Mattel Intellivision Blue Whale Keyboard Computer – Less than 10 Ever Sold


Here is an interesting auction. Since the very beginning, Mattel tried to look different from the rival Atari VCS 2600, presenting Intellivision as the core of a much more professional system than just a videogame console. In 1980 Mattel announced to be ready to deliver the next Year a new hardware expansion providing keyboard and cassette player. The new product would be launch in 1982 in just 4000 units for the US market only by mail postage. What the Keyboard Component added to the Master System was an additional 8 bits 6502 microchip, 16K of RAM expandable to 8 MBs (huge for the time), a keyboard, a cassette player to read data or audio, an expansion slot and the printer port. The package was impressive, but from a commercial point of view it was impossible to market properly, due to expensive development costs. In fact, the only reason why the Blue Whale project (also known as Intelliputer) become real, is that the responsible of the development was the father of Intellivision Dave Chandler. The few units of the Keyboard Component were sold and tested in some areas of US, but the high price faced the reluctance of customers. Seller is asking $25,000

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Seller says:

“This is the Moby Dick of video game collections. Ultra Ultra Rare Mattel Intellivision “Blue Whale” Computer Keyboard Component complete with Intellivision 1, Owner’s book, Microphone with Stand, Cable Extender. Mattel Intellivision Basic : includes Basic software cartridge, one data cassette tape and Introduction to Basic manual. In addition, there are 4 packages of 2 data cassette tapes each – 2 are still factory sealed. Also, Jack LaLanne’s Physical Conditioning Cassette, Conversational French Cassettes, Family Budgeting, Geography Challenge, and Crosswords 1, 2 and 3. Mattel Intellivision Thermal Printer that connects to the Keyboard with instruction manual and cartridge cable which was only available by mail – not sold in stores. Extremely rare Playcable unit with instructions. This component allowed users to subscribe to play games over the cable television for a monthly fee. Videoplexer allows user to “plug in” eight cartridges at one time. Select the game for play using the button controls on front of unit. Intellivoice Voice Synthesis Module with 4 games: Bomb Squad, B-17 Bomber, Tron Solar Sailor and Space Spartans. Mattel Engineering T-Card with eRoms for 11 games: Scar Finger, Dunvoo (Thin Ice), Flintstones Keyboard Fun, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Sting (ZZZZ), NumJum (I think this is Number Jumble), Yogi’s Frustration, Thunder Castle, Space Cunt, Soccer II, and Rocks (Select Games 2). T-Card is in a wood case with a plexiglass lid that I made. Also included are two Activision Lab Prototypes: Pitfall and Stampede. And, a Mattel Electronics Intellivision green label (c. 1983) Demonstration cartridge (with original box) and a white label Demonstration Cartridge. Hard plastic case for Intellivision 1 Console (includes its own Intellivision 1 Console) has storage for cable, 12 games and comes with a key to lock the case. The case was only available by mail to members of the Intellivision Club. Also included are two different styles of joystick inserts (manufactured by two different companies) – one style clips on and the other replaces the disc on the hand controller. The joystick that clips on has a ring of foam that is starting to deteriorate. Also, the egg crate foam in lid of the case is beginning to crumble. It could be easily replaced, but I have kept everything original. To my knowledge, the keyboard was only sold in the Portland OR area at TEAM Electronics stores in a test market. I don’t know how many stores actually carried them. I read about the keyboard being test marketed in Portland. I made long distance calls from Wisconsin to electronics stores in the area until I found one that carried it. I bought the unit and all the available software that the store had at the time. I don’t know how many units each store had, but I may have purchased the store’s demonstration model, because it did not come in any Mattel packaging. I have never seen any literature that shows packaging for this item. It is my understanding that there were less than 10 sold before Mattel pulled them from the market and offered customers incentives to return the keyboards. I chose to keep mine. I only know of one other person who has one. This is an extremely rare item. I have kept all correspondence from Mattel Corporation explaining the recall and the details of the generous reimbursement. I will include this in the package. As for the Playcable, my understanding is that the cable companies demanded that all the Playcables be returned by the customers. I heard about the recall. Not living in the area where the Playcable was available, I contacted the manufacturer of the Playcable and begged to get one for my collection. After Mattel Electronics closed, I contacted some Mattel engineers and explained that I was a collector. They very graciously sent me the T-Card that they used to design and test software, and the collection of games on eRom that were listed above. Thank you to Blue Sky Rangers.There is one other unique and interesting thing I have that I will include with this sale. Mattel was planning to come out with 3-D glasses. I contacted the scientist who developed them. He actually sent me a pair of custom glasses which were filled with a special type of cinnamon oil between the lenses. Unfortunately, after about 6 months, the oil leaked out onto a portion of my collection and I ended up throwing the glasses out in disgust. But, I have all the documentation from this inventor as to the specifications and theories behind the development of the glasses in a 2 page handwritten letter and 8 page typed document with drawings titled, “The chromostereoscopic process: a novel single image stereoscopic process”.I will also include various Mattel Intellivision catalogs, newsletters, and Imagic NumbThumb Club magazines that I have in my collection. The last time I used the systems was about 1986 before I packed it away to keep as a collection. At the time it was in excellent working condition. The keyboard has a built in quad cassette player and utilizes the quad cassette tapes. I have not tested it since I packed it away. Because of the rarity of these items, it should be inspected and, if necessary, restored by a professional. As such, it is sold “AS IS”. I believe that I’ve included every piece of hardware for the Intellivision 1 that was ever made for the US market. This collection has the hardware, software and documentation all in one place.”

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Mattel Intellivision Blue Whale Keyboard Computer – Less than 10 Ever Sold

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