Retroist Rewind: Coleco Adam

Retroist Rewind: Coleco Adam

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The Professor Atari

By The Professor on September 21, 2014

Welcome to another installment of a recurring feature we’re calling “Retroist Rewind”. We’ll be looking back at classic episodes from our favorite retro-themed podcast, The Retroist, talk about our favorite episodes, and discuss the show in the Forums.

If you haven’t listened to The Retroist Podcast before, you’re in for a treat. It’s a celebration of nostalgia and pop culture, discussing retro games, movies, tv, and more! Each episode opens with a great personal story from The Retroist himself, then delves into the backstory of the subject matter, how the subject came to be, it’s debut, popularity, and lasting importance and affect on pop culture. The Retroist Podcast is an absolute joy, and we think it deserves your attention.

This time, we revisit an episode about one of the more notable casualties of the video game crash of 1983, the Coleco Adam Family Computer. The Adam was a home computer and ColecoVision Expansion Module released in October, 1983. The Adam (named as to “take a bite out of Apple”) was designed to build on the success of the ColecoVision game console, but suffered from early production problems and hemorrhaged cash for its parent company Coleco. In late 1983 Coleco revealed that it lost $35 million (the time of the Adam’s launch), along with a loss of $13.4 million in the first 9 months of 1984. Despite strong sales from the Cabbage Patch Doll phenomenon and the earlier ColecoVision line, Adam contributed to Coleco’s financial woes and the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1988.

The Adam is also famous for the incident connected with its showing at the June, 1983 CES, in which Coleco demonstrated a port of Donkey Kong on the Adam computer system. This infuriated Atari who had paid for exclusive licensing rights to Donkey Kong for all home computers. The kerfuffle derailed Atari’s finalizing a deal that night with Nintendo, which would have granted Atari an exclusive license to market the Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System) for distribution outside of Japan.

The Retroist has published the episode on YouTube, you can enjoy it below.


From The Retroist:


“On today’s show I talk all about the much maligned computer system, The Coleco Adam. I talk about the company who made the system, the merits of the computer, some of the problems it had, its receptions and more.”
– The Retroist


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If you’d like to discuss this month’s Retroist Rewind episode #088, Coleco Adam, we invite you to Join us in the Forums.

Retroist Podcast, Episode 088: Coleco Adam

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