Coleco Gemini - First Atari 2600 Clone
The Atari 2600 video game system was an unqualified success, a fact that didn't go unnoticed by competitors. Newer systems like Intellivision and Colecovision had improved graphics, but neither had the massive Atari game library - was there a way to get a taste of that business? Enter Gemini - the first ever game clone, and the birth of a controversial twin.
Coleco had been successful in manufacturing an Atari 2600 adapter for their ColecoVision system. Atari brought a $500 million lawsuit, but since the 2600 was designed entirely using off-the-shelf parts, courts determined that anyone could make a 2600 clone. Coleco wasted no time in creating an Atari clone they cleverly named "Gemini".
The Gemini was much more compact than the large woodgrain console that Atari was selling at the time, and retailed for much less. Its controllers were a unique combination of both joystick and paddle (though you'd still need real Atari paddles for a nice four player battle of Warlords). Soon other firms were copying the 2600, adding to the video game market collapse in the early 80's. The Gemini was later relabeled and sold through Columbia House Records, producing some of the crappiest - and rarest games for the system.
Thanks to Atari Age, for the photo.