Sega Challenge: The Team Sega Newsletter
From Sega Retro
|Sega Challenge: The Team Sega Newsletter|
|Publisher: Sega of America, Tonka Toys|
|Country of origin: United States|
|Backed systems: Sega Master System|
|First issue date: Winter 1988|
|Last issue date: January 1989|
|Number of issues: 7|
|Succeeded by: Sega Visions|
Sega Challenge: The Team Sega Newsletter, later named the Sega: The Team Sega Newsletter, is a seven-issue publication which was produced by Sega of America during 1988 and 1989 as promotional material for the Sega Master System. Each issue of the 16-page publication has promotional features on Master System games being released that quarter, an "Ask the Sega Master" section where reader questions are answered, and a software checklist of all games released up to that date. There is also reader-submitted mail, both in the form of questions and advice given from players to other players, in every issue. Early issues of the newsletter also feature a "Sega Challenge Scoreboard," with reader-submitted top scores to various Sega games.
Sega Challenge was renamed Sega: The Team Sega Newsletter in the fall of 1988, shortly after distribution rights for the Master System were given to Tonka Toys. This resulted in layout changes and a slight altering of content, although the newsletter stayed the same otherwise. This change also introduced advertisements to the newsletter from Master System retailers such as Toys 'R' Us and from third-party peripheral manufacturers.
After a six-month pause, the Team Sega Newsletter was revamped into Sega Visions magazine for the launch of the Sega Genesis in the United States. Several of the staff of Team Sega later became editorial staff at Sega Visions, including John Sauer and Ron Elliott.
The most common form of subscribing to Sega Challenge was via a promotional insert bundled into various Master System games. The following is an order form included with After Burner.
|Sega Challenge Issue 1, Winter 1988|
|This issue leads with a review of OutRun, featured in the tips pages are Alex Kidd in Miracle World, Rambo, and Black Belt. There is an interview with Steve Hanawa (Sega's Research and Development Manager), and a feature on the SegaScope 3-D. "The Sega Software Checklist" lists 38 games as being currently available. This inaugural issue lists "this season's Top 5 scores", number one is for Wonder Boy; the score listed is 1,580,320,010,784 by Joseph Lech IV of Lawrenceville, New Jersey.|
|Sega Challenge Issue 2, Spring 1988|
|This issue leads with the release of After Burner, the first four-mega cartridge released in the United States, and has a two-page feature covering the release. A story on Zaxxon 3-D draws attention to the SegaScope 3-D, and small features cover Zillion and Global Defense. There is an interview with John Sauer (then a copywriter for Sega) explaining his job, a "Tech Talk" feature on the Light Phaser, and an offer to purchase the Rapid Fire Unit. "The Sega Software Checklist" lists 43 games as being currently available. The issue has a "Scoreboard Challenge" is for OutRun; the top score listed is 43,845,300 by Richard A. Hardee of San Rafael, California.|
|Sega Challenge Issue 3, Summer 1988|
|Shinobi is the main feature in this third issue of Sega Challenge, with Monopoly, Wonder Boy in Monster Land, and Miracle Warriors rounding out the new games of Summer 1988. "Sega Spotlight" features the women of the Sega Customer Service Department, who work the phones both as customer service representatives and game counselors. "Tech Talk" features the Sega Sports Pad and the various games that the controller can be used with. "The Sega Software Checklist" lists 52 games as being currently available. The issue's "Scoreboard Challenge" is for After Burner; the top score listed is 18,808,088 by Tyler Lindquist of Windom, Kansas.|
|Team Sega Newsletter Issue 4, Fall 1988|
|Fall 1988 sees the release of Thunder Blade, the main game featured in this issue of Team Sega, along with Double Dragon, Phantasy Star and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?. This issue's "Tech Talk" features the SegaScope 3-D and Power Strike, "Sega's first special edition game," is offered at the end of the magazine. The results of the publication's "Draw Your Favorite Sega Game" contest are shown for entrants 15 and younger; the winning artists received a Shinobi T-shirt, Shinobi cap and a Sega Challenge athletic bag. "The Sega Software Checklist" lists 64 games as being currently available.|
|Team Sega Newsletter Issue 5, January 1989|
|In a departure from the newsletter's usual set up, this issue features R-Type, Rambo III, Golvellius and Reggie Jackson Baseball in equal-sized features. The results of the publication's "Draw Your Favorite Sega Game" contest are shown for entrants 16 and older; the winning artists received a Shinobi T-shirt, Shinobi cap and a Sega Challenge athletic bag. "The Sega Software Checklist" lists 70 games as being currently available.|
|Team Sega Newsletter Issue 6, April 1989|
|The Master System port of the arcade hit Altered Beast is the spotlight of this issue; other games featured include Rastan, Lord of the Sword, Tile Soldiers, Vigilante and California Games. Power Strike is again featured at the end of this issue, warning readers that there is a limited quantity left. "The Sega Software Checklist" lists 76 games as being currently available.|
|Team Sega Newsletter Issue 7, December 1989|
|This last issue has only 8 pages and represents the 16bit Sega Mega Drive\Genesis. Game featured in this issue are Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap, Alex Kidd: High-Tech World and ALF. Also, Casino Games, Wanted, Cloud Master, American Pro Football (as Walter Payton Football) and Captain Silver are mentioned here as advertisment.|