Manley Toys Limited was founded in 1987. The Company’s line of business includes the wholesale distribution of games, toys, hobby goods, and supplies. Somewhere in the early 90s, Toymaker Bob Del Principe started to work on a concept of toy capable of seeing. He worked on this concept for about 10 years before it actually see the light of day (pun intended) in 2002. At this point, Bob was now Vice-President of Research and Development for Toy Quest, released the first ever doll that could see, called Cindy Smart. Equipped with a digital camera in the torso and a 16-bit microprocessor in the stomach, the doll was able of voice recognition of over 70 commands, reading words in five languages, do basic math, and tell time.
By this time, Toy Quest had also released video game consoles, especially in the form of “VR” games. As VP of Research and Development, Bob knew that Video gaming was and would continue to be immensely popular with children. In 2003, Toy Quest released Power Rangers Ninja Storm – Storm Action T.V. Gaming System, a cartridge-based video game console based on the Power Rangers franchise, but Bob had the dream to merge the technology he created for the Cindy Smart doll with video games. “Our goal is to incorporate the best parts of interactive game play with our expertise in visual motion detection technology to create an enticing way for kids to get some exercise.”
With that in mind, they created GoGo TV, the first video game console with an integrated camera. It was obviously not the first time a camera was used as a controller in the game. Sony released the Eye Toys in 2003 and the XavixPort integrated movement detection directly in their cartridges, but GoGo TV would be the first to integrate this feature directly into the console itself.
Released on June 1st, 2005, the console was finally released across all retailers such as Target, Toys’r’Us, Walmart and Best Buy while in France, it was sold and distributed by Smoby. The came packed with a 4 in 1 Game Cartridge that included Flashcard Fishing, Break a Brick, Balloon Juggling and Penguin Maze. An additional 8 other game cartridges were also released. These cartridges only features one game, but came packed with an accessory. Toy Quest announced that they would release another seven games every quarter.
The main focus of the marketing campaign around the GoGo TV was its ability to keep the children active. The timing was perfect as the obesity was deemed epidemic in the early 2000s, making the GoGo TV a suitable solution for parents that wanted their kids to be active while, at the same time, allowing them to play video games.
The console was well received by the critics and was featured in the news, morning shows as well as be the recipient of the Family Fun’s Toy of the Year Award of 2005 and Nick Jr. Family Magazine’s 50 Best Toys of the Year.
Although, the concept was good, the GoGo TV its execution wasn’t flawless. The camera recognition was good but had difficulty against dark background, and the movement detection, while accurate, was slow. The games were for the most part very simple and crude looking. The PS2 which was already in millions of homes had a peripheral doing exactly that, but better.
The slow sales pushed Toy Quest to pause the development of additional games, hoping that the sales figures would pick up. But sadly, for Toy Quest, Nintendo announced the released of their upcoming console, the Wii which would end up dominating the video game market. By this point, Toy Quest completely abandoned the console while liquidating the rest of the inventory.
9 cartridges, including the pack-in games where supposedly released, but only 8 have been confirmed so far. They retailed for US$20.
|4 in 1 Game Cartridge||Whac A Mole||GoGo Baseball|
|GoGo Basketball||GoGo Dodgeball||GoGo Tennis|
|GoGo Snowboarding||GoGo Paintball*||GoGo Football**|
- The Paintball game has been confirmed to exist in France, but have not been confirmed elsewhere.
- The Football game was announced as released by Toy Quest, but we have not confirmed its existence yet.