Vectrex (console) prototype! Totally different.

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manu_pkp

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Jan 3, 2011, 3:26:57 AM1/3/11
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Not sure if this has been mentioned in the group, but a quick search
didn't show up anything, so here we go. Found this on Flickr -
photograph of a Vectrex prototype machine!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/purplepanda/5031073370/

The user 'purplepanda' says:

"Some photos of my fathers that i scanned and grouped together. He
worked in Research & Design at Milton Bradley for over 20 years. This
is a prototype of the Vectrex home video arcade system that MB and GCE
put out in the early '80s. The photographer in the photo is the MB
photographer, & not my dad."

VectrexMad!

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Jan 3, 2011, 4:05:32 AM1/3/11
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Manu, you made my morning!
Thanks for sharing/mentioning this. That's what I like about the
Vectrex. New information continues to be discovered.

It is interesting to see that this is a completely different design.
However, the cartridge design is as we know it. So I wonder if these
photos were MB considering to change the design i.e. give the Vectrex
a face lift just when they took over GCE or this is an advanced
Vectrex (i.e. with colour).
I wonder what they were thinking for overlays- perhaps if this was the
colour Vectrex then the thinking would be that overlays weren't
necessary.

VectrexMad!
http://www.vectrex.co.uk

VectrexMad!

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Jan 3, 2011, 5:28:42 AM1/3/11
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or perhaps it really was the original Vectrex prototype concept with
the smaller CRT...

VectrexMad!
http://www.vectrex.co.uk

hcmffm

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Jan 3, 2011, 6:36:12 AM1/3/11
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Very nice find, Manu. :-) Would be really interesting to know whether this
prototype is an early version of the Vectrex or even a different version
(color, different size, ...).

- Helmut


VectrexMad!

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Jan 3, 2011, 12:12:19 PM1/3/11
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Ok, today I have too much time on my hands - well I am still on
holiday :)

Closer inspection of that photo "seems to"/could show
"VectrexMicroSystem" in red writing on the front - or maybe it's my
brain working in pattern fitting mode...
What looks like to be the reset switch is positioned towards the rear
of the unit, and the power switch is on the side next to the cartridge
slot. Sockets for controllers are positioned at the front.

The cartridge appears to be standard size (think it says Armor Attack
on it), and based on that I was able to approximate the units
dimensions. It seems that the unit is approx 180mm tall x 126 mm wide
with a depth of 308mm. Its smaller then the Vectrex we all know, but
its not that small. I suppose what dictates the length of the unit is
the CRT length.

I've left a comment at the photographer's Flickr and hopefully he'll
come back to me and give some more info (if he is able to). Anything
I'll learn I'll post here.

Very interesting indeed...

Mayhem

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Jan 3, 2011, 1:00:45 PM1/3/11
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Yeah, quite interesting indeed.

Considering that MB weren't involved with GCE until right before the
Vectrex launched, then my suspicions would be this is an alternate
design for the console once MB owned the rights to it. And one that
never came to fruition.

manu_pkp

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Jan 3, 2011, 1:03:43 PM1/3/11
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Yeah I contacted him too.
Been trying to manipulate the photo in Photoshop... the game is
definitely Armor Attack, but sometimes I see Vectrex Videosystem,
sometimes Vectrex Microsystem...
Also I wonder what the red text over '1st PLAYER' says.... it's not a
company logo I don't think.

Richard H.

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Jan 3, 2011, 1:27:40 PM1/3/11
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That's amazing ! - wonder where it is now.

Seeing as ArmorAttack is in it, wouldn't it have to be a newer version
of console ?


BTW I think that's reset next to the cart slot, brightness on top, and
power / volume on the left side.


Richard H.

VectrexMad!

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Jan 3, 2011, 1:33:45 PM1/3/11
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Yes, those were my suspicions too. Because the area at the front minus
the area where the controller sockets seems to big for the 5" CRT that
GCE were originally considering. And as you say MB weren't involved
with GCE at that period.

Yes I too was playing with photoshop - but doesn't seem to work as
well as the amatuer computer experts and detectives did in the 80's tv
series "Whiz kids" -They were able to zoom in and reveal number plates
from very poor quality photographs :)

VectrexMad!

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Jan 3, 2011, 6:46:42 PM1/3/11
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>
> BTW I think that's reset next to the cart slot, brightness on top, and
> power / volume on the left side.
>
> Richard H.

I agree, I didn't spot the power/volume on the left side....

Hinomura Krycek

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Jan 4, 2011, 1:37:13 PM1/4/11
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Cool design, but honestly I prefer the actual one.

hcmffm

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Jan 4, 2011, 2:13:39 PM1/4/11
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> ... but honestly I prefer the actual one.
Yes, the actual "black shoe box" design is unique, odd, strange, just
perfect! Actually the Vectrex frightens my wife a bit.

- Helmut


VectrexMad!

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Jan 4, 2011, 8:05:42 PM1/4/11
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Contact established with the guy who put the pictures on Flickr. He is
going to talk to his Dad, who was manager of the modeling shop and
worked in Research & Design at Milton Bradley for almost 20 years, to
see if he can remember anything about the images.
Any news I will post here (as well as on my site).

VectrexMad!
http://www.vectrex.co.uk

VectrexMad!

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Jan 7, 2011, 6:30:55 AM1/7/11
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On Jan 3, 6:03 pm, manu_pkp <manu...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Been trying to manipulate the photo in Photoshop... the game is
> definitely Armor Attack, but sometimes I see Vectrex Videosystem,
> sometimes Vectrex Microsystem...
> Also I wonder what the red text over '1st PLAYER' says.... it's not a
> company logo I don't think.


I had contact with the owner of that Flickr page and he told me he had
a close look at the original photographs and that it definitely says
"Vectrex Video System". He's going to chat with his dad (who took the
photos) soon to see if his dad can remember anything more.

VectrexMad!

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Jan 9, 2011, 7:42:02 PM1/9/11
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Haven't heard anything yet, but whilst reading the Edge magazine
scans on Richard H's site, the text in the box titled "Supermarket
sweep" details the experiences of a guy who visits the Vectrex factory
as a child. And his description makes we wonder if he was talking
about the same machine.

"In the main offices there was a six-inch high mini-Vectrex on the
president's desk, for entertaining prospective business partners when
they came to visit. I am told it cost a sheer fortune to build because
of the size (small components pushing the price up). It also wasn't
shaped like a traditional Vectrex, but like a shoebox, with the
details hidden from view."

http://www.vectrex.biz/Edge-5.jpg

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