Originally (believe it or not), the COnetticut
LEather COmpany started in 1932 with founder
Maurice Greenberg making leather components for shoes. His son Leonard set up
a workshop in the back of his Dad's shop and produced leather craft kits, as
well as wading pools for kids - at one point in the 1960s Coleco was the world's
biggest supplier of above-ground swimming pools!
In the 70s they saw what Nolan Bushnell of Atari had done with PONG and decided to create their own cheaper version. This was
the Telstar, and sold well, as did later Telstar units, though initial production
problems meant over a million had to be scrapped at one point.
Seeing what Atari
and Mattel were doing with
the VCS and Intellivision, Coleco developed the ColecoVision without telling
anyone and released it at a trade show much to everyone's surprise! The unit
sold massively well - over 6 million shifted off the shelves in its lifetime,
but despite the success (and a spat with Atari
over Expansion unit #2) what was originally Expansion #3 became the ADAM.
Failure of the ADAM to a) work reliably and b) capture the market
forced Coleco out of the videogame industry and back into toy production, where
they produced the Cabbage Patch Dolls before being bought out by Hasbro, who'd
also bought Atari!
Colecovision console, boxed mint, Complete with a couple of catalogues, instructions, servicing guide etc. Expansion
Unit 2, boxed complete with 'Turbo' cart - a game I loved to bits in the
German Expansion Unit 1 - allows you to play Atari
VCS/2600 games on yer Coleco. Mint and unused - never been out of its plastic
bag! Adam - Z80 based add-on and replacement
for Colecovision, complete with poor basic and basic word processor! Adam - dual drive version, both courtesy
of Rich Beaudry in sunny New Hampshire. ADAMlink modem - a whole 300 baud to play with! Pix
The Coleco history I've massively abridged above was originally written by
DigitalCentury, but they've now been absorbed into the Jones Encyclopedia....the
online version of which costs money, so bugger that. Instead a former Coleco
UK employee has a site dedicated to STARCOM, which was a Coleco made show in
the mid 80s. He's reproduced the history here.
Nice one Martin!