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Magnavox Mini Theater and Odyssey Demonstration Film Cartridge

United Visuals Corporationc. 1972

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play
Rochester , United States

Designed by Ralph Baer and released in 1972 by electronics manufacturer Magnavox, the Magnavox Odyssey was the first commercial home video game console. This Mini-Theater unit, used by salespeople to play promotional films in-store, is the first point-of-purchase presentation unit used to introduce home video games to the American public. The accompanying 8mm film presented the Odyssey as revolutionary by depicting the transformation of a middle class American family's passive television watching into an interactive, fun, family experience. The film also shows how to hook up the Odyssey to a television and the variety of games offered on the console. In the 1980s and 1990s attractive video game merchandising displays became important parts of most toy and department stores. Video game manufacturers such as Atari and Nintendo used displays like these to introduce new consoles and games. Their interactive displays often gave consumers opportunities to play a new console and some games before they purchased them. This Magnavox Mini-Theater with accompanying Odyssey film is the first example of this kind of in-store video game merchandising.

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  • Title: Magnavox Mini Theater and Odyssey Demonstration Film Cartridge
  • Creator: United Visuals Corporation
  • Date Created: c. 1972
  • Location: USA
  • Subject Keywords: electronic game, video game, advertising, merchandising, console
  • Type: More Electronic Games
  • Medium: plastic, metal, glass, paper
  • Object ID: 116.3633

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