Last month, Coleco introduced the idea of bringing back its mini-arcade tabletop games from the 80’s for a new generation to enjoy, in the form of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign. But rather than focusing on remade arcade games, it put together two games based on popular and widely beloved franchises: Rainbow Brite and Robotech.
The campaign currently sits at over double its original $30,000 goal, with over $68,000 raised. And there’s still a day and a half to go for those that are interested in getting their own game.
We had a chance to sit down with Coleco product developer Tina Cassano about bringing back the classic tabletop arcade design, and why games like these are relevant to today’s gaming scene. More importantly though, we asked what could possibly be coming next with the success of the campaign!
First, what prompted Coleco to bring back its tabletop arcade machines? Did you see more of a demand for them on the classic toy market or was it something different?
The minis are by far the most desired legacy products. Many have recreated mini arcades in hopes of recapturing the same feeling of the original 80’s arcade games you can take home with you. We have had interest from longtime toy fans and collectors. The minis just make sense as the most obvious item to relaunch.
Tell us about why you chose Rainbow Brite and Robotech games for these Machines.
Our goal with these titles is to bridge the gap between the younger generation and older generation as well as male and female consumers. Parents who remember the machines and brands as a child will invariably share the units with their children. Rainbow Brite and Robotech are iconic 80s brands that are both resurging and share enthusiastic fan groups.
Did you have the game concepts in mind all along for Rainbow Brite’s RPG and Robotech’s shooter?
Rainbow Brite's game concept came about as a collaborative effort between our team and the game’s developer. First and foremost, we wanted to have a project that was a part of our catalog that had roots in Coleco's wonderful homebrewing community. With that in mind, the idea of creating a role-playing game to go along with a side-scrolling action game to roll out the initial release of the Coleco Evolved minis came about naturally. Additionally, we felt as though Rainbow Brite's world was a perfect setting for an RPG in the first place. Robotech just made sense as an additional iconic title that would work well and offer enjoyment on these devices.
How did you go about designing the tabletop games? Did you bring in any team members that worked on the previous games?
We noticed that other companies have attempted to release a similar product only to end up with low quality plastic devices that do not compare to the originals. We chose to produce the units based on the retro design which consists of a seemingly indestructible shell. People may notice that the hood of the machine is unnecessary due to the screen upgrades, but we did not want to disrupt the integrity of the classic design. Any changes, such as the screen and the processing unit, include upgrades from the original like the USB charger.
What has been the feedback on the games thus far from the community? And the KickStarter fan base?
We have had overwhelming support and excitement among old fans and each specific fanbase of these arcade titles. We get great joy out of seeing smiles on the faces of the individuals who have tested out our minis at various conventions. Of course there have been cries for more titles and old favorites, and we plan to announce additional titles as we move forward with this initial release. The Kickstarter release, which allowed us to take pre-orders and take a temperature on interest, has been amazing. The community is supportive and we highly suggest this crowdfunding platform to anyone looking to venture into development.
Once the Kickstarter ends, do you see a huge marketing push to put these in retailers? Or perhaps through online stores?
Following initial announcements of the minis at Coleco Expo 2017 and by Harmony Gold at San Diego Comic Con, we have been in communication with interested retailers. In addition, we have relationships with large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target and we fully expect that the games will be available by 2019.
Do you foresee Coleco possibly working on new tabletop games in the future? Perhaps featuring other popular franchises? Maybe revisit the classic games from the 80’s?0comments
YES! We already have a second wave of games to follow up these two titles including some favorite iconic titles.
The Coleco games should be available later this year! You can learn more about the Kickstarter campaign at the link!