I did an interview with former team members about the development of the RETRO Video Game System. The interview was over 20 hours long and I transcribed it into text for copy/paste people. They had a Indiegogo campaign, but it failed because there wasn’t a playable prototype.
The RETRO VGS is now the Coleco Chameleon. When they took on Atari, you probably heard repeated promises that Atari had been “killed” and that never happened. Coleco still is not back, but we have this new Coleco Chameleon to talk about.
In recent news, old-time video game manufacturer, Coleco as we knew it, is different from the newly resurrected company. The original Coleco went out of business in 1988 and their assets were sold to a Canadian company SLM Action Sports. Recently, a new producer has orchestrated a Kickstarter campaign with Digital Reality to rebrand the RETRO VGS console that’s drawing big names from the industry.
Office products are not the only things changing hands, they’ve had products that have been licenses or sold that have ended up being worth millions. One example was the licensing of the Coleco name where they got $5 million for just 10% of their holdings on one license.
Dragon Bridge has had multiple releases of the Coleco Sonic. A key thing they did with this release is create River West Brands as a subsidiary. The device was a portable that played many Sega games and was the first to use on screen instructions. Other “Coleco” item you may be intimate with is the ColecoVision Flashback, produced by AtGames. Created as a plug and play device including 60 ColecoVision games, this PlaySation hit features duck hunting and Mario Bros.
The reference to Coleco as a “Traditional US Toy and Game Company” below is incorrect. The company River West Brands, Inc., owns the Coleco trademarks and licenses them to Retro Video Game Systems for use with the ColecoVision Flashback system.
AtariAge makes an announcement about their new partnership with Collectorvision, who are best known for their Atari 2600 games. Collectivision will be selling Balloon Fight or Popeye on AtariAge.
Chris Cardillo, a partner in Coleco, was recently quoted as saying “Mr. Cardillo bought into Coleco Holdings back in November of this year. His past success stories include his self-proclaimed “largest G.I. Joe action figure collector” and two books (both published through his own book imprint “Cardillo Publishing”). One book is on G.I. Joe action figures and the other is on Nintendo games- both “collecting
In a quote from Mr. Cardillo, he mentions the importance of understanding the difference between the original Coleco brand and Coleco Holdings.
The Coleco Chameleon is planned to be shown at the New York Toyfair early next year and I am cautiously hopeful about what we will see. They must bring a working prototype with them to show the potential retailers before they release because this could be even more embarrassing than their failed IndieGoGo campaign.
There are still products made for the company that started in the 1930’s, but it has no resemblance to Coleco as we know it today. The Coleco of today is owned by Hasbro after Hasbro bought them out in 1988 with their interest being severely limited to replicas of products from the original company.