Guangzhou Panyu Gaoming Electronics Co. was founded in 1994. The company started making consumer electronics aim for children’s such as toys. For 8 years, the company grew substantially as a manufacturer and developed 46 patents and a complete set of manufacturing processes from process design, mold development to injection molding, chip bonding, silk screen printing, fuel injection, soldering, assembly and packaging. In 2002 the company restructured and change its name to Guangzhou Daidaixing Electronics Tech Co Ltd. The company then expended his focus from children electronic, to video games to services for more customers, including adult customers, always aiming at the Chinese market.
At the time, a country-wide video game ban was in effect, making it very difficult to sell videogames to Chinese consumers. To circumvent this issue, Daidaixing Electronics Tech decided to sell their gaming device exclusively in the Hong Kong market which was still under the British empire, where the ban was not in the effect, letting the reseller push the product in the rest of China.
On June 8, 2004, iQue, a Chinese–based company located in Suzhou, release the Gameboy Advance in China. The company was founded as a joint venture between Wei Yen and Nintendo in 2002 in order to bypass the ban by selling Chinese “handheld”. Although, in this form, the Gameboy Advance was legal, it was still very expensive and very limited in terms of translated games. Only 8 games were officially launched in China. This presented as an opportunity to Daidaixing to copy the design and release a cheap alternative with tons of games.
In September 2004, Guangzhou Daidaixing Electronics Tech release the Gameking (GM-218) under the Timetop banner. The first design of the Gameking was very similar to the Nintendo Gameboy Advance design. The games, all in black and white, were all ports of Nintendo’s games. The device itself was less powerful than the Nintendo Game Boy, but planned to flood the market with games. At launch, the plan was to release 100 classic games at the end of 2004 and 300 classic games at the end of 2005. The company also advertises future extended capability such as support for online games and memory storage cartridges.
In October 2004, a month after the release of the first model, TimeTop announced the release of a second model of the Gameking. The Gameking II (GM-219), fashioned around the Sony’s PlayStation Portable, was a small update compared to the original model. Aesthetic aside, the main new feature was the addition of a backlit LCD screen and an audio amplifier. The features required the addition of a third AAA battery instead of the two needed for the first model. The device can still work with only two, but with no support for the backlit screen nor audio amplifier. The last addition was a fixed color background that is only visible when the backlighting is switched on. This give the false impression of having a color LCD screen, while in fact, the background is more annoying than anything else.
In 2006, TimeTop released a new version of the Gameking II. The GM-222 model still bears some resemblance to the GM-129 model, but although released two years later and bear the name Gameking II, the device was in fact the original Gameking. It is unknown why the company released an inferior version of their product alongside the new Gameking III. Possibly to avoid cannibalizing their own sale. With no new games being developed for the console and none of the promised extended function, the GM-222 was the last breath of the Gameking/Gameking II handheld.
The Gameking (GM-218) was released in Italia by GIOCATTOLI Linea Paggio. The console was available in Blue, Green, Yellow and Orange and came bundled with a cartridge. The package is mislabeled as Game king 4 in 1 instead of 3 in 1 although this may refer to the extra cartridge included with the bundle.
Gameking (GM-218) Model
|Skeleton Purple||Skeleton Blue||Skeleton Green||Skeleton Clear|
Gameking II (GM-219) Model
Gameking II (GM-222) Model
Thanks to @UtahRetroGamer to let me use some of his pictures. Make sure to visit his page.
This list may not be definitive yet. If you possess a color not listed here, please contact us.
All three models of the Gameking came bundled with theses 3 games:
- Miner (Mine Battle)
Individual Games Cartridges
16 games were released as individual cartridges. Most games are a clone (or an illegal port) of a known game with a box art stolen from another source. These games were also released by a company called MG which released them in a generic black box with a thin transparent film in the middle to expose the cartridges inside.
|Clone of: 1942||Clone of: Xevious
Box Art: DeviantArt
|Clone of: Super Mario Bros
Box Art: Legend of Mir 3
|2004||Ares||Carlo Adventure Legend|
|Clone of: Super Mario Bros||Clone of: Darkwing Duck||Clone of: Pole Position
Box Art: Ridge Racer ?
|Dino Adventure Legend||DuckMan||F1 2004|
|Clone of: ?||Clone of: Lode Runner
Box Art: Zwei II
|Clone of: Lode Runner|
|Feichuan VII||Happy Ball||Happy Killer|
|Clone of: Choplifter
Box Art: Shattered Galaxy Loading Screen?
|Clone of: Tuxracer
Box Art: National Geograpic
|Clone of: Bomberman
Box Art: Maximo – Army of Zin
|Hawk / Lanneret||Penguin||Popper|
|Clone of: ?||Clone of: Contra
Box Art: Commando & Unreal Tournament 2003
|Clone of: Streets of Rage
Box Art: Chaos Legion
|Clone of: Pole Position||Clone of: Megaman
Box: Unreal Tournament 2003
|Super Motor||Trojan Legend|
Timetop also released 4-in-1 game cartridges. Each volume contains four titles that may have been previously released as an individual title, a rework of an existing title and/or exclusive title that were only available on these compilations. A total of 21 of these 4-in-1 game cartridges were released. Like for the individual games, these games also had a second released in a generic black box.