Moppet Video was an arcade game manufacturer back in the early 1980s. Their story is a sad one indeed.
Moppet made games for young children. They made beautiful looking, fun games in little four foot tall arcade machines that were shaped just like the big ones that adults and older kids play. They made a few thousand copies of each of their games, and they were fairly popular with little kids back in the early 1980s.
But they sold all their games to Chuck E. Cheese. Now Chuck E. Cheese has a rather draconian policy for getting rid of their old games. They do not sell them, or give them away to employees, or even throw them away like so many other companies do. Instead they destroy them at the component level. That way they can write them off on their taxes, and they don't have to worry about their old machines showing up in a competitors place (this policy was apparently instituted by Nolan Bushnell, who was the founder of both Atari and Chuck E. Cheese).
Today there are only two of them left, a Pirate Treasure and a Leprechaun. Thats it, the other ones have all been destroyed or have otherwise vanished. Now there may be a few more that no one knows about, but as I write this today, those two games are the only ones known to be left.
That really pisses me off. A stupid corporate tax policy has completely destroyed the first video games ever designed for young children. You can't buy one of these to put into your basement for the little ones, nor will you ever see one at your local pizza shop. They are all gone because of Nolan Bushnell's greediness, and that coming from a man who helped to get the whole video game industry started. You think he would have cared a little bit more. I guess not.
Moppet Video Games
A simple driving game controlled with a 2-Way joystick and a single button. You just get to steer a little cart around, and you get points for dodging obstacles (with no penalties for not dodging them). The button makes a horn sound that has no effect on the game at all.
You get to control a little Leprechaun in the forest using only a joystick. This is a highly modified version of Pot of Gold by Gameplan.
- Pirate Treasure
In this one you move a pirate ship from island to island (using only a joystick), while trying to avoid the black pirate ship, and the volcano that it makes. This one has a lot of great sound effects, and was supposed to be the best one out of them all.
This is Desert Race with different graphics and sound effects. In this one you pilot a tugboat on the river, and get to toot your horn for no particular reason.
I have also found a few mentions of two more Moppet titles, Big Paw's Cave and Noah's Ark. Those two titles are described by Nekojin and SparroHawc below.
A Desert Race (without monitor) has surfaced in Grady, Arkansas, and the same collector has managed to piece together a Noah's Ark as well . So now there are four known to be left.
Updated Update Nov 2002
Over the last six months or so the Moppet count has gone up to around 8 or 9. Almost all of them in the hands of Todd at TNT Amusements and "SweetestCOCGuy" from Arkansas.