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Fred_M

Dixons pack releases (UK)

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Thank you so much @stoob!!

 

Paxman promotions was a label of Prism Leisure. I don't know if they are related to Tynesoft?

 

Paxman/Prism have nothing in common with Tynesoft other than their ability to produce software as cheaply as possible!

 

Their strategy was to buy up old tape stocks when other publishers went under, and then print new covers for them. They did this with Alligata, Digital Fantasia, Christopher James Software, Abbex Electronics, Silversoft, Fantasy Software, Quest Microsoftware, Blaby and Artic Computing. Paxman would be my second choice for being the producer of the Dixons tapes, but I would have expected more of those defunct publishers titles to have appeared. Also, most of Paxman's releases appear to be from 1986 onwards, while the Dixons tapes seems to be from 1985.

 

Prism themselves don't exist until 1986, prior to that they were "Geoff's Records".

Edited by stoob
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So I think we have two choices here. Tynesoft or Prism Leisure ;)

 

The Atari releases I have by Prism are definitely not new covers for existing tapes ;) The tape labels match the design of the new covers. Also I have never seen any original Tynesoft releases for the Atari 8-bit in the Dixons packs. Sadly I don't know when Dixons sold their Atari 8-bit computers with a pack of these tapes. A date would help our investigation.

 

Let's do some further digging! :-D

 

Thanks stoob!

Edited by Fred_M

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This is really a hard one. I found a.o. this site: https://mocagh.org/loadpage.php?getcompany=mystadv

 

"Mysterious Adventures were a series of 11 adventure games written by Bryan Howarth, using the same technology Scott Adams used for his Adventure series. They were published mainly for UK computers making them relatively rare and unheard of in North America. They were published by quite a large number of companies over the years resulting in a large number of packaging variations. Initially the first few were sold under the company Molimerx. Shortly thereafter, the first few games were sold by a company called Acorn, for TRS-80 computers. the first company to publish all 11 games was Digital Fantasia, which produced large boxed versions of the games. Following this, Channel 8 sold then in a nice wallet format. And lastly, numerous budget releases came about - Paxman Promotion, Dixon's Pack, and Tynesoft all published all 11 games as well. As you can see, these are by far the most published and re-published games in computing history probably!"

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This is really a hard one. I found a.o. this site: https://mocagh.org/loadpage.php?getcompany=mystadv

 

"Mysterious Adventures were a series of 11 adventure games written by Bryan Howarth, using the same technology Scott Adams used for his Adventure series. They were published mainly for UK computers making them relatively rare and unheard of in North America. They were published by quite a large number of companies over the years resulting in a large number of packaging variations. Initially the first few were sold under the company Molimerx. Shortly thereafter, the first few games were sold by a company called Acorn, for TRS-80 computers. the first company to publish all 11 games was Digital Fantasia, which produced large boxed versions of the games. Following this, Channel 8 sold then in a nice wallet format. And lastly, numerous budget releases came about - Paxman Promotion, Dixon's Pack, and Tynesoft all published all 11 games as well. As you can see, these are by far the most published and re-published games in computing history probably!"

 

 

Yes, although I'm not convinced that Paxman, Dixons and Tynesoft published "all 11 games as well" when that site itself only has covers of 10 Paxman releases (across all platforms), three Tynesoft releases and two Dixons.

 

There's more information on the Mysterious Adventures series in issue 3 of the free pdf magazine The Classic Adventurer, including how the rights went from Digital Fantasia to Channel 8 and then to Adventure International UK.

 

 

So I think we have two choices here. Tynesoft or Prism Leisure ;)

Sadly I don't know when Dixons sold their Atari 8-bit computers with a pack of these tapes. A date would help our investigation.

 

The use of the modified Channel 8 artwork on Waxworks means they definitely couldn't have been released before 1985.

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Yes, I agree that they are probably released after 1985. The Tynesoft catalogue is from 1987. But I am curious to know when Dixons sold these tapes. All advertising I can find on the internet show the familiar red Atari tapes.

 

I have read that article too. Sadly it does not state what happened after the demise of Adventure International UK in 1986...

 

I looked at the pictures on that mocagh site. I saw that the (very similar) Tynesoft tape labels include the system name on the label. The Paxman tapes do not. But that is not enough to go on.

 

My main goal was to identify all Dixons pack titles. I agree with you that the tapes which do not state Dixons Pack are probably not Dixons pack games ;)

Edited by Fred_M

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I have read that article too. Sadly it does not state what happened after the demise of Adventure International UK in 1986...

AI UK became AdventureSoft - there's an article about it in Retro Gamer 135 - but it tells us nothing about Paxman or Tynesoft...

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AI UK became AdventureSoft - there's an article about it in Retro Gamer 135 - but it tells us nothing about Paxman or Tynesoft...

 

You are right, sorry English is not my native language. I meant that (both) articles don't mention what happened to the rights of the software. On the other hand I was reading about Tynesoft and found various articles stating that Tynesoft licensed their games to many publishers to include them in compilations and re-releases.... I also searched for Microdeal info, but can't any info about them selling rights to another company to rerelease their games.

 

This is a very difficult one to find out, without any information about Dixons themselves. But my main goal is to identify the titles for the preservation project. I think it is best to (for the time being) list Dixons as publisher for these rereleases.

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I also searched for Microdeal info, but can't any info about them selling rights to another company to rerelease their games.

Finally! I've found a connection between Microdeal and Tynesoft:

 

post-68585-0-22654600-1559987703.png

 

Tynesoft re-released Pengon on one of their Micro-Value compilation releases.

 

They also put Callisto's Cannibals on one too:

 

post-68585-0-29856800-1559988123.png

 

 

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Sorry, I still think that is not enough evidence ;) Many companies (including Tynesoft) made compilations which include games from other publishers.

 

On the preservation forum we are also discussing this topic and AtariAge user Atarigrub showed this one:

 

post-6711-0-10486300-1560365637.jpg

 

So a Paxman inlay and a tape label that looks my Golden Baton tape with a different inlay. But I don't know if he bought this one himself in a shop.

 

My tapes:

 

post-6711-0-98778400-1560366810.jpg

 

I have taken another look at my tapes, including the spare copies in my webshop (I should have done that before).....

 

Dixons Atari releases (so far):

Danger Ranger, Mr. Dig, Sunday Golf,Tutti Frutti, Electric Starfish, Golden Baton, Artist, Special Delivery (thanks Adam!), Cuthbert goes Walkabout, Waxworks

 

post-6711-0-33359600-1560365966.jpg

 

 

And the "stand-alone" releases (so far):

Danger Ranger, Mr. Dig, Sunday Golf, Tutti Frutti, Electric Starfish, Golden Baton, Bug Off, Ten Little Indians (with Paxman inlay)

 

post-6711-0-92455400-1560366243.jpg

Edited by Fred_M
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Your collection is looking healthy there Fred...Good for you, hope you find all the missing titles...Even if I had all my old gear back I would not have been able to help as I had / kept precious few cassettes back then...

 

Baktra should cover his ears now, I was glad to see the back of them to be honest...

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On the preservation forum we are also discussing this topic and AtariAge user Atarigrub showed this one:

 

attachicon.gifpaxmangrub.jpg

 

So a Paxman inlay and a tape label that looks my Golden Baton tape with a different inlay. But I don't know if he bought this one himself in a shop.

Yes, but as I mentioned earlier Paxman/Prism's business model was to buy up surplus tape stocks and resell them. There are also Paxman Mysterious Adventures releases that have the original purple Digital Fantasia tapes.

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Another thing I've noticed is that the Paxman release has the address of Adventuresoft:

 

post-68585-0-63638900-1560418198.jpgpost-68585-0-54517900-1560418849.jpg

 

 

So the Paxman releases can't have been any earlier than 1986 as Adventuresoft didn't exist until then:

 

post-68585-0-64778400-1560418221.jpg

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Another thing I've noticed is that the Paxman release has the address of Adventuresoft:

 

attachicon.gifgoldenbatonadventureinternationalchannel8tynesoft.jpgattachicon.gifgoldenbatonadventuresoftinlay.jpg

 

 

So the Paxman releases can't have been any earlier than 1986 as Adventuresoft didn't exist until then:

 

attachicon.gifadventuresoftnamechange.jpg

 

Interesting! A good eye for detail ;) :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: Do you know what logo is on the right upper corner of the Paxman Golden Baton release?

 

I was browsing the Tynesoft catalogue again (with titles by a.o. Activision, US Gold, CDS, Prism, Interceptor) and saw this very strange picture.

 

Tynesoft Atari titles with a Paxman logo on them.....

 

post-6711-0-88077400-1560442507.jpg

Edited by Fred_M

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Do you know what logo is on the right upper corner of the Paxman Golden Baton release?

That's one of Paxman's logos:

post-68585-0-69151900-1560446315.jpg

I have no idea why they had two different logos at the same time!

 

Tynesoft Atari titles with a Paxman logo on them.....

 

attachicon.giftynesoft.jpg

On other platforms those "O Level" titles were originally released by Calisto, I don't know if they released the original Atari versions.

post-68585-0-25417900-1560448069.jpg

 

and I notice that Tynesoft seem to have "edited" their cover in the same way as the Dixons Waxworks cover:

 

post-68585-0-69961000-1560448399.jpgpost-68585-0-13610000-1560448389.jpg

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In Page 6, issue 24, page 7 (1986):

 

"Tynesoft have now acquired the rights to some of the Scott Adams adventures and will be re-releasing these soon. Savage Island I & II are already available. They are also one of the few converting established Commodore titles to the Atari with Jet Set Willy I & II already available, Camelot is a multi-level arcade game and Drawmaster is another 'ultimate Artist package' for budding Atari artists to look out for. More Atari titles are promised."

 

I have never seen a Tynesoft (or Paxman) release of Savage Island I & II. The main atari sites don't list these titles by Tynesoft. Jet Set Willy II was never released for the 8-bit Atari and also Camelot and Drawmaster were never released.

 

On the same page there is also this:

 

"Budget software is all the range and Prism Leisure Corporation seem to specialise in buying out old or deleted titles for budget release. Their trade catalogue features no less than 67 Atari titles!! Some is pretty obscure but many are up to date, I f your dealer tells you there is no 8-bit software around, don't believe him."

 

Prism released in 1986 a.o. Electric Starfish (http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-electric-starfish_13537.html)

Edited by Fred_M
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With the site updated I am no longer seeing pictures and jpegs... this is going to take some getting used to. I see the talking bubbles but not folders.. should be interesting

 

edit* look like it's slowly but surely chugging along so the missing pictures etc. are just taking a long time to process. I wonder if the system is giving eta's so we know when it's time to be concerned or not.

Edited by _The Doctor__

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Yes, all the missing images, attachments, quote blocks and other missing content will come back. Yes, the background tasks to fix these things are chugging along, and certainly more slowly than I would like. There is, sadly, nothing I can do to make these tasks faster. Once they are completed, though, all will be good on that front and we can carry on as usual. Trust me when I say I am watching over everything like a hawk. 

 

  ..Al

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17 hours ago, Fred_M said:

In Page 6, issue 24, page 7 (1986):

 

"Tynesoft have now acquired the rights to some of the Scott Adams adventures and will be re-releasing these soon. Savage Island I & II are already available. They are also one of the few converting established Commodore titles to the Atari with Jet Set Willy I & II already available, Camelot is a multi-level arcade game and Drawmaster is another 'ultimate Artist package' for budding Atari artists to look out for. More Atari titles are promised."

 

"Budget software is all the range and Prism Leisure Corporation seem to specialise in buying out old or deleted titles for budget release. Their trade catalogue features no less than 67 Atari titles!! Some is pretty obscure but many are up to date, I f your dealer tells you there is no 8-bit software around, don't believe him."

 

Prism released in 1986 a.o. Electric Starfish (http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-400-800-xl-xe-electric-starfish_13537.html)

 

There are 11 Adventure International (US) titles re-released by Prism on Atarimania so it looks like Prism acquired the games after they went bankrupt in 1986. The Prism Electric Starfish has new artwork while the Dixons release re-uses the original Calisto artwork.  So that fits with the theorised 1985 date for the Dixons releases.

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Another little Dixons/Tynesoft connection I've discovered:

 

One of the Dixons re-releases on the ZX Spectrum was Calisto's Wally Kong, but they changed the cover -

 

calistowallykong.jpg.6cc942efa4d0631c5a58317a89ee5ec8.jpg calistowallykongdixons.jpg.db960db5763218ca8afe18e8cd175b78.jpg

 

- and that new cover is from Climb-It, an Amstrad game released by Tynesoft in 1984, which was also re-released by Dixons.

amstradclimbit.jpg.bdb22c682cadff59356afc176af34f6d.jpg

 

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