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Genesis or Megadrive? How about Aladdin Gameboy!

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Oh Korea! Why must you make things so confusing. Every good American knows that the Sega Genesis was the best 16 bit console on the market prior to the SNES. Everybody else knows that it was the Mega Drive and you better not call it a Genesis. Genesis was a band headed by English Singer/Songwriter Phil Collins.

Why are Reagan masks so mother fucking creepy?

In Korea however it wasn't called Genesis or Megadrive. It was called the Hyundai-Super Gameboy! No you ass wipe it was the Super Aladdin Boy!

Actually it was both. Hyundai called it the Super Gameboy when it released it's branded version in 1990 and Samsung called it the Super Aladdin Boy when it's version was released in 1993. To make matters more confusing Samsung also released a version of the Master system in 1991 that it called the Samsung Gameboy II.

Did you get that? Yes they called it a Gameboy which I'm sure violated all sorts of trademarks that Nintendo owned. I'm sure Nintendo sued the Donky Kong out of Hyundai and Samsung.

Mario Sounds very Italian in Korean.

In 1989 Hyundai sold an American styled NES as the Comboy and their version of the gameboy was called the Mini Com-boy.
These were not Korean clones they were all officially licensed by Sega and Nintendo.

So what the hell is going on with all of the confusing names?

Well that all depends upon who you ask. Koreans are not going to admit that it had anything to do with their hatred of the Japanese but until 1999 Japanese products were banned in South Korea. So if you can't legally sell a Nintendo the best answer is to make it a Korean product.

See it has rap music nothing could be more Korean than that!

Branding of course was important. Koreans are more likely to buy a Korean branded product than a product with a Japanese or American brand. Just like Americans are more likely to buy a Chinese product if it has the misleading label of Made in America stamped on it. Yes Wal-Mart we are on to you!

So where can you find a Samsung Aladdin or a Super Comboy? Well it's not that easy to find even in South Korea. Koreans tend to throw away old video game consoles in favor of new ones. I have seen some sold on a Korean auction site but they pop up very infrequently.

When you do find them they are usually very expensive. I recently found a retro shop that had an original Hyundai Comboy and they wanted 150 bucks for it. Needless to say I saved my money. I actually have a Super Comboy (SNES) that I bought from a homeless man but it didn't have an ac adapter. (The homeless are bad at video game collecting)

Korean branded consoles are quite rare and I'm surprised that they are not more sought after by collectors. If you want to learn more about Korean gaming there is a very in depth article about it on this site: HardCore Gaming 101
They also have a nice picture gallery of Korean consoles. (Like the one I stole and posted above.)
Thanks forum member meu2 for asking me about Korean branded Sega consoles which prompted this very long rant of a blog article.

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Updated 10-08-11 at 03:39 by indieseoul

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  1. meu2's Avatar
    Yeah the homeless are terrible at video game collecting.

    I always find it interesting to hear about gaming in non “mainstream” counties. There's a lot of coverage of retro gaming in places like the US and UK, but other countries like Korea and Brazil have their own interesting gaming histories too. I find it funny that the NES and SMS where known as the ComBoy and Gam*Boy in Korea. That's in no way confusing. I don't think they were too concerned about copyright in general. For example the Super Boy games on the SMS, which are MSX ports, remind me of a certain plumber.

    I would actually say that the Korean consoles are quite desired by certain collectors, but the lack of information and difficulty in sourcing them means that there for die-hards only (sadly).
  2. indieseoul's Avatar
    Koreans are still not concerned about copyright just go to a Kenny Rogers themed singing room for proof. I have worked at a school where they photocopied textbooks instead of buying them.

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