Grandstand (game manufacturer)

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Grandstand
Industry Video games
Number of locations United Kingdom, New Zealand

Grandstand (also known as Grandstand Leisure Products) was a video game console and electronic game manufacturer and distributor. It was based in the United Kingdom and New Zealand[1] and was active in the 1970s and 1980s.

Overview[edit]

The company behind the Grandstand label was Adam Leisure Group PLC of Harrogate, UK.[1][2] The company chiefly imported electronic products from other manufacturers such as Epoch, Tomy & Entex,[1][3] selling them in the UK re-branded under the Grandstand name.

Some imported products' names were changed for the UK market.[1][3] For example, the Tomy tabletop electronic game sold in the US as Pac Man (and in Japan as Puck Man) was released by Grandstand in the UK re-badged as Munchman.[4]

Products[edit]

Grandstand released numerous products over the years of which some are listed below. It should also be noted that there were large numbers of similar variations, alternative names and model numbers typically referring to multiple evolutionary versions of the various game consoles and electronic games. Particularly, this is found with the Pong type game consoles[5] as the semiconductor technology rapidly progressed during the period that the Grandstand brand was active.

The Grandstand Video Entertainment Computer (Fairchild Channel F variant)

Video game consoles[edit]

Integrated pong consoles[edit]

The black & white T.V. Game 2000[6] and the colour capable T.V. Game 3000[7] were fully integrated Pong-derived consoles sold under the Grandstand label in the mid-to-late 1970s.

Processor-cartridge based consoles[edit]

Subsequently, the primitive cartridge-based Grandstand Colour Programmable video game console[8][9] (sold in New Zealand as the Mark III Video Game[9]) and several compatible Grandstand programmable video game cartridges[10] were introduced. These consoles were still essentially Pong type affairs, but had a limited selection of cartridges available, each housing a different General Instruments processor chip.[11] This arrangement allowed for some variation in gameplay[8][12] including the implementation of simple racing games featuring Pong-era graphics.[10] However, these systems lack the flexibility found in later ROM cartridge based consoles, and there were never more than a few such processor-based cartridges released.[8][11]

ROM-cartridge based consoles[edit]

Later, the potentially more versatile[12] ROM Cartridge based Fairchild Channel F was licensed, rebadged and released under the Adman Grandstand label as the Video Entertainment Computer in the UK (pictured).

Tabletop electronic games[edit]

Astro Wars, Munchman, Caveman and Scramble amongst others were popular VFD-based tabletop electronic games released by Grandstand in the early 1980s.[3][13][14]

Handheld electronic games[edit]

Grandstand also produced LCD-based handheld electronic games such as Mini-Munchman[15] and Crazy Kong.[16]

Projector-based 'Light' games[edit]

Grandstand made a tabletop projector based machine with built-in controller, that ran games on small cartridges with LCD windows. Light would be directed through the LCD window and magnified onto a wall. The window was painted with a semi-transparent background and the black LCD display would block the light from passing through. This provided 'big screen' entertainment and was a novelty at the time. The machine ran from D sized batteries and was available for sale in the UK.

Accessories[edit]

Accessories were also marketed under the Grandstand name, such as the Universal Mains Adaptor.[17]

References[edit]