In 2006 the Mattel HyperScan was a short lived console with an interesting concept: Enhance a classic videogame with collectible RFID cards. A concept that was picked up in a similar form by the Skylanders games and maybe someday will be used in Nintendo’s new Wii U console.
Playing the games (and scanning cards) can be described as interesting but not as fun. The games seem unfinished and buggy. And then there are the long loading times, a problem already the NeoGeo CD suffered from back in the days.
There were even some first steps with homebrew programs here and here.
A couple of years ago you could buy the console, games and cards for a very low price, but it seems the system is gradually getting rare, and so the price goes up.
I was able to get the console, a second controller and the first three games with a lot of extra booster cards:
This is what’s inside (not on the picture is the second controller, the power supply the majority of the RFID cards):
There was also the value pack for two players, it comes in an ugly box and just takes up much space:
The startup screen of the HyperScan, notice the lit up RFID area on the right:
Eight screws are hidden behind plastic caps, when taken out, the back cases can be removed. This is an inside look from the back, the console is turned upside down. On the left side there is the main PCB, on the top the two (PS/2) connectors for the controllers and the power switch and on the bottom the A/V cable, USB and power connector.
On the righ side is the RFID PCB and a couple of LEDs to light the area up.
Remove the main PCB to reveal the CD-ROM drive:
A close-up of the main PCB: