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Marx Toys’ TV Tennis [2]

September 29, 2010

It took me a good while to convince myself to stop pining for this item on eBay (I wonder if it’s still around?) because it is essentially just a prototype of the Tomy Blip that became popular during the late 1970s for its portability despite its limited gaming capabilities. After all, both were merely electromechanical renditions of the Pong game that triggered the rapid evolution of video games. Unlike the Tomy Blip, however, the TV Tennis was an unwieldy game. Because it was manufactured earlier, it did not have the portability that was the selling point of the Blip.

Vintage computers and consoles

It was a huge system, as can be observed from the picture depicting the different examples of vintage computing. The Blip was the forerunner of the portable video game console, and it gave people something to do and enjoy during their trips. On the other hand, TV Tennis did not become popular because of the fact that most American households had televisions anyway and had no need to purchase something so large and extraneous. Instead of purchasing an electromechanical hack of the original video game, why not enjoy the video game itself? The TV Tennis system came out, after all, during the time where Pong-type video games were slowly becoming cheaper due to their market saturation, and some were even coming out in color.

I cannot deny that I wanted the system. This is one my of major flaws: I am sometimes unable to see reality for what it is, but I luckily came around this time. I recognized that the $30 cost for international shipping was much too cheap to be reasonable: I already paid $25 for the 2.5 pound Coleco Bowlatronic game, and that was significantly smaller than this item. Besides, I had no need for the item whatsoever: I can only wonder why I think like I do sometimes. 🙂

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2 comments

  1. I have the original Marx tv tennis in excellent condition, in the box (in the original styrofoam) with stickers and instructions. I am considering selling it, are you still looking for one? I’m in Ohio, USA. Thanks.


    • Sharon, by chance do you still have it?



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