Above: Coleco Telstar Console
The Telstar is a series of video game consoles produced by Coleco from 1976 to 1978. Starting with Telstar Pong clone based on General Instrument’s AY-3-8500 chip in 1976, there were 14 consoles released in the Telstar branded series.
Above: Coleco Telstar Console Retail Model
Coleco released several models from 1975 to 1978 including the following: TelStar Classic, TelStar Deluxe, TelStar Ranger, TelStar Alpha, TelStar Regent, TelStar Sportsman, TelStar Colormatic, TelStar COmbat, TelStar Marksman, TelStar Gemini, TelStar Arcade.
Above: Coleco Telstar Alpha Console
Many first generation consoles had the games integratede into the console and the TelStar was no different. As such, to continue to make money off the unit and offer more games, Coleco had to continue to release new consoles.
This proved to be unsustainable and starting with the second generation, games were released separately allowing the console to be bought once.
Above: Coleco Telstar Combat Console
The coleco systems each came with three games is what was considered a very simple device even for the time. It came with two paddles and all games were based off the pong principle of a bouncing ball. First generation games weren’t that creative, but as nothing else before was like it, it captured the imagination of youth until the like of the Atari 2600 came out.
Above: Coleco Telstar Arcade Console