Home entertainment changed forever in the 1970s with the release of the first home video game systems. These new systems created an industry that continues to captivate children and adults.
Toy company Mattel wanted to enter this emerging industry, but did not want to compete with home consoles. Instead, they focused on developing the first handheld game devices, which launched in 1976. They were a success, and by 1978 thousands were being sold per week.
The sports games were particularly popular, with the Football and Baseball titles still fondly remembered. The Baseball game also introduced a new concept: a portable game for two players. Today, these games are a source of nostalgia for those who played them throughout the 1970s and 80s.
You can play this Mattel Electronics Baseball game this week as part of the Salem Museum’s Hands-On History program.
This month, visit the Museum to see “Toys of Christmas Past.” Join us Dec. 22-23 and 29-30 to pull on a glove and play with historic toys. In December, Hands-On History is sponsored by Jim and Caroline Wallace. Salem Museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Dec. 24-26, and located at 801 E. Main St.