Playtronic Industrial Ltda. was a Brazilian video game and toy manufacturer based in Manaus, Brazil, and was a joint venture between companies Gradiente Industrial S.A. (consumer electronics company) and Manufatura de Brinquedos Estrela S.A. (toy manufacturer). The company was founded on March 15, 1993, by the CEOs Eugênio Staub, from Estrela, and Mario Adler, from Gradiente. The initial business was assembling Nintendo products outside Japan for the Brazilian market, competing directly with Tec Toy, the Sega representative in the country. Since 2016, Playtronic has developed games for Android.
|Fate||Merged with Gradiente (1996)|
|Successor||Leandro Mattos (Since 2013)|
|Founded||15 March 1993|
|Headquarters||Manaus, Brazil (closed) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (in activity)|
|Leandro Mattos (CEO)|
The announcement of the fusion attained great attention on the media, considering that Playtronic was the first company in the world to produce Nintendo products outside Japan. Shortly thereafter, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System was the first console to be announced and then produced already in August 24, 1993, adapted to the Brazilian's PAL-M analog TV system and bundled as Control Set (with one controller) and Super Set (with two controllers and the Super Mario World game cartridge) versions. The initial distribution included the Super Scope light gun and 12 games shipped and later sold separately. Even with the late release, the success of its sales snapped up 60% from the 16-bit video game consoles local segment in April, 1995.
The Nintendo Entertainment System was the next console to be produced. But even after the start of the sales, the Brazilian market has been dominated for a long time by smuggled (from China and Taiwan) and local NES clones — one of the most successful being the Phantom System, manufactured by Gradiente itself. Due to this fact, the quite late launch and the high prices of Nintendo's licensed products, the sales were very weak. The NES clones and Tec Toy's Master System were still the best selling 8-bit video game consoles in the country.
Until his final year of 1996, Playtronic also brought the Game Boy, Virtual Boy and Nintendo 64 to the Brazilian consumer. But due to a long time cash flow problem, Estrela sold 50% of his equity participation in Playtronic to Gradiente for $7.3 million, ending the joint venture. After that, the Gradiente Entertainment Ltda. was the division created to succeed the Nintendo's local representation until 2003, when they left the video games business due to several factors, including the high dollar exchange rate, reduction of average household income and high diffusion of piracy in Brazil.
After 10 years completely abandoned, Playtronic was acquired in 2013 by the businessman Leandro Mattos, with the intention of preventing the forgetfulness of the brand by the Brazilian people.
At the beginning of 2018, Playtronic's games had already surpassed 100,000 downloads, becoming popular not only in Brazil, but in several countries around the world.
Playtronic games available for download on Google Play, Amazon Appstore, Uptodown and Aptoide are:
- EE-T3 Osório
- Melzinha Aprendiz
- My Balloon
- Amanda Challenge
- Kelvin Challenge
- Baby Balloon
- Cassino Playtronic
- Esqui no Polo Sul
- Cowboy Junior
- Resgate Submarino
- Zoo Card
- Emoji Express
- America Soccer
- Bad Block
- Pet Adventure
- Micro Machines Playtronic
- Manchete Play
- Candy Ball Playtronic
- Tic Tac Toe
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- "Playtronic, a história" [Playtronic, the history] (in Portuguese). Nintendopedia Brasilis. 2018.
- Mattos, Leandro (2018-08-08). "Site oficial da Playtronic" (in Portuguese). Playtronic.
- Fittipaldi, Mário (September 1993). "A Nintendo já chegou" [Nintendo already arrived] (PDF). VideoGame (in Portuguese). Brazil: Sigla Editora Ltda.
- Barboni, Flavio (2013-07-13). "Master System x NES" (in Portuguese). TechTudo.
- Noviello, Renato (2000). "O NES no Brasil" [The NES in Brazil] (in Portuguese). The Nes Archive.
- Vassallo, Cláudia (2011-02-18). "Por que a Estrela perdeu o brilho" [Why Estrela lost the brightness] (in Portuguese). Exame.
- "Mercado: Reforço de caixa" [Market: Cash reinforcement]. Folha de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). 1996-04-04.
- Governo do Brasil (2018-08-08). "Instituto Nacional da Propriedade Industrial" (in Portuguese). Ministério do Desenvolvimento, Indústria e Comércio Exterior.
- Playtronic Brasil (2018-08-08). "Playtronic no Instagram" (in Portuguese). Playtronic Brasil.