How VHS Gaming Conned Us | Nostalgia Nerd

31 mrt. 2021
308 274 Weergaven

Head to ​ to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain using code NOSTALGIANERD.... Please note, these games use *FLASHING LIGHTS*. It was bound to happen eventually. I couldn't get away with it forever. VHS Gaming. It was inevitable. The Action Max, Video Challenger, Hasbro Control Vision/NEMO, ViewMaster Interactive Vision, Sega Video Driver and everything inbetween. It's all here, and I've had to endure it. So I thought I'd dive in with the key question: How it conned us, and what I mean by that is; how any of these "game consoles" convinced us that they were something worth dabbling with in the first place.
Personally, having gulped an exceptionally large dose in one go, I don't want to play another VHS based game for a several months, possibly years. Thanks to Quang for letting me borrow his Interactive Vision (even if he doesn't know I did).
Thanks again to RetroReplay. Please find his view Interactive Vision video at
0:00 Intro & Backstory
2:28 Connor VideoSmarts
3:50 Worlds of Wonder
6:02 Action Max
13:25 Video Challenger
17:34 Captain Power
19:57 Sega Video Driver
21:29 Hasbro Control Vision
26:26 View-Master Interactive Vision
30:00 Atmosfear
30:52 TV Teddy
32:14 Toby Terrier / VEIL
35:27 Closing Thoughts
🔗Video & Reference Links🔗
Nintendo Training Video:
Action Max Commercial:
After Burner (Video Challenger):
Road Blaster (Video Challenger):
Pops Ghostly (Action Max):
Ambush Alley (Action Max):
NES UK Advert:
Captain Power:
Night Trap Scenes:
Dragon's Lair:
📚Reference Material📚
Teddy Ruxpin:
WoW: /
Action Max Discussion:
Video Challenger: /
Encoded Light:
VEIL Press Release:
Anime Bargain Bin:
Sabre Star:
VEIL Interactive:
Light Gun Technicals:
NEMO Briefing:
Polygon Sources:
Kotaku Video Tape Report:
Continue? The Boss Fight Anthology (book) text media search results
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📜 Resources 📜
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  • Please remember to SmAsH tHaT bElL

    Nostalgia NerdNostalgia Nerd19 dagen geleden
    • @Mat Ricardo no shit.i dont even have epilepsy and have a gnarly headache now. What a dangerous toy.

      Walsh WalshWalsh Walsh5 dagen geleden
    • Galador toys also interacted with tv broadcasts, and I believe one or more generations of transformers

      GigaBuster_EXEGigaBuster_EXE6 dagen geleden
    • Oh God. I had forgotten about Captain Power. We ended up with just the tape and one of my siblings loved it enough to just watch it as a video...far too often as children do.

      DustquakeDustquake7 dagen geleden
    • 0000t cs d

      TheHighMageTheHighMage9 dagen geleden
    • there is also the Bandia Terebikko, which was marketed as the See 'N Say Video Phone in North America, which used a controller that was shaped like a phone receiver. The content was educational stuff for young children. Not much seems to be known about the american releases but the japanese tapes were anime based, and in one case, based on the mario franchise. Some of them are viewable online. The videos seem to run around 27min.

      Kandi GlossKandi Gloss11 dagen geleden
  • 11:35 more like a 7 segments display than LCD

    Squid GertSquid Gert48 minuten geleden
  • Omg totally forgot I had a video challenger as a kid! Must admit it was fun for a week! Had the turtles game and one or two more I think!

    Nickie BrookNickie Brook3 uur geleden
  • I had the captain power joint

    Aaron SmithAaron Smith5 uur geleden
  • Why did Worlds of Wonder or "WoW" not sue Blizzard for Copy Rights :) Captain Power was one of the greatest shows EVER! Damn you canceling culture.

    Just JordanJust Jordan8 uur geleden
  • I'm surprised companies dont still attempt this kinda thing in toys targeted at 3-5 year olds

    Engineering RealityEngineering Reality9 uur geleden
  • This reminds me of Captain Power where the flashing light would hit a sensor on your toy and cause “hits” from the enemy

    hatednychatednyc11 uur geleden
  • Of course the my were confederate flag touting fighter pilots

    Alpha TAlpha TDag geleden
  • I remember my buddy brought over a copy of Nightmare and it's one of my favorite board game experiences, if a bit gimmicky.

    Adam OwensAdam OwensDag geleden
  • omg this is like a twilight zone i am happy i missed this vhs "thingy"..

    IceLancer SRIceLancer SRDag geleden
  • If they give you a gun to shoot jet fighters .and you accepted this concept ... it's not their fault it's your IQ

    MadDog Mc CreeMadDog Mc CreeDag geleden

    아기오리duckling아기오리ducklingDag geleden
  • I would love to have the first light gun as a prop, looks like a good .44 Automag prop.

    MemeReviewerMemeReviewerDag geleden
  • Video games are totally just a fad.... Right?

    theFLCLguytheFLCLguyDag geleden
  • I find it interesting that you showed a retail demo Toby instead of one that was actually sold, as it invokes a second one of my weird indescribable feelings, probably because I'm imagining someone showing off an old phone in a video, but then shows a retail demo model instead, which would be running the original software, and can't be turned off normally. Edit: Also, judging by the character design, I won't be surprised if the Toby toys ended up being one of many indirect entry points into the furry fandom for many children.

    Kevin BhasiKevin Bhasi2 dagen geleden
  • The way they used the vhs frames to hold scenes for Night Trap like that is actually pretty ingenious

    Miseri ChordeMiseri Chorde2 dagen geleden
  • I remember seeing an Interactive Vision at a thrift store back in the day. I never wanted anything to do with it at the time because I was too busy reselling Atari 2600 kits and games I'd pick up for dirt cheap, but I remember the janky-ass styling of the system and controller.

    Fryode - The Fried DiodeFryode - The Fried Diode2 dagen geleden
  • Why couldn't they have a VCR tied in with a console with an AV passthrough, use the VCR for the world and the console only processing the character sprite? In that case the SNES would be able to produce near VHS quality images if it could use all of it's power only on a couple of sprites, same with the Genesis. Of course that would probably lead to "run on a track" type games like the early Sega CD games, Sewer Rat, etc... it would have worked for stuff like the Terminator 2 shooter though, however, that game looked pretty good on the SNES anyway.

    Glen WaldropGlen Waldrop2 dagen geleden
  • Nothing quite like taking your little brother's Teddy Ruskpin and playing Motley Crue's Girls Girls GIrls...

    Glen WaldropGlen Waldrop2 dagen geleden
  • As a kid playing N64, I tried to give an unplugged controller to another kid to make him think he was playing a character on screen. He didn’t fall for it lmao!

    TheCharmIsGlobalTheCharmIsGlobal2 dagen geleden
  • I saw activision lol

    RR CreativeRR Creative2 dagen geleden
  • I believe you COULD make a somewhat good VHS based game. You can for instance have a line doubler, and stereo separatoe in your console. Have two soundtracks and clips encoded onto separate fields/channels. There were backup systems using VHS cassetes in the 90's (LGR made video about it). The amount of space was substantial around 200 MB, plus there ALWAYS was data hidden in vertical blanking interval, so you could even at THAT time use the same technology to read data from the rest of cassette. I you could for instance have sections of data, AND sections of video and have digital graphics laid on to of video etc. It's ENTIRELY POSSIBLE to make even N64 level games run from VCR, while ok. the console would need a little bit more memory because VHS, isn't exactly a random access format and you couldn't really go back to earlier stages once you beat them... Actually you could encode the data on ceratin timecodes. However let's face it. those guy were only in for quick buck, and NOT delivering a QUALITY products.

    Jim LaheyJim Lahey2 dagen geleden
  • First Real Action Game System Or FRAGS.. kinda ahead of its time with the name

    SwinnySwinny2 dagen geleden
  • THANK YOU! For years I've been searching and I had a Video Smarts cassette!

    William PlaudWilliam Plaud2 dagen geleden
  • Mmmmmm. Sieeeezures.

    Mana_Beast_BeatsMana_Beast_Beats2 dagen geleden
  • I had the video driver. I remember how disappointed I was when I opened the box and realised what it actually was....the advert didn’t show the bulky thing that attaches to the tv or the little red blatantly made out you were controlling the picture on the screen with the steering wheel. I did enjoy playing it in the end though...the few times I bothered

    Ben HodgsonBen Hodgson3 dagen geleden
  • I wanna play sonic fury now 😂 that big ass red light in the corner of the TV screen 😂

    Drew CalhounDrew Calhoun3 dagen geleden
  • I remember these things, my old Christian school had one of those sonic fury Flying top gun tapes. When I saw it, it literally made me think. What the heck is this!?! I'm so glad you covered this obscure VHS tape I saw when I was a kid.

    Lazy BoiLazy Boi3 dagen geleden
  • VHS gaming or how a rock could be an airplane with some imagination

    Perseus ArkoudaPerseus Arkouda3 dagen geleden
  • I had one of these growing up, my brother broke it because he caught me having a relationship with one of he's cousin. She looked like jlo

    Ceez VelasquezCeez Velasquez3 dagen geleden
  • I had the action max. Its amazing how our imagination made us believe this stuff was awesome. Because I definitely thought that with the Action Max. Thanks for the memories and information. Some of these I didnt know.

    christographerx64christographerx643 dagen geleden
  • 19:35 6 am in the morning (not to be confused with 6 am in the evening)

    Jon LeibowitzJon Leibowitz3 dagen geleden
  • Omg! I remember my good buddy having this! I remember ambush alley and another game called "Pops Ghostly" that he didn't talk about which was hilarious. You were in a haunted house shooting puppet ghosts lmao!!

    Fake ShempFake Shemp3 dagen geleden
  • Atmosfear (Nightmare as I remember it) was great fun as a kid. Must admit.. However quickly got old.

    AussieAlexAussieAlex4 dagen geleden
  • And I thought my parents were just naive saying, "why can't we just put it in the VCR?" Talking about NES cartridges. Maybe they had seen one of these gaming systems :-)

    LiveTheLoveYouWantLiveTheLoveYouWant4 dagen geleden
  • 30:00 There was also a Star Trek TNG board game like Atmosfear that included a VHS tape.

    MM0DSMMM0DSM4 dagen geleden
  • None of this crap ever surfaced in Australia AFAIK. We were all using Commodore 64s then Amigas if we weren't into the Seg-Tendo consoles. This stuff was NOT "keeping up with the Commodore"! But by 1990, how could this rubbish ever make it to market? I just don't get it.

    Uncle JoeUncle Joe4 dagen geleden
  • I wish I still had my Aiwa 4 head VCR with jog knob. You could use it for editing. It was a lot like the ones I used in the mid 90s editing vcr videos for the school.

    All Things M3All Things M34 dagen geleden
  • As a child I've never seen a VHS console. But we were stupid poor. Knew of the Atari, NES

    howrylohowrylo4 dagen geleden
    • Also, Teddy Ruxbin scared me so much. And the laser tag didn't work well at all.

      howrylohowrylo4 dagen geleden
  • I had night trap on the 3DO system in like 94 lol. It's got to be the worst game ever.

    Bobby FueszBobby Fuesz4 dagen geleden
  • 5:24 My Lord this AI upscaling looks terrifying

    Harri DendleHarri Dendle4 dagen geleden
  • Can’t believe I have never heard of VHS gaming, in all these years!

    JaytecxJaytecx4 dagen geleden
  • It’s like you you tubers just make videos to fit with ads anymore

    Nukka NauzziNukka Nauzzi4 dagen geleden
  • Always some attack on people with more than you or an attack on capitalism

    Nukka NauzziNukka Nauzzi4 dagen geleden
  • Is that how aerial combat works? Someone sticks a luger out the window?

    痛い痛い4 dagen geleden
  • ive never heard of most of these i was born in 1985 the only vhs game i recall was nightmare it was bad i grew up playing on a Amstrad 464 spent hours playing games like dizzy, afterburner, ghost and ghouls, oh mummy, visor tanks, shackled, out run we had over 300 casket tapes cant recall them all shame the step dad chucked it all out was all fully working worth a bit now very short sighted of him

    ninja36incninja36inc4 dagen geleden
  • Bruh. My Captain Power jet was awesome. Case of VHS gaming that actually worked. It actually had a scoring system that worked well.

    Random Tech JunkieRandom Tech Junkie4 dagen geleden
  • cool story but boring video.

    h91h914 dagen geleden
  • That Captain Power spaceship is actually pretty neat. Shooting your friends would be much more fun than tapes!

    Frosted ButtsFrosted Butts4 dagen geleden
    • It's certainly welcome functionality.

      Nostalgia NerdNostalgia Nerd4 dagen geleden
  • Ah yes, the 80s. When the South San Francisco Bay Area, known as the San Jose Area or South Bay to the locals, was packed full of iconic game developers. Atari was headquartered in my home town of Milpitas, and my friend's grandfather worked for them. Now we just have Apple and Google.

    Nikolaus LindbergNikolaus Lindberg5 dagen geleden
  • cool story but boring video.

    smithbrasssmithbrass5 dagen geleden
    • I apologise for what has unfolded.

      Nostalgia NerdNostalgia Nerd4 dagen geleden
  • talk about blasts from the past man...i was probably between 5 to 7 when some of these things somehow made their way to my circles of family and friends

    O HO H5 dagen geleden
  • Oh Wow! I had the Captain Power. I had forgotten about it but I remember I played that over and over again when I was a kid.

    Dack Man GamingDack Man Gaming5 dagen geleden
  • 7:56 Is that flag what I think it is?

    StasherDragonStasherDragon5 dagen geleden
  • I swore that the VCR game I played when I was 6 years old was just a dream, guess not.

    Jose AlvaradoJose Alvarado5 dagen geleden
  • 1980's: Amazing how some companies really think they can make bucket loads of money by cheating people. 2018: ...yeah... and thus came Fallout 76... I still haven't forgot

    PowerDuDe_DKPowerDuDe_DK5 dagen geleden
  • It's funny how Master System was always said to be more popular than the NES in Australia, but I swear in Western Australia NES, was way more popular. I was lucky enough to have both though, but the ratio of playing NES to MS was about 100:1 Similiarly, SNES was more popular than Mega Drive

    CuzjuddCuzjudd5 dagen geleden
  • U mean CQC

    Maz0ku AzureMaz0ku Azure5 dagen geleden
  • WE ARE TOO ADVAnCED NOW i want to go back to 80´s where the hardware was not maried to its parts

    Informedia Tech - BRUNOInformedia Tech - BRUNO6 dagen geleden
  • i had battlevisio DOOM ON YOU. i never had any idea how to play with it. but i watched the hell out of that tape.

    Lydia SalemLydia Salem6 dagen geleden
  • Very well done Vid! Love the editing and the voice over is just perfect. The information presented is invaluable and unique. I am a pretty hardcore gamer and appreciate all devices and even some pretty obscure ones, but I've never even heard of this device before. I know I have speculated before on the merits of whether or not a Tape Based system like a VCR/VHS can be a viable gaming platform and wondered how that would work. Never would I imagine such a thing existed. You earned a new Sub.

    Arnie CardenasArnie Cardenas6 dagen geleden
  • I had the Action Max, and it was a rip off.

    Ace1000ks1975Ace1000ks19756 dagen geleden
  • Captain Power! Wow. I forgot that existed, but as soon as I saw it I completely remembered it. I was totally into that show when I was about five. How did I forget about a show I was so obsessed with. That was a major trip down Nostalgia lane. I wonder how many other things from my childhood I’ve forgot about that would blow my mind to remember? I’m gonna look up an episode of Captain Power as soon as I finish this awesome documentary.

    hyliaherohyliahero6 dagen geleden
  • talk all the shit you want, but I grew up with tiger electronics and a vhs game of Video least that's what I think it was. It took me at least a damn week for my 5yr brain to realize that no matter what I did, it was going to happen anyhow. Because..what crazy person wouldn't hook up the steering wheel THEN play the game? aunt who was tired of me playing Hook movie 15x a day then asking to play megaman or mario a million times then playing the vhs game over and over... one day, it wasn't hooked right..and it just kept going. Saying the same things. and crashing or losing or speeding up at the same time. magic was broken lmao. I realized it didn't need me..and...possibly I WAS the best driver in the world cause gah damn it, I KNEW a few of those turns I should've overtaken them easier and that they shouldn't have caught up with me lmao

    Agon LeedAgon Leed6 dagen geleden

    TomasopotamusTomasopotamus6 dagen geleden
  • I had the racecar game! Man, I was such an idiot. I played that thing over and over again hoping to avoid the crash at the end, but nope.

    Nightshade __Nightshade __6 dagen geleden
  • Man oh man, that's by far the crappies crap I've ever seen😂

    GermanBurleyLover 777GermanBurleyLover 7776 dagen geleden
  • TV Teddy's voice and audio quality reminds me of the Jump rope girl from Baldi's Basics

    SpongeBobaFettSpongeBobaFett6 dagen geleden
  • Um, 'conned' is a pejorative abbreviation for 'convinced'.

    Mr. PavoneMr. Pavone6 dagen geleden
  • VIDEO Game

    Film YoutubeFilm Youtube7 dagen geleden
  • Yoooo I had that atmosfear game. But it was called “gatekeeper” or some shit like that

    Sean KoonsSean Koons7 dagen geleden
    • Oh shit I just googled. And the game is called atmosfear: the gate keeper. (Released in 2004)....Guess is was the DVD sequel to the first atmosfear.

      Sean KoonsSean Koons7 dagen geleden
  • I got a Captain Power jet and base toys second hand as a child in the early 90s and loved them to death! I never liked playing along to the show but as general toys they were great. I watched those VHS tapes over and over, though. They were really interesting, at least to 6 year old me.

    Robert RizzoRobert Rizzo7 dagen geleden
  • What's that nes background music called?

    exMuteKidexMuteKid7 dagen geleden
  • I started playing video games since Pong was in arcades and I've never even heard of this system.

    Eek-A-Mouse FanEek-A-Mouse Fan7 dagen geleden
  • May say a con, but it's still pretty impressive what they where able to with the tech then

    Frank TurpelFrank Turpel8 dagen geleden
  • And now I'm very curious what. "video nasties" is.

    CraftyArtsCraftyArts8 dagen geleden
  • Yo TV Teddy is actually kinda dope... my sister would have loved that when she was 3-5

    Frank CollinsFrank Collins8 dagen geleden
  • Strange. Based on the timeline, this should have been squarely in my wheelhouse. I was the direct market for Teddy Ruxpin and NES, but I don’t remember ever hearing about this thing or knowing anyone who had one.

    KairieliseKairielise8 dagen geleden
  • I believed the Action Max hype, and so on Christmas Day 1987, one dutifully appeared under the Christmas Tree. By Boxing Day I figured out that I had been conned. Lucky my brother asked for the Sega Master System

    Eric HobbsEric Hobbs8 dagen geleden
  • Maybe they instead intended to air the show at 6AM in the evening.

    gmofftarkigmofftarki8 dagen geleden
  • I dont know how anyone fell for this , really i dont. We had computers and consoles ,they never sold these in my country and I would never have wanted it either.

    ian pretoriusian pretorius8 dagen geleden
  • Im realizing that as a child playing our Action Max, we never once hooked up that red light. My childhood was a lie.

    JackstandJohnnyJackstandJohnny8 dagen geleden
  • I had an Action Max growing up. I loved it. .38 Ambush Alkeys, Pops Ghostly...loved me some Pops Ghostly.

    JackstandJohnnyJackstandJohnny8 dagen geleden
  • I was wondering if toby was going to be on this list...I had one when I was a kid.

    Napping BatNapping Bat8 dagen geleden
  • What video games are in the video?

    Srile Mobitel SrileSrile Mobitel Srile8 dagen geleden
  • so enemies cant hit you if you dont aim the gun at them huh so does that mean the enemies are passive until you become threatening to them i mean sure they look like bad guys but if you dont point the gun at them they don't really hit you are they really enemies or are they just cautious people.

    vaultboy 124vaultboy 1248 dagen geleden
  • I grew up with the game of pops ghostly. My gray got it for me thinking it was just a video lol. I never did get to play it but we watched it from time to time.

    Ed TherriaultEd Therriault8 dagen geleden
  • Did you run that old footage through an AI upscaler? there's quite a lot of artefacts.

    IkilleddaveIkilleddave8 dagen geleden
  • "Were we scammed?" Well, you titled the video "How VHS Gaming Conned Us", soooooo...

    mjc0961mjc09618 dagen geleden
  • Captain power, POWER ON

    Anthony BarrattAnthony Barratt8 dagen geleden
  • 32:36 Does this remind anyone of Gangrel and The Brood?

    Night AoXNight AoX9 dagen geleden
  • 9:37 Well you were having fun soo...

    Night AoXNight AoX9 dagen geleden
  • I picked up one of those Captain Power ship/gun at a local thrift shop for 50 cents. ITs missing the cockpit but when putting batteries in it makes noise.

    jimbox114jimbox1149 dagen geleden
  • I actually had a Captain Power ship when I was a kid. It was never clear to me how to avoid getting shot--my little guy would always eject half-way through the video.

    LaughingManRaLaughingManRa9 dagen geleden
    • Oh neat! I also had the Nightmare game. I don't remember much about it, though.

      LaughingManRaLaughingManRa9 dagen geleden
  • All of it went to trash. Companies that publish shitty electronic project, not supporting the people who bought it... What a waste. I have profound disrespect for these businessmans. I remember in the 80's when these product came to the market, after played the NES, we knew it was total shit.

    NekkzNekkz9 dagen geleden
  • You did miss one VHS videogame console. It was known as the Video Buddy, and I would say that it was the unholy merger of the Action Max and the Connor Videosmarts. You had educational content, mainly licensed properties like Muppet Babies, Once Upon a Tree, and Paddington Bear. For most of the cartoon, it would play like normal. However, every now and again, you would get this switch to a break room with a CGI blob called "Buddy". He would ask questions about what you just saw, you would push a button on the controller, and then you would get feedback based on what you pushed. It could do questions with a single correct answer, as well as questions with multiple correct answers. That sounds like Connor Videosmarts, right? The difference here is that it didn't take an audio tone signal from the tape. Instead, you put a suction cup sensor on the screen over a circle area. That circle flashed in a certain sequence at each question to give the console the correct answer. So, there is the Action Max angle. This was probably the last VHS console, as my tapes have a copyright stamp of 1999. This was already a few years into DVD, so I don't know why they went with VHS. I would guess that it was cheaper. There was also alot of emphasis on kids setting the system up themselves, so maybe VHS was just the more robust option for something that would be handled by kids. Here's an example from one of the "Once Upon A Tree" tapes, so you get to see weird puppets having a crisis about dinosaurs: Also, as an addendum to the TV Teddy discussion, I have seen "The New World of Teddy Ruxpin TV Video Pack" on eBay. It has a box to plug into the VCR and special VHS tapes to use with it. The big difference from TV Teddy is that the box has to plug in to Teddy Ruxpin, rather than being wireless. So, for all the talk of TV Teddy being a Teddy Ruxpin rip-off, it looks like the Teddy Ruxpin company liked the idea so much that they copied it.

    David ButlerDavid Butler9 dagen geleden
  • We also got the Hero Turtles in Germany. And the UK censorship of the series and first movie as well. Thanks a lot!

    Some PotatoSome Potato9 dagen geleden
  • I had one action max, dont remember anyone expecting the video to be interactive, the problem was the gun working right was hit and miss, all pun intended. It would have been awesome oherwise.

    Darth DankDarth Dank9 dagen geleden
  • The gun is an actual mold of the real Pasadena CA Auto Mag, a fantastic but failed gun from the 1970s. That alone makes this one of the greatest consoles ever!

    M ChambersM Chambers9 dagen geleden
  • Even in the late 80s regular VCRs were still selling for $300. Remember the outraged parents from Christmas season 1991 who were horrified to learn the Super NES was $200 almost twice as much as the original? How the hell were they ever going to bring the price down below $200 for a VHS based machine? Most parents would say, "We all ready have two VCRs!"

    M ChambersM Chambers9 dagen geleden