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Mattel Aquarius Home Computer - Model 5931

(Mattel Electronics - June 1983)

Aquarius Main Computer Console
The main component of the Aquarius home computer system is the main computer console.
Mattel Aquarius unique cartridge port.It is a compact design and three tone color scheme with it's raised keys of the blue rubber chiclet keyboard gave it a sleek and unique look.

The cartridge slot coupled with the equally unique shape of the software cartridges, which blended in and became a virtually indistinguishable part of the computer, just added to the overall aesthetics of the Aquarius base unit.
However, visual appeal of the unit aside, the Aquarius system was very limited in expandability and options. Besides the cartridge slot, there were only 3 I/O interface ports. A 5 pin DIN connector for the data cassette recorder (presumedly also for the future planned floppy drive), a proprietary serial printer connector (for the thermal printer and four color plotter) and an RF connector for connecting to the television.
Mattel Aquarius i/o ports.
The huge brick of a DC power supply was hard wired into the back of the unit making it non user replaceable. This made it necessary for the owner to have to bring it to an electronics repair shop if the transformer ever acted up on the system.
Mattel Aquarius power supply.
The small blue rubber keys on the keyboard made it awkward to type or program on. The layout was proprietary, like most things about the Aquarius computer. For the most part it was a QWERTY layout, but the space bar was simply a small button off to the left hand side of the keyboard.
Mattel Aquarius keyboard layout.
The computer came with a stripped down subset of Microsoft Basic, allowing only entry level programmability but lacked some key functionality to create more advanced programs. But with only 1.7k of memory available to the user, it didn't matter that much. A programming computer the Aquarius was not.

System Specifications for the Mattel Aquarius

Basic system specifications for the Mattel Aquarius computer system/gaming console are listed below.
Release date:
June 1983
October 1983
Original Price:
US $160
Units Sold:
US 8,000 | Worldwide < 20,000
Operating System:
Microsoft-Aquarius BASIC 1.0
Zilog Z80A @ 3.5 MHz
4k ram (1.7k user addressable)
expandable to 20k maximum
Built-in TV modulator
40 x 24 text
80 x 72 graphics, 16 colors
48-key rubber chiclet
One voice, expandable to three voices
13-1/2"W (343mm) x 6"D (152mm) x 2"H (51mm)
Power Supply:
Input 125v 60hz 12w AC

Output (3 Section)
+8.8v DC 1.2a (red/black)
+16v DC 0.15a (yellow/black)
-19v DC 0.01a (blue/black)
expansion connector
TV modulator
Tape recorder
cassette recorder

User Comments

Below are the user comments about the Mattel - Aquarius - Computer topic. Feel free to join the conversation and share your comments or experiences with the Geek Vintage community.
(3) comments leave a comment
I have one.
Chuck Real | Apr 03, 2014 12:25pm
I just dug out an old box and found mine.
It's not complete but my memory of it is.
Aquarius Discussion
Aquarius Gruppe | Oct 19, 2010 7:24pm
last few days our group held a similar talk about this subject and you show something we haven't covered yet, thanks.

- Kris
Cebus Capucinis | Mar 02, 2010 6:32pm
Move over Cancer, step aside Gemini, because AQUARIUS is taking over the Zodiac. That's right, the fabulous makers of the Intellivision have made another smash hit (well, not really) of the computer world with the Mattel Aquarius!

The Aquarius either looks really cool or looks like one of those horrible early 80s childhood Typing Tutor things depending on who you ask or how many beers a person has had. But once you turn it on -- man, oh man, are you having a blast! It's like the computer from the late 70s....only made in the late 80s! Time travel 10 years in product development...only backward! Try it now!
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