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Bill Loguidice's picture

Working Through My Collection: The Mattel (Radofin) Aquarius (02)

I didn't get much of an opportunity like I hoped for after my first entry to continue working with my Mattel Aquarius collection through this past weekend, but I did get the stuff cleaned up, a bit better organized, and also cataloged, which I'll share in this post. I'm now at least at a good point where I can dive right in, and thanks to suggestions from some of our members, like Rowdy Rob, I also have something of a plan of how I want to share videos and other content that give a sense of working with the computer before I move on to other stuff.

Mattel (Radofin) Aquarius games
The software...

Here's the full list of the items presently in my collection (as always, I'm interested in selling or trading any duplicates):

Bill Loguidice's picture

Working Through My Collection: The Mattel (Radofin) Aquarius (01)

In my ongoing quest of late to make more profound use of my collection, I broke out the Mattel (Radofin) Aquarius stuff last night. In the opening to the Aquarius chapter in my as-yet unpublished book, "Videogame and Computer Entertainment Systems: The First 15 Years," I describe the computer as follows:

The Mattel Aquarius is another “quaint” entry in the encyclopedia of home computers. The April 1985 edition of Compute! magazine declared it the computer “with one of the shortest life spans” in history, and indeed, only 20,000 units were ever sold outside of liquidation centers. Production ran for only four months, from June to October 1983. The Aquarius became an unmitigated disaster for Mattel’s Mattel Electronics division because the system was sadly obsolete even before it arrived in stores. With Mattel’s Intellivision videogame console (discussed elsewhere in this book) hosting two failed computer add-ons of its own, these events did nothing to help steel the company heading into The Great Videogame Crash.

  • “WHEN MATTEL DEMONSTRATED THIS COMPUTER AT A TRADE SHOW IN 1983, EMPLOYEES HAD TO CONCEAL ONE OF THE KEYS WITH MASKING TAPE. FOR SOME BIZARRE REASON KNOWN ONLY TO MATTEL ENGINEERS, THE AQUARIUS HAD A CONVENIENT KEY THAT INSTANTLY REBOOTED THE COMPUTER AND WIPED OUT ALL YOUR DATA.” —FROM BYTE MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 1995

So, yeah, not exactly inspiring tech, but the system and its accessories are certainly lookers, even if the hardware inside is lacking.

Here are some views of my Aquarius collection, spread out:

Mattel/Radofin Aquarius Collection (1 of 2)

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