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Thread: Entex Select-a-Game (1981) - some info needed

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    Default Entex Select-a-Game (1981) - some info needed

    So... this is it... my first thread. I hope I do everything right - if not, bear with me, I will adjust... I introduced myself here in case anyone is interested.

    I was looking for the Entex Select-a-Game for quite some time now and finally got one from Ebay US in box with 4 games in box. I am located in Europe, and the system is impossible to find here - so no chance for a cheap fleamarket or thrift store find here.
    Of course, it was quite expensive, but I noticed it got more and more expensive over the past 2 years, so I just felt it's time now. The system is still in transit, but before receiving, I'd like to learn a bit more about the system. I found some things on it on the internet, but I may rely on your infinite knowledge for some more information.


    1. Release: a few years ago, a seller from France sold half a dozen systems through some online forum. He claimed the system was released in Europe or was planned for a release in Europe which was cancelled. Can anyone confirm this? From my understanding, it was a US-only release.

    2. Sales numbers: As mentioned, the system is non-existent in Europe or Asia and rare on ebay, at least in good condition with box. Does anyone know anything about the qty it sold back then?

    3. The Pac Man 2 cartridge: I learned that it had a licensing issue and was taken off the market after release. Is that true? Are there any qty sold known? Has it really been cancelled after release, or was it just not reprinted afterwards?

    4. Successor: I read about a successor to the Select-a-Game which exists as a prototype. Info on it is sparse. Can anyone advice?

    Thanks a lot in advance, and again: if this should have been added to some existing thread, if this is placed in the wrong forum: let me know. I'll get used to stuff around here.
    Last edited by phil_consollection; 05-16-2014 at 03:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by phil_consollection View Post
    4. Successor: I read about a successor to the Select-a-Game which exists as a prototype. Info on it is sparse. Can anyone advice?
    I found some reliable information on that one:
    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Entex/...ameMachine.htm

    For the other questions, any advice is still welcome!

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    Still looking for info on 1. + 2. and giving it a last try here. Sorry for the bump!

    In the meantime check out the gallery we did for the Select-A-Game this week.

    Description and Combined Pic

    Gallery with 10 pics

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    I wish somebody here knew the answers because I never had one of these myself either. Not even when I had almost all the other US released non-Pong stuff.
    [quote name='Shidou Mariya' date='Nov 17 2010, 10:05 PM' post='4889940']
    I'm a collector, but only to a certain extent.
    Not as extreme as Rickstilwell though.[/quote]


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    How much was the system?

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    All right, here's what we know...

    Quote Originally Posted by phil_consollection View Post
    1. Release: a few years ago, a seller from France sold half a dozen systems through some online forum. He claimed the system was released in Europe or was planned for a release in Europe which was cancelled. Can anyone confirm this? From my understanding, it was a US-only release.
    To my knowledge, it was a US only release. It was a low-production item, and the company may have had _plans_ to sell internationally, but as far as I know nothing ever happened with regards to it. If there are any in overseas warehouses, it's likely some samples were sent over (basically cases of the final product though) to try to entice companies to buy it. If a few have been found overseas, that's likely why, but I doubt there's any difference to the system or it's packaging.

    Quote Originally Posted by phil_consollection View Post
    2. Sales numbers: As mentioned, the system is non-existent in Europe or Asia and rare on ebay, at least in good condition with box. Does anyone know anything about the qty it sold back then?
    Sales numbers were probably mentioned in an interview/speech from one of the company founders at CGE a few years ago, I'll have to play my recording of that to see what he said exactly, but I think the production numbers are likely in the range of about 15,000 at best.

    Quote Originally Posted by phil_consollection View Post
    3. The Pac Man 2 cartridge: I learned that it had a licensing issue and was taken off the market after release. Is that true? Are there any qty sold known? Has it really been cancelled after release, or was it just not reprinted afterwards?
    Pac Man 2 (both this cartridge and the handheld game) were a licensing issue for Entex. Coleco had obtained the legal license for a handheld version of Pac-Man (their mini arcade). Entex had previously won a lawsuit against them for Space Invaders where the judge ruled that Midway owned the rights to the arcade version, but since a handheld was different enough, their copyright didn't apply. They thought they could get away with it again with Pac-Man, but Coleco had officially licensed a _handheld_ version, so Coleco sued them over Pac Man 2. The results of that lawsuit was that Entex had to stop production of Pac Man 2 (handheld and the cartridge), and had to hand over 100% of the profits from all past sales of the games. They were allowed to sell out their existing inventory as well, again handing over 100% of the profits to Coleco. The cartridge for the Select-a-Game hadn't been in production very long when this happened, so there's far fewer Pac Man carts than any other as they continued to sell the others.

    Quote Originally Posted by phil_consollection View Post
    4. Successor: I read about a successor to the Select-a-Game which exists as a prototype. Info on it is sparse. Can anyone advice?
    That would be the huge Table Top Game Machine mentioned above. Only referenced in the 1981 Toy Fair catalog (as far as I know), and I've only been able to find the one photo of the prototype at Toy Fair seen on that page:
    http://www.handheldmuseum.com/Entex/...ameMachine.htm

    I'm not even sure if it's functional, or just a display mock-up... But it never went any further.

    Hope that helps!
    Rik

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    Ah so the main thing I have learned from all this was that the Select-a-Game was the follow up to their standalone handheld games like the Space Invader I got as my first video game ever, but the precursor to the AdventureVision. I wonder if the games were better than, just as good as or inferior to the standalone titles. Was it better than a Microvision games-wise?
    [quote name='Shidou Mariya' date='Nov 17 2010, 10:05 PM' post='4889940']
    I'm a collector, but only to a certain extent.
    Not as extreme as Rickstilwell though.[/quote]


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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickstilwell1 View Post
    Ah so the main thing I have learned from all this was that the Select-a-Game was the follow up to their standalone handheld games like the Space Invader I got as my first video game ever, but the precursor to the AdventureVision. I wonder if the games were better than, just as good as or inferior to the standalone titles. Was it better than a Microvision games-wise?
    Nah, I wouldn't say it was better than Microvision... It was basically the same thing as a Microvision but with only 7 x 16 pixels (where uV had 16 x 16), and uV had a paddle controller... Select-a-Game even had overlays for the screen, and the CPU was actually on the cartridge itself, just like Microvision.

    The standalone versions of Pac Man and Space Invader I think are better than the S-A-G carts... I never really played any of the sports games, but those two are kind of weak on the S-A-G.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buyatari View Post
    How much was the system?
    System + 4 games, all MIB (old stock, never used!) was 450 USD incl. shipping.

    Quote Originally Posted by rik1138 View Post
    To my knowledge, it was a US only release. (...)
    Thanks, that confirms my assumption that some items arrived in Europe by accident, but not more and no official release.

    Quote Originally Posted by rik1138 View Post
    Sales numbers (...) in the range of about 15,000 at best.
    15k would make it quite rare indeed...

    Quote Originally Posted by rik1138 View Post
    Pac Man 2 (...)
    Thanks. Will probably pick one up someday, but they easily go >150 USD...

    Quote Originally Posted by rik1138 View Post
    Hope that helps!
    Totally! Thanks a lot Rik, that basically answers all.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rickstilwell1 View Post
    Ah so the main thing I have learned from all this was that the Select-a-Game was the follow up to their standalone handheld games like the Space Invader I got as my first video game ever, but the precursor to the AdventureVision. I wonder if the games were better than, just as good as or inferior to the standalone titles. Was it better than a Microvision games-wise?
    Actually it is even less fun than some of their earlier tabletops. Games are really basic. However, you can still pay respect that they even got different games incl. multiplayer out of this device.

    To me, it is interesting from a historic- and also from a technology-standpoint, but not for playing. Still, in my eyes it is a very nice addition to a collection.

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    It's cool to find out some new info on the system. So obscure and so little known about it. I'm glad I own one as I think they're pretty fun to play at least in multiplayer. Seeing the current prices that this thing goes for now makes me feel good that I got one on Ebay years ago now for the low price of $27 with one game.
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintagegamecrazy View Post
    It's cool to find out some new info on the system. So obscure and so little known about it. I'm glad I own one as I think they're pretty fun to play at least in multiplayer. Seeing the current prices that this thing goes for now makes me feel good that I got one on Ebay years ago now for the low price of $27 with one game.
    Wow, what a bargain. Units Complete In Box do not go below 200 USD / for a year or two now. The last boxed systems with games I followed were alway 300+ USD, so I gave it a go for 450 USD including shipping, but with 4 additional games and Mint in Box / never used. Still, even if yours is "naked" without box, it was a fantastic price.

    E.g., this one was the one sold a week before I got mine:
    http://www.ebay.de/itm//251518763118
    I bailed out at 300 USD...

    Indeed, Multiplayer makes this thing interesting, and the technology is really charming.
    Last edited by phil_consollection; 06-04-2014 at 09:51 AM.

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