Interesting Facts About The VTech CreatiVision

By Dieter K├Ânig, 26 September 2001

Creativision Mk II (Laser 500) boxRecently I was lucky enough to find a box for the CreatiVision Mk II. This box shows two interesting facts about this rare and in some kind mysterious system.

The first fact is that on the front side of the box is a sticker that says “Laser 500”. You can see the sticker on the picture of the whole box and on the close-up underneath. Unfortunately the quality of the photo and scan is not very good, due to the reason that the writing on the sticker is in a glittering golden color. Anyway this is kind of confusing, because the Laser 500 was also a home computer by VTech, allthough released later, in 1985. I don’t think that the former owner of the box put this sticker on it, it looks much more like the sticker has ever been there.

CreatiVision Mk II (Laser 500) box closeupOne possibility is that VTech wanted to sell the CreatiVision as a home computer later when the video games market began to collapse. As the CreatiVision looks like a computer with the two controllers forming a membrane keyboard, all they had to do was to think of a name, put a sticker on the box and … we have a new home computer! And they wanted to place the CreatiVision as a “home entertainment and personal computing system” from the beginning, you can read this on the box. As the CreatiVision had been released in 1983, this could have been maybe in 1984. At that time they had the home computers Laser 110, 200, 210 and 310, so Laser 500 could fit.

Another fact is that VTech released the Laser 2001 also in 1984. This is a home computer which is compatible with the CreatiVision. The Laser 2001 has even a cartridge slot for CreatiVision carts. And it seems that there was a series of CreatiVision games in Laser 2001 boxes, like Mouse Puzzle. So this maybe should have been a new small series of compatible computers, with the Laser 500 (alias CreatiVision) a the “beginner” model and the Laser 2001 as a “professional” model with more RAM and a better keyboard.

CreatiVision expansion module #1 - Colecovision converterThe second interesting fact is that the CreatiVision is more or less compatible with many other systems like the MSX computers, the CBS Colecovision and even with the Sega Master System! It is interesting that on the back side of the CreatiVision Mk II box there is a picture of an “Expansion module No. 1” which would run all Colecovision games on the CreatiVision! This adapter looks pretty good so there must at least be one or more prototypes of this unit. I don’t think that it was ever sold, probably due to copyright reasons or the collapsing video game market in 1984.

Another fact is that all the CreatiVision consoles I ever saw are “Mk II”. The “Mk I” seems to be much rarer. If anyone out there owns a “Mk I”, it would be interesting what differences are between those 2 models. But maybe those differences are very minor, because on the CreatiVision box it says “Mk II”, but the console on the box picture has not written “Mk II” on it. On my console “Mk II” is written on the red-green-blue label on the right of the console. So the “Mk I” and “Mk II” maybe really look identical, there are probably only technical differences.

Update, 4 April 2002

VTech Laser 2001 with cassette tape recorder and Colecovision converter playing Donkey KongIn the April 1984 issue of the German home computer magazine “Happy Computer” I found a report about the 1984 Las Vegas Winter CES with some info and a photo about the Laser 2001 computer which was introduced at this show. Here is the translation from German into English: “… two new models by Video Technology: the Laser 2001 and 3000. The 2001 probably aims more at games; because of two expansion units which allow the use of Coleco and Atari videogames …”

Very interesting, especially the Atari adapter! Possible that it was meant to use the Colecovision expansion module #1 (2600 Converter) together with the Laser Colecovision expansion unit. But as the text says “TWO expansion units” it might be possible that an Atari expansion unit was also planned by VTech! Fascinating thought …

And help and info on the CreatiVision system would be appreciated! Please contact us.

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