|Standing (left to right): Mark Kennedy, Stephen Roney, Dale Lynn, David Warhol, Traci Roux, Dave Akers, William C. Fisher, Vickie Dahlgren, Tom Lohff, David Rolfe, Rich O'Keefe. Seated: Lee Barnes, Keith Robinson, Bob Newstadt
20th Birthday cake
Astrosmash designer John Sohl shows off an Astrosmash t-shirt
Graphic artist Joe King and Mind Strike designer David Warhol. Dave produced most INTV Corp. releases
APh programmers David Rolfe and Rich O'Keefe. Dave programmed the Intellivision's operating system (The Exec) and the first Intellivision game (Major League Baseball)
Aquarius programmers Tom Lohff and Lee Barnes
Blue Sky Rangers Celebrate Intellivision's Big 2-0!
Intellivision is 20 years old! To celebrate, a group of the original Intellivision programmers from Mattel Electronics and APh Technological Consulting gathered at Jino's Pizza in Hawthorne, California, on January 22, 2000.
Jino's was the regular Thursday lunchspot of the Mattel Intellivision group until 1984. Nearly every year since then, the programmers have returned in January to mark their layoff from Mattel.
So what was different this year? Well, there was cake. After putting away a number of Jino's pizzas, the programmers gathered around the chocolate "Happy Birthday Intellivision" cake to sing and blow out the candles.
While programming for Intellivision began in 1978 (several of the games carry 1978 copyrights) and the system was test marketed in Fresno, California in 1979, it was 1980 that saw its national introduction.
The programmers, known (thanks to TV Guide) as The Blue Sky Rangers, also designed for the Atari 2600, ColecoVision and the Aquarius Home Computer. Several of the programmers present later designed Intellivision games for Activision, Atari and INTV Corporation.
During the Intellivision era, Mattel was located in Hawthorne on Rosecrans Avenue just off the San Diego Freeway. The company has since moved to nearby El Segundo. The old six-story Mattel headquarters tower along with the neighboring Mattel Electronics building have been demolished.
But Jino's Pizza, and the Blue Sky Rangers, are still standing.
Blue Sky Rangers present:
Dave Akers (Atari 2600 Star Strike)
Lee Barnes (Aquarius Biorhythms)
Vickie Dahlgren (Executive Secretary)
William C. Fisher (Space Hawk, Space Spartans, B-17 Bomber)
Mark Kennedy (Kool-Aid Man, Dig Dug)
Joe King (Graphics)
Tom Lohff (Aquarius Advanced Dungeons & Dragons)
Dale Lynn (Quality Assurance)
Bob Newstadt (Pinball)
Rich O'Keefe (Triple Action, Royal Dealer)
Keith Robinson (TRON Solar Sailer)
David Rolfe (Major League Baseball, Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack, Beamrider)
Stephen Roney (Space Spartans, B-17 Bomber, Aquarius Utopia)
Ray Roux (Systems)
Traci Roux (Quality Assurance)
John Sohl (Astrosmash, B-17 Bomber)
David Warhol (Mind Strike, Thunder Castle)
The Blue Sky Rangers threw a second Intellivision 20th birthday party at the Classic Gaming Expo in August. This one was open to the public and had a bigger cake - everyone got a slice! More>