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The GTE Sylvania console variant is one of the more interesting
ones. At first blush, it seems to be an odd pairing. What's a company that makes light
bulbs and stereos doing putting its name on a game console? Then again,
the video game craze of the late 1970's and early 1980's was
becoming a cultural phenomenon.
Hazarding guesses is something that's fun to do, so here's some
speculation about this console variant. It's probably the very
first one Mattel made, given the marketing materials that have been
found so far. Of the three original non-Mattel-branded variants (Sears and Tandy being the others),
it is the only one that marketed the original Keyboard Component.
UPDATE: Some "new" information has come to light, and the connection
between GTE Sylvania and Mattel Electronics is actually more interesting than
one may have originally suspected. According to documents at the
site, Mattel contracted with GTE Sylvania to do the early manufacturing and
testing of the Intellivision! Now, it all makes sense!
Below we have the two known flyers from GTE Sylvania. In addition,
a service manual is known to exist. The (now defunct) Intellivision Bodega
had a copy to download. Frank Palazzolo's site (or a cache thereof), the
2-Bits Web Site, was
another location hosting the document.
|This is a high-quality—and clearly very early—flyer
touting the GTE Sylvania Intellivision with an excellent preview of software
for the Keyboard Component. It's especially fun to see the Keyboard Component with
the GTE Sylvania faceplate on it. Wonder if there were really any like that, or
if they just tweaked a photo of a Mattel Keyboard Component for the pictures? In any case, the
Keyboard Component software and info is excellent!|
|This appears to have been a small flyer one would find
next to a display or at a check-out. The screen shots seem to be
the same as the ones in the larger flyer shown above. And how about that 'Power 8 Blackjack'.
Many thanks to Jeremy
at the (now defunct) Intellivision Gumbo site for digging up his flyer and contributing the scans.
If anyone out there has one of these (or any other GTE Sylvania Intellivision
literature) available, send an