If you never owned a Mattel Aquarius machine you may be surprised to learn that the toy manufacturer Mattel once released a home computer, which was named the Aquarius. To find out everything that you need to know about the Aquarius, simply continue reading.
Everything that you need to know about the Mattel Aquarius:
Mattel first announced that they had plans to develop a home computer in 1982:
In 1982 Mattel first spoke to the press about their intentions to produce and sell an affordable home computer. While Mattel did intend to build their own home computer, they ended up buying the rights to a design which was already in production in Hong Kong. The computer who Mattel decided to buy their home computers for also produced their home gaming system the Intellivision.
It celebrated it’s public debut in Las Vegas:
It had its public debut at the Las Vegas Winter Consumer Electronic Show which took place in January, 1983. A few months before it was officially released to the public in June.
It was first released in 1981:
One of the most popular Mattel computers the Mattel Aquarius was released in 1983. It was designed by Radofin and produced by Mattel.
It had a short life span and was officially discontinued within 5 months of its release date:
While the Aquarius was released in June of 1983 it was officially discontinued by Mattel by October, 1983. As the Aquarius was not selling enough units. Instead of trying to rework their first computer Mattel decided to cut their losses and to quickly exit the home computer market.
Mattel originally decided to produce a computer after their success producing Intellivision gaming systems:
As Mattel’s gaming systems are incredibly popular, Mattel wondered if they could diversify their interests by producing home computers. Another reason why Mattel considered getting into the production of home computers is that they were worried that Atari would steal much of their market share. As Atari consistently gained market share of the game system market, with each passing month. Even though Mattel’s Intellivision systems were selling like hot cakes.
The Mattel Aquarius was designed as a multi purpose device:
Mattel’s plan was to create a home computer that could be used to play games as well as to run software programs.
It could be used with 16K and 4K RAM cartridges:
The Mattel Aquarius was compatible with both 4K RAM cartridges and 16K RAM cartridges.
If you’re interested in the history of video game companies, computer companies and toy companies, you may want to look at online auctions in order to purchase your own retro Aquarius home computer.