Takara \ Bandai Video Challenger
Type Console Developer TakaraTomy
Release Date 1987 Region(s) Japan, Canada, UK
Initial Price $99 USD Games Released 7
     by Marriott_Guy
The most common media forms for games in the 1980s was the cartridge, but developers conceived the idea of using VHS video cassettes as a new form of game media.
A company called Worlds of Wonder first introduced the "VHS Console" in 1987 with their system named the Action Max.  TakaraTomy (now simply Tomy) followed suite with their own version calling it the Video Challenger.  Like the Action Max, this system required the owner to own a VCR. 

All games were shooters that took advantage of the console's light gun, called the Challenge Blaster.  The light gun fired an infrared beam that gave off the impression that you were shooting the onscreen characters (like the Decpticons from the Transformers).  Likewise the onscreen characters could return fire (registered by a sensor on the light gun).  The more of the villains you hit, the higher your score.  Get clipped by a baddie, your score would decrease.  The results were displayed on a register on the Challenge Blaster.

A total of seven (7) games were released for the Video Challenger:
          After Burner
          Cobra Command
          Godzilla Challenge 1 & 2
          Road Blaster
          Sky Wars
          Space Challenge
          Turtle Challenge (UK exclusive)
The Video Challenger was distributed by TakaraTomy (Japan), Bandai (Japan and the UK), GiG (Brazil) and Irwin Toy (Canada).  This console was marketed as a toy (and rightly so), but nonetheless is a system that is rather rare and should be considered by console collectors.
     Officially licensed releases
Bandai Video Challenger

Irwin Toy Video Challenger

GiG Video Challenger

     Non-licensed hardware releases
No clones were released for this system.
     Interesting facts on software for this system
Software for the Video Challenger was distributed on VHS tapes.  The cardboard casing is the same style and thickness of any other media that was released in the VHS format.  The graphics on the front cover feature a game screen shot along with some promotional text.

Each regain differed in the presentation, though the Video Challenger logo was used consistently utilized.  Some sample game play videos are listed below.

     Captured in-game images
After Burner
Road Blaster
Space Challenge

     First and third party system emulators
No emulators have been released for this system.
     For the hardware enthusiasts out there - all the detail you\we love.
Processor Type  Processor Speed  Other Processor Information RAM \ Video RAM
HD401010 (8-bit) 4 MHz None 32 bytes
Screen Resolution Color Palette Polygons \ Sprites Audio
320 x 200 NTSC
320 x 256 PAL
N\A N\A Internal (blips)
Media Format Media Capacity Games Released Other Supported Formats
VHS Cassette Tape 90 minutes 7 None
Internal Storage External \ Removable Storage Game Controllers Other Game \ Peripheral Devices
1 KB ROM None Light Gun None
Controller Ports Network Ports Other Ports Audio \ Video
None (the system is the controller) None None Composite
Power Supply - External Other Outputs  Other Details \ Notes
Four (4) AA batteries None VHS tape delivers stereo sound through the television
Not available.  Can you help us out?  You will definitely receive full credit for your contribution.  Email MG@videogameconsolelibrary.com.

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