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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2 Responses to Sanyo V Space Wars

  1. I have a working version of the above watch but some of the buttons don’t work. Been told a simple fix but I want it restored. Also how much is it worth now?

    • Well, any fix is simple until it isn’t. If your buttons aren’t making contact anymore that’s reasonably straightforward. But there are plenty of other things that can cause the buttons to stop working which can be anything from reapplying conductive compound to a fault in the circuitboard making the watch think another button is being pressed continually so stops the other(s) from working. Definitely worth getting fixed though if it’s possible. Value is a bit difficult — they rarely ever appear for sale, but rare doesn’t necessarily mean valuable (it is, after all, a budget version of the Nelsonic Space Attacker game). Ebay is probably the best way to determine market value — you might be pleasantly surprised or bitterly disappointed but you’ll get an idea of what it’s worth. Depending on it’s cosmetic condition, and that it isn’t 100% working, I’d estimate USD30-75. Let me know if you decide to list it, I’ll be happy to bid if only to get a working module for mine 🙂

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