Where could you buy a Creativision?

Tell us whatever CreatiVision-related story you want!
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carlsson
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Where could you buy a Creativision?

Post by carlsson » Mon Aug 15, 2011 6:16 pm

While we have pretty good coverage on which companies supposedly imported Creativision in each country, it sometimes is a bit more mysterious where you actually could buy it.

I would like to take Sweden as an example. So far, I have found exactly one (1) reference of the Creativision in contemporary press. That was in the magazine Teknik för Alla, scans available on the website. This was an all-purpose technical magazine which would write just as much about the latest cars as hi-fi, a bit about general electronics, sometimes computers and rarely video games. The more specialized home computer and video game press didn't mention Creativision even once. It suggests to me it never was very popular or generally available.

In this case, we know Elof Hansson imported the system - the only article from late 1983 says so. A while ago I bought a boxed Creativision with a number of cartridges and some tapes. The seller turned out to be the grandson of the founder of mail order company Hobbex. They sell all kinds of technical and hobbyist products, from electronics and tools to training equipment, pranks, sexy stickers and other things that might tickle the fantasy mainly of 12 year old boys. Back in 1983/84, they even sold some games which is why I just bought myself a copy of the winter 1983/84 catalog. It looked promising with a Competition Pro clone joystick on the front (said to fit both VIC-20, Atari and Intellivision, of which the latter appears to have been a typo) and a complete VIC-20 system on the back side.

Inside the catalog, they sold a few handheld games, but that's it. No signs of Creativision here as well! Still as some of the games I bought from the above mentioned guy had price stickers with the Hobbex logo still on them, it suggests at one point they had the console for sale, at least in their only store. The question then is which time period one could expect to find it in mail order. I might look for a summer of 1984 or even winter 1984/85 catalog, as well as some other mail order companies like Ellos or Josefsons. But even if it shows up in a catalog in late 1984, it would be a full year after the Swedish launch.

I have some ideas in which stores one might have been able to buy a Creativision, most likely cooperative Obs! or Domus, but that is only speculation. While it isn't terribly important now, more than 25 years later, the general availability would say something about what the chances were that the machine would be successful. I know in other countries, mainly Australia but also Italy, Germany etc it seems to have been released much earlier than late 1983 and probably also written about, advertised and brought to stores in a much broader fashion.

It is quite possible that Elof Hansson sat with a huge number of unsold, even manual localized consoles, games and peripherals that they let go for a relatively low amount of money by early 1985, when mail order companies like Hobbex might have picked it up as there was not much money to lose. In any case, it doesn't seem to have hit the mail order market right away like I originally had thought...
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carlsson
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Re: Where could you buy a Creativision?

Post by carlsson » Thu Nov 28, 2013 10:28 pm

I have now expanded my collection of Hobbex catalogues to two issues.

Winter 1983/84: Competition Pro joystick, VTech Time & Fun, Nintendo Game & Watch, Tomy Puckman and Sky Attack, Puck Monster, computer chess and bridge, Datatek and Commodore VIC-20.

INTERESTING NOTE: In the index listing on page 3, it says there should be Creativision Data on the back side, but that page is entirely devoted to the VIC-20. Could it be so that when the catalog was printed some time in the fall of 1983, Elof Hansson could not yet guarantee the Creativision would be ready for Swedish release, so Hobbex in the last minute switched their focus on the far more common VIC-20, but they forgot to change the index page?

Summer 1985: Mach (Soundic) SD-050 programmable game, Mattel Intellivision, Spectravideo SVI-328, Seiko pocket computers, computer chess, Datatek. As far as I can find, they no longer had any G&W or other handheld games in the catalog.

Apparently I'm still missing Summer 1984 and Winter 1984/85. The reference to Creativision Data makes me even more eager to find the Summer 1984 catalog to see if they actually were carrying the Creativision by then. In any case, it didn't seem to be "hot" enough to remain by the summer of 1985, which perhaps isn't all that strange. Actually it seems a bit brave that they carried the Intellivision by then, but perhaps they got ahold of surplus units from the new distributor Bergsala who had taken over the Intellivision agenture from LEAB, while waiting for Nintendo to allow Bergsala to release the NES in Sweden (fall 1986).
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MADrigal
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Re: Where could you buy a Creativision?

Post by MADrigal » Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:50 am

@ Carlsson: you mention creativision cassette tapes you have bought. You know I'm very much after information on VTech cassettes, which miss almost completely from the CVemu website.

Would you kindly send me pictures of the cassettes, so that I can understand if you have anything new to add to the website?
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carlsson
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Re: Where could you buy a Creativision?

Post by carlsson » Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:27 pm

I thought I already did?! Please check your past emails, otherwise I can resend it later.
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MADrigal
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Re: Where could you buy a Creativision?

Post by MADrigal » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:51 pm

I couldnt find any such list in the previous emails. This post is dated Augus 2011, and I see no trace of correspondance around that time.

Please look at the list of releases on cassette tape here:

http://www.madrigaldesign.it/creativemu ... .php#tape1

...and tell me if you have any more -cassette tapes, which are not listed there. I'm especially focused on the VTech releases. The only one I have is "Statistics I".
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MADrigal
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Re: Where could you buy a Creativision?

Post by MADrigal » Mon Jan 05, 2015 9:54 pm

On a side note: thanks very much for keeping us posted about your search for the Swedish distributor. Your ideas and predictions are very cool! I hope you'll find the missing sales catalogue, maybe there's the key to this mystery!
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carlsson
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Re: Where could you buy a Creativision?

Post by carlsson » Wed Jan 07, 2015 11:45 am

Apparently I exaggerated a bit in my above post. By "a while ago", I referred to the items I bought in November 2010, i.e. nine months earlier. Those involved the CreatiVision Demo Tape, the Statistics I and a home recorded C-60 which contained some typed in programs from either of the programming books, most of them < 10 lines and not even complete. Thus I have nothing new beyond what I already sent you.

However, I've placed a bid on a Summer 1984 catalogue which I strongly hope will contain some CreatiVision references. If that one doesn't have any info, I'm failing in where to further search given that the Winter 1983/84 catalogue at least briefly mentioned CreatiVision by name in the index and the items I bought in 2010 had price tags and a history of coming from the same mail order company.
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MADrigal
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Re: Where could you buy a Creativision?

Post by MADrigal » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:17 pm

Ouch, what a pity. OK!

I cross my fingers and wish you luck on getting the catalogue you're after. 1984 seems a little bit later than the real Swedish release time. I believe that a catalogue from early 1983 might have more chance to mention the CV.
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carlsson
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Re: Where could you buy a Creativision?

Post by carlsson » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:27 am

Well, I've already combed through the catalogue from Summer 1983 and it was almost entirely devoid of video games and computers, only a few handhelds sold at that time. The Winter 1983/84 catalogue at least got a little of that kind.

It also resonates with the article in Teknik för Alla from the fall 1983 in which they reviewed the CreatiVision, the ColecoVision and .. hm, was it Vectrex or some other system? That article claimed the CreatiVision was the only system already available for purchase, although I've seen other Swedish references from the summer/fall of 1983 claiming the ColecoVision was hitting the market, less than a year after the US release.

Of course there may have been other resellers, both in stores and mail order. As for stores and supermarkets, it is virtually impossible to 30+ years later go back and determine which products they sold. That is why mail order is better, as you can obtain old catalogues and possibly magazine advertisments and cross run those.
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Mobsie
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Re: Where could you buy a Creativision?

Post by Mobsie » Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:42 am

is the same here with CE-Tec.

The company Sanyo Video (the german importer) change the name to CE-Tec when move to new location.
But it was for some years the same team who before handle the CV stuff.
I found one man from the old team and speak with him 2 times, he explain me that he and his Team love the CV period. But also explain me that the support from vtech was very poor.

He also told me about the "never sold" Floppy Disk drive he has one to show. I remember also to see one in the Shop in Weinheim these time.
if it was a prototype or not, he don't remember.

In fact there are a lot strange things , but at the end they put all the stuff like flyer , games , etc. to trash !!!
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