September 2006


On Saturday, October 28, Intellivision will sponsor the fourth RETROTOPIA at the Arena Interactive Lounge in Los Angeles. Retrotopia features classic video games and live music in a cool lounge setting. This time, since it's Halloween weekend, we're adding a costume contest. Dress as your favorite video game character, or any other character. If you arrive in costume before 10 PM, you'll get in FREE!

We'll have classic console games - Intellivision, Atari 2600, Nintendo, Sega - for unlimited play on 50" HDTVs. Classic arcade machines set on free play. And, for a change of pace, some of the hottest new games on Xbox 360.

The special musical guest will be Jonathan "Mario" Mann - creator/composer of The Mario Opera. Mario Opera was the musical act at the first Retrotopia in May and was a huge hit. This time, Jonathan will be performing selections from the opera solo.

Intellivision president, Blue Sky Ranger Keith Robinson, is scheduled to be there. Find him and challenge him to a game on an actual Intellivision console or on the as-yet unreleased Intellivision Lives! for the Nintendo DS! So far, guests have slaughtered Keith on Major League Baseball, BurgerTime, Biplanes, Sea Battle, and others.

Admission is $15, but go to for a $5 discount! BONUS: All women and everyone in costume get in FREE before 10 PM!

Retrotopia. 8 PM to Midnight. Arena Interactive Lounge, 11512 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, 90025, 310-479-9759, 4 blocks west of the San Diego (405) Freeway.

To get regular announcements and updates of future Retrotopia events, add Retrotopia as your MySpace friend.

Visit the RETROTOPIA MySpace page >


Can't make it to Retrotopia this month because you're on the east coast? Then come to America's VideoGame Expo October 27 - 29 in Philadelphia.

America's VideoGame Expo is a celebration of video and computer games for the avid and casual gamer. Attendees will have the opportunity to play the newest, coolest games, meet game industry celebrities and legends, compete in tournaments, and buy new and retro games.

Now in its second year, America's VideoGame Expo was created to provide US game players with conventions on par with similar international game events, such as the Tokyo Game Show, Korea's G-Star convention and the German G|C expo. In 2005, VGXPO attracted 17,000 attendees and over 40 exhibitors.

"We're thrilled to bring VGXPO back to Philadelphia," says founder Ed Fleming. "This year's expo will feature the best that video games have to offer and lots more."

  • Exhibitors showcasing the latest games for current and next-generation gaming platforms
  • Conference panels, presentations and discussions
  • Dozens of vendors selling games from the 70's, 80's, 90's and today
  • Halloween costume contests and COSPlay
  • 24-Hour Gaming: non-stop gaming action Friday night through Sunday, featuring The VGXPO Arcade
  • Card Gaming and Table-Top Games
  • BYOC LAN Center
  • Massive gaming competitions and tournaments
  • The second annual VGXPO Lifetime Achievement Award
  • VGXPO Robot Wars
  • Video game icons, legends and celebrities
  • Battle of the VideoGame Bands contest

Intellivision is a proud sponsor of America's VideoGame Expo.

Info about America's VideoGame Expo >


For those of you following the Intellivision blog on MySpace, you know that a controversy has been raging over whether the Intellivision console is male or female.

We asked you to post your opinions. The results? Two-to-one in favor of female. There were many thoughtful reasons, but probably our favorite argument was given by Eric Fell, who wrote, "I say the Intellivision should be listed as female. Mostly because then I wouldn't feel as awkward telling people I spent a lot of time with 'her' in my basement." Or as AlGrinch succinctly put it: "She was my first girlfriend."

So, thank you all for weighing in. We have made the change to the MySpace profile: Intellivision is now officially 100% female.

Read the Intellivision blog on MySpace >


1982 was a year of explosive growth for Intellivision, both in retail sales and in expansion of the programming staff. Midway through the year, Mattel announced it had taken out a long-term lease on a new building then under construction in El Segundo, California. This impressive six-story building on Rosecrans Avenue would become the new home of Mattel Electronics. Mattel Toys would remain in its longtime home down the street in Hawthorne, but the parent company, Mattel Inc., would move in with Electronics.

"The executives go where they see the future of the company," pointed out Intellivision Director Don Daglow proudly. The lease was for 10 years; that future looked secure.

For the rest of 1982 and into 1983 the Blue Sky Rangers watched as construction progressed. In the spring of '83, a number of the programmers simply walked into the site with a sense of ownership as workers in hard hats were installing interior walls and snaking conduits. The programmers ooo'ed and ahh'ed and called dibs on office space. After a year in the windowless converted warehouse that was the current home of Mattel Electronics, this glass ediface with terraced balconies seemed like a palace. Although officially named Continental Plaza, the programmers simply referred to it as "the new building."

Then summer came. Mattel Electronics was piling up hundreds of million of dollars in losses. The top management team was replaced. A third of the workforce was let go. By fall, plans to move into the new building were put on hold. Rumors started that Mattel Inc. was looking for some way of dumping it.

Indeed, early in 1984 Mattel closed Mattel Electronics, sold off Intellivision, and sublet Continental Plaza to Hughes Aerospace Corporation.

For the Blue Sky Rangers that lived in the area, the presence of this landmark on Rosecrans was a constant reminder of what might have been. Even those not in the area were reminded: Continental Plaza made a cameo appearance in the movie 2010. It mocked us. We never made it into the building. Intellivision development would never take palce there.

Oh yeah?

"I've been looking at this building for twenty years," says David Warhol from his sixth-floor office in Continental Plaza. When its lease expired midway through the 1990s, Hughes moved out and the building was renovated. Restaurants and retail shops went in on the ground floor. The upper floors became available as office space.

By that time, Dave, designer of Mind Strike at Mattel Electronics and producer of over twenty more Intellivision games for INTV Corp., had founded Realtime Associates, Inc., a video game development company. When Hughes moved out of Continental Plaza, though, Dave was locked into a lease elsewhere. When that lease expired, Continental Plaza was full.

Finally, in July 2004, the stars aligned. Realtime's current lease was expiring. Dave's Realtor arranged for Dave and Dave's wife Shippy Ohka, CFO of Realtime, to tour some available locations. First up: Continental Plaza. "Once we walked in, Ship knew I wasn't going to accept anything else," says Dave. They didn't look at any of the other locations.

Realtime with its approximately twenty employees moved in. Dave had managed to achieve what Mattel couldn't. "Symbolically," says Dave, "that was when we hit the best of our times."

Since being in Continental Plaza, Realtime has worked on a number of projects, focusing lately on what are known as serious games. It developed Re-Mission, a 3D shooter that takes the player on a journey through the bodies of young patients with different kinds of cancer. It has also been involved in developing military role-playing and combat-simulation games.

But what about Intellivision? Realtime had developed Intellivision Lives! for PlayStation 2 and Xbox at its previous offices. But midway through 2004, it got the green light to do a GameCube version.

Intellivision Lives! for GameCube was programmed on the sixth floor of Continental Plaza. Finally, after over 20 years, Intellivision development came to the new building.

Purchase Intellivision Lives! here >

Some of you complained that our trivia contests have been too easy lately, so we tried to make last month's a little harder. Apparently, we succeeded. Only 22 entered. The question:

In order to help another programmer animate a character, one of the game designers brought an animal from home into the Intellivision office to use as a model. What was the game and the animal?

Of the 22 entries, only 12 had the correct answer: Steve Sents, programmer of TRON Deadly Discs, brought his pet tarantula in for Shark! Shark! programmer Ji-Wen Tsao to use as a model for a crab.

From the 12 correct answers, the random number generator at selected Brian Becker, as the winner of an Intellivision coffee mug.

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

Now try this question:

David Warhol named them Gus and Max. Who are they?


(If you have trouble following the above link, or if submitting your answer fails, type the URL into your browser and try again.)

We'll pick a random winner from all complete, correct entries received before NOON PST, MONDAY, OCTOBER 30. The winner will receive an official Intellivision Coffee Mug - just like we use here in the office for serving up steamin' hot java!



View previous newsletters >


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