I actually knew about the system in the United States since the 1980's, but I didn't get a Sega Master system growing up. It was a combination of reasons including me finally having a chance to get a NES back in 1991.
I bought a Sega Master system back when I was in college due to me being a fan of the Phantasy games on the Sega Genesis. I discovered the SMS had the original Phantasy Star in 1994 at a used Video game shop outside the city I live in, but didn't have a SMS convertor or a SMS game console.
There is a store a couple blocks away from the college I went to and it had a bunch of used video games and old game consoles including a Sega Master system. I bought my first SMS game in 1998 or 1999 since I saw a SMS game console in the store.
I did research on the Sega Master System online and my collection is still growing to this day. My collection does include Brazil SMS games, European SMS games, a reproduction cart of Japan only SMS games, and a couple Game Gear to SMS game conversion cartridges.
Based on my collection, I made the conclusion that the SMS sales were affected quite a bit from Nintendo's licensing practices. The system had a lot of potential and I felt NES 3rd games would've been great on the SMS such as Ducktales, Contra as examples.
Edited by 8th lutz, Yesterday, 10:11 AM.