Following the success of the NES Classic in 2016. we’ve seen the SNES Classic, the forgettable PlayStation Classic and the well- received Genesis Mini. Although these gaming machines are referred to as dedicated consoles, they are not derived from the early ‘70s dedicated video game consoles that had their few games built-into them. Instead their lineage goes back nearly twenty years to a group of miniature consoles known as Plug & Plays, which got their name because they literally just plugged into the television and they were ready to play.

The first Plug & Play device was from a company called Toymax, which released the Activision TV Games Video Game System in 2001. Looking like a generic controller, the console featured two D-pads and two shoulder buttons, and plugged into a television’s audio/video inputs via two attached RCA cables. Built-into the unit were nine ported

Activision Atari 2600 games including River Raid, and one from Imagic, which had been purchased by Activision.

Toymax was purchased in 2002 by Jakks Pacific, a seven-year old toy company, which released a second Plug & Play console exclusively through Avon. This one was called Atari

10-in 1 TV Games. This unit looked very much like the iconic Atari 2600 joystick with reset, select and start buttons on its side and audio and video cables sticking out of its back. The built-in games included several of the most popular 2600 games including, Adventure, Asteroids, Missile Command and Yar’s Revenge. Oddly, three paddle games, including Pong and Breakout, were also included in the joystick.


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Leonard Herman Leonard Herman (26 Posts)

Leonard Herman, The Game Scholar, is regarded as one of the earliest and most respected videogame historians. The first edition of his book Phoenix: The Fall & Rise of Home Videogames, which was published in 1994, is considered to be the first serious and comprehensive book about the history of videogames. He has written articles for Videogaming & Computer Illustrated, Games Magazine, Electronic Gaming Monthly, the Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Pocket Games, Classic Gamer Magazine, Edge, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Manci Games, and Video Game Trader, which he also edited. He has also contributed articles to several videogame-related books, including Supercade, The Video Game Explosion and The Encyclopedia of Video Games. Mr. Herman has also written the book ABC To the VCS (A Directory of Software for the Atari 2600), a compendium of game summaries. He has also written and designed user's manuals for the following Atari VCS games: Cracked, Save the Whales, Pick-Up, Rush Hour, Looping, The Entity and Lasercade, as well as the user's guide to Ralph Baer's Pinball! for the Odyssey2. In 1994, he founded Rolenta Press, a publisher of videogame books, whose catalogue included Videogames: In the Beginning, by Ralph H. Baer, the inventor of the videogame console, and Confessions of the Game Doctor by Bill Kunkel, the world's first videogame journalist. Two Rolenta Press books were included in a list of the top ten videogame books of all time by Game Informer magazine in 2008. Mr. Herman has served as an advisor for Videotopia, Classic Gaming Expo and the National Videogame Museum. He has appeared in several episodes of G4's Icons and in the documentary, The King of Arcades. In 2003, Mr. Herman received a Classic Gaming Expo Achievement Award in recognition for his accomplishments in documenting game history