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Mattel Aquarius Home Computer System

(Mattel Electronics - June 1983)
Aquarius Home Computer System
Mattel had made a name for itself in the home electronics field with the Intellivision video game console developed in 1978-1979, as well as a slew of handheld electronic games like the Burgertime handheld electronic game. They wanted to move into the home computing arena to bolster sales, so Mattel bought the rights to Radofin Electronics Far East's new computer design... and marketed it in the United States as the Aquarius Home Computer System.
Mattel Aquarius KeyboardI was in my teen years when the Aquarius computer was released, and even then I questioned the logic of how limited the design was. With only 4k of internal memory (1.7K available to the user) and a subset of basic that severely limited what you could program with it. It had a rubber-key keyboard that was awkward to use because of it's proprietary layout and with a tiny space key off to the left of the keyboard.
Mattel Aquarius Game ControllerMattel quickly realized the limitations of the computer and attempted to rectify their oversight by releasing an expansion unit called the "mini expander" which had 2 cartridge slots (one for memory and one for software cartridges). The mini expander also came with two hastily constructed video game controllers, in an attempt to capitalize on the video game market.
Mattel Aquarius Thermal PrinterThe printer for the unit was an odd duck, it appeared to be a modified thermal receipt printer that used small rolls of 4-3/8" wide paper. The printer had a unique proprietary serial interface. But it was not very practical due to the small size of the prints. A four color printer plotter was also released that had much better printing capabilities, making it more user friendly and desirable than the clumsy thermal printer..
Mattel Aquarius CartridgeBut I did like the cosmetic design of the unit, especially the unique shape of the game and accessory cartridges, which blended into the unit when they were inserted. But my curiosity wasn't enough for me to pay the $160 for it, when at the time, I could buy the much more capable Timex Sinclair 1000 for half the price or even the Commodore Vic 20 for the same price after the Commodore 64 was introduced and the Vic 20 prices were slashed.
I was not alone in my hesitance and conclusions that the Aquarius was lacking... only 8,000 units sold in the United States, with less than 20,000 sold worldwide... and the home computing and video game market shunned the Aquarius computer. This caused Mattel to pull the system from the market only four months after it was released. In that time, very few accessories, games and other software were released for it.
Since there were not many software titles or accessories released, it is quite feasible to complete an entire Aquarius collection... Turning the Mattel Aquarius computer into a very sought after system for vintage computing enthusiasts. So in modern times, the Mattel Aquarius Home Computer System has earned quite a cult following as collectors like me find our curiosity renewed and have breathed new life into this, almost forgotten, relic of home computing history.
- Erik Schubach

Mattel Aqaurius Serial Number Database

I have started user contributed serial number database for Mattel Aqaurius equipment. This will allow us to determine production quantities and locations of surviving units. Please feel free to add your equipment to the list. Go to the Serial Number DB

My Aquarius Collection

Aquarius Serial Number DB
These are the Mattel Aquarius items that I currently have in my personal vintage technology collection. I am always open to sell or trade any of my duplicates. I am also looking for other Aquarius Computer items for my collection... see my wish list below.
Hardware
Boxed Aquarius Computer (x5)
Aquarius Computer (x1)
Boxed Mini Expander (x4)
Boxed 16k Ram Cartridge (x2)
16k Ram Cartridge (x1)
32k Ram Cartridge Prototype (x1)
Boxed 4k Ram Cartridge (x5) - Factory Sealed
4k Ram Cartridge (x1)
Boxed Modem Cartridge (x1) - Factory Sealed
Boxed Modem Cartridge (x1)
Boxed Data Recorder (x2)
Data Recorder (x1)
Boxed 4-Color Printer/Plotter (x1)
Boxed Thermal Printer (x1)
Thermal Printer (x1)
Games
128k 8-in-1 Multi-Cart 001 (x1)
128k 8-in-1 Multi-Cart 002 (x1)
256k Bank-Switched Multi-Cart 003 (x1)
Boxed Astrosmash Game Cartridge (x2)
Astrosmash Game Cartridge (x1)
3D Battle Zone Cassette Tape Game (x1)
Boxed Biorhythms Game Cartridge (x2)
Biorhythms Game Cartridge (x1)
Bounder Cassette Tape Game (x1)
Breakout Cassette Tape Game (x1)
Boxed Burgertime Game Cartridge (x2)
Burgertime Game Cartridge (x1)
Boxed Chess Game Cartridge (x1) - Factory Sealed
Chuckman Cassette Tape Game (x1)
Demo Cassette Tape Games (x1)
Games Pack 1 Cassette Tape (x1)
Boxed Melody Chase Game Cartridge (x1) - Factory Sealed
Boxed Nightstalker Game Cartridge (x5)
N-Vaders Cassette Tape Game (x1)
Pac Mr Cassette Tape Game (x1)
Phrogger Cassette Tape Game (x1)
Boxed Snafu Game Cartridge (x1)
Space Collision Cassette Tape Game (x1)
Strike Force Cassette Tape Game (x1)
Boxed Treasure of Tarmin (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons) Game Cartridge (x1)
Boxed Tron: Deadly Discs Game Cartridge (x1)
Boxed Utopia Game Cartridge (x3)
Other Software
Extended Microsoft Basic Language Cartridge (x1) - Factory Sealed
Boxed FileForm Cartridge (x2)
Boxed FinForm Cartridge (x2)
Boxed Logo Language Cartridge (x2) - Factory Sealed
Publications
The Aquarius Program Book by Peter Goode
Aquarius User Magazine - Volume 1 - Issue 1
Jouez Avec Aquarius (Play With Aquarius) by Louis Gentry
Thinking About TLC LOGO For Mattel Aquarius by John R Allen
Other
Keyboard Dust Cover (x1) - Factory Sealed
Thermal Paper 2 Pack for Themal Printer (x3) - Factory Sealed

Aquarius Items Wanted

I will buy your Mattel Aquarius items. I will pay cash or trade you for the items listed below or anything you do not see in my personal collection listed above. CONTACT ME
Hardware
Boxed or loose Aquarius II Computer
Boxed or loose 32k Ram Cartridge
Boxed or loose Modem Cartridge
Boxed Data Recorder
Boxed Mini Expander
Boxed Thermal Printer
Boxed or loose 4 Color Printer/Plotter
Boxed or Loose Quick Drive
Games
Boxed Astrosmash Game Cartridge
Boxed Biorhythms Game Cartridge
Biorhythms Instruction Manual
Boxed Burgertime Game Cartridge
Boxed or loose Chess Game Cartridge
Boxed or loose Melody Chase Game Cartridge
Boxed or loose Reversi Game Cartridge
Boxed or loose Space Speller Game Cartridge
Boxed or loose Zero-In Game Cartridge
Other Software
Boxed or loose Extended Microsoft Basic Language Cartridge
Extended Microsoft Basic Language Instruction Manual
Boxed FileForm Cartridge
Boxed FinForm Cartridge
Other Items
Bagged or loose Keyboard Dust Cover
Bagged or loose Thermal Paper 2 Pack for Themal Printer

Aquarius Items For Sale or Trade

These are the Mattel Aquarius items that I currently have for sale or trade from my personal vintage technology collection. CONTACT ME
Hardware
Aquarius Computer (x2)
Boxed 4k Ram Cartridge (x4) - Factory Sealed
Data Recorder (x1)
Games
Boxed Astrosmash Game Cartridge (x1)
Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin Game Cartridge (x1)
Boxed Nightstalker Game Cartridge (x4)
Other Software
Boxed FileForm Cartridge (x1)
Boxed FinForm Cartridge (x1)
Boxed Logo Language Cartridge (x1) - Factory Sealed
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