Anaheim; the Classic Gaming Expo Interactive Game Museum at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles; and America's VideoGame Expo in Philadelphia.

In 2006 we will be participating in even more video game shows and events, so we will be launching a new website that will better inform you of what is going on with Intellivision and with the video game community at large.

We believe that classic video games are not ancient history, but are an iconic part of our culture that continue to influence art and entertainment today. So our new website will be constantly updated, interactive and fun. Watch for it soon after the start of the new year.


Turner Entertainment turned on GameTap October 8. The online service lets subscribers play over 300 console, PC and arcade games on their home computers. Most of the well-known classic hits are included, as well as more recent titles. You can play Pac-Man, Frogger, Pitfall, even the original arcade version of BurgerTime!

To put together the most comprehensive collection ever, Turner spent over two years licensing games and emulation software from dozens of companies, including Intellivision Productions.

The inaugural games on the service include the Intellivision classics Astrosmash, Buzz Bombers, Hover Force, Night Stalker, Pinball, Shark! Shark!, Skiing and Snafu. More Intellivision titles will be added over the next few months.

In addition to games, the site features trivia, history, interviews and cartoons featuring video game characters. Think Cartoon Network for gaming.

"I think this is the site classic gamers have been looking for," says Intellivision Productions President Keith Robinson. "Instead of searching all over the web for bootleg ROM images and a bunch of different emulators, here they are in a legal package at a reasonable fee with an easy user interface and consistent quality. Plus all the extra features. I was interviewed by Space Ghost for a video clip about Intellivision. How cool is that?"

Sign up for GameTap here >


In 1980, Intellivision brought a number of innovations to home video gaming: animated characters, the first 16-bit processor, voice games. But best remembered is the unique Intellivision hand controller, featuring a directional disc, action buttons and a touchpad. Every game came with an overlay for the touchpad, with icons that helped the player quickly master the controls.

No game system has had a controller this sophisticated – until now. The Nintendo DS features a touch-sensitive screen to control gameplay. Using this touchscreen to display the overlay icons from the original Intellivision games, players will properly experience the thrill of these games for the first time in 25 years!

Intellivision Lives! for the Nintendo DS features over 30 classic Intellivision games running in full emulation. Introduced at the industry's Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles in May, the public had its first chance to try it out at the Classic Gaming Expo in August.

A release date has not yet been scheduled, but Intellivision Lives! should be available in the first half of 2006.

The Intellivision 10 and Intellivision 25 Direct-to-TV Video Game Systems have sold a total of nearly 2 million units. What do we do for an encore? The Intellivision X2: a direct-to-tv video game system with two controllers. Now you can play sports games like Baseball and Soccer head-to-head against a friend. And you each have your own controller while playing turn-taking arcade-style games, including (for the first time in two-player versions) Astrosmash and Night Stalker! The battery-powered Intellivision X2 comes with 15 built-in games.

Available at toy stores everywhere in early 2006.

The question we get asked the most is: "Will you guys ever release new cartridges for the Intellivision console?" Finally, the answer is "YES!" Visitors to the Classic Gaming Expo in Burlingame, California, in August were able to play two new cartridges Deep Pockets: Super Pro Pool & Billiards and Illusions.

Deep Pockets is a game completed in 1990 for INTV Corp., which closed before they could release it. We published it for the first time in 1998 on Intellivision Lives! for PC and Mac; it has never appeared in cartridge form. Illusions was completed in 1984 by the Mattel Electronics programmers in France. The Intellivision version has never been released in any form.

Deep Pockets and Illusions will be the first two releases in a series of new cartridges for the Intellivision. The printed circuit boards, the cartridge casings, the boxes are all being custom manufactured for this special series.

Release date and price for the first cartridges will be announced soon in the Intellivision Newsletter. Subscribers to the newsletter will have the first chance to purchase the cartridges, so stay tuned!


I LOVE THE 80s - 3D (VH1)
Currently in heavy rotation on VH1 is the series I Love the 80's - 3D. Each hour-long episode focuses on a different year of the decade, with its memorable products, events and music. The 1980 episode features a segment on Intellivision, with classic George Plimpton commercials interspersed with comedians and actors offering up their memories of the game system.

Actor Mario Lopez opens with "Intellivision was like the rich man's Atari." "This had better graphics," says actor Chris Coppola. "When you played with Intellivision," adds commentator Mo Roca, "you thought you were really blasting asteroids." Comedian Joe Lorge concludes, "If you got the Intellivision, you were just a little better. Pissed me off." (Guess he didn't get one for Christmas.)

More about I Love the 80s - 3D >

Fans of SCTV (Second City Television) have been excited that episodes of the classic comedy show are finally being released on DVD. We here at Intellivision are especially excited that SCTV Volume 3 includes the sketch The Merv Griffin Show - Special Edition. This parody of Close Encounters of the Third Kind - Special Edition has Merv Griffin (Rick Moranis) doing his talk show from a space ship with co-host Orson Welles (John Candy). The ship comes under attack from George Lucas (Eugene Levy), "the most powerful and intelligent force in the universe," upset that the show has gone over budget. To the rescue comes George Plimpton (Joe Flaherty). Noting that Lucas is using Atari to launch his attack, Plimpton whips out an Intellivision controller. Informed by the HAL 9000 computer that Lucas has shown a weakness at boxing, Plimpton quickly brings up the Intellivision Boxing cartridge and defeats Lucas, saving the day.

This is a must-have for the true Intellivision fan. And as a bonus, the five-disc set contains another 12 hours or so of pretty funny stuff.

Order SCTV Volume 3 from >

How does a virtual character relax? By playing a virtual video game, of course. In the new EA Games release The Sims 2 for the Nintendo DS, your Sims can drop a coin in an arcade machine and play the classic Intellivision game Space Armada.

Yes, finally, you can play an Intellivision video game while playing another video game!

The Sims 2 was developed at Griptonite Games (home of Steve Ettinger, programmer of the Intellivision games Hover Force, Chip Shot: Super Pro Golf and Slam Dunk: Super Pro Basketball). Space Armada was included with the permission of Intellivision Productions, Inc.

Read a review of The Sims 2 >

Hitting big screens across the country on January 6, 2006 is the Adam Sandler-produced Grandma's Boy. Allen Covert stars as a video game tester in his mid-thirties, surrounded by coworkers 15 years younger. Where their cubicles are decorated with posters from the latest Xbox and PS2 titles, his cubicle is a shrine to the classics - especially Intellivision.

It turns out that Covert and director Nick Goossen are both Intellivision fans. They contacted us for permission to feature Intellivision products in the movie, but warned us that the film would feature crude language, sexual humor, nudity and drug use. Hey, you had us at "crude language". We were delighted to agree, and sent over t-shirts, posters, consoles, games, even an Intellivision arcade machine to decorate the set.

They returned everything after the movie was finished, but then they borrowed it all back a few months later to shoot a music video with New York rockers The Twenty Twos, whose song "Another Day" is featured on the movie soundtrack.

Trailer, clip and more about Grandma's Boy >

Four high-school geeks obsessed with a role-playing game continue their obsession after graduation. 23 years later, they are about to break the record for total hours spent playing the game. Gamers is a comedy shot documentary-style following these now middle-aged geeks on the day they are to set the new record.

One of the main characters, Gordon, played by Kevin Kirkpatrick, appears for a substantial amount of the movie wearing Intellivision t-shirts. And you can get shirts just like them on our website! Don't worry, you don't have to be a geek to wear one (but it helps).

Directed by Intellivision-fan Christopher Folino, Gamers is an independent film headed for the festival circuit and, with luck, a general release.

Trailer, clips and more about Gamers >

Coming soon to NBC is the TV movie Behind the Camera: The Unauthorized Story of Diff'rent Strokes. In one scene, Gary Coleman (played by Bobb'e J. Thompson) plays Astrosmash in his dressing room.

Child actors gone amuck - is this one more thing they're going to blame on video games?

The movie was shot earlier this year in Vancouver. No airdate has been announced yet.

Gary Coleman's arrest record >

Coming to a theater near you in April 2006: the tale of a troubled six-year-old who claims he is communicating with aliens - through his Intellivision handheld Space Armada game. Hey, we're not making this up.

The Martian Child stars John Cussak and Amanda Peet and is based on a book by David Gerrold, writer of the classic Star Trek episode "The Trouble with Tribbles."
Yes, we even sponsor a softball team! And by "sponsor," we mean we gave them some free t-shirts. These are the Running Men. They're in a league run by the local school district in Ladera Ranch, California. The organizer/manager of the team is Stephen Roney, who also happens to be Senior Vice President of Intellivision Productions, Inc. and co-developer of Space Spartans and B-17 Bomber. Hey, we don't give out free t-shirts to just any team.

Check out how the team is doing >


Earlier this year we launched a new record label, Intellivision Music. We recognize that video games have seeped into our culture; those who belong to the generations under age 35 cannot remember a time when arcade and video games didn't exist. Its natural that video games influence the artists and musicians of these generations and their work. Through Intellivision Music, we will bring you a variety of artists who are creating music that reflects how video games have affected their lives.

Our first release is 8 Bit Weapon - The EP.

8 Bit Weapon is a duo that specializes in creating modern music using classic video game consoles, vintage synthesizers, and obsolete computers. Seth and Stacey have performed at the Classic Gaming Expo, E3, IGN Live and many other gaming shows and events with their arsenal of 8 bit weapons, which include a Commodore 64 and 128, a couple Nintendo Gameboy Classics, an Intellivision Music Synthesizer, a Suzuki Omnichord, hybrid lo-fi acoustic-electric drums, and an assortment of other vintage and toy synthesizers.

Inspired by classic videogame soundtracks and electronic music from the 70s and 80s, 8 Bit Weapon delivers a sound that is as unique as it is original. Clever melodies, nostalgic atmosphere, and energetic beats create a decidedly modern sound while maintaining a fun, lo-tech aesthetic.

Order 8 Bit Weapon - The EP here >


We had three prize drawings at the Classic Gaming Expo in Burlingame, California, the weekend of August 20 & 21, 2005.

Stephanie Kettle and Jesus Lara, Jr. won drawings for classic Intellivision consoles in original packaging. (Stephanie won the Saturday drawing; Jesus the Sunday drawing.) The consoles came from 4Jay's Classic Video Games. Stephanie and Jesus will also receive copies of the Deep Pockets and Illusions game cartridges when they are released.

Ben Prunty won the drawing for a Nintendo DS Video Game System. He will also receive a copy of Intellivision Lives! for the DS when it is released.

Congratulations, everybody!

Fifty-nine of you entered our previous trivia contest. The question:

When investors bought Intellivision from Mattel in February 1984, one of them was quoted in The Los Angeles Times saying the brand was still strong and that they would be expanding it to new products. What did he give as an example of a possible future Intellivision product?

Forty-two of you had the correct answer: Hair dryers. (And one of you opined, "Would be quite cool to see that added to your online store, actually!")

From the 42 correct answers, the random number generator at selected Rob Blanchard of Manassas, Virginia, as the winner of an Intellivision coffee mug.

Congratulations, Rob! And thanks to all of you for playing!

Now try this question:

What two different Intellivision games have the same name on their title screens?

Sorry! This contest is now closed. To get in on the next trivia contest, subscribe to the newsletter (below). We do not post the most recent newsletter on the website until the contest is over!

Russell Lieblich, a pioneer in the field of video games, passed away January 26, 2005 following a heart attack outside his home on Long island, New York. He was 53.

Russ's game career started at Mattel Electronics in 1980. Hired as an Intellivision programmer, it quickly became apparent that his talent lay in creating music and sound effects. An early triumph was Snafu, which featured musical themes playing during the game - a first for a home video game. He also created sound effects for Night Stalker, Bomb Squad and other Intellivision titles.

In 1982 he left Mattel for Activision where he continued to create game music. During his career he created soundtracks for scores of video and computer games. Millions of people have had their gaming experiences enhanced thanks to his talent.

In recent years he had returned to his first loves: working on original compositions and performing live. The night he died he was coming home from sitting in at a local jazz club.

His friends and colleagues remember him as a creative, eccentric character who will be missed.


View previous newsletters >


The Intellivision Newsletter is e-mailed monthly to members of the Intellivision Mailing List. The list is administered by bCentral, a service of Microsoft Inc. The Intellivision Mailing List is a 100% opt-in list - addresses are only added at the request of the subscriber. Addresses are never shared or sold to outside companies. Every e-mailed newsletter includes a link that allows the recipient to unsubscribe.

Enter e-mail address here: