Tabletop Mini Arcade Games
Not to be confused with the arcade games that invited you to sit down at them and place your Diet Pepsi on its glass top, the tabletop mini arcade games were those little, miniaturized box versions of the real, stand-up games… only small. ‘Mini’, if you will.
So now that we’ve cleared THAT up… all hail Coleco for bringing us these little fun-time gems in the early 80s.
First launched in 1982, the tabletop mini-arcade games (can we just call them T-MAGs for short?) gave us all the fun of an arcade game without having to spend quarters or leave the comfort of our couch. The first wave of games included Pac-Man, Frogger, Donkey Kong, and Galaxian–– and though, of course, the graphics weren’t nearly as good as in the arcade versions… heck, you at least got the point.
And (bonus!) within minutes or purloining one you became the coolest kid in the neighborhood.
In that first year, Coleco sold three million of these little electronic wonders (half of which were Pac-Man), clearing the way for wave two–– Zaxxon, Ms. Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong Junior in 1983.
Sure, these days you can play all of these games (with graphics BETTER than the original) on your teency little iPhone, but back in the day, it didn’t get much better than the T-MAG.
Eventually, Parker Brothers, Mattel, and the folks at Radio Shack would get in on the action, too, and life would be good for a few more years… until a little thing called the Gameboy came along.
We ♥ Tabletop Mini Arcade Games.