Mini-Arcade Home Mini-Arcade Home

Open since the year 2000!

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Even though Tandy released hundreds of handheld games during the 1970's and 80's, they didn't make a single one!  In fact, every single item ever sold in a Tandy store (Radio Shack) was manufactured by a different company.  The Tandy Corporation dates back to 1919 when started by Dave Tandy - like Coleco they began by selling leather products.  They did not sell electronics until the 1963 when his son Charles Tandy acquired a small company called Radio Shack.  From that acquistion, they gained a solid customer base of radio and electronics buffs, and the rest is history.
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You may ask yourself why I would devote a section of my website to a company that didn't even manufacture one single handheld game.  The reason is simple - if it weren't for them I wouldn't have been able to play any of these fabulous mini-arcade games when I was a kid!  Tandy imported games that were otherwise unavailable here in the USA.  They bought games from overseas companies like Epoch, Bandai, CGL/Gakken, and Tomy.  People who grew up in the UK, Belgium, or Australia might also remember having Tandy games as a kid, since Tandy had divisions in those countries too.

Tandy had different boxes, stickers, and instruction manuals printed up for each game so that the buyer had no idea the game was made by a different company.  Many collectors today think that Tandy games are cheap rip-offs.  Well that is incorrect, as the game hardware and software is exactly the same!  There were a few LED style sports games that truly were cheap knock-offs of the popular Mattel Electronics counterparts, but they really aren't that much different.  The only thing bad about the Tandy versions of games is that the pictures on the boxes are sometimes really cheesy and silly (showing kids in dorky clothes with dorky looks on their faces), whereas the pictures on the japanese versions of games are usually much more fun and interesting.

Another great thing about these Tandy games was that they were usually cheaper in price than other games released at the time ($40 compared to $60 or $70!).  This affordability also made their home computer a popular item for families such as mine.  In 1977, they released the TRS-80 Color Computer, which was only $600 compared to $2000 or $3000 for an apple or sinclair.  The design of the TRS-80 may not have been perfect, but it was a great, solid machine that had alot of good software released for it.  The first computer program I ever wrote was on a TRS-80 Model I with 16K RAM - I was only 7 or 8 years old!

Here are the tandy games that I have, grouped by display type: