Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Judge Dredd - SEGA Advertisements (The Judge Dredd Megazine #1.14-1.17)

"To be this good takes AGES.  To be this good takes SEGA"

I know you've all be missing my looks at videogame tie-ins, but you might be interested in these twists on the form.  When I was a teenager reading The Megazine back in 1991-2, I was too poor to own a games console (tiny violin).  My first console was a Playstation One, and  with access to more cash and time to comb various second-hand emporiums, I collected many older consoles and now own a large collection of them. 

In an attempt to carve out a distinctive mark for themselves, SEGA went for a slightly older teen audience and marketed their consoles as "cool" in contrast with the anodyne kiddy friendliness of the Nintendo product.  This then led to a series of Judge Dredd one page strips extolling the virtues of the Master System, Megadrive, the Game Gear and the game Gear add-on that turned it into a portable TV.  So here they are for your enjoyment (For any Americans reading The Megadrive was the European name for the Genesis).

Those were fun, and it's interesting how well they managed to integrate the SEGA systems with the world of Judge Dredd.  We've all seen those old Hostess ads that people like Linkara have covered in Atop The Fourth Wall, where somehow fruit pies and cakes have the power to beat super villains. Those were campy in their absurdity, but the Judge Dredd ads somehow work as mini Dredd stories, the art is certainly far, far superior to that many of the main Dredd strips running in the Megazine at the time.

This selling of SEGA as "cool" actually worked in the European market.  While SEGA lagged behind Nintendo in the US and Japanese markets, it came out slightly ahead in the UK and other European countries until the clusterfuck that was the add-ons to the Megadrive and the failure of the Saturn to anticpate how important 3D would be in the mid-90's consoles wars fatally holed Sega below the waterline and the utterly awesome Dreamcast wasn't able to repair the damage in time.

I know I yearned for a SEGA console at the time, and now after the fact I own a Master System and a Megadrive with Mega CD add-on and a stack of games for them (my collection is still minus a Game Gear though, one day... one day I shall have one).  I can safely say that if I had the cash at the time those Dredd adverts would have swayed me to SEGA over Nintendo, so job done in retrospect really, pity I lack a time machine really.  Anyway that was a bit of frivolous fun.  Normal service will be resumed in the next post.


  1. these are cool! more consoles should be advertised like this. my first console was the ps2, then 3 then 4. I never tried the xbox or nintendo machines.

  2. I'm still glued to my Xbox 360. Be a while before I can afford an Xbox One....

  3. Thanks for the overview, I own the original art of the last one.

    You can find it here: