A friend of mine had one of these. Even at the tender age of 13, I thought it was the most abysmal waste of money known to man. Now I’m a lot older and a bit wiser I still think it’s awful, but I’m wondering how he managed to get an ‘actual’ Quiz Wiz when they weren’t sold in this country with that name. Here, they were licenced to Peter Pan Playthings with the ‘Master Challenge’ name.
Released in 1980, this PP3-powered beige plastic ‘game’ with its Oric Atmos plastic-y buttons was used in conjunction with a Quiz Book. Like the Texas Instruments Speak & Spell, additional cartridges and books were available to broaden the scope of the game. For the Coleco version, 30 different carts were available. Nobody seems to know how many were made for the Peter Pan version, or whether the carts were interchangeable. The game docked onto a connector that was riveted to a plastic casing that also held the quiz book in place. The Quiz Wiz took up three pages of Coleco’s 1980 toy and game catalogue, and had a list of all the available parts.
It was basically a multiple choice quiz. You read the question from the book, typed in the question number onto the device keypad, followed by your answer of A, B, C or D. You’d then hit the ‘Answer’ button and be greeted with an agreeable noise if you were right (plus a green light) or a nasty one if you were wrong (and, yes, you’ve guessed it, a red light).
That, sadly, was it. Coleco made a bigger version later on called the ‘Quiz Wiz Challenger’ which was a multiplayer game that no-one on earth knows how to use, or whether original Quiz Wiz books and carts can be used. Another Quiz Wiz game in a smaller form factor and black casing came out in the 90s, but didn’t take off.
I dare say I’ll get my hands on one some day. And if I do, I’m make sure I get some decent pictures of it.