Entex Select-A-Game

Console Name: Entex Select-A-Game
Release Date: 1981
Original Price: $54.99
Manufacturer: Entex
Number of Games: 6

History
Entex was founded by in 1969. Tony Clowes was originally with Eldon, the maker of Slot Cars. When Eldon decided to exit the toy market, Tony decided to create its own toy company.  In 10 years, Entex had become a 100 million dollar company.

In 1977, the video game handled of Mattel were selling like hot cakes and all toy makers were looking at creating their own. In 1980, Entex decided to release a handheld version of Space Invaders.  The handheld me was a incredible success and sold more than 1.3 million units. But Midway sued Entex for copyright infringement. Being a complex issue, especially since the lawsuit was on new technology at the time not specifically define in the current law, the judge declares that it was unclear if the copyright on a coin-operated arcade could be infringed by a handheld toy. This gray zone allowed Entex to continue selling the Space Invaders handheld without paying any royalties to Midway.

With the popularity of the Space Invaders handheld, Entex released a number of handheld units, including many that would later become Select-A-Game game like Basketball 3, Football 4, Space Invaders 2, etc.

 

Select-A-Game
In 1981, Entex decided to release their Select-A-Game handheld, that would turn out to be only the second cartridge-based handheld in the world after the Microvision.  At a suggested retail price of $54.99 the console came packed with Space Invaders 2 and five other games were available to purchase.

Following the victory over Midway for Space Invaders, Entex decided to publish 2 other Midway games : Galaxian and Pac-Man. Galaxian as a stand-alone handheld game and Pac-Man II as both a stand-alone handheld and a Select-A-Game cartridge.

Midway sued Entex again, but this time, the verdict was different. Since Midway had already sold the right to both Galaxian and Pac-Man to Coleco, the judge issued an injunction to stop Entex from producing both games. The problem is that Entex had already invested tens of millions of dollars in production so in order avoid a financial nightmare, Entex reached a deal with Coleco. Entex would be allowed to sell both Galaxian and Pac-Man until Dec 31,  1981 but all profits would need to be turned down to Coleco. After this date, all remaining inventory would need to pull out of the shelves and Coleco would release their own version of the games as the well-known mini-arcade.

After this fiasco and the lack of enthusiasm for the Selec-A-Game, Entex discontinued the product and moved to other things.

Games
Only 6 games were released for the system, all of which were games released in other form by Entex. The games were sold at a suggested retail price of $17.99.

  • Space Invader 2 (Pack-In)
  • Baseball 3 – The game was originally licensed from Gakken. The 3rd version was an improve version from Tony Clowes. The handheld version sold around 120,000 units.
  • Football 4 – Was the first Vacuum fluorescent display game released by Entex and was the basis for the Select-A-Game display. Only 20,000 units of the original handheld were sold.
  • Pinball
  • Baseball 4
  • Pac-Man 2
  • Battleship (not released)
  • Turtles (not released)

FAQ
You can put any game in demo mode by  holding down button #5 while turning the unit on. It will run through a display test with a few beeps, and then play a demo of the game in the system.

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