Friday, September 20, 2013

What is a Sega Pico? (Complete Set)

Oh-Man, You guys remember the Sega Pico right? What a great console, the countless hours spent playing Musical Zoo, Sonic's Gameworld, and... Wait, you have never heard of the Sega Pico? It was only the number one educational Kids Computer created by Sega in 1994.

In all seriousness if you have never heard of the Sega Pico AKA the Kids Computer Pico you are not alone, but if you can make it through this article I will tell you all you need to know if you want to collect it. 

Basic Pico Facts

Sega Pico was released in the US in 1994, and was discontinued in 1998. The system did well in Japan and wasn't discontinued there until 2005. In the US 20 games were released, while Japan had nearly 300. The Pico was branded as a computer and sometimes as a toy Sega did it's best  for it not to be known as a video game console. This approach was taken in an effort avoid negative associations that were attached to video games. The Pico was suppose to be an educational product and the slogan for the console illustrates this mind, "The computer that thinks it's a toy". The system itself is a clamshell design which unfolds to hold the large book shaped carts that the system used and also act as the controller. The controller portion of the console had a very basic touchpad  a "Magic Pen" and a large button which you used to play the games. The carts for this system are unlike any other system and were called Storyware. The carts act like books and have pages that open up and allow you to play different parts of the game (look at the pic below for clarification).
 Pico was the first Sega console to carry a licensed game made by Nintendo, Pokémon says Hello
BTW  - This is a pic I found on the net and is not mine
Why you should collect Sega Pico
It's a console oddity from a major publisher, it was Sega's last cart based system, and nothing else in your library will look like Pico games, they stand out. It's and easy set to complete because their are only 20 games in the US and not many people collect for the system so they are cheap. The system also has 3 major Sega titles in it's library and they are all exclusive to the Pico: Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld, Tails and the Music Maker, and Ecco Jr. and the Great Ocean Treasure Hunt.

What you need to know to collect
The console came in a few version one that was just the console and one that was the console and the game Richard Scarry's Huckle and Lowly's Busiest Day Ever. The version with the pack in is the one you will find the most often. 

What's in the Box:  Not much really. Cart, Parenting Guide (manual), and Insert.  They all come sealed in a plastic bag if hte game is new.

What's Hard to Find: Sonic Gameworld was the last US release and is difficult to find with it's box, Richard Scarry's Huckle and Lowly's Busiest Day Ever even though it was a pack-in it did have a boxed version, while the cart by itself is very common the boxed version doesn't show up very often. Storyware Sampler, by far the rarest US title to find, good news is that it wasn't a retail release and isn't needed for the set.

Variants: It wouldn't be Sega without variants, The shells for the games often come in different colors without rhyme or reason. A full list of these do not exist as far as I know.

Games: Only 20 games released in the US. Here is the full list.
A Year at Pooh Corner
Adventures in Letterland With Jack and Jill
Crayola: Create a World
Disney's Pocahontas Riverbend Adventure
Disney's The Lion King: Adventures at Pride Rock
Ecco Jr. and the Great Ocean Treasure Hunt!
Magic Crayons
Math Antics with Disney's 101 Dalmatians
Mickey's Blast Into the Past
Muppets on the Go
Musical Zoo
Pepe's Puzzles
Richard Scarry's Huckle and Lowly's Busiest Day Ever
Scholastic's The Magic School Bus
Sesame Street Alphabet Avenue
Smart Alex and Smart Alice: Curious Kids
Sonic the Hedgehog's Gameworld
Tails and the Music Maker
The Berenstain Bears: A School Day
The Great Counting Caper With the 3 Blind Mice


  1. Interesting... I don't remember ever hearing/knowing about this. 2 questions: 1. So are the 'games' any good at all? 2. If someone were to get into this system, at today's market prices, what could one expect to pay to acquire a complete set?

    Next question, and it may be far more important: It's coming up on Halloween time again. Do you have your Spookylicious Pop Tarts yet?

    1. 1. No they are terrible, I feel most educational games tend to miss the point, the Pico delivers on this in spades.

      2. No and I can tell you I have been looking for the last two weeks

    2. I imagine that, just like with other Japanese consoles, the Japanese-developed games were echelons superior to the others. However, in the Sega Pico's case, not ONE Japanese-developed game I'm aware of was ever translated into English. I honestly feel that's what sealed its fate and its legacy here in North America. It was a reasonable success in Japan, apparently...

  2. i know i'm a little late but i'm looking to sell mine it's used but i have all of the games and boxes for all games and the box the system came in basically a complete set of everything unless Storyware Sampler came in a box i don't have a box or anything for that just the cart

    1. Hey Rob, thanks for the input on the carts I am adding it to my notes. I know a guy looking to buy a Pico lot. What are you looking to get and also how much for just Sampler?

    2. well i honestly don't know how much they usually go for i'll need to do some research

    3. and i got my sampler free store gave it to me there exists Advanced Pico Beena only released in japan not sure how they differ if at all

  3. the carts came in three colors as far as i know red purple and that weird blueish color and red i rarely see red so i think it's the rarest and although some pictures show yellow carts i personally have never seen one Musical Zoo is the best game but i wouldn't call it great

  4. well i cant find a price for the sampler and i'm not even sure it exists in rom form most sites fail to even mention it and i just found out the pico was released in korea and europe i have heard rumors of a brazil release but cant find any proof tech toy handles all sega stuff there or at least used to

    1. Well if you want to make up a fair price I am interested

  5. This system was one of the Greatest parts of my girls childhood. I don't recall where my father purchased it it - but my girls LOVED it !!!! They were the only ones who had it and it brought hours of good educational fun to them and their envious friends 🤓 Good times, great memories ....
    RIP,daddy and the Sega .....