Review Fix Exclusive: Inside Coleco’s Vision for 2019

Review Fix chats with ColecoVision’s Product Manager Tina Cassano, who lets us know what the company is up to ahead of their appearance at the 2019 New York Toy Fair as well as how their new mini-arcades will play a huge role in their future.

Review Fix: What inspired this mini arcade line?

Tina Cassano: The new Coleco mini arcade line was inspired by the persistent cries of Coleco fans from the 80s for toys and the recreations that don’t do the originals justice. Instead of setting off this new line of collectibles with old titles, we wanted to put a newer spin on the arcades while maintaining the same aesthetics and durability of the old ones. We love the idea of including the gaming community in our developments and crowd sourced many features of our arcades from style to color and even titles.  Robotech is a fan favorite and the side-scrolling, action packed shooting game made  sense to put on our minis. Then, we chose a classic, RPG-style game custom designed by a home brewer that features Rainbow Brite, a nostalgic, loved character from the 1980s. 

Review Fix: What makes them different from what other companies are doing?

Cassano: There are two unique factors that set our machines apart from the others–First, we are using the highest quality of materials and plastics. Our original machines from the 1980s seem almost indestructible. Our goal was to maintain that feeling of when toys were toys. Many of the arcades people are used to seeing in stores today compromise the integrity of the plastic to make them more profitable, whereas Coleco would rather delivery quality. 

Secondly, most of the machines you see these days are simply re-boots of an old arcade game. Rather than give consumers the umpteenth mini Pac-Man arcade, we wanted to start with something fresh and continue on with a new line of these machines including both new and old titles. 

Review Fix: Why is Coleco a sexy brand again?

Cassano: At Coleco, we tend to communicate with our user base more so than any of the major toy and gaming companies. Ironically, this transparency creates a certain enigma with the brand.  Our fans hold our company to excruciatingly high standards and involve themselves in our process.  Regardless, there is something inviting and magical about those glowing ColecoVision letters. We don’t want to compete with anyone. We want to follow our own path and create only items with a value that will still be on a shelf in 100 years. So why is Coleco sexy? Because we are reemerging at our own pace, with our own appeal, and excited for the mystery of what th future as a company holds.  

Review Fix: What are your goals as a company for 2019?

Cassano: Total world domination and a second attempt at dethroning Apple! We jest.  More realistically, we are hoping to have a great year officially launching the minis into retail locations and expand the line with added titles.  This year’s Toy Fair should give us a great indication of what we can do with the arcades. 

Review Fix: How do these mini arcades play a role?

Cassano: Ideally, we would like to introduce two more minis as our next order of business. We are also open to collabs and have a few other project ideas in the works. 

Review Fix: What’s next?

Cassano: Wow, where do we start?  Currently we are in development with At-Games for a Flashback 2.0.  You can expect to see us at more gaming expos over the next year. Also, don’t count us out for a second Coleco Expo… eventually!

As far as the minis go, we are considering one older title such as Frenzy and perhaps a new game based on our own created character. Stay tuned!

Review Fix: Anything else? 

Cassano: Yes!  Join the Coleco revolution.  Join our mailing list on our website, follow us on social media.  If you are a mom and pop shop, reach out to us.  Our goal is to support local and small businesses with ‘post-era’ quality products in a world of declining product durability.   Through these channels, we are looking to create an intimate experience for toy enthusiasts, hobbyists and new era gamers. 

We are looking to place our products in as many independent toy, hobby, and collectible shops as possible to create an intimate experience with a variety of enthusiasts ranging from our old fans, and new Coleco lovers that are too young to have heard of us. 

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 8804 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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