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Possible link between Bomb and Bondwell/Spectravideo?


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#1 PingvinBlueJeans OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 8, 2014 12:55 PM

I just recently purchased a copy of Assault by Bomb, which was apparently their first release based on catalog number. It hasn't arrived quite yet, but I've noticed that there are two (or more) versions of this game. Some of the outer boxes are black, whereas others are white. I've also noticed that the copyright on the back of the game instruction manual is usually credited to OnBase Co. Ltd. but sometimes to Bondwell Digital Ltd. instead.

This version of the manual appears in the Atarimania database:

http://www.atarimani...assault_i_4.jpg

I've also noticed that the IC chips inside some (but not all) Bomb cartridges have a "BOND" marking instead of "BOMB", as seen here:

http://atariage.com/...g/#entry1424383

So it seems that Bondwell was involved with the manufacture (and likely the development) of the Bomb games in some capacity. (For what it's worth, the "Q.C. PASSED N" sticker on NTSC Bomb games is identical to the one found on my NTSC Spectravideo CompuMate.)

For the uninformed, Bondwell Holding was a supposedly a major shareholder in Spectravideo International. SVI was supposedly started in North America (as SpectraVision) but Bondwell was apparently responsible for the manufacturing of their products in Hong Kong. Bondwell eventually bought out SVI completely in 1984-85 and moved all operations to HK. They continued to market computer products worldwide (including North America) under the Bondwell name, eventually selling off the Spectravideo name in 1988. (More info here.)

So the relationship between Bondwell and Spectravideo is well-known, but what exactly was the relationship between Bondwell and Bomb? Bondwell Holding seems to have had various divisions (Bondwell Engineering, Bondwell Digital, etc). Is it possible that "Bondwell Digital Ltd." and "OnBase Co. Ltd" were essentially one and the same? Or was this simply an NTSC/PAL territory distribution difference?

#2 CRV OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:09 AM

According to Hong Kong records, Onbase Company Limited was incorporated on October 5, 1982. It became Bondwell International Limited on February 21, 1984.



#3 PingvinBlueJeans OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014 9:47 AM

Boom goes the dynamite. :!:

I knew it. Where were you able to find that?

EDIT: Nevermind, I found it.

What exactly does that say? I can't read Chinese. Did OnBase become Bondwell, or just get absorbed by them?

Here's a Chinese guy named Tse Kin Man who was involved with Bondwell from 1979-87...

http://www.plastofor...-directors.html
 

Mr Tse Kin Man is the Executive Chairman of our Group. He was appointed to our Board on 23 September 2003 and is responsible for the development of overall corporate strategies as well as marketing and product development of the Group. Mr Tse has over 30 years of manufacturing background specializes in electronics design along with more than 20 years extensive experience in entrepreneurship and business management. Prior to joining Plastoform, he was one of the founders and Director of R&D at STD Holding Limited specialized in the video game accessories products. His career had escalated since 1979 when he joined Bondwell Holding Limited as Chief Designer and he carried the title of General Manager at Bondwell Engineering Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Bondwell Holding Limited) when he left in 1987. Mr Tses comprehensive knowledge has led Plastoform since 1995 from manufacture plastic moulding to OEM/ODM multimedia speaker.

Mr Tse obtained a Higher Diploma in Design from Hong Kong Polytechnic in 1977. He was also admitted as a full member of the Hong Kong Designers Association in January 2006. Mr Tse has strong sense of the evolutionary trend and has a proven track record to manufacture products those were first to the market including LCD watches and clocks in 1977, Atari joystick and game cartridges in 1982- 84, PC Multimedia speaker in 1990 just after Soundblaster launched. Mr Tse was last re-elected on 28 April 2011.


So Bondwell must have existed in some form before 1982.

#4 CRV OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:14 PM

The Hong Kong government has a website where you can search in English.

 

(On a sidenote, there's a Data Age Far East Limited started in '82.)



#5 PingvinBlueJeans OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:29 PM

The Hong Kong government has a website where you can search in English.


Looks like there's several listings related to Bondwell, some of which probably have nothing to do with the company we're interested in. The oldest one appears to be Bondwell Semiconductors Ltd. which was incorporated December 12, 1975 and became Bondwell Industrial Ltd. on September 1, 1978.
 

(On a sidenote, there's a Data Age Far East Limited started in '82.)


That would make sense. Data Age was an American company, but most of their games were developed by three Chinese programmers. They almost certainly had contacts in Asia.

#6 Jess Ragan OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:36 PM

Do they have specific names or have they all entered the witness protection program?



#7 PingvinBlueJeans OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:35 AM

Do they have specific names or have they all entered the witness protection program?


Unfortunately, no one I've spoken with can remember their names.

I'm not 100% sure, but I think the programmer of X-Man (H.K. Poon) was one of the Data Age programmers. Despite what Chevy Chase may have said in Fletch, Poon is a Cantonese surname, not "Comanche Indian".

Universal Gamex Corp. (aka Gameworld) appears to have had connections to both Data Age and SpectraVision/Bondwell.

#8 ferghead OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Nov 30, 2014 4:51 AM

I'm doing two of the Bomb games on my show this week, thank you for the info on the company. Looking at the boxes online, the Bomb boxes have the same features as the Spectravision games, word for word. The 2600 drawing with the flying cartridge is also the same on both boxes, but the joysticks are different.






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