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A daily look back at the toys, games, and objects that captured our attention as children and continue to fascinate us today.

Quiz Wiz from Coleco (1979)

Company: Coleco
Release date: 1979
Where to purchase: eBay

Sample box art for three of the 30 different cartridges Coleco released for the Quiz Wiz

Released in 1979 by Coleco, Quiz Wiz was a computerized question-and-answer game that challenged players to answer 1,001 questions from a variety of categories. Billed as “The computer answer game that is No. 1 in electronic fun”, it ran on a single 9-volt battery or the Coleco Battery Eliminator (a.k.a. an AC Adapter) and was packaged in a portable vinyl-bound case. Question cartridges were sold separately.

To play, players selected a multiple-choice question from the quiz book and entered their answer on the keypad. Electronic lights and sound indicated scoring. A correct answer received a green light and a beeping sound, while an incorrect answer resulted in a red light and buzz.

All told, Coleco released 30 cartridges for the Quiz Wiz. Early releases focused on standard trivia fodder, such as sports, music, movies, and famous places. As the game matured, Coleco delved into more challenging topics, including famous mysteries, monsters, celebrity trivia, and soap operas.

The popularity of the single-player game led to a multi-player version. Coleco’s Quiz Wiz Challenger followed the format of the original game but provided scoring for up to four players.

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