Nelsonic Industries was an American electronics manufacturing and development company that operated from Long Island City, Queens, New York City in the early 1980s and throughout the 1990s when it was acquired by the watch-manufacturer, M.Z. Berger. Nelsonic produced numerous toy-themed wristwatches, often targeting younger audiences with likenesses of characters from popular franchises such as Barbie, the Ghostbusters, and Mario. Nelsonic became notable during the early mid-1980s for being the first electronics company in the United States to produce game-watches (multi-purpose electronic devices capable of functioning as both a time-piece and as a typically electronic game). For a period subsequent to its purchase by M.Z. Berger, Nelsonic operated as a subsidiary division of its parent company and game-watches were produced that bore the Nelsonic mark. This practice ended as M.Z. Berger shifted focus to more traditional and higher-end timepieces. Today the original Nelsonic Game Watch line has entered the secondary market and individual Game Watches have become highly sought-after collectibles that often fetch high prices on eBay and other online auction websites.
Throughout its existence, Nelsonic produced pop-culture-themed wrist-watches for children and young adults. The chronograph digital watches, typically made of molded plastic, invariably featured an alarm and utilized LCD screens to display the time for their wearers. In time the company began manufacturing multi-purpose units that used the LCD screen to combine time display functions with simple video game functions.[nb 1] These simple video games were variations on the theme of the calculator watch, and the patent covering the Game Watch line is in fact classified as an "electronic calculator watch structure." The company's first game watch was called Space Attacker. Becoming the first electronics manufacturer in the United States to produce game-watches, Nelsonic earned a large share in this specialized market and was able to earn the attention of large video game companies at events such as the Consumer Electronics Show. Having caught the popular attention and with goodwill at a high-point, Nelsonic was able to obtain licensing from several big-name video game companies such as Sega, Nintendo, Midway Games, and Mylstar Electronics. With roots in the toy market, Nelsonic was also able to obtain similar licenses to produce LCD versions of popular electronic toys like Milton Bradley's Simon as well as to produce original LCD games for non-game toy franchises like Barbie, G.I. Joe, and Power Rangers and even for film and TV franchises such as Ghostbusters. So well-known became the Nelsonic brand that it was even able to license its own original games (such as the Nelsonic version of the public-domain blackjack which was licensed to Caesars Palace).
As time progressed, Nelsonic experimented with higher-end products such as metal watches and increasingly complex game-watch designs. In 1990 the watch-making giant, M.Z. Berger, made a large bid and was able to successfully purchase the company. For a period of nearly a decade after this acquisition, M.Z. Berger continued to use Nelsonic as a subsidiary branch and to employ the Nelsonic mark in the release of game-watches and the production of new re-releases of popular models from the 1980s and early 1990s.[nb 2] By the end of the 1990s, however, public interest had waned (quite possibly due to the rise in popularity of more advanced handheld video game consoles and, eventually, of other portable computing devices, such as PDAs and smartphones) and this practice came to an end as M.Z. Berger shifted markets to target higher end consumers more exclusively.
Today the Nelsonic mark is still in use for traditional watches and is not used in connection with game-watches. It is still a subsidiary of M.Z. Berger and as recently as 2007 it was listed by the AAFES as garnering over $1.9 million in sales.
Below is a list of units sold by Nelsonic as part of their Game Watch line. Also included are game-watches sold under the term "Wrist Game" (e.g. Ghost Busters), "Action Watch Game" (e.g. Barbie), and "Gamewatch Boy" (e.g. Super Mario Race).
|Title||Date||Licensed by||Based on||Notes||References|
|Baseball||Baseball||Came with a separately detachable Nelsonic brand 5×16mm monocular to aid in viewing the small screen.|||
|Black Jack||Blackjack||Later re-released under license to Caesars Palace where it was sold in their gift shop as Caesars Palace Black Jack (also described as Caesars Black Jack on the box)|||
|Dinky Dino's Watch||1997||A digital pet game similar to the Tamagotchi, this Game Watch was also released under the name Dinopet.|||
|Donkey Kong||1994||Nintendo||Donkey Kong|||
|Football||Association football||This unit was simultaneously released in the United States as Soccer, and was later re-released in at least one other different style of physical layout.|||
|Ghostbusters||1990||Columbia Pictures||Ghostbusters||Also described on the box as The Real Ghostbusters.|||
|G. I. Joe: A Real American Hero||1990||Hasbro||G.I. Joe|||
|Grand Prix||Casio||Auto racing|||
|The Legend of Zelda||1989||Nintendo||The Legend of Zelda||Released in black, red, white, and pink versions. Released in Europe in December 1992 by Zeon.|||
|Luigi's Hammer Toss||1990||Nintendo||Super Mario Bros. 2||Released in black under the name Luigi's Hammer Toss in North America and simply called Luigi in Japan.[nb 3] Offered in some Japanese McDonald's restaurants. First game to feature Luigi as the only main playable character.|||
|Major League Baseball||Major League Baseball|||
|The Maze Watch||Labyrinth||One of the earliest Nelsonic Game Watches, the game portion of this unit is a physical (non-electronic) Labyrinth.|||
|Melody Car Racing||Auto racing||Came with a separately detachable Nelsonic brand 5×15mm monocular to aid in viewing the small screen.|||
|Mighty Morphin Power Rangers||1994||Saban Entertainment||Power Rangers|||
|Ms. Pac Man||1982||Ms. Pac-Man|||
|Pac Man||1982||Midway Games||Pac-Man||This game retailed for between $25 and $35 and quickly became one of the most popular Nelsonic Game Watches, selling over 500,000 units. This unit was released with several different faceplate graphics and at least 2 different styles of physical layout - one with 4 directional buttons and the other with a small joystick that could be assembled.|||
|Princess Toadstool's Castle Run||1990||Nintendo||Super Mario Bros. 2||Released in yellow under the name Princess Toadstool's Castle Run in North America and simply called Peach in Japan.[nb 4] Offered in some Japanese McDonald's restaurants. First game to feature Peach as the only main playable character.|||
|Race Car||Auto racing|||
|Simon||Milton Bradley Company||Simon|||
|Space Attacker||1981||The game was also released under the name Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan by Collins Industrial Co., under the name Cosmic Wars by Majestron, and the layout was used in the pornographic Sexum Watch (another third party release). The game was re-released by Nelsonic in 1983 as Space Wars, and versions of the game exist in black plastic and metal variants.|||
|Star Fox||1993||Nintendo||Star Fox||The game was released by Nelsonic simultaneously in Europe as Starwing and was re-released with at least 2 different styles of physical layout. Some versions came with a headphone jack and headphones.|||
|Super Mario Bros.||1989||Nintendo||Super Mario Bros.||Released in white and black colors. Also released under the title Mario Bros. This game came with a headphone jack and headphones.|||
|Super Mario 3||1990||Nintendo||Super Mario Bros. 3||Also described on the watchband as Super Mario Bros. 3. Released in black, white, red and pink color versions. Released in Europe in December 1992 by Zeon.|||
|Super Mario Bros. 4||1991||Nintendo||Super Mario World||Also described on the watchband as Super Mario World. This game came with a headphone jack and headphones.|||
|Super Mario Race||1992||Nintendo||Super Mario Kart||Front side of package uses the Japanese front cover art of the Game Boy version of F-1 Race.|||
|Tank Battle||1982||Also released under the titles Plane & Tank Battle and Tank & Plane Battle.|||
|Tetris||1990||Nintendo||Tetris||Very well received by critics. Released in black, white, red and pink versions. Released in Europe in December 1992 by Zeon.|||
Nelsonic produced numerous toy-themed wrist-watches during their existence, often targeting younger audiences with likenesses of characters from popular franchises such as Barbie, the Ghostbusters, and Mario.
Finally, we have a Ghostbusters LCD wristwatch game from Nelsonic. Although it appears to tie-in with the original movie, due to featuring a library as a backdrop, it’s based on The Real Ghostbusters.
LUIGI'S HAMMER TOSS WATCH!
Se aprecia ya desde Mario is Missing!, segundo título que protagonizó tras su primer liderazgo en el Luigi’s Hammer Toss
Além dele há o Luigi’s Hammer Toss, jogo lançado para o Nelsonic Game Watch, um relógio que você podia jogar um minigame que já vinha embutido, demais, né? O game mais parecia um dos jogos do Game & Watch, no qual Luigi não podia deixar um martelo cair no chão.
Allo stesso modo, vale pure la pena di notare che Mario Is Missing! è la prima avventura standalone “grossa” dedicata a Luigi, visto che Luigi’s Mansion è del 2001, anche se il puntalcazzismo mi impone di precisare che non rappresenta la prima volta in assoluto del baffone verde, dal momento che quel titolo spetta a un altro titolo (ahah!). Mi riferisco a Luigi's Hammer Toss, del 1991, un “Nelsonic Game Watch” prodotto dall’omonima azienda newyorkese, che all’epoca era riuscita a strappare a Nintendo il diritto di ricavare dai suoi personaggi sette minigiochi visualizzati su display LCD e montati su un bracciale a mo’ di orologi da polso.
goes by the name, Princess Toadstool's Castle Run Game.
This is the rare Princess Toadstool Castle run game watch.
For those wondering what the hell happened to Super Mario Bros. 2 on the Nelsonic Game Watch Line, well, it's extremely rare, features Princess Toadstool (fun Fact: It's the first game to ever feature her as a playable character).
Técnicamente, Super Princess Peach no fue el primer juego producido por Nintendo en el que la princesa de la serie Super Mario recibía todo el protagonismo, dado que ese honor pertenece a Princess Toadstool's Castle Run, una maquinita de LCD promocional de McDonald’s presentada bajo la forma de un reloj de muñeca. Lógicamente, su segunda aventura en solitario es mucho más interesante.
Assim como Luigi, a nossa amada princesa também teve o seu primeiro game solo no pioneiro relógio Nelsonic Game Watch. Nesse jogo, Peach, que ainda se chama Princess Toadstool, deve desviar dos obstáculos à sua frente para chegar em seu castelo.