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The Info List - Coleco



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COLECO INDUSTRIES, INC. was an American company founded in 1932 by Maurice Greenberg as THE CONNECTICUT LEATHER COMPANY. It became a highly successful toy company in the 1980s, known for its mass-produced version of Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and its video game consoles , the Coleco Telstar dedicated consoles and ColecoVision
ColecoVision
. While the company disappeared in 1988 as a result of bankruptcy, the Coleco
Coleco
brand was revived in 2005, and remains active to this day.

CONTENTS

* 1 Company * 2 As brand * 3 See also * 4 References * 5 External links

COMPANY

Coleco Industries, Inc. started life in 1932 as The Connecticut Leather
Leather
Company. Initially the business supplied leather and "shoe findings" to shoe repairers. Shoe findings are the supplies and paraphernalia of a shoe repair shop. The company later (1938) branched out into selling rubber footwear. With the advent of World War II
World War II
the demand for the basic supplies that the company produced dramatically increased demand. By the end of the war the company was much bigger and on a stable financial ground and had branched out into new and used shoe machinery, hat cleaning equipment and even marble shoeshine stands.

By the early 1950s, and thanks to Maurice Greenberg 's son, Leonard Greenberg , the company had diversified further and was making leather lacing and leathercraft kits. In 1954, at the New York Toy Fair, the leather moccasin kit was selected as a Child Guidance Prestige Toy, and Connecticut Leather
Leather
Company decided to go wholeheartedly into the toy business. In 1956, Leonard read of an emerging technology, the vacuum forming of plastic, which led the company to become very successful, producing an enormous array of different plastic toys and wading pools.

In 1961 the leather and shoe findings portion of the business was sold , and Connecticut Leather
Leather
Company became Coleco
Coleco
Industries, Inc. On January 9, 1962 Coleco
Coleco
went public, offering stock at $5.00 a share.

In 1963 the company acquired the Kestral Corporation of Springfield, Massachusetts, a manufacturer of inflatable vinyl pools and toys. This led to Coleco
Coleco
becoming the largest manufacturer of above ground swimming pools in the world.

By 1966, the company had grown massively so Leonard persuaded his brother Arnold Greenberg to join the company. Further acquisitions added to the company's growth, namely Playtime Products (1966) and Eagle Toys of Canada (1968). By the end of the 1960s, Coleco
Coleco
ran ten manufacturing facilities and had a new corporate headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut.

The 1970s were a difficult decade for Coleco
Coleco
and yet despite this sales crossed the $100 million mark. When Coleco
Coleco
became listed on the New York Stock Exchange
New York Stock Exchange
in 1971 sales had grown to $48.6 million. In 1972 Coleco
Coleco
entered the snowmobile market through acquisition, however poor snowfall and market conditions led to disappointing sales and profits.

Under CEO Arnold Greenberg , the company entered the video game console business with the Telstar in 1976. Dozens of companies were introducing game systems that year after Atari
Atari
's successful Pong console. Nearly all of these new games were based on General Instrument 's "Pong-on-a-chip". However, General Instrument
General Instrument
had underestimated demand, and there were severe shortages. Coleco
Coleco
had been one of the first to place an order, and was one of the few companies to receive an order in full. Though dedicated game consoles did not last long on the market, their early order enabled Coleco
Coleco
to break even .

Coleco
Coleco
continued to do well in electronics. The company transitioned next into handheld electronic games , a market popularized by Mattel
Mattel
. An early hit was Electronic Quarterback . Coleco
Coleco
produced two very popular lines of games, the "head to head" series of two player sports games, (Football, Baseball, Basketball, Soccer, Hockey) and the Mini-Arcade series of licensed video arcade titles such as Donkey Kong and Ms. Pac-Man . A third line of educational handhelds was also produced and included the Electronic Learning Machine, Lil Genius, Digits, and a trivia game called Quiz Wiz. Launched in 1982, their first four tabletop Mini-Arcades, for Pac-Man , Galaxian , Donkey Kong, and Frogger , sold approximately three million units within a year. Among these, 1.5 million units were sold for Pac-Man alone. In 1983, it released three more Mini-Arcades: for Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong Junior , and Zaxxon . The ColecoVision
ColecoVision
video game console

Coleco
Coleco
returned to the video game console market in 1982 with the launch of the ColecoVision
ColecoVision
. While the system was quite popular, selling 500,000 units over two years, Coleco
Coleco
hedged its bet on video games by introducing a line of ROM cartridges for the Atari
Atari
2600 and Intellivision
Intellivision
. It also introduced the Coleco Gemini , a clone of the popular Atari
Atari
2600.

When the video game business began to implode in 1983 , it seemed clear that video game consoles were being supplanted by home computers . Coleco's strategy was to introduce the Coleco Adam
Coleco Adam
home computer, both as a stand-alone system and as an expansion module to the ColecoVision. This effort failed, in part because Adams were often unreliable, and in part because the computer's release coincided with the home computer industry crashing. Coleco
Coleco
withdrew from electronics early in 1985.

Also in 1983, Coleco
Coleco
released the Cabbage Patch Kids series of dolls which were wildly successful. Flush with success, Coleco
Coleco
purchased beleaguered Selchow and Righter in 1986, manufacturers of Scrabble
Scrabble
, Parcheesi
Parcheesi
, and Trivial Pursuit , sales of which had plummeted, leaving Selchow & Righter with warehouses full of unsold games. The purchase price was $75 million. That same year, Coleco
Coleco
introduced an ALF plush based on the furry alien character who had his own television series at the time, as well as a talking version and a cassette-playing "Storytelling ALF" doll. The combination of the purchase of Selchow in actuality, a re-branding of the controversial Retro VGS console, whose Indiegogo campaign failed to secure funding when it ended in early November 2015, with only $63,546 raised of its $1.95 million goal. In the press release, it was established that the system would be able to play new and classic games in the 8, 16, and 32-bit styles. The release for the system was announced to be sometime in early 2016, with a demonstration at Toy Fair New York in February. However, some critics suggested that the prototype fell short of its developmental goals and was nothing more than the motherboard of a Super NES model SNS-101 inside an Atari
Atari
Jaguar case. Later mock images of a prototype posted by AtariAge showed the device utilizing a CCTV capture card in place of a motherboard. After Retro VGS failed to produce a fully working prototype, Coleco
Coleco
Holdings pulled out of involvement with Retro VGS, terminating the project.

SEE ALSO

* ColecoVision
ColecoVision
* Coleco ADAM
Coleco ADAM
* Coleco Gemini * Electronic Quarterback * Sectaurs * Starcom: The U.S. Space Force * Telstar Combat!

REFERENCES

* ^ "2nd Greenberg to Be Coleco\'s New Chairman". The Los Angeles Times. 1985-05-08. Retrieved 2010-08-26. * ^ A B Woutat, Donald (1985-01-03). " Coleco
Coleco
Discontinues Its Adam Computer Line". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-26. * ^ https://www.concord-sots.ct.gov/CONCORD/PublicInquiry?eid=9744&businessID=0082578 * ^ Kleinfield, N. R. (1985-07-21). " Coleco
Coleco
moves out of the cabbage patch". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-07. * ^ "Dividends: New Woes for Coleco". Time. 1984-03-19. Retrieved 2010-03-03. * ^ "Computers: Coleco
Coleco
Pulls the Plug". Time. 1985-01-14. Retrieved 2010-03-03. * ^ Tong, Judy (2002-12-08). "UPDATE: XAVIER ROBERTS; Bigger Kids In the Garden". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-07. * ^ Coleco
Coleco
1932-1982. Coleco Industries, Inc. 1982. * ^ Kleinfield, N. R. (1985-07-21). " Coleco
Coleco
moves out of the cabbage patch". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-01. * ^ " Coleco
Coleco
Handheld Games". Handheldmuseum.com. Retrieved 2012-01-31. * ^ A B "More Mini-Arcades A Comin\'". Electronic Games
Electronic Games
. 4 (16): 10. June 1983. Retrieved 1 February 2012. * ^ "Mini-Arcades \'Go Gold\'". Electronic Games
Electronic Games
. 1 (9): 13. November 1982. Retrieved 5 February 2012. * ^ " Coleco
Coleco
Mini-Arcades Go Gold" (PDF). Arcade Express. 1 (1): 4. August 15, 1982. Retrieved 3 February 2012. * ^ A B "The Next Generation 1996 Lexicon A to Z: Coleco". Next Generation . No. 15. Imagine Media
Imagine Media
. March 1996. p. 31. * ^ "The Next Generation 1996 Lexicon A to Z: ColecoVision". Next Generation . No. 15. Imagine Media
Imagine Media
. March 1996. p. 31. * ^ "Cleveland\'s Cabbage Patch Kids turn 25". AccessNorthGA.com. 2008-09-07. Retrieved 2010-08-07. * ^ " Coleco
Coleco
Acquires Selchow & Righter". AP (Associated Press). 1986-05-05. * ^ Gendel, Morgan (1986-08-26). " Coleco
Coleco
Plays The Odds, Pays For Ads For \'Alf\'". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-08-26. * ^ "Cabbage Patch Doll Maker Is Bankrupt". The Los Angeles Times. 1988-07-12. Retrieved 2010-08-26. * ^ "BRIEFLY". The Los Angeles Times. 1988-07-04. Retrieved 2010-08-26. * ^ "SLM Action Sports Buys Coleco
Coleco
Units". New York Times. 1988-06-10. Retrieved June 10, 2017. * ^ "Hasbro\'s Purchase Of Coleco\'s Assets". New York Times. 1989-07-13. Retrieved November 13, 2006. * ^ https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/retro-vgs#/story * ^ "Press". Mike Kennedy. Retrieved 2015-12-17. * ^ http://motherboard.vice.com/read/crowdfunded-coleco-chameleon-game-console-is-a-mess * ^ http://www.retrofixes.com/2016/03/coleco-chameleon-prototype-controversy.html * ^

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