Dragon Data Ltd

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Dragon Data Ltd Factory

Dragon Data Ltd was a Welsh producer of home computers during the early 1980s. These computers, the Dragon 32 and Dragon 64, strongly resembled the Tandy TRS-80 Color Computer ("CoCo")—both followed a standard Motorola datasheet configuration for the three key components (CPU, SAM and VDG). The machines came in both 32KB and (later) 64KB versions.

The history of Dragon Data Ltd in the period 1982–84 was a chequered one. The company was originally set up by a Toy Company called Mettoy, and after initial good sales looked to have a bright future. At its high point it entered negotiations with Tano to form a North American branch. Mettoy then suffered financial difficulties, casting a shadow on the future of Dragon Data Ltd before it was spun off as a separate company. However, a number of circumstances (the delay in introducing the 64K model, poor colour support with a maximum of 4 colours displayable in "graphics mode" and only 2 colours in the highest 256 x 192 pixel mode, the late introduction of the external disk unit and of the supporting OS-9 based software) caused the company to lose market share.

To combat this, under the control of GEC, Dragon Data Ltd worked on the next generation of Dragon computers - the Project Alpha (or Dragon Professional) and Project Beta. These systems only made it to the prototype stage before the business went into receivership and was sold on to the Spanish startup Eurohard SA in 1984. Unfortunately Eurohard also suffered financial problems and went into receivership a couple of years later.

In addition to the Dragon 32 and Dragon 64, an MSX-compatible machine, the Dragon MSX reached the prototype stage.


History / Timeline

To see a full history of how Dragon Data Ltd came to be, look at timeline below:

1912 - 1933 Tipp & Co. (TCO)

1933 - 1983 Mettoy

1982 - 1984 Dragon Data Ltd


Software

Cartridge

Title Format Packaging
All Dream Cartridge Large Case
A2000 Shop Demo
Astroblast Cartridge Black Box or White Box with red dragon logo
Berserk Cartridge Black Box or White Box with red dragon logo
Bridge Master (Plus Cassette) Cartridge with Cassette Large Case
Cave Hunter Cartridge Black Box or White Box with red dragon logo
Chess Cartridge Large Case, Black Box or White Box with red dragon logo
Cosmic Invaders Cartridge Black Box, Black Box with 32 or White Box with red dragon logo
Doodle Bug Cartridge Black Box
Ghost Attack Cartridge Black Box or White Box with red dragon logo
LOGO Cartridge Large Case
Meteoroids Cartridge Black Box or White Box with red dragon logo
Rail Runner Cartridge Black Box
Starship Chameleon Cartridge Black Box or White Box with red dragon logo
Super Dragon Writer II Cartridge Large Case

Tape

Title Format Packaging
Adventure Trilogy Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
All Dream Tape Large Case
Astrology Tape Large Case (M30892)
Beyond The Cimeeon Moon Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
Black Sanctum Tape Bag (N30509), Black Box (A0509)
Black Sanctum (Graphical) Tape Cassette Case
Bloc Head Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
Bumpers Tape Cassette Case
Calixto Island Tape Bag (N30508), Black Box (A0508)
Calixto Island (Graphical) Tape Cassette Case
Children From Space Tape Clamshell
Cimeeon Moon Tape Large Case, Cassette Case (M30882)
Circus Adventure Tape Black Box
Computavoice Tape Bag (N30506), Black Box (A0506), Large Case
Cosmic Clones Tape Large Case, Cassette Case (M30889)
Cranky Tape Clamshell
Dragon Birthday Special Tape Large Case
Dragon Forth Tape Large Case
Dragon Mountain Tape Bag (N30513), Black Box (A0513)
Dragon Selection 1 Tape Bag (N30500), Black Box (A0500)
Dragon Selection 2 Tape Bag (N30501), Black Box (A0501)
Dragon Selection 3 Tape Black Box
Dragon Selection 4 Tape Black Box (A0511)
Dragon Selection 5 Tape Black Box
Dream Tape Large Case, Black Box
DreamBug Tape Large Case
Editor Assembler
El Bandito Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
El Diablero Tape Black Box (A0518)
Examples From The Manual Tape Bag (N30507), Black Box (A0507)
Face Maker Tape Clamshell (L30848)
Fembots' Revenge Tape Cassette Case
Final Countdown Tape Black Box (A0523)
Flag Tape Black Box (A0514)
Flight Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
Fruity Tape Cassette Case
Galax Attax Tape Black Box, Large Case, Cassette Case
Graphic Animator Tape Bag (N30505), Black Box (A0505)
Hide & Seek Tape Black Box
Jumpjet Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
Junior's Revenge Tape Large Case, Cassette Case (L30844)
Let's Count Tape Clamshell
Lunar Rover Patrol Tape Large Case (L30841), Cassette Case (L30841)
Madness & The Minotaur Tape Bag (N30503), Black Box (A0503)
Mansion of Doom Tape Black Box
Middle Kingdom / Breakout Tape Large Case
Monsters and Magic Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
Moonhopper Tape Large Case, Cassette Case (M30884)
Music Box Tape Large Case
Nerble Force Tape Large Case, Cassette Case (M30886)
Number Chaser Tape Clamshell
Number Gulper Tape Black Box
Number Puzzler Tape Black Box
Personal Finance Tape Bag (N30504), Black Box (A0504)
Pixel Editor Tape Black Box, Large Case
Poseidon Adventure Tape Black Box (A0522)
Quest Tape Bag (N30502), Black Box (A0502)
Samsim Tape Cassette Case
School Maze Tape Black Box (A0529)
Sea Quest Tape Cassette Case
Shaft Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
Shape Up Tape Clamshell (L30847)
Shark Treasure Tape Black Box, Large Case, Cassette Case
Shenanigans Tape Cassette Case
Shuttlezap Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
Space Trek Tape Large Case
Stalag / Eno Tape Black Box (A0526)
Starfighter Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
Storm Arrows Tape Black Box (A0527), Cassette Case
Synther 7 Tape Large Case (A0533), Cassette Case
Table Adventures Tape Clamshell
Tee Off Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
The Gruneberg Linkword Language System - French Tape Large Case
The Gruneberg Linkword Language System - German Tape Large Case
The Gruneberg Linkword Language System - Italian Tape Large Case
The Gruneberg Linkword Language System - Spanish Tape Large Case
Timscript Tape Black Box (A0530)
Typing Tutor Tape Bag (N30512), Black Box (A0512)
Viking Tape Large Case, Cassette Case
Whirlybird Run Tape Black Box, Large Case, Cassette Case
Words, Words, Words Tape Large Case (L30840), Cassette Case

Disk

Title Format Packaging
OS-9 Basic 09 Disk Large Case
OS-9 C Compiler Disk Large Case
OS-9 Cash & VAT Disk Large Case
OS-9 Dynacalc Disk Large Case
OS-9 Editor Assembler Disk Large Case
OS-9 System Disk Large Case
OS-9 Programmers Manual Disk Large Case
OS-9 Pascal Disk Large Case
OS-9 Record Management System Disk Large Case
OS-9 Stock Recording Disk Large Case
OS-9 Stylograph Disk Large Case


Packaging Formats

The Bag

This is probably the rarest form of packaging left today, not because many were produced but due to the fact that it was just a plastic bag with a cardboard 'tab'. This just lent it's self to being thrown in the bin straight after purchase, once again another reason for the amount of loose Dragon Data cassettes. As this style was used from the launch it can be assumed it died out at the same time as the early logo cart boxes (Dec' 82).

DragonDataBag.jpg

Cardboard Box

This form of packaging was used for the majority of all cassette and cartridge software. As this packaging was quite 'fragile' and awkward to get it's contents in an out many were just discarded this is the reason for many loose Dragon Data cassettes and carts about today.

Early Logo Box

This was the first packaging style to appear, so far this style has only been found in use with Cartridges. As some boxes have dates stamped on the inside of the top flap, this style was in use until around December 1982.

DragonDataEarlyBox1.jpg

DragonDataEarlyBox2.jpg

Mid Black Box

As with the Dragon 32 boxes there was short lived black style packaging. The side of the box now has a 'window' for the name of the contents to be displayed. The Dragon logos (on the white background) are actually the front of the instructions.Again from dates stamped on the box this style was used from December 1982 for a few months. This style appear to be least common.

DragonDataMidBox1.jpg

DragonDataMidBox2.jpg

Late Black Box

The front of the box now gets a nice picture in the 'window' and a yellow border.The '32' has now been moved to the insert of the side window and the '32' is removed from the top/bottom and back. Can only guess the impending arrival of the 64 brought this change. Just strange '32' wasn't removed from the front of the box?

DragonDataLateBox1.jpg

DragonDataLateBox2.jpg

For where there wasn't a picture available (yet) this plain black cardboard insert with stickers for 'NEW TITLE' and the title of it's contents, in this case 'Pixel Editor'.

DragonDataLateBoxNewTitle.jpg

Top Left: Contents of the windows (front and side) where made up of a single folded piece of card. Top Right: The cassette was supplied in a plain case without an inlay. Bottom Left: Instructions - Now about half the size of the mid and early versions. Bottom Right. Mini software brochure

DragonDataLateBoxContent.jpg

Cassette Case

All the cassette cases where in the same style, on some covers the title appears where 'COMPUTER SOFTWARE' is printed.Later on many items where sold as 'Reduced Price'.

DragonDataCassette1.jpg

DragonDataCassette2.jpg

After Dragon Data got into financial trouble Microdeal (who release more titles for the Dragon than any other company) took over the distribution of a few of the titles but still using the Dragon Data inlays.

DragonDataCassette3.jpg

Clamshell

This is a small padded 'box' that is slightly bigger than the cassette it's self. So far this packaging has only been seen on the 'Young Learning' which was part of Dragon Data's Educational Software.

DragonDataClamshell.jpg

Large Box

I like these :o), they really make you feel like you've bought something, oh yeah and look good, showing off the art work very well.

DragonDataLargeBox1.jpg

Typical inside of a big box with the tape on the left and instructions right. This packaging must have been especially designed for Dragon Data as the insert below the cassette is used to hold carts. (such as All Dream).

DragonDataLargeBoxInside1.jpg

There was one less common variant to the big box, which externally is slightly taller and thinner. Internally there is only space for a cassette. This is the same packaging as used by Salamander Software. [Needs additional validation]

DragonDataLargeBoxInside2.jpg

Other

  • Dragon Data Blank Tape

DragonData Blank Tape.jpg