Mattel Aquarius

Mattel Aquarius II

When Mattel contacted Radofin for a computer system they found that Radofin already designed a line of three computers. The Aquarius I (internally known as "checkers") was designed as the entry level system, while the Aquarius II ("chess") was the system for the more serious programmer featuring a typewriter-like keyboard and Extended Basic. Mattel and Radofin discussed over the Aquarius II about giving it more memory and programmable graphics with hi-res graphics capability (character resolution of 320x196).

Mattel Aquarius II logo
In the latter part of 1983, Mattel's accountants advised that the toy gigant should pull out of the home computer market completely, and the intended successor unit never made the market.

Mattel Aquarius II After Radofin took back the marketing rights they produced some Aquarius II systems, but the systems have not been sold under the Mattel brand.

The Aquarius II computer had similar characteristics as his little brother, the Aquarius computer. Internally the Aquarius II is equipped with the same 3,5 Mhz Z80 CPU, 4KB of RAM and the same 256 characterset. An external 16 KB cartridge came with the system giving it a total of 20KB of memory. The programmable and hi-res graphics never made it to production.

The only real internal change to the Aquarius II is that Extended Basic is already built into ROM. The Aquarius II looks and behaves exactly the same as an Aquarius with the addition of the Extended Basic cartridge. This gives the system an extensive range of Basic commands, like CIRCLE, DRAW and LINE for more graphical options and DEF FN to define nummeric funtions.

Mattel Aquarius II back There is the same range of interfaces at the back of the system as on the Aquarius I - the RS232 port for the printer, cassette interface and expansion slot. The power cord can now be disconnected from the system but there is still no output for a video monitor.

But there are some differences as well. The Aquarius II looks more professional with its full sized keyboard. It even has a genuine spacebar! The ON-OFF switch can be found on the same position as the original aquarius, and the reset switch is now next to it.

The Mattel Aquarius II systems I own have serial numbers 84 and 757.

Mattel Aquarius II box Mattel Aquarius II box back