For my tenth birthday in 1992 I had a choice between a Barcode Battler, a Game Boy or a Sega Game Gear and stupidly chose the Barcode Battler thinking it was really futuristic! What a complete let down it was - battling with friends to see whose barcode had the best 'power' or 'strength'! Pathetic.
The Barcode Battler was released by Epoch and each console came with a set of cards that each had a barcode. To play the game you had to each swipe your barcode and the console created a character based on the barcode. Once the game started the different "characters" battled against each other - a bit like an electronic Top Trumps.
The Barcode Battler didn't have any good graphics, sound effects or controls and atlhough the follow up model - Barcode Battler II appeared on our shelves, featuring an extended single player mode it soon vanished from existence unable to compete with the other, more creative consoles.