Saturday 13 September 2008

Lucky Dime Caper Limited Edition Boxed Set

The Lucky Dime Caper Limited Edition Boxed Set is one of those items every Master System collector wants, or if they are lucky enough to own it then it is likely to be one of their favourite items. This is the only set of it's kind for the Master System (a very similar set was released for the Mega Drive for Ecco The Dolphin, that will be featured in a later article). The first thing that strikes you when you come into contact with this set is the size of the thing! The outer box measures 330mm x 250mm x 70mm. The next thing you notice is that it's a really high quality item, made from thick textured card, that feels expensive (unlike most of today's thin glossy cardboard video game sets).

I seem to remember seeing the set in the shops priced at £49.99 but I cannot find any evidence to back this up (Can anyone else remember or does anyone have an advert or news piece showing it's release?). I have a magazine listing it for sale for £14.99 in one of the many game shop adverts of the time.

The imprinted Sega logo at the top of the box is a really nice touch

The Lucky Dime Caper set contains the Master System video game, an audio cassette featuring an assortment of Disney songs and a Lucky Dime Caper T-shirt. The box opens out into two halves with the aid of a small black cotton tab at the top. The hinge is at the bottom end of the box (It's wise to take great caution when handling one of these as I can imagine a careless hand could damage the joins or inner sections).

Within the main box there are 3 removable card sections that hold the contents (see below). The two smaller sections which hold the game and cassette are both constructed from the same thick card as the outer box. The larger section which holds the T-shirt is made from a much thinner card (which is quite easy to damage).

The Audio cassette, titled 'Donald Duck's Disney Selection', has 4 popular Disney tracks on each side. See the full cassette insert here and here.

Side A)
I Wan'na Be Like You
When I See An Elephant Fly
Best Of Friends
He's A Tramp

Side B)
The Bare Neccessities
Everybody Wants To Be A Cat
Cruella De Vil

This cassette was produces by Pickwick and the spine says 'Sega 1', which suggests there are more.. I know for sure there is a Jungle Book Sega cassette, as it is advertised as coming free with the game in magazines from the time.

The 100% cotton T-shirt included in the set comes in a sealed plastic bag (sealed with two pieces of red tape, see below). The label shows it is made by 'Mickey Magic' but does not show sizes (If anybody has an opened Lucky Dime Caper T-shirt please can you let me know the size and provide a good folded out photo of it).

Let me know if you have an open one as this one will remain sealed forever.

The game itself is almost identical to the very common usual release, except for a simple sticker covering the bar code advising 'Not To Be Sold Separately'.

One more item which comes with this set, and as far as I am aware it is the only place it can be found, is a Land Of Illusion double sided poster/ games catalogue. Much like the outer sticker of the box set the poster also states 'Master System II'. One side is simply an advert for Land of Illusion (priced at £29.99) and the other side is a games catalogue featuring games priced £9.99 and £14.99. The poster is twice the size of the usual Master System game pack in posters.

Click here to see a close up of the reverse

The Lucky Dime Caper Limited Edition Boxed Set doesn't show up very often on ebay, so when it does it will fetch between £60 and £100 (Unless it is poorly listed, incomplete or damaged). It is worth picking up any of the component parts if you see them separate as you may be able to piece together a full set if you're lucky. I purchased my set for £70 from another collector, he had bought it off ebay for £20 (He caught it when it was first listed and offered the seller £20 buy it now).

The price sticker says £9.99 (I wish)

A few years back a company called Telegames had brand new sealed LDC boxed sets for sale in their online shop. I believe they had about 20 originally and sold them for between £50 and £80 each (Please let me know if you have more accurate information). The Telegames sets were shrink wrapped and also had plastic strapping around the box (see above). I'm unsure if this strapping is original from Sega as I have bought a Mega Drive game from Telegames with the same plastic strapping. This doesn't stop me wanting it though!!

Look out for my future articles on the Mega Drive Limited Edition boxed set and other Sega sets. If you have information or pictures of other Sega box sets then please let me know.

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.