Repairing my rare, broken Japanese Bandai Intellivision

I grew up with the Mattel Intellivision – I’ve made a video about that before. It was my first real game console and I still love it.

Not a lot of people realize that Mattel licensed the system not just to Sears and Radio Shack (who made their own versions), but also to Bandai in Japan. This system was one of the first American game consoles ever to get an official Japanese release.

But it never caught on there, and consequently it’s pretty rare to find a Bandai machine in the wild even in Japan. I discovered this one purely by chance sitting on a shelf at Super Potato in Ikebukuro, Tokyo for ¥9,800 – about $90 at the time. A steal!

It was marked “untested” and I was warned verbally about that before purchasing too, but it looked almost unused and these machines have no moving parts – what could go wrong? You see where this is heading.

Of course it didn’t work – there was major character corruption in every game. (One of my YouTube commenters asked if this wasn’t a mismatch between a Japanese console and American games, but to be clear, there were no localized Japanese games. They just repackaged the American ones with some Japanese language packaging and instructions.) You can see that at the beginning of this video.

So here I am trying to diagnose and fix this machine, with some help from the good people at AtariAge.com. Was I successful? Well, watch and find out! I will warn you that the process was not short, and neither is the video.

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