Friday, January 12, 2007

RETRO TOY FLASHBACK # 53: Lakeside's Intercept (1978)

Now here's a flashback from my misspent youth. I guess it was the Christmas of 1978 or 1979 when I ripped into a wrapped package to discover this great "electronic" game from a company called Lakeside(Leisure Dynamics, Inc., No. 9005). It was a gift from my folks.

It's called Intercept, "the electronic search and destroy game," and the box front trumpets that it comes with "the sounds and lights of fighter attack." Yep, Intercept is a Cold War era game that allows you to "BE THE ATTACK PILOT" or "BE THE DEFENSE COMMANDER." That means you can play either side in the nuclear armageddon with the Soviet Union, I guess...

Anyway, as the stalwart attack pilot, you are tested in this way (according to the box rear...): "Can you sneak past your opponent's surface-to-air missile sites and attack his Airfield? Manuever secretly across the tracking grid."

As the Defense Commander, you are tasked in this fashion: "Can you track down and destroy the Attack Jet? Use your logic to pin-point his position. Fire your rockets to score a direct hit."

The coolest piece on the board is a crimson "INTERCEPTOR DEFENSE COMMAND." Or as the box describes it: "This Special Aircraft, when placed on Target, ELECTRONICALLY locks on to the Attack Jet. It will program your rocket Fire and score a direct hit as the Attack Jet flares up on the tracking grid."

Ah, the days before video games, huh? Other pieces in the Intercept "Search and Destroy" Game include, "S.A.M Defense Sites," and "SIGHTING INDICATORS." As the Jet fighter, you control your fighter from an ATTACK COMMAND CENTER with a red knob that is the "ATTACK CONTROL." Midway down the board is a red "ATTACK ROCKET FIRE BUTTON."

You are entreated to "LISTEN TO THE SOUNDS" of "RADAR WARNING SIGNAL, "THE LAUNCH OF AIR MISSILES," and "THE SIGNAL OF A DIRECT HIT" in Intercept, a "self-contained portable electronic game." It takes one 9 volt transistor battery, and is a heck of a lot of fun. The one I have actually works now, which is doubly cool. Can't wait to show it to Joel...

Anyway, it's all very cool, especially from a disco decade kid's point of view, and this is one electronic game that I recall having fun with for hours when I was nine. Back in the year of the original Battlestar Galactica (1978) and the Atari-2600, this baby was absolutely high tech.

Did anyone else out there own of these too?

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