We all find odd things in the kitchen junk drawer growing up. Fantastic things we can’t even begin to fathom with our limited intelligence and life experience. For me I found a power hungry wizard. This red magical monstrosity chewed through 6 AAs every few days. I had very little idea how it worked or even how to get it to change, and I use the term loosely here, games.

I had no box, no instructions, and no idea what it did besides light up and beep. Didn’t matter though, that was all I needed. That little box was a sci-fi tricorder scanner, a space phone, a bomb defusing panel, and everything else little Haro could think of. Until like so many things did when we were kids it just wasn’t around anymore. A few years went by until I stumbled across one at Trader’s World, a massive flea market that always smells of onion petals, and just like Kira touching a reclaimed Death Note it all came back to me.

So if you want to experience the frustration and confusion for yourself well good news, everyone! Some wonderful archivists backed it up online and it even works on your phone.


Have yourself a go, it’s worth a few minutes. Got that out of your system? Yeah it’s not so much fun as it is a challenge to get it to work. Definitely shows why old Sci-Fi stuff had those odd button and light read outs like classic Star Trek. Might as well consider this a mini Consolences because here comes the price range baby!

So there are a few different types of Merlin and I remember seeing some in stores as late as 2004. So the prices range from $7 to $400 on eBay. I am still partial to the red 70s version myself, but I imagine the others don’t guzzle 6 AA batteries like it’s Zima in a 90s movie. Just note I think the games are different on each. With the box I’d pay possibly 30 bux. If I was really bored. Without it, eh, $15 seems fair. It’s more a shelf piece than anything else.

I love clunky old handhelds. I know others like to dump on them, but I was always in the eye doctor’s office so I needed something to do. Gameboy games typically were to involved. Merlin and Tiger games were just time wasters. Simple fun distractions. Besides I can play Merlin without draining my phone’s battery which is a plus. I’d play more phone games if they didn’t just leave me completely dead in the water after about an hour. As far as logic puzzles go, Merlin is passable. The main thing to remember is this is generation one video gaming here. Think of it like the Intellivision’s Gameboy. Back in the late 70s when every game system had to bundle it’s games on the device for one to be be portable was insane. It sold millions of units in stores and I would bet most if them sold again and again at yard sales, flea markets, and now eBay. It fittingly deserves whatever this garish thing is.