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Mr. Game&Watch
The logo of Game&Watch
gameandwatch.ch

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

tricOtronic FAQ
by Gawaleus


F
. What is tricOtronic?
A. The Game&Watch games where released in Germany with the name tricOtronic.


F. And who did release the games as tricOtronic?
A. That was a company called Bienengraeber, located in Hamburg. Bienengraeber did import and distribute the Game&Watch games.


F. So, it wasn't Nintendo?
A. Yes! At the beginning, Nintendo did distribute the games all over the world from Japan, later on Nintendo founded subsidiary companies in Europe and the USA. In Europe it was Nintendo of Europe (NOE), and in the USA it was Nintendo of America (NOA).


F. Why did Nintendo found subsidiary companies?
A. Well, this way it was a lot more easy to sell the games. Having a representive from the own company in different countries, helps a lot to find distributors there.


F. In which country did Nintendo found NOE and when?
A. That was in June 1990 in Grossostheim, Germany.


F. So, NOE exists since 1990, but there are tricOtronic games even since 1980... How come?
A. I suppose that Nintendo did give the rights for distribution of the games to Bienengraeber already back in 1980. But I don't know when and why.


F. Bienengraeber did distribute the Game&Watch in Germany. Do you have any information about this company?
A. The company was founded in the eighties by Harald Bienengraeber and did specialize in distributing toys. The company was well known and successful especially because of the distribution of toys from Nintendo, Gakken, Bandai, Captain Future and Monchichi. Distributing Game&Watch was their biggest success. Bienengraeber had the exclusive distribution rights for the brands mentioned before.


F. Where does the name tricOtronic come from?
A. The name was invented by Heinrich Winckelmann, leader of the advertising company denken & machen (about: think and do it). Winckelmann was responsible as well for the design of the boxes, the translations of the manuals and for the advertising of the games. But the games themselves where not modified like in other countries. In England for example, the games did have the logo CGL imprinted on the front, in Australia they did carry the logo of the company FutureTronics. There exists no game which has the logo of tricOtronic imprinted!


F. Which games where released as tricOtronic?
A. From following series (as far as I know):
- Silver Series: 4 (all except Flagman FL-02)
- Gold Series: 3 (all)
- Wide Screen Series: 9 (all except Egg EG-26)
- Multi Screen Series: 6
- New Wide Screen Series: 2

That makes 24 games alltogether which had a tricOtronic packaging:


Jolly Jongleur Ball AC-01Jolly Jongleur
Ball AC-01
Maulwurfsjagd (Vermin MT-03)Maulwurfsjagd
(Vermin MT-03)
Hilfe, es brennt! (Fire RC-04)Hilfe, es brennt!
(Fire RC-04)
Das Hammer-Duell (Judge IP-05)Das Hammer-Duell
(Judge IP-05)
Achtung Graben! (Manhole MH-06)Achtung Graben!
(Manhole MH-06)
Vorsicht Werkzeug! (Helmet CN-07)Vorsicht Werkzeug!
(Helmet CN-07)
Der Löwe ist los! (Lion LN-08)Der Löwe ist los!
(Lion LN-08)
Sprung in die Hölle (Parachute PR-21)Sprung in die Hölle
(Parachute PR-21)
Schnapp' den Schatz (Octopus OC-22)Schnapp' den Schatz
(Octopus OC-22)
Popeye's Bootsausflug (Popeye PP-23)Popeye's Bootsausflug
(Popeye PP-23)
Die verrückte Küche (Chef FP-24)Die verrückte Küche
(Chef FP-24)
Micky Maus im Hühnerstall (Mickey Mouse MC-25)Micky Maus im Hühnerstall (MC-25)Rettung im Sprungtuch (Fire FR-27)Rettung im Sprungtuch
(Fire FR-27)
Die lebende Brücke (Turtle Bridge TL-28)Die lebende Brücke
(Turtle Bridge TL-28)
Blockhaus in Flammen (Fire Attack ID-29)Blockhaus in Flammen
(Fire Attack ID-29)
Snoopy spielt Tennis (Snoopy Tennis SP-30)Snoopy spielt Tennis
(Snoopy Tennis SP-30)
Öl-Panik (Oil Panic OP-51)Öl-Panik
(Oil Panic OP-51)
Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong DK-52)Donkey Kong
(Donkey Kong DK-52)
Mickey&Donald (Mickey&Donald DM-53)Mickey&Donald
(Mickey&Donald DM-53)
Green House (Green House GH-54)Green House
(Green House GH-54)
Donkey Kong II (Donkey Kong II JR-55)Donkey Kong II
(Donkey Kong II JR-55)

Mario Brother's (Mario Bros. MW-56)Mario Brother's
(Mario Bros. MW-56)
Donkey Kong Junior (Donkey Kong Jr. DJ-101)Donkey Kong Junior
(Donkey Kong Jr. DJ-101)
Mario's Zement Fabrik (Mario's Cement Factory ML-102)Mario's Zement Fabrik
(Mario's Cement Factory ML-102)


F. I'm confused... are the games called tricOtronic or Super tricOtronic?
A. Both! But only six games from the Wide Screen Serie carry the addition Super. But it's unknown why, and also why this addition was not added to the games which where released at a later time. The word Super sort of did disappear later on. But there is one exception, only. The game Donkey Kong Jr. DJ-101 from the New Wide Screen Series does have the word Super...


F. I see some boxes with a sticker on it. What does it mean?
A. I suppose, that Bienengraeber did stop the production of the (expensive) tricOtronic boxes. Instead, they did produce the stickers, which are a lot more cheap. But the games still did contain a manual in german. Strange fact: Some games exist with tricOtronic box and a regular box with the sticker on it. Maybe the ones with the sticker where later editions.
For example Fire FR-27:


Fire FR-27With tricOtronic BoxFire FR-27With tricOtronic sticker

The box on the left shows something special. It has a mistake:
The game Fire has two buttons only, but the box shows four of them! But that's just by the way...


There are other games wich where released with a tricOtronic box or with a sticker. I suppose, that Bienengraeber did import those games again, because they where so successful. But this time they where not packaged in a tricOtronic box, they just go a sticker.

Here are the ones which I know:


Rettung im Sprungtuch (Fire FR-27)Rettung im Sprungtuch
(Fire FR-27)
Snoopy spielt Tennis (Snoopy Tennis SP-30)Snoopy spielt Tennis
(Snoopy Tennis SP-30)
Öl-Panik (Oil Panic OP-51)Öl-Panik
(Oil Panic OP-51)
Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong DK-52)Donkey Kong
(Donkey Kong DK-52)
Mickey&Donald (Mickey&Donald DM-53)Mickey&Donald
(Mickey&Donald DM-53)
Green House (Green House GH-54)Green House
(Green House GH-54)
Donkey Kong II (Donkey Kong II JR-55)Donkey Kong II
(Donkey Kong II JR-55)
Mario Brother's (Mario Bros. MW-56)Mario Brother's
(Mario Bros. MW-56)
Donkey-Kong Junior (Donkey Kong Jr. DJ-101)Donkey-Kong Junior
(Donkey Kong Jr. DJ-101)
Mario's Zement Farbrik (Mario's Cement Factory ML-102)Mario's Zement Farbrik
(Mario's Cement Factory ML-102)
Blockhaus in Flammen (Fire Attack ID-29)Blockhaus in Flammen
(Fire Attack ID-29)



F
. Are there more stickers?
A. Yes of course, otherwise it would be too simple... From the G&W.ch member Istanbul I received some pictures of boxes, which show another version of the stickers:

G&W sticker

G&W Kleber
Donkey Kong (DK-52)Donkey Kong (DK-52)Oil Panic (OP-51)Oil Panic (OP-51)Mario Bros. (MW-56)Mario Bros. (MW-56)Super Mario Bros. (YM-105)Super Mario Bros. (YM-105)


F. When were they released?
A. I don't know that. I suppose they were released after the colored stickers which I mentioned above. Perhaps Bienengräber did continue to import and/or to distribute the Game&Watch and they used an even more cheap sticker instead of the big and colored ones.



F. Are there more tricOtronic games?
A. Yes. Some games did contain a manual in German, only. The box was not changed in any way (no logo of tricOtronic, no sticker). I know 13 games which have a common box, but a manual written in German. You'll find them in the FAQ about tricOtronic manuals. It's up to you if you count them as "real" tricOtronic games or not. As for myself, they are tricOtronic!


F. Common boxes but with a manual in German? Why?
A. I have two explanations for that:
First, obviously the games weren't distributed by Bienengraeber at a later time, instead by the company SISO Spielwaren GmbH & Co. in Nurenberg. Bienengraeber still did import the games, but SISO was distributing them.
Here is a proof (manual of Snoopy Tennis):


Import (und Vertrieb?) durch BienengraeberImport (and distribution?) by BienengraeberImport (and distribution?) by Bienengraeber

Vertrieb durch SISODistribution by SISODistribution by SISO

Have a close look at the item number. Obviously SISO did change it!

The game New Wide Screen Donkey Kong Jr. DJ-101 has different manuals as well and some other games. Please see the FAQ about tricOtronic manuals for more information.

Let's go back to the standard boxes which have a manual in German:
The second explanation points into another direction - to Austria! There, the games where distributed by a company called Stadlbauer. They did sell the Game&Watch with a german manual as well, but the boxes where not changed. Most of those boxes carry a small sticker with the name of the company Stadlbauer. So, games with a manual in german did come from Austria as well.

And to make it even more complex: There was another distributor of Game&Watch in Germany: YENO GmbH in the city of Hamburg!



I've seen the name of YENO only once so far. Imprinted on a manual of the game Squish MG-61, dated with the copyright of 1986. Does any one of you have another manual which has YENO imprinted?


F. At first Bienengraeber, now SISO, then Stadlbauer and finally YENO. Who where they?
A. SISO: In the middle or end of the fourthies, Fritz Sieber founded the company SISO in eastern Germany. The company did produce nutcracker and wooden toys which where exported to western Germany. In 1959 he, his wife and his three children moved to Fürth in western Germany. There, Fritz Sieber founded a new company, which he called SISO again. Later on he successfully sold the company to the company Bührmann-Tetterode in the Nederlands and he founded a new company named Simba. Fritz Sieber died 80 years old on 21st Januar 2004. Unfotunately I don't have any information about the relationship between SISO and Nintendo/Game&Watch.

I couldn't get information about the company YENO GmbH, except that there is a company called Yeno Elektronik GmbH in Weiterstadt. I don't know if this company has something to do with the company YENO from the eighties, or if it's the same.

Stadlbauer is a distributor of toys in Austria. They distribute goods in Switzerland and in eastern european countries as well. The company was founded in 1953 and it still exists. Their website is: www.statdlbauer.at. The most known brands they distribute are Nintendo and Carrera. Stadlbauer distributes products of Nintendo since 1979. Stadlbauer is known as distributor of the MiniClassics as well. Unfortunately I don't have any information about the relationship between Stadlbauer and Nintendo/Game&Watch.


I hope I could answer some of your questions. Many will remain unanswered for sure, but maybe we'll find out more about tricOtronic ;-)

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!

Many thanks to:
Michael Panayiotakis, who did allow me to use some of his pictures. Mike's homepage can be found here: http://mpanayiotakis.proboards.com
G&W.ch member Istanbul for providing some of the pictures.