Saturday 6 September 2008

Portuguese Purple Releases

One of my favourite set of games to collect for the Master System is the Portuguese Purple releases (or 'Portuguese Purples' as they have become known). They are a later release much like the usual 'Classic' re-releases found in the rest of Europe. The games seem to be a complete mish mash of older and newer games including a couple of Tec Toy exclusives (at least a Hack and a multi cart, see below). The cover art, manual art and cartridge stickers seem random at first but there is some pattern to it as you will see later.

The games are very easy to spot due to there striking purple covers and in some cases very different box art. The cases, cartridges and Manuals are from Tec Toy (Brazilian) this must be because both countries speak Portuguese. Perhaps Tec Toy had some surplus stock? even so it's still strange that Portugal should produce these purple covers exclusively.

Note that the each spine has the proper logo of the game
title (and a picture) unlike most other releases of the same
game. (Road Rash and Jurassic Park are missing from
the picture as I don't have them yet.)

There were a total of 15 confirmed Portuguese Purples released (listed below) and a Purple boxed Master System III (Tec Toy's name for a Master System II). If you have any of these then please post your list on this link (This is to try and track if any are more or less common).

Asterix and the Great Rescue
Bart Vs The Space Mutants
Cheese Catastrophe
Desert Speedtrap
Game Box Serie Esportes (Great Volley, Super Futebol II and Wimbledon)
Indiana Jones e a Ultima Cruzada
Jurassic Park
The Jungle Book
The Lion king
My Hero
Road Rash
Sapo Xule: S.O.S. Lagoa Poluida (Tec Toy hack of Astro Warrior)
Sonic Spinball
Spiderman: Return of the Sinister Six
Taz in Escape From Mars*

*The back of the Purple console box reveals a 16th game, Taz in Escape for Mars, that has not yet been discovered (as far as i know) . Taz in Escape from Mars was only released in Brazil in 1996, which is a full year after Cheese Catastrophe so perhaps it simply just missed the boat for when these games came out. Below are the best pictures I can find of the Portuguese Master System III (please let me know if you have better ones).

Taz in Escape from Mars circled on the back
of the Portuguese Master System III box.

Most of the Portuguese Purples share the same main cover art as the Tec Toy versions. In some cases this actually differs quite a lot from the European art work as can be seen below with The Lion King and Bart Vs The Space Mutants. Note that the Portuguese's Bart logo has been (almost) copied from the European version.

Euro, Tec Toy and Portuguese.

Portuguese Bart Vs the Space Mutants has a standard Tec Toy manual and cartridge (in fact all but 2 of the Portuguese games have standard Tec Toy cartridge stickers). The Lion Kings manual is quite different, the cover is copied from the European box art and the inside has been edited (For example all mention of the Master System Super Compact has been removed). Interestingly the manuals are actually manufactured by Tec Toy as they all have the usual Tec Toy numbered sticker on the inside back cover.

Euro, Tec Toy and Portuguese.

Nearly all of the Portuguese games have exclusive manuals, Most interesting of which is the manual for Spiderman: Return of the sinister Six which has the art work from Spiderman Vs. The Kingpin, see below.

Below are some more examples of Purple games and there European cover art style manuals. Note that the Indiana Jones manual uses the alternative (U.S. Gold at the top) Euro cover.

My two favourite Portuguese Purples are My Hero and Transbot. They don't seem to fit into this set of much newer games and the cover designers obviously noticed this. So the cover art is totally redesigned, to the point where My Hero is unrecognisable. The titles/ logos have also been updated from the standard older text to bright colourful modern looking fonts. The games look that good that you could almost say its false advertising, at least the old Sega art didn't get your hopes up.

Euro, Tec Toy (Nuclear Creature and Gang's Fighter)
and Portuguese

As you can see, for these 2 games, they went with the Euro titles. This also meant different cartridge stickers, these are the only 2 Portuguese games not to have standard Tec Toy cartridge stickers.

Euro, Tec Toy and Portuguese

The manuals have retained the old style Euro/ US Sega box art. Both Portuguese and Tec Toy manuals appear to be exact copies of box covers.

Euro, Tec Toy and Portuguese

Portuguese Purples sold in Spain?

It appears that some of the Purple releases were sent over the boarder to Spain. Did they over produce the Purples? Or was it just one shop that had branches in both countries? So far I have found 2 Portuguese Purples in Spain. Each has had translated text stuck to the back of the box, see below.

This is actually stuck on the outer plastic in both cases.

They also each contain a 4 page Spanish translated manual along with the standard Portuguese manual. I also have a loose Spanish Sonic manual which came inside the Portuguese Jungle Book. If you have any Spanish manuals or even translations stuck to your game boxes let me know!

Most of the Portuguese Purples can be picked up for under £15, some can even be found for as little as £5 (usually Transbot and My Hero). Games like Sonic Spinball, Cheese Catastrophe and Spiderman: Return of The Sinister Six you may need to pay a bit more but anything over £25 is too much. Taz in Escape From Mars has still yet to show itself so when (If) it does it may fetch a much higher amount. The boxed Portuguese Purple SMS III is also likely to be worth more than usual as I only know of one in collectors hands so far. If anyone has any magazines that reference these releases or anything else they feel relevant then please let me know.


Anonymous said...

Excellent article, never knew about them being released in Spain.

Anonymous said...

I have seen a master system cartridge that is the usual red format with a tec toy hologram sticker in the corner. any ideas what this is?

Archeogamer said...

I have, 2 Master System III Boxed and those games that you're looking for in my collection, I saw Taz once but never bought it, never saw it mistake. I going to put on ebay in 1 or 2 weeks my spare copies of Road Rush, and sinister six. If you're interested i'll send you the link later :)

I love you're article, I'm from Portugal by the way.


James Costello said...

Hey, sorry it took a wile to publish your comment. I have been extremely busy at work and at home this last few months. I didnt want to rush any articals so I have not published anything for a wile.

James Costello said...

@ Anonymous - The carts with the holograms are usually the early releases that came in a cardboard case. I may have an artical on this in the future.

alexkid said...

Without hairs, those games are superb. Nice job...

セガガガ said...


I have better photos of the SMS III box.

If you wish we should talk.

And yes, the back includes the boxart for the Taz EFM SMS.


James Costello said...

Yes please, a better photo would be great. Many thanks

zePeido said...

I live in Portugal and I am a collector.

From my finds, I believe that the Master System was very successful in Portugal. Because of that, I think that EcoFilmes (which was the main Sega game importer in Portugal) started importing Master System games and consoles (and accessories?) from Brazil in the end of the Master System life.

The Master System III Portuguese box was made for the Portuguese market (and I think it says "EcoFilmes" in small letters on the back, can someone confirm this?), but the console is the TecToy version for sure. It is possible that EcoFilmes also made different box covers for some of the games made by TecToy and sold in Portugal (can someone confirm if this Portuguese box covers say "EcoFilmes on the back?). It is also possible that some of the TecToy instruction manuals included in these games weren't remade by EcoFilmes because they already were in Portuguese.

For the non TecToy games sold in Portugal, seems to me that EcoFilmes used the 'normal' box cover and the 'normal' multi-language instruction manual, but always added stickers on the box with the translation of the cover to Portuguese and added inside the box the Portuguese instruction manual.

All instruction manuals made by EcoFilmes should say "EcoFilmes" in the back.