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Interesting Panda-related find...

Panda Games Panda

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#1 King Atari OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 18, 2018 11:43 PM

While hitting up thrift stores earlier today, I was browsing the VHS sections, and something jumped out at me: on the spine of one sleeve, there was a small panda bear logo that looked familiar. I grabbed the tape, one of those incredibly cheap public domain cartoon comps from the 1980s, and lo and behold, I was right - the same Panda that put out ripped-off and/or terrible 2600 titles also evidently had a hand in VHS! Of course if this was a 20th Century Fox etc. tape find, there'd be no news here whatsoever, but because Panda is so obscure, I found this surprising - and pretty cool, to be frank.


I did both a forum and general internet search to see if I could come up with a list of other projects Panda may have been involved in, which turned up this old thread, but other than that, little more info than what can be found in AA's respective company page showed.


So, does anyone have any additional information on Panda? Obviously the 2600 releases happened, and apparently some PC ones as well, but now I'm wondering: just how many pots did they had a hand in back in the early/mid-1980s?


Included are some pics of the tape. The "Division of U.A.V.C" line on the back is in regards to United American Video; the label on the tape itself is a standard UAV one from the period, and it's dated 1985. UAV put out TONS of stuff like this back in the 1980s & 1990s, so the content doesn't surprise me, but the fact that they were affiliated with Panda at some point sure does. I'm no stranger to uber-cheap videos like this, but in all my years of collecting, I have never seen one of these, nor has a buddy of mine, who has been collecting even longer than I have. The PV-3009 catalog number implies there are more of 'em out there, though.


I seriously doubt this is worth anything, but there's a 2600 connection here that I thought was worth sharing. Thoughts?



Attached Thumbnails

  • pandavhs1.jpg
  • pandavhs2.jpg

#2 Shawn OFFLINE  


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Posted Fri Jan 19, 2018 12:32 AM

Neat to see that logo on something other than a video game. Thanks for sharing that. Weird and cool at the same time :) :thumbsup:

#3 RamrodHare OFFLINE  



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Posted Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:22 AM

Very interesting indeed...

#4 pacman000 OFFLINE  



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Posted Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:47 AM

Hypothesis: Panda was created as a kids label by UAV, which then expanded into video games like Zimag.

#5 King Atari OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 19, 2018 1:25 PM

Hypothesis: Panda was created as a kids label by UAV, which then expanded into video games like Zimag.


You got me thinking, so I went and did a little more research. Well, hit up Wikipedia anyway. Wiki says UAV began in 1984, and as seen on the tape here, was situated in Tennessee. According to AA's company page, Panda also began life in '84 (though their boxes claim 1983) but they were situated in North Carolina. There was obviously some sort of connection between the companies by 1985. I have no idea what the actual timeline was of course, but it seems to me that these things were all happening a little late in the crash for anyone to be expanding into video games by then.


(Fun fact: According to Wiki, UAV moved their headquarters to NC, home of Panda, in 1991. I'm guessing Panda itself was looooong gone by then, and besides, I seriously doubt one had anything to do with the other.)


So, I'm going to operate under the assumption that Panda and UAV were originally separate entities, and that Panda was straight-up (cheaply?) acquired by UAV around '85. That's what the "division of" line on the back of the box implies to me at least. Perhaps UAV figured the kid-friendly Panda name and logo would work well on cartoon videos? I still find it strange that I've never seen one of these though, and I've shuffled through more than a little VHS in my time.


Full disclosure: I don't pretend to have an intimate knowledge of how companies in these situations do business. Still, weird, random puzzle, if nothing else!

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