James Masters June 2000. Last update July 2006
Shown below in three parts are all the Pocketeers that were released in the UK that I have evidence for in chronological (category number) order.
Part 1 - Early Pocketeers. The original "eight great Pocketeers" and the six that followed that initial success. All of these came in a packet like "Golf" on the left from which the game was normally removed by opening the bottom of the box.
Subsequent packets were like "RAT-A-TAT" on the right. These were redesigned and had no top so that the game could be pushed upwards out of the packet via the other new feature - a hexagonal hole in the bottom. The more popular old games continued to be produced but now came in the new packets.
Part 2 - Continuing in the same vein. Fourteen more followed by the three anomalous blue-boxed Smurf Pocketeers
Part 3 - The last three batches. Fifteen Pocketeers finish the set.
There were five listed that I didn't manage to collect as a child; four of these were from the original eight Pocketeers and of these Crossbow and Blowpipe in particular turned out to be extremely rare. However, thanks to the wonderful ebay, that situation was rectified in 2003. The total number of pocketeers is 46. Of these, only 3 are clones - Big Match, The Derby and Casino.
Although I was fairly sure I had all the Pocketeers, over the last few years I have gathered proof of this from Palitoy Trade Catalogues of the time.
The category numbers are intriguing - they are obviously unique but there are many gaps in the list and the final two batches did not use them. It isn't clear why this is. I had thought that the extra numbers were re-releases of early Pocketeers but this doesn't seem to be the case. Aside from the large gaps, missing numbers are 31279, 31280, 31284, 31286, 31326, 31327, 31328, 31331/2. If anyone has a clue what these are, please let me know.
After the last batch listed above, no more games by Palitoy under the guise "Pocketeer" were made. However, TOMY did later market some US pocket games directly into Europe - see the Other Games page for more info.
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