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Creatronic Mega Duck / Cougar Boy
Truly one of the most obscure handhelds that holds a high price tag due to its rare value—failing to make a dent in the handheld market back in the early to mid-nineties. No information exists (currently) as to the origin of the name, nor why it was the choice to label such console.
(May the fourth be with you [too]. Always.)
I assure you this is real: Mega Duck/Cougar Boy. Name me one video gaming (nerdy) comedian that can make a joke out of this one. One. Whether you can or can't, the console's name itself already brings some chuckles without trying.
Whenever there's a big name in the market like the Game Boy, the only way, as a business person wanting a piece of the pie, is creating one almost like it. Having that plan in place, company Creatronic did just that with this handheld console. Released in 1993, it failed quite badly, barely scratching the surfaces of interested gamers during its debut. Besides, if you were the scarce ones who snatched this up during its original release, how many people have avoided talking to you knowing that what you had was a "repellant" against likelihoods of a brewing friendship with a common interest in video games? I'd feel embarrassed going outside if I ever walked around with this. However, today, this handheld is seen as a big time collector's item (demand is still above moderate).
The screen sports the same "pea soup" green tint as the Game Boy—dot matrix. Unlike the Game Boy, the Mega Duck has motion blur making it hard to stare at long periods during gameplay. The sound is a little louder than the Game Boy, has a Contrast and Volume knob, headphone jack, an ON-OFF switch on the top left of the unit, cartridge slot in the back, and requires four AA batteries. The motion blur hurts my eyes (when testing the battery life), so I'm going on a whim and outright guess that the battery life is around 4-6 hours—no backlight integrated on the screen. The buttons are the same as well (A and B buttons are a little bigger than the Game Boy), however, the difference is the Directional Pad. Instead of an actual "pad," the UP-DOWN-LEFT-RIGHT pad are buttons; Something some gamers like, while some rather would have all directional buttons as one pad. The build and body of the unit is a little chunky than the Game Boy, as if they cloned the Game Boy and its clone struggled with weight loss (hello, Kirstie Alley).
The games made for this unit range from odd to boring. Most of them are platform and puzzle games, while some are racing games. While you may run into both Mega Duck and Cougar Boy games, both work on either units. Finding the complete list of games released for this system is a difficult task because of how bad this system failed in the markets, so if you're one of those wanting to complete the whole collection for this system's game library, research as best as you can, or even join forums talking with those who may know some games that never saw light. RPGs? None that I know of, but if there were, not only will it be mega rare, but super expensive too.
As for the unit itself, you can see in the pictures I have provided a rare look at the Hartung version of the Mega Duck (black). That's as rare as you can get. The Cougar Boy? That was released in Brazil and is also super difficult to find. Every now and then, one will pop up but always keep your eyes open; Once it's up for auction, it'll be gone quick while you compete with other eager collectors so get right on it when you see one. Nevertheless, the Cougar Boy is very much the same variant as the Mega Duck. Only difference is the title boot screen and the logo.
"Cougar Boy?" Let me guess: cougar dating expert Lucia, if she were a nerd, will chase any young man who owns this unit, let alone any other 'cougar' out there. Funny because I'm attracted to older women, anyway, so....yeah. Lucia, if you're reading this, try and spin this rare video game unit with your "cougarism."
As a matter of fact, I can't blame Creatronic for trying; I'll give them that. While everything looked okay, and very much represented much of Game Boy's unit, the marketing and the name itself is so awful and unattractive. It's like seeing a supermodel almost every man drools over, until we find out her voice is deeper than man's voice and practices cannibalism in her home: beautiful and cool, but disgusting and socially ostracizing. That's how I feel about the Mega Duck. I don't know why management even approved of such a name but gosh, it gets bothersome, like an old joke everyone is tired of hearing.
Overall, I actually think that Creatronic would've had a little edge with this unit had their company hired better people. Once again, the name, their awful marketing (or lack thereof) and its game library never made this a commodity among gamers and third-party game developers. As popular as this is rare among collectors, it's a piece of hidden history in video gaming's world history.
Lastly, I want to interview ANY of the management who used to work for Creatronic (Welback Holdings) that went on to approve the name of this handheld system. I'm absolutely serious about this; I want the video gaming universe to listen in and hear what you have to say. Contact me immediately!
Read more insight about the Mega Duck/Cougar Boy on our sub-domain dedicated to talking all video gaming called VIDEOGAMESOTROS: "No Duck Is More Mega Than This".
- A handheld whose attempt at competing against the Game Boy flopped, making it one of rarest consoles to date (the Cougar Boy is considered more rare, along with the black Mega Duck variant).
- Build quality is more solid, albeit thicker than the Game Boy.
- Volume is much louder.
- No online sources exist explaining the origin of the name "Mega Duck," and why the name was chosen.
- Dot matrix screen suffers from motion blurring.
- Capacitors have aged by this time, and may result in audio distortion.
- Not a single 'modded' Mega Duck/Cougar Boy has been worked on, nor exist, to this day.
- Its library of games doesn't contain one title memorable enough to represent the handheld.
- Unknown if the company released an add-on console to enable playing games to TV.
|Game Console||Creatronic Mega Duck / Cougar Boy|
COMPACT VIDEO GAME SYSTEM
INCLUSIEF 4 IN 1 SPELCASSETTE
OORTELEFOON MET STEREO GELUID
4 "AA" BATTERIJEN
MEGA DUCK. EEN COMPACT VIDEO GAME SYSTEM MET EEN HOGE RESOLUTIE EN STEREOGELUID VOOR FANTASTISCH SPEELPLEZIER.
MEGA DUCK HEEFT SPEELKNOPPEN IN 4 RICHTINGEN, FUNCTIEKNOP A, FUNCTIEKNOP B, START EN SELECTKNOPPEN.
SPELCASSETTE, OORTELEFOON MET STEREOGELUID EN 4 "AA" BATTERIJEN ZIJN INBEGREPEN.
- HOGE RESOLUTIE
- STEREO GELUID
- AANSLUITING LICHNETADAPTER ( DC 6 VOLT )
- BATTERIJ INDICATOR
|ISBN / Bar Code number||????|
|Video Format||1.33:1 (4:3)|
|Released||1993 (US & EU)|
|Video Specification||Dot Matrix ("Black & White")|
|Company||Welback Holdings / Timlex International Limited / Creatronic / Cougar USA / Videojet|
|Other Console Versions||Hartung - Spiele-Berlin Mega Duck (ultra rare black version)|
|Other||Cougar Boy was released in Brazil after Cougar USA helped distributed the handheld, thus produced using the Cougar name.|