Proball - Three Electronic Games in One

Game:  Three Electronic Games in One
Company:  Proball
Model:
Year:  1979
Power: (1) 9-Volt battery

This game licensed from Fonas features three game options: All Star Baseball, Batting Champs and Star Chase.

1. All Star Baseball is a straightforward electronic baseball game.

2. Batting Champs is basically a batting practice mode.

3. Star Chase is a mode in which "stars" flash on the screen and you must "send out your chase space ships to intercept and outsmart the computer."  Weird tie-in but appropriate for 1979.  I was most decidedly into baseball and Star Wars at this point in my life and Proball was apparently trying to combine the two.

Note: This game was not known to exist in years past; however, a number of these have recently appeared on eBay so a new old stock supply must have been discovered.

Box front

Box back

Game front

Game back

Instructions

Battery warning insert



Proball - Baseball

Game:  Baseball
Company:  Proball
Model No.:
Year:  1979
Power:  1 9-volt battery

Licensed from Fonas and just like the Fonas version, this one vaguely boasts "More play power than any other computer toy."

Note: Although rarely seen in years past, a number of these games have recently appeared in greater numbers on eBay so a new old stock supply must have been discovered.

Box front

Box Back

Game front

Pitcher controls

Game back

Instructions

Mattel - Baseball Canadian Version

Game:  Baseball
Company:  Mattel
Model No.:  2942
Year:  1978
Power: 1 9-volt battery or AC adapter

Notes:  Probably the most recognizable electronic baseball game ever made, Mattel's Baseball introduced an entire generation of children to portable gaming.  This was a game (along with the Mattel Basketball) that was played for countless hours in my childhood.

The game was sold in two different style boxes - the one pictured below is the larger box with a flap on the left side.  This version of the game was packaged in bubble wrap.

The game itself is no different than the version sold in the U.S. and does not have a different model number.

The box is different than the U.S. version in that the text is bilingual.  The instructions are bilingual as well, however, the format is completely different.  The U.S. versions were sold with a booklet-style instruction manual.  The Canadian version is a long, two-sided sheet that is folded like a map.

Box front

Box back




Bilingual instruction sheet
 

Mattel - Baseball (Reconditioned)

Game:  Baseball
Company:  Mattel
Model No.:  1190
Year:  1978
Power: 1 9-volt battery or AC adapter

Notes:  Mattel Baseball is probably the most recognizable electronic baseball game ever made. When these games were introduced in the late 1970s and sold throughout the early 1980s, they were expensive enough that malfunctioning games were returned for repairs.  (The 1980 JCPenny catalog listed the original (not reconditioned) game for $32.88 or about $95.00 in today's money.) After the repairs were made, the reconditioned models were then repackaged and sold again.  


The box and instruction manuals were labeled as a "Reconditioned Game" and the designation was incorporated into the printed box art and manual cover - it was not just a sticker applied to the box.

The game was then sold under a different model number (1190) than the original (2942) as can be seen on the back of the box.  The game itself is not different, however, and can be distinguished only by the presence of a little sticker on the inside of the battery compartment showing that the unit had been repaired.

The game was packaged with bubble wrap but the length of the instruction manual was actually longer than the box, so expect to find the manual folded over the top of the game in the box or folded in half. Accordingly, a manual in the best possible condition will inevitably have some wrinkling where it was bent to fit in the box.

These versions are exceedingly rare and comprise no more than 1 out of 100-250 games found in today's collector marketplace.

Box front - "Reconditioned Game" is printed on the box and is not a sticker

Box back - note Model No. 1190 (the original game is 2942)

Game front - no different than original

Game back - note that instruction sticker is not replaced and shows 2942 model no.

Repair sticker in battery compartment.

Instructions

Sears - Baseball Game Canadian Version

Game:  Baseball Game
Company:  Sears
Model No.:  917931
Year:
Power: 1 9-volt battery

Notes:  This is a very simplistic game.  The lights blink and the play button is pressed to show the outcome.  The player then manually indicates base runners and changes the score, as necessary.  This game is much smaller than it may appear in the photos and is actually smaller than a postcard.

Sears licensed this game from Bandai and the Bandai logo is imprinted on the back of the game.  The company Leisure Dynamics of Canada is also listed on the back of the box.  One can only assume they had some role in getting this game to market but, who knows.

Recognize the batter depicted on the front of the box?  That is clearly Hall of Famer Rod Carew and it does not seem like the artist did much to obscure his identity.  Not surprisingly, there is no mention of Carew having endorsed the game or any indication that Bandai/Sears had a license from the MLB or MLBPA that allowed them to use Carew's likeness.

The game itself is slightly different than the one pictured on the back of the box in that the sticker at the top of the actual game identifies Sears more clearly and the path that leads from the pitcher's mound to home plate is black, not orange, on the actual game.

Bilingual instructions are found on the bottom of the game.

Same game as the U.S. Version.





Mattel - Baseball

Game:  Baseball
Company:  Mattel
Model No.:  2942
Year:  1978
Power: 1 9-volt battery or AC adapter

Notes:  Probably the most recognizable electronic baseball game ever made, Mattel's Baseball introduced an entire generation of children to portable gaming.  This was a game (along with the Mattel Basketball) that was played for countless hours in my childhood.

The game was sold in two different style boxes - the one pictured below is the flapless version, with the game packaged in bubble wrap.  A second version has the same sized box with a flap and slightly different graphics.  The game in the box with a flap is packaged in Styrofoam.


Box front
Box back

Game front


Game back

Entex - Electronic Baseball

Game: Electronic Baseball
Company: Entex
Model No.: 8001
Year: 1979
Power: 3 AA Batteries or AC Adapter

The Entex Electronic Baseball game started it all for me. As a young baseball fan, I played Little League, collected baseball cards, engaged in an epic backyard Wiffle Ball league (where we actually kept stats) and hustled home after school to catch my favorite Cubs players like Bill Buckner and Dave Kingman on WGN.

In the Chicago winter, however, there was no baseball. At least not until Santa Claus deposited this beauty under the tree.  Seriously, how sexy is this game? It's a stadium that can be held in your hand!  No TV set is needed to play!

Either playing alone or with my brother or friend or cousin, this game and its emerald green playing field brought baseball to the dark days of winter. This game even had a separate controller that allowed the pitcher to choose from 5 pitches, including a knuckler. It was played in the dark, well after I should have been sleeping.  It was played on car rides, with incessant bleeps and bloops driving my parents to the point of threatening to throw it out the window.

It also caused an argument or two about who was winning because, for all of its astonishing technology, it did not keep track of total scores, only the number of runs in a given half-inning. But boy it feel awesome to hit a home run and make the game lights go crazy.

Box front full
Front of box - notice the generic batter about to lunge at a pitch way too far outside.


Back of box - great view of the Remote Control Pitching Module

Game front

Instructions booklet

Score sheet - at first we filled out dream lineups but eventually just kept score, while these sheets lasted