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

Game&Watch OTO and Giochi Preziosi FAQ
by Gawaleus

Game&Watch Italy OTOGame&Watch Italy Giochi Preziosi


In this FAQ I'll tell you something about the Game&Watch games which were released in Italy.

Map of ItalyF. There was Game&Watch in Italy as well?
A. Yes. There were two distributors for these games.


F. Which ones are these and where come they from?
A. One of them was called OTO. The company was located in Rome and Milano, but on their warranty cards the city Bergamo is named as well. Regarding the imprints on some instructions, OTO was the official distributor for Game&Watch in Italy. There are some websites containing OTOYS in their webaddress, for example otoys.com, otoys.co.uk, otoys.de and some more. I did contact them all, but only otoys.co.uk did give me an answer. But they have and never did have anything to do with the former OTO in Italy. I guess the others as well. Interesting fact, that I found the logo of Giochi Preziosi on the website otoys.ru. Giochi Preziosi was the second distributor for Game&Watch in Italy!

Former OTO officeFormer office of OTO in RomeOTO was active from 1980 to 1984 for sure. Maybe earlier or later as well. They released the game Flagman, which was produced in the year 1980. The last game I have seen so far which was released by OTO, is the game Donkey Kong 3. It was produced in the year 1984 for the first time.
Unfortunately it's almost impossible to find information about OTO Italy. It looks like this company has vanished... Their former office building is a clinic today.

Update November 29th 2018 (many thanks to our member Retropotenza for the research and sharing this):
OTO S.P.A. was an Italian joint-stock company founded on the 18th of March 1970, by Oreste Tomasini (born in Padova on the 5th of February 1928), which was also its main stockholder, and terminated on the 4th of July 1997. The name of the company most probably came from the initial letters of the name and surname of its founder.

The company objectives were the "production, purchase, sale, import, export and trade, at wholesale, retail and for correspondence, in Italy and abroad, in own or using third parties (also as a representative with or without a warehouse), of articles and industrial, commercial or promotional products, with particular regards to gift, stationery and office items, smoking and writing articles, greetings tickets, perfumes, trinkets, frames, ceramics etc.".

In the early '80s, OTO was the first company to import in Italy Nintendo products, with the Game & Watch series, localizing the manuals. They where also providing a service precursor of the Nintendo Club, in the form of the OTO Club. Members of this club were allowed to exchange their Game & watch with an equivalent used one. More details, and the list of available games where published in the Italian most common journals for kids ( Topolino and il Corriere dei Piccoli ).

OTO headquarters were located in Rome, in Largo Domenico De Dominicis 7 (largo stands for a large crescent-shaped road), close to their warehouse (in Di Portonaccio 35, 37 and 37-A street). The company had also customer support service offices in Milano (in Giulio Uberti 4 street) and Ranica (a small town in Bergamo province).





Office Giochi PreziosiOffice of Giochi Preziosi in CogliateThe other Distributor is called Giochi Preziosi and was located in Limbiate, a suburb of Milano. This company still exists today. Their head office is located in Milano and they have offices in Cogliate, a city about 20 kilometers north of Milano. Meanwhile Giochi Preziosi has subsidiaries in other countries as well: Germany, France, Spain and Greece.
Link to the website of Giochi Preziosi.



F. Are here differences regarding the games from these two distributors?
A. Yes. Let's start with OTO. They added Italian instruction booklets for the games colored in black and orange. They added other printed information as well, but I'll get back to that later. Later on they did not add an instruction booklet anymore, but just a sheet of instruction paper. Did OTO start saving money here...?

Here are two examples of instruction booklets:
(click on a picture to enlarge it)


gw-italy-oto-fr27-front-klein
Fire FR-27 Front
gw-italy-oto-back-klein
Fire FR-27 Back
gw-italy-oto-mariobros-manual-front-klein
Mario Bros. MW-56 Front




And here two examples of instructions just as a simple paper,
Donkey Kong 3 and Spitball Sparky:
OTO donkeykong3-manual-front-klein gw-italy-oto-spitballsparky-manual-front-klein



Back to the additional information I mentioned before. OTO added warranty cards and registration cards for the OTO Club as well. Unfortunately I don't know what this club was about or what was it for. Here some pictures of these cards:

gw-italy-oto-clubcard1-front-klein
1a) Front
gw-italy-oto-clubcard1-back-klein
1b) Back
gw-italy-oto-warranty3-front1-klein
2a) Upper part of the card
gw-italy-oto-warranty3-front2-klein
2b) Lower part of the card
gw-italy-oto-warranty3-back1-klein
2c) Back of the card
gw-italy-oto-warranty1-front-klein
3a) Another warranty card
gw-italy-oto-warranty2-front-klein
3b)
gw-italy-oto-warranty4-front-klein
4a) One more but without
rounded corners!
gw-italy-oto-warranty4-back-klein
4b)



The warranty card Nr. 2a to 2c) is a thin piece of carton, but perforated in the middle so it can be taken apart easily.

A. Which games did have a warranty card?
F. I guess all of them.

F. Are there special OTO boxes for the Game&Watch games?
A. No. But a characteristic, which makes the boxes recognizable as OTO: A sticker. OTO even had two kinds of them:
oto-logo1-gross oto-logo2-gross

Well, that's not fully correct :-)
The rounded T is the logo. You'll see that on the red sticker as well. But the red one is not really the logo, it's more likely a seal to protect the box from being opened easily.  

F. How did the boxes and instructions from Giochi Preziosi look like?
A. Giochi Preziosi did add an instruction booklet in the Italian language to each game as well, but I've never seen any other papers such as warranty cards or club cards.
Here is an instruction booklet from this distributor. Giochi Preziosi used the color green for their translated manuals:

gw-italy-gp-donkeykong2-manual-front-klein
Donkey Kong II
gw-italy-gp-donkeykong2-manual-back-klein
 



Regarding the boxes, Giochi Preziosi did the same like OTO: They did put stickers onto the boxes, that's all. Giochi Preziosi used two different ones as OTO did, but both of them rather as a seal. Both seals carry the logo of Giochi Preziosi, a small puppet. You can see the golden seal far more often than the green-white one. This is strange, since they still use the same logo today!
gp-logo-02-klein gp-logo-03-klein gp-logo-04-klein gp-logo-05-klein



F. Were OTO and Giochi Preziosi active at the same time?
A. I suppose yes. At least partly and I have proof of that.

I have Italian instructions of the game Donkey Kong Jr. New Wide Screen Series from both distributors:

gw-italy-gp-dkjr-front-klein
 
gw-italy-gp-dkjr-back-klein
 
gw-italy-oto-dkjr-front-klein
 
gw-italy-oto-dkjr-back-klein



The games Boxing (Micro vs. System Series) and Oil Panic were released by both of them as well:
gp-bx301-klein oto-bx301-klein

manual-gp-op51-klein manual-oto-op51-klein


F. Which Game&Watch were released in Italy all together?
A. I know of the following:

manual-oto-fl02-front-klein
Le Bandierine
(Flagman FL-02)
gp-pr21-klein
???
(Parachute PR-21)
manual-oto-oc22-klein
La Piovra
(Octopus OC-22)
oto-pp23-klein
???
(Popeye PP-23)
manual-oto-mc25-klein
Topolino
(Mickey Mouse MC-25)
manual-oto-fr27-klein
L'Incendio
(Fire FR-27)
manual-oto-id29-klein
Il Fortino
(Fire Attack ID-29)
manual-oto-sp30-klein
Snoopy
(Snoopy Tennis SP-30)
manual-gp-op51-klein
La Fuega di Benzina
(Oil Panic OP-51)
manual-oto-dk52-klein
Mario e il Gorilla
(Donkey Kong DK-52)
manual-oto-dm53-klein
Topolino e Paperino
(Mickey&Donald DM-53)
manual-gp-gh54-klein
La Serra
(Green House GH-54)
manual-gp-jr55-klein
Donkey Kong II
(Donkey Kong II JR-55)
manual-oto-mw56-klein
Mario e Luigi
(Mario Bros. MW-56)
oto-lp57-klein
L'Acquazzone
(Rain Shower LP-57)
oto-tc58-klein
Life Boat (???)
(Life Boat TC-58)
oto-pb59-klein
Flipper
(Pinball PB-59)
gp-mg61-klein
???
(Squish MG-61)
oto-sm73-klein
Snoopy (???)
(Snoopy SM-73)
oto-pg74-klein
Popeye (???)
(Popeye PG-74)
oto-tb94-klein
???
(Mario's Bombs Away TB-94)
manual-gp-dj101-klein
Donkey Kong Junior
(Donkey Kong Jr. DJ-101)
manual-oto-lm102-klein
Mario nella Fabbrica di Cemento
(Marios Cement Factory ML-102)
gp-nh103-klein
???
(Manhole NH-103)
gp-dr106-klein
???
(Climber DR-106)
gp-bf107-klein
???
(Balloon Fight BF-107)
oto-bu201-klein
Il Folletto
(Spitball Sparky BU-201)
oto-ud202-klein
???
(Crab Grab UD-202)
oto-bx301-klein
???
(Boxing BX-301)
oto-ak302-klein
Donkey Kong 3
(Donkey Kong 3 AK-302)
gp-hk303-klein
???
(Donkey Kong Hockey HK-303)
gp-ym801-front-klein
???
(Super Mario Bros. YM-801)
gp-dr802-front-klein
???
(Climber DR-802)
gp-bf803-klein
???
(Balloon Fight BF-803)


 

F. Are the Game&Watch from Italy considered to be rare?
A. I would say yes. Regarding the whole number of games they are just a small part of it.

F. Was each of the 59 official Game&Watch released in Italy?
A. Unfortunately I don't know. I know of the above listed games for sure, only.

F. Where did OTO and Giochi Preziosi get the Game&Watch from?
A. I suppose they did get them from Nintendo Japan. Because Nintendo of Europe (NOE) was founded far later, in the year 1990.

 



I hope I was able to answer some of your questions regarding the Game&Watch games released in Italy. Still, many questions remain unanswered and there are for sure facts we don't know of (yet). ;-)

Note: I have researched the information in this FAQ as good as possible. But I can't promise that they are fully correct or completely. If you find something which is not correct, or if you have additional information, I would appreciate if you would drop me a line, thank you very much!

Special thanks to Mike and Aris who submitted some of the pictures in this FAQ. http://mpanayiotakis.proboards.com