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Complete USA SMS Collection Debate!
Post Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 2:13 am
Greetings,

I would like to ask a few questions regarding what has become the "accepted" Official Released USA Sega Master System Complete Collection which seems to be considered "114" in total by most collectors world-wide.

I have found several errors and differences between lists posted on several websites on the internet and I would like to discuss / debate these problems here on this forum in order to get everyone's opinions, and eventually, hopefully be left with a FINAL "universally accepted" release list.

1) Although 114 seems to be the most common number of USA releases, one list I found actually gave 115. (Andrew Krieg's list adds the entry of "5119 Summer Games" as a USA title) I have never seen a scan of a USA box, and so I do not believe this to be true, but why would a list be 99% correct, with but one error? Just curious if he had any foundation for this.

2) Of the 114 releases, I am having much difficulty "accepting" 2 of them, and have (personally) decided NOT to acccept 2 others. (pending some kind of explanation or proof otherwise) Here are the 4 "issues"...

...R.C. Grand Prix...
yes, granted, the USA release is "acknowledged" and "identified" by collectors as such due to the "SEISMIC" 3rd party text and unique box insert. I agree that it is different then the overseas release and so it would make sense to me that it could indeed be proven as such. However, I still question as to why the box insert was altered for the USA market, but not the insturction manual which is still the overseas "sideways" style. (maybe the company left it as is)

in addition, I understand from reading old video game magazine articles from that time period that this game (designed by Absolute) was "on-again" / "off-again" for USA release with constant changes and delays in the process. so I suppose I could "accept" the eventual release as "rushed" or "imperfect".

...Sonic the Hedgehog...
yes here as well, the manual is "sideways style" but granted, the GENUINE USA release is considered by the collecting community to be identified soley by the "UPC code sticker" applied to the game by SEGA USA onto the copies they sold here in the USA stores.

in addition, I know that SONIC was larger then life back then for SEGA and was the biggest thing they had going and I can see them marketing such a high profile (guaranteed seller) here in the USA, even if at this point they were ready to retire the SMS in the USA. this also makes logical sense to me.

So, the above two titles I do "reluctantly" accept as "USA games", providing that the "unique" parts which differentiate them from the overseas versions are indeed present on the items in a collection.

HOWEVER, now comes the two items which I am having MUCH DIFFICULTY accepting as USA releases and for now, (unless some kind of REAL PROOF can be provided by someone here, have chosen to personally DISCARD and NOT COUNT as part of a USA collection. (in other words, I personally will call a complete USA released SMS collection "112" until an explanation or solid proof is given)

...Strider and Spider Man...
BOTH of these games have sideways manuals, BOTH of these games are MISSING the final USA releases sega master system logo on the top center of the front of the insert, and BOTH of these games have inserts that are identical to the overseas versions with the multi-language text on the back of the inserts. So I ask a very important question here, WHY?...somebody please tell me WHY? do we consider these two games to be USA releases? What PROOF do we have of this?

To anyone who may say: "oh, don't be so skeptical, just believe that they are" I can only say this...if we are to accept these as USA, then would they not ALSO require a USA upc sticker on the back, same as the sega sonic? And if you then say "no", then I say "why not?".!

I feel (again just personally) that these two games, UNLESS A UPC can be shown to exist as is the case with Sonic, should NOT be accepted or allowed to be considered a part of the USA sms released complete collection.

Somebody, anybody with any usefull information, please come forward and tell me your thoughts on this debate. My intention is not to create another crazy rare frenzy over genuine USA strider & spiderman games as this was what happened with Sonic, but rather to DISQUALIFY these two games from being considered official USA releases, UNLESS they can be PROVEN as such?

And furthermore, would we not then have to open pandoras box by stating that ANY additional overseas releases need only provide some UPC sticker to be proven and considered a USA RELEASE? We could end up at 120, or 150, or what? Where does it end? Who can prove which games had a UPC, when and where they were placed on the boxes, and by whom, and with what intention?

Many thanks for any thoughts on this?
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 10:52 am
Some of the late releases were simply Euro games, perhaps with a new inlay, perhaps not (making and printing inlays would be a lot easier than manuals). If they were released through Sega of America then that makes them official releases; if they were grey imports by retailers, then they weren't. In the latter case you'd expect there to have been restricted availability.

I don't think there's any doubt that R.C. Grand Prix was released in the US. In an interview with the developer it says (presumably based on his comments) that 10,000 units were sold in the US.

One way to tell is to look at the barcode stickers. If they start with 0 10086 then they were made by Sega; the prefixes are registered to individual companies (hence why RC Grand Prix has a different one).
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:15 pm
The US versions of Strider and Spiderman both have US UPC stickers just like Sonic. So if you accept Sonic you will have to accept those as well.
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:25 pm
With the UPC code thing, it all seems to boil down to whether or not you consider the number itself in the code as indicative of an actual release. If you mean by release that the game was put together with packaging specific to the US, then those three games are out. In fact, even the UPC stickers themselves were imported, so nothing is technically US about the games at all, other than release. However, I have something in my head I just thought about. If the games were perhaps slated for release but weren't actually released, would you still count them as such because of the UPC? I actually can't remember any stores carrying the so-called US Sonic when it was released, nor the other two in fact. I assume they were sold somewhere, however.
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:21 pm
They were definitely sold by mail order through Sega of America. I seem to remember someone, policenaut maybe, saying that Kay Bee toys in Puerto Rico sold them retail.
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Post Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:25 pm
I wonder if this is similar to the legendary 'The Blank' action figure incident?
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R.C. Grand Prix
Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:41 am
Maxim wrote
I don't think there's any doubt that R.C. Grand Prix was released in the US. In an interview with the developer it says (presumably based on his comments) that 10,000 units were sold in the US.

One way to tell is to look at the barcode stickers. If they start with 0 10086 then they were made by Sega; the prefixes are registered to individual companies (hence why RC Grand Prix has a different one).



I think I am ok with this as an official release. But it just seems odd that after 4 Activision releases and 3 Parker Brothers releases (the ONLY 3rd party licensees for the SEGA master system in the USA) that all of a sudden towards the end of the Sega Master Systems USA lifespan, a 3rd out of the blue licensee would a) request to make software for a dying system b) be granted the request by SEGA c) release just one game in the USA

However, technically, Absolute was formed by former Activision (and Imagic?) programmers and so with the previous Activision titles under their belt, they were not really "a bran new" licensee. In addition, they maybe felt they had a very good game on their hands (it was worth trying to sell it)

The thing that bothers me is that every single USA release has a 4 digit product code number, EXCEPT...you guessed it...R.C. Grand Prix! The 27xxx product code number for the game is actually that of (two mega cartridges released by thrid parties overseas) This is NOT a USA product code number.

And again, it has the euro / overseas sideways style instruction manual rather then the USA upright style instruction manual. Only the insert is "unique" to the USA.

Truthfully since Absolute developed the game, and Seismic distributed the game, and the game was licensed by Sega Enterprises, and it came out towards the end of the systems lifespan in the USA, it just kind of ended up as an odd-ball (in my eyes anyhow) when compared to the other USA releases.

Important to note I guess that another one of the last releases in the USA (Paperboy) was a Tengen 3rd party release which apparently Sega purchased and /or chose to distribute and sell themselves, rather then under or through a Tengen USA 3rd party license.

In any event, regardless of all else, R.C. Grand Prix is indeed "unique" when compared to the other USA releases. First and foremost just being a third party game makes it unique, but amongst those it is the most unique as well.

Thanks.
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Sonic, Strider, & Spiderman
Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 4:37 am
Estimated Prophet wrote
The US versions of Strider and Spiderman both have US UPC stickers just like Sonic. So if you accept Sonic you will have to accept those as well.


Yes, that is a very good point.
And if one was to accept one, then yes, one would have to accept them all.

Although the packaging used for Sonic (a new changed SMS logo in the top center of the insert) is different then that used for Strider & Spiderman (a small green text bar on the upper right corner of the front). Neither of which had been used on any previously USA released game!

Bottom line, we have different instruction manuals (they are the sideways style used ONLY overseas), different FRONT inserts (with the changed logos and green bars used ONLY overseas), different BACK inserts (with the multi-language text style used ONLY overseas), different SPINE inserts (with the product numbers displayed as is done ONLY overseas), different upc bar codes (number styles and sequences used ONLY overseas), BUT despite all these obvious red flags, we all blindly chose some years ago to consider the three games as "officially part of the USA SMS collection"?

So blindly accepting the above, do we then assume and accept that if someday someone finds a UPC code sticker slapped on say an SMS Bonanza Brothers, we then welcome it as number 115 to the USA list? It just seems like a "disorganized" and "unsecured" qualification system. But maybe it's just me who thinks that.

Alright well thank you all for your comments and your help on this.
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Re: R.C. Grand Prix
Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:25 am
Supergun wrote
Maxim wrote
I don't think there's any doubt that R.C. Grand Prix was released in the US.

c) release just one game in the USA

Absolute made at least two Game Gear games too - based on Star Trek licences.
http://www.smspower.org/dev/docs/wiki/BarCodes/Uncategorised

Supergun wrote
The thing that bothers me is that every single USA release has a 4 digit product code number, EXCEPT...you guessed it...R.C. Grand Prix!

All games released in the US were either first-party, or Parker/Activision games with their own wacky numbering systems. By the time RC Grand Prix came along, Sega had settled on the 2 prefix for third-party games.

Supergun wrote
The 27xxx product code number for the game is actually that of (two mega cartridges released by thrid parties overseas)

FTFY.

Supergun wrote
it just kind of ended up as an odd-ball (in my eyes anyhow) when compared to the other USA releases.

Undoubtedly so.
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Re: Sonic, Strider, & Spiderman
Post Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2009 8:38 am
Supergun wrote
different upc bar codes (number styles and sequences used ONLY overseas)

They aren't UPCs, they're EANs. Which is why they slapped stickers over them.

Supergun wrote
So blindly accepting the above, do we then assume and accept that if someday someone finds a UPC code sticker slapped on say an SMS Bonanza Brothers, we then welcome it as number 115 to the USA list?

If there's decent indication that it's "original", and it's a Sega of America UPC prefix, then I say yes. If, as is more likely, it's a newly-printed sticker by a random eBayer, then no.
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