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TypeVideo game console
GenerationSeventh generation era
Release dateOctober 23, 2006 (2006-10-23)
DiscontinuedDecember 31, 2007 (2007-12-31)
CPUSunplus SPG290 SoC
StorageRFID cards
GraphicsSunplus SPG290 SoC
Controller inputGamepad
Best-selling gameX-Men (Pack-In)

The HyperScan is a video game console from the toy company Mattel. It uses radio frequency identification (RFID)[1] along with traditional video game technology. The included game was rated "T" (Teen, not suitable for under age 13) and the remaining titles were rated "E10+" (not suitable for under age 10) by the ESRB. Despite this, it was marketed toward boys between the ages of five and nine who were not ready for high-end video games in terms of maturity and/or expense. The console used UDF format CD-ROMs. The HyperScan has two controller ports, as well as a 13.56 MHz RFID scanner that reads and writes to the "cards" which, in turn, activate features in and save data from the game. Players are able to enhance the abilities of their characters by scanning cards. Games retailed for $19.99 and the console itself for $69.99 at launch, but at the end of its very short lifespan, prices of the system were down to $9.99, the games $1.99, and booster packs $0.99.

The system was sold in two varieties: a cube and a 2-player value pack. The cube box version was the version sold in stores. It included the system, controller, an X-Men game disc, and 6 X-Men cards. Two-player value packs were sold online (but may have been liquidated in stores) and included an extra controller and 12 additional X-Men cards.[2]

The system was discontinued in 2007 due to poor console, game, and card pack sales.[3] It is featured as one of the ten worst systems ever by PC World magazine.[4]

The HyperScan's RFID systems were provided by Innovision Research and Technology plc, a fabless semiconductor design house based in the UK which specializes in RFID systems and chip design.[5]


A partly disassembled HyperScan, showing the RFID scanner.

The games for the system were sold as $20 Game Packs, which consisted of the game CD, and 6 Game cards, with the exception of Spider-Man which included 7. After buying the game, it still required more cards in order to have access to different characters, abilities, moves and even entire levels. These were sold in the form of $10 Booster Packs, which contained a random assortment of 6 more cards, specific to each different game.

The card packs are akin to an early form of Loot box Microtransactions, with random cards of different rarities and duplicates, to unlock various elements, some of which were necessary to play the game to any capacity. The cards however, contained no game data, and only unlocked existing assets on the game disc, functioning as a unique DLC system.

Some games were planned to have more than one type of Card Packs, being released at a later date. X-Men had in the manual the complete list of 102 cards that could work with the game, the first half being released as the Black Series, with a later Red Series being planned but canceled, leaving the game with half the content locked with no way to access it. Ben 10 also had a second planned card pack.

There were only 5 titles known to have been released, with 2 canceled games.

   Background shading indicates canceled games.
# Title Genre(s) Total Cards Booster Packs for complete set and minimum price.
1 Ben 10 Side-scrolling Platformer 80 Released
(6 included + 74)
13 Packs
$150 ($20 Game + $130 Packs)
2 Interstellar Wrestling League Fighting game 54 Released
(6 included + 48)
51 unreleased
8 Packs
$100 ($20 Game + $80 Packs)
3 Marvel Heroes Side-scrolling Platformer 70 Released
(6 included + 64)
11 Packs
$130 ($20 Game + $110 Packs)
4 Spider-Man Side-scrolling Platformer 59 Released
(7 included + 52)
1 unreleased
9 Packs
$110 ($20 Game + $90 Packs)
5 X-Men Fighting game 56 Released
(6 included + 50)
46 unreleased
9 Packs
$139.99 ($69.99 Console and Game + $90 Packs)
6 Avatar: The Last Air Bender ??? ??? ???
7 Nick Extreme Sports ??? ??? ???
  • X-Men, - game is a fighting game in which two characters face off against each other in self-contained matches similar to Street Fighter. The only game on the console to be rated T for "Teen".
  • Ben 10, - a side-scrolling adventure quest. The only Cartoon Network-exclusive video game for the system.
  • Interstellar Wrestling League, is a sort of 2v2 fighting game similar to Tekken, but with alien-like characters.
  • Marvel Heroes, - which includes some X-Men characters, is a side-scrolling adventure quest.
  • Spider-Man. - a side-scrolling adventure quest.

The Ben 10 and Spider-Man games are similar to Marvel Heroes.


Though not much development for homebrew games was done on the console, several programmers have created demos and proof-of-concepts. Some of the programs include a CD-Door demo, 3D wireframe demo, and a Bluescale demo.[6]

Hardware specifications[edit]

The HyperScan is based off the Sunplus SPG290A system-on-a-chip.
  • Sunplus SPG290 SoC[7] implementing the S+core 32-bit microarchitecture designed by Sunplus Technology. The S+core instruction set architecture allows use of a 32/16-bit hybrid instruction mode, features Advanced Microcontroller Bus Architecture (AMBA) support and includes SJTAG for In-circuit emulation.[8]
  • UART, I²C, SPI etc.
  • Composite video output (SoC supports TFT displays, but the system does not implement it)
  • 16 MB SDRAM system RAM
  • 640×480 native resolution
  • 65,535 colors (RGB 565 mode)
  • 1 USB port
  • RFID scanner (13.56 MHz)
  • RFID storage: 96 bytes of user memory + 8 bytes unique ID + 6 bytes of one time programmable memory


The HyperScan was not a successful console, as it received largely negative reviews from critics and audiences for its games, design, and controls.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "HyperScan - RFID Game System from Mattel". About.com. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  2. ^ "Mattel and Fisher-Price Customer Service". Service.mattel.com. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  3. ^ "Mattel Consumer Relations Answer Center - Product Detail >> Radica >> Radica Electronic Games". Service.mattel.com. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  4. ^ Edwards, Benj (July 14, 2009). "The 10 Worst Video Game Systems of All Time - Slide 5:7. Mattel Hyperscan". PCWorld. Retrieved July 31, 2011.
  5. ^ "Mattel Makes Contactless RFID Connection with Innovision R&T for Innovative HyperScan™ Games Platform". Innovision-Group. October 18, 2006. Archived from the original on October 10, 2007. Retrieved January 10, 2015. - Site archived by Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "Mattel HyperScan - News". PDRoms. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  7. ^ "HyperScan Software Development". Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  8. ^ "Sunplus - Products - Sunplus 32-bit CPU - S+core™". Web.archive.org. January 22, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2019.

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