Aussie Oddities Archive

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Aussie Oddities: Primal Rage, Phantom 2040 and Batman Forever Special Editions (Mega Drive)


In 1994, Sega Ozisoft released its stranglehold on the Australian market just a little, allowing other Australian companies the opportunity to produce cartridges and distribute games. Village Roadshow quickly jumped on the opportunity and struck deals with companies like Acclaim, Time Warner Interactive and Viacom New Media.

As a bit of a sweetener for those intending to purchase what Roadshow considered to be the big games of 1995 – Batman Forever, Primal Rage and Phantom 2040 – the company produced special edition box sets for the three games which sold for a little bit more than the standard retail price. These sets are exclusive to Australia, and therefore command a premium.

We snagged images of the last good condition box sets to sell online for the Australian Gaming Database, but we thought we’d take the opportunity to discuss them on the main site.

The amusing thing is that these sets were totally unpopular when they were first released, and wound up on clearance for as little as $15 by the end of the Mega Drive era, but the last completed sale for these sets saw them go for some $AU500+.

The big question is are these sets actually worth $500? Read the rest of this entry »

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A 1991 HES Promotional Video


Our friends over at Retrospekt posted this promotional video from Home Entertainment Suppliers (HES), showing off their line up of unlicensed NES games. The video is long and cheesy, but still worth a look.

HES games for the NES have a bit of a reputation among collectors due to their obscurity and relatively small print runs. HES mostly produced games from Taiwanese developers, but also released a bunch of Tengen games.

HES is actually one of Australia’s longest running video game companies, and still operates today as a distributor. They also run a publishing arm called Tru Blu Entertainment, which brought you the likes of Rugby League and AFL Live.

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Sega Action, the Australian Sega newsletter


While I was back at my parents’ place scanning magazine covers for the Australian Game Database, I found a good chunk of promotional material from the glory days of Sega in Australia.

One such piece of paraphernalia was Sega Action, a short lived newsletter Sega Ozisoft sent out to folks who registered their Master Systems and Mega Drives. Sega Action basically promoted the latest games, detailed where Sega roadshows were happening, and gave you the opportunity to buy Sega merchandise. It also plugged the hell out of the Sega Hotline and Sega Club.

I don’t know exactly how long the newsletter ran for – it started up in late 1991, and I don’t recall seeing any issues after the launch of the Mega CD.

The scans aren’t the best since I kind of rushed the scanning, but we’ll probably take a crack at doing a better scan of these down the line.

Sega Action Volume 1: pdf | cbz
Sega Action Volume 3: pdf | cbz
Sega Action Volume 6: pdf | cbz

Edit: Now available in .cbz for your convenience.

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Aussie Oddities: Sega “The Net” CG Ads

As you may recall from a couple of months ago, I posted some ads in our Australian video game commercial section. Two of these ads were CG ads which Sega Ozisoft aired in 1993-1994 that all featured a place called “The Net” (prior to the Internet becoming big).

I was recently contacted through Youtube by a user named antdavisonNZ, who let me know that he had worked on these commercials in the 90s while working for a New Zealand based advertising company called Giant Productions (I guess that technically makes them Kiwi Oddities).

According to antdavisonNZ, there were two series of ads, but only the second series of ads aired in Australia. There were eight or so ads in the second series – I don’t know how many are in the first. The campaign lasted for 11 months. Read the rest of this entry »

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Aussie Oddities: Super Mario 3-Dees Jellies

I was doing a spot of grocery shopping at the local large supermarket chain, and spotted something rather peculiar in the same aisle as the school lunch stuff (muesli bars and the like).

Nintendo licensed food in Australia? What is this witchcraft? Read the rest of this entry »

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Video Game Ad of the Day: Neighbours

Who said that every game we’d feature would be good? This is proof that they’ll make a game out of anything;

Click image for full size ad

Neighbours was published by Impulze for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amiga and Atari ST in 1991-1992. This particular advertisement originates from the UK. The game puts players in control of a skateboard-riding Scott Robinson, who has to dodge dogs and kangaroos and other such…wonders of Ramsay Street. Truly bizarre.

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Aussie Oddities #1 – Mega Drive Booster Packs

One of my intentions behind starting Retro Gaming Australia was not only to provide a location for local retro gaming fans to gather, but also to provide a showcase to the rest of the world of some of the weird stuff we got down here that never appeared elsewhere in the world – hence the name Aussie Oddities.

Our first oddity is quite the specimen. In 1995, as part of some unknown promotion, Sega Ozisoft decided to bundle up a number of popular Mega Drive games into what they called Booster Packs. These sold for roughly the same as the game itself, but they came packaged in a paint can (with the game’s box art and description printed on there), which contained the game and a packet of fizzy Sonic shaped candy – I can’t remember exactly what they’re called, but I want to say “Sonic Bombs”.

Brian Lara Cricket is one of the known Booster Pack games

At the current time, I’ve not been able to source an exhaustive list of the games that were available in Booster Pack form. From corroboration with a few acquantainces in the industry, we know for sure that Brian Lara Cricket and Asterix and the Power of the Gods were part of the set. Unfortunately, I’m not able to provide visual evidence of my copy of the Brian Lara Cricket set – either my parents threw it away while cleaning, or it’s in their shed. If you are able to shed any extra light on the subject or provide a picture, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail.