The TelecomSoft Marketing Department was no different to any other when it came to producing cheap and cheerful memorabilia related to the company and the games they published.
What follows is a collection of various items, from watches to badges to t-shirts to bottles of wine, and more besides! As more of these forgotten items are recovered, expect to see them appear here.
A stylish Firebird watch (photo supplied with thanks by Ezra Sidran), which sports a leather strap was produced in the US in '87. In the UK, this plastic watch which was produced in '88 to promote the launch of the newly configured labels. The silver Firebird, Rainbird and Silverbird logos move round the black watch face as the seconds tick by.
This looks like a slimline matchbook decorated with the Rainbird logo on one side and the Firebird logo on the other (post Silverbird design). However, open it up and it reveals a calculator! (Thanks to Martin Defries for finding this!)
This TelecomSoft mug has the Rainbird, Firebird and Silverbird logos around the outside. Around the top edge it says 'Discover the Hottest Games Around' - how clever! 😉 (Thanks to Dave Carlos for his ebay images!)
The Sentinel badge was an unofficial item created by UK model maker, Peter Clements (who also made a one-off Sentinel chess set). 102 limited edition hand crafted badges were produced, based on the eponymous Sentinel character from the Geoff Crammond game published by Firebird. Peter sent a batch in the post to Firebird in late 1988.
The Silver Club Cloth patch was exclusive to Silver Club members who had a letter published in the Silver Club newsletter! Thanks to Jil for scanning in the patch!
The Elite badge was a very exclusive badge only given to people who reached Elite status, and a few others who worked or did work for Firebird. It was Tony Beckwith's job to check the codes that the game generated that proved their Elite status was authentic, before the badge could be dispatched! It has to be said that the Firebird produced badge is not as detailed as the badge originally created by Acorn, but it's still very nice! This particular photo was kindly donated by Terry Finnegan.
The second Elite badge is a little more mysterious. Given out to a player for reaching 'Elite' status on the 48k Spectrum version in 1986, this is clearly a cheaper badge than the original one that Firebird started issuing the year before.
The Rainbird US sticker was for shops to remind them who to order their Rainbird titles from. Before they were distributed by Mediagenic, they were distributed by Questor.
The collection of Rainbird badges were produced in 1987, and promoted a couple of titles (Dick Special, Time & Magik) that ultimately weren't published by Rainbird, with Dick Special never being published at all! (Photo courtesy of ebay).
The final badge was worn by Rainbird representatives who attended the Winter Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Show in Las Vegas back in January 1987. Thanks to Ezra Sidran for the image!
Made in China from 100% cotton, these bright red TelecomSoft baseball caps came in two varieties - standard or padded.
The caps featured the three publishing label logos, and were produced for sale at the 1988 PC Show.
By far the most prolific memorabilia item produced by TelecomSoft was the humble T-Shirt, as you can see from the selection shown here!
The 'World Tour 1986' T-Shirt was black with the red Firebird logo on the front, and a list of 'Sold Out' game releases on the back. The games mentioned were:
Elite - January 1986, Empire - March 1986, Comet Game - March 1986, Spikey Harold - May 1986, Harvey Headbanger - June 1986, Thrust - July 1986, Star Strike II - August 1986, War Hawk - September 1986, Druid - September 1986, Hive - October 1986, Cholo - November 1986.
Thanks to Adrian Curry for keeping and then donating this and all of the other T-Shirts shown here!
Next up is this classic white T-Shirt featuring the 1986/87 Firebird logo, followed by the white Samurai Warrior T-shirt, depicting Usagi Yojimbo. A discrete Firebird logo is located on the shoulder of this T-shirt.
The good old Personal Computer Shows! Complete mayhem for 3 days at Earls Court. This T-Shirt was worn by all Telecomsoft employees during the 1988 show. It was also on sale to the general public via the Street Store located on the Telecomsoft stand. The theme for our stand (#3447) that year was 'street cred', with graffiti on the walls for a number of the up-and-coming releases.
The graffiti that was applied to our stand was done by an up and coming famous graffiti artist who went by the name of Goldie. His trademark was his gold tooth and he went on to much bigger and better things as a recording artist and as an actor.
The first version of the T-Shirt (featured in issue 6 of TelecomSoft News) had a typo on the front. It said 'Siverbird' instead of 'Silverbird', and this was spotted by me about a month or so before the show, during the photo-shoot for the newsletter! The difference is obvious, as they swapped the order so that Silverbird (with the correct spelling!) on the revised T-Shirt came last instead of first!
This Rainbird sweatshirt simply shows the classic Rainbird logo on a white background, with long sleeves. Thanks to Paula Byrne for the loan of the sweatshirt shown in the photo!
TelecomSoft carrier bags from 1987, showing the Rainbird, Firebird and Firebird Budget Range logos (photo courtesy of ebay).
Buttering up journalists for a good write up or review was part and parcel of the Marketing Department's remit. Whenever there was a big launch, journalists were invited and plied with food, drink and promotional freebies. What follows is a small selection of those journalist exclusives.
Used by TelecomSoft staff and given out to Journos, this TelecomSoft A4 folder had two pockets inside to fit any number of press releases and other TelecomSoft bumpf. Thanks to Debbie Sillitoe for digging up the folder and its contents!
This exclusive high quality black cloth bag with draw string had SWAG in large white letters on the front. The exact contents of this item - given to journalists at the press launch of The Guild of Thieves - had been a closely guarded secret. However, we can now confirm that one of the items was a special bottle of 'Schtollenwein' along with a boxed copy of the game, minus the disk (because the game wasn't actually finished in time for the launch!). The excuse given on the day was that the disk had been stolen by a member of the Guild of Thieves! Thanks to Paul Coppins for stealing his SWAG bag back...
A nice bottle of Orc's Blood Tonic (red wine presumably) was given to journo's to celebrate the launch of Level 9's adventure Knight Orc. A photo published in Crash! Magazine shows a bottle of the wine from the press event. Thanks to Adrian Curry for the image of the label!
The Level 9 T-shirt isn't a direct example of TelecomSoft memorabilia. However, what it is is a Level 9 promotional item that was given to some TelecomSoft staff during the period when Rainbird published Jewels of Darkness, Silicon Dreams and Knight Orc. Thanks to Adrian Curry for the donation of the t-shirt.
Another exclusive for Journo's were the TelecomSoft mints, created especially for the 1988 PC Show. Unfortunately none survived, but thanks to Debbie Sillitoe for remembering!
There was - no doubt - plenty more memorabilia produced for Firebird, Rainbird and Silverbird. If you've got something not shown or mentioned here, let me know!