Mattel Football: 1979's King of Timewasters

Mattel's Football (just "Football") was one of the most popular standalone handheld games of the late '70s, in the same ultra-addicting category as Pong and Pac-Man. It was the beginning of the end for the attention span of American youth.

Even though I was -9 years old in 1977, when Football was first released, and can't specifically remember ever playing it, the handheld itself, as well as those tiny red dots, is immediately recognizable to me. It's been featured in films like Bottle Rocket and Wet Hot American Summer, and chances are a lot of you readers have one or two of them in the bottom of a box somewhere in your basement. It was an incredibly, powerfully popular game, the first major handheld videogame smash, and judging by the Amazon reviews, people are still playing and loving it today. [Handheld Museum, Thanks Sean!]


Gizmodo '79 is a week-long celebration of gadgets and geekdom 30 years ago, as the analog age gave way to the digital, and most of our favorite toys were just being born.

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