Sanyo V Space Wars

Sanyo V Space Wars

There’s no doubt the Space Attacker game was hugely popular in the 1980s — plenty of watch brands bought the Hong Kong-produced modules and put their own badges on them.

The three-position turret game also extended to at least one calculator and potentially several handhelds too, and then came a subtle variation in the form of the Micronta Cosmic Fire-Away watch.

Costing $24.95 and sporting similar features, the Cosmic watch had a very different layout to the familiar Space Attacker.

In time mode, the hours and minutes were twice the size of the seconds, which were positioned above, then the date at the very top.

Image from www.handheldmuseum.com

Like the Space Attacker, it’s a dual-LCD watch, the second LCD containing all the game graphics.

I haven’t seen many of these, and never a 100% working version so they’re reasonably rare — it’s likely many of them were junked once the battery went flat or (like several I’ve seen) the battery leaked, damaging the internals, and they were thrown out at that point.

One version I’d never seen until recently is this one — the Sanyo Space Wars.

Sanyo also had a version of the Nelsonic Grand Prix car racing calculator watch so dabbled in games, along with several melody watches.

The graphics on the crystal say ‘lithium’ but either the watch had several battery changes over its life and the owner switched to leakier alkaline batteries, or it had a bad lithium battery at some point as there was a fair bit of corrosion internally.

While most of it can be (and has been) cleaned and traces repaired, I think the corrosion affected the conductivity of the LCD glass itself, as there are plenty of missing segments that haven’t returned even with new zebra strips. It’s possible the LCDs weren’t of high quality to begin with so I’ll keep looking for a 100% working model, but even a partially-working rare watch is better than it disappearing into the landfill along with its history.

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