Saturday, July 15, 2017

Gaming Ads: Color Dreams and Commodore

Color Dreams published its first video games in 1989 for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). Like Camerica, Color Dreams didn't have Nintendo's approval so the company had to bypass the lock-out chip on the NES and none of its games carry Nintendo's official seal of quality. It also published games under two other brands; Bunch Games was used for budget titles and Wisdom Tree focused on religious-themed games. In the mid-'90s Color Dreams left the video game industry and now manufactures security cameras under the name StarDot Technologies.

Commodore was founded in 1954 as a typewriter company by Jack Tramiel. It was based in Toronto and over the years has been known as Commodore International and Commodore Business Machines. After typewriters the company produced calculators in the early '70s before releasing its first computer in 1977, the Commodore Personal Electronic Transactor (or Commodore PET) designed by engineer Chuck Peddle. Its second computer, the VIC-20, debuted in 1981 for $299 while its most well known home computer, the Commodore 64 (C64) released in 1982 for $595.

As I wrote in the blog's About section, the C64's 1541 disk drive is where the numbers in the blog name come from. The computer is also prominently featured in the blog's header image and influenced the color scheme. I didn't get a Commodore until 1987 as my family inherited it from one of my father's uncles. While my father attempted to use the C64 for word processing and other useful things, I eventually took it over as I played numerous games on the machine. It didn't replace my Sega consoles but it certainly stole much of my game time away from them as games like Sid Meier's Pirates!, SimCity, Pool of Radiance, and Wasteland had me hooked on computer games.

The C64 wasn't Commodore's last computer, though it is the only one I've used. After the C64 came the Commodore 128 in early 1985 and the Amiga later that same year (Commodore bought the Amiga Corporation in 1983). In 1984 Jack Tramiel resigned due to disagreements with the board of directors and would go on to start his own company. Tramiel managed to purchase Atari's home consumer division where he led the release of the Atari ST computer. Atari, Apple, and IBM were Commodore's primary competitors and as with my Atari ads post, I'll abbreviate here to simply state that despite its numerous successes, Commodore would run into financial troubles that saw the company close in 1994. In 2010 a company called Commodore USA acquired the rights to the Commodore assets and released new computers based on the classics in 2011 but that business venture only lasted a few years.

I would have dedicated this week's complete ads post to Commodore if I had more than a measly two ads. My magazines don't date back far enough as the ads I do have only cover two items in the Amiga line. Let me also add that I've come across a few sets of ads recently that were set to private on Flickr. That was a mistake, of course, and I would guess when that happens you'll see empty albums. I will never create an empty album; if I don't have ads for a company then I will not have an album for it. If you come across any problems with my Flickr albums please let me know, thank you!

Flickr album: Color Dreams
Flickr album: Commodore

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