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The great Nintendo Handheld Games from the 80's ...!

NOA Timeline (sort of FAQ ;-)

by Slash

Where did it all start? The two following emails are from Nintendo Staff who seem to remember some of the details from the 80's

"There has been some question as to who was actually in charge of these units, so I thought I'd dig at Nintendo. Here's the information I was able to get: In the beginning (the guy didn't know the year), Nintendo did everything -- importing, distribution, etc. Then, in 1985, Nintendo sold the distribution rights to a Nelsonic, the popular watch makers. Nelsonic distributed them until 1990, when M.Z.Berger took over. I have a couple of the M.Z.Berger Nintendo watches, so they obviously decided to expand the line and make games of their own. In addition, Micro Games USA fits into there somewhere, as one of the toys I recently bought by MG (Mario Brothers Walkie talkies) has pictures of about ten of the units on the back in Micro Games packaging. When they took over, I don't know. The MG Donkey Kong Jr. has a copyright date of '90, so maybe Micro Games distributed them while M.Z.Berger imported them."

And another:

Nintendo has not distributed Game & Watch products since 1985, but we authorized another company to import them into the U.S., Nelsonic/MZ Berger, which they did until 1990. We do not have any information on titles, dealers, retailers, and etc.
Nintendo of America Inc.
Andi Anderson

Taking into consideration this information and what is corrently known about nintendo of america and there past the following timeline can be created:

Nintendo of America (NOA) formed from New York subsidiary. Based in Seattle.

1983 (late) / 84 (early)
Nintendo of America starts to produce and release the PS / NOA variations of the standard G&W games, possibly importing games from Japan to be repacked in the US.

1985 (early)
Nintendo develops last game (backjack) that will be released as PocketSize (PS) by NOA.

1985 (late)
NOA Gives Nelsonic Distrbution rights to existing current games only.

1985 (late)
NOA stops production of PS packaging, as games are now imported and released through Nelsonic.

NOA produces 5 new PS games, because these games are not covered by the existing contract with Nelsonic, they are released by NOA. There is some speculation that NOA actually produced / released these games in the US / europe only, as they are not common in Japan, and the design and artwork tend more towards American culture at the time, possibly developed in the US, but manafactured in Japan. During this time Nintendo Co (Japan) continued to release other games in other series, which were imported by Nelsonic and released in the US.

Nelsonic added watches to there stock.

NOA removes distrabution rights from Nelsonic and gives them to Micro Game USA (MG) / M.Z.Berger. (I also believe they took over the watch range as well, possibly created there own).

MG starts releasing games in blister packs.

If this information is correct it explains why PS are so rare, as they may have only been released for a short time during late 83, early 84 to late 85, before Nelsonic took over.

If is also unknown if Nelsonic and M.Z.Berger are one and the same, and the rights may have not changed hands, or if it was Nelsonic that actually developed the later PS games and released them into America.

Please note this information may not be accurate, I am only elaborating on the information given as to the likly senario that fits within all we know about PS and NOA.