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Machine Memories: Mattel Electronics Baseball

On 02/02/2023 at 12:28 PM by KnightDriver

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Tune the wayback machine to 1978 and my first LED handheld game made by Mattel Electronics. All the neighborhood kids had one of these things: either baseball, football, basketball or hockey. There was even a soccer one, but I never played that, I was a baseball fan. 


I played M.E. Baseball all the time. It went nicely alongside my obsession with little league baseball.  I was so into that, I used to sleep with my team's baseball hat on. I was 11. 

M.E. Baseball used LED lights to portray the action. You just had to time your button presses to the light's movement to hit the "ball", then move your "player" to each base. When you hit a homerun, all the lights would flash on and off and the speakers make a lot of noise.

The switch in the middle was for two difficulty modes. The harder mode just made the pitches faster.

Wacky Time: TV commercial with Reggie Jackson!





02/03/2023 at 02:01 AM

I missed out on these games, as well as on the Coleco tabletop games. I did have a few LCD games from Radio Shack as well as a Nintendo Game & Watch, which tided me over until Nintendo released the Game Boy in 1989.


02/03/2023 at 10:00 AM

I keep running across other handheld games I used to have, but forgot about, in the 70s and early 80s. I never had a Game & Watch though. I think I must've gotten most of my game systems before it came out. 


02/03/2023 at 06:47 PM

Oh man, we had some LCD games back in the day. None of them were good but it was better than nothing to pass the time.


02/04/2023 at 10:39 AM

I tried out the Game & Watch games on a collection not too long ago and found them more entertaining than I expected. 


02/05/2023 at 02:48 PM

Oh man, I have all four of the Game & Watch collections and I think they're great (at least the "modern" versions with Nintendo characters and music).


02/06/2023 at 02:10 PM

Whoa! There are four collections? I'll have to check that out. 


02/09/2023 at 02:42 PM

Three on the original Game Boy and one on GBA Smile

Cary Woodham

02/05/2023 at 07:31 AM

My cousin had the football version of these Mattel games.  I think it's interesting they re-released these a few years ago.


02/06/2023 at 01:56 PM

Yeah, I ended up getting the orginals again when I heard about it, but the rereleases look identical. 

Football was a game my neighbor and us visiting kids played so much we wore the buttons off. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/10/2023 at 12:35 PM

Simple as those graphics were, just goes to show that no matter how advanced graphics gets, the core mechanics of baseball are still fairly simple. 

Is the gameplay loop really THAT different between this and MLB 2023? IS IT?


02/11/2023 at 10:59 AM

Latest Baseball game I've played was Super Mega Baseball 2. It was pretty simple but it's certainly more than a one-button press to hit the ball. Actually it had a quite complex combo of stick movement and button press so you can swing the bat in a lot of different ways. 

Super Step Contributing Writer

02/16/2023 at 12:16 PM

Hmm ... fair point. 

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