Originally announced at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con, Coleco is returning to manufacturing the mini-arcade tabletop machines they were so renowned for in the 1980’s. This time around, it will be based on the popular anime, Robotech, that was the first anime viewed by many in the western world in the 80’s. While the Comic-Con was a few months ago, attention to the project has been renewed as Coleco made a formal announcement on their Facebook page – simply posting the photo above with the caption: “COMING SOON”.
Information is scarce so far, but what we do know is that they’re being created in partnership with Harmony Gold, the company who originally produced the anime. As well as the mini-arcades, Coleco will also be selling action figures.
Funnily enough and as with the modern age of information, the juicy details actually originate from the Facebook posts comment section. A commenter named John asked about similarities to the 80’s originals, and the admin of the Coleco page confirmed that it would be of the same dimensions but use new moulds. The juiciest of information, though, came in response to a commenter named William who asked about an unreleased (although advertised at the time) Berzerk mini-arcade, and if there was ever the possibility of it seeing the light of day. Again, the admin replied but this time with a short video of Berzerk playing on a generic looking mini-arcade cab along with the tantalising response, “stay tuned”.
As an additional piece of information, keen-eyed commentators across the web have pointed out that the screenshot in the released photo looks to be from a 2002 GBA game called Robotech: The Macross Saga. It’s fair to assume that they would be emulating instead of creating a game from scratch – a GBA game is certainly fitting for an arcade form factor after all.
But what I’m sure everyone wants to know is if more mini-arcades are on the cards – and while the official website is not giving many details yet, it does also enthusiastically claim that the relaunch of mini-arcades is on the horizon. Coupled that with the Facebook response, points to a potentially exciting relaunch of an 80’s favourite. Although, I would wager that vacuum fluorescent displays will sadly not be included this time around.