Excalibur Knight picture taken from a box.

Excalibur Knight picture taken from a box.

 

Shane Samole worked in his dad's firm Fidelity Electronics Inc. until they sold the business in 1989 to the German chess computer manufacturer Hegener + Glaser for around $7 million.

Shane remained working for the new proprietors as a Sales Manager until the early 1990's when Hegener + Glaser abandoned electronic games from the Fidelity portfolio and resolved to release Shane from his services.

This prompted Shane to solicit counsel from his father Sid Samole who encouraged him to start a venture. Shane borrowed $25.000 from his parent to incorporate Excalibur Electronics in 1992.

 

Excalibur Corporate Headquarters Address in Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

Excalibur Corporate Headquarters Address in Miami, Florida, U.S.A.

Picture taken from an Excalibur Electronics Product Catalog.

 

Shane Samole started by importing chess games from Eric White in Hong Kong.  Initially from CXG which Eric White was closing down having produced its last computers in 1992.  It seems that during the year 1993, CXG only sold and produced chess computers exclusively for Excalibur Electronics which were either branded or co-branded by both companies on the packaging.   This was quickly followed in 1994 with Excalibur Electronics buying from Timorite Ltd,  which at that time was the Hong Kong manufacture name behind the new startup Krypton brand of chess computers from Eric White.

It seems at that time both Excalibur Electronics and Eric White needed each other.

According to comments from Ron Nelson, Sid told Shane his firm needed to produce their own products and sell them to be successful.

Shane asked Sid to talk to Ron Nelson and work out a hiring contract. Ron's contract allowed him to work at home 3 days per week.  The other 2 days Ron worked at the Pop Up Tent, Inc. offices which were shared with Excalibur.

This allowed Ron to take care of his four children as his spouse had recently succumbed from cancer.

Ron's agreed contract with Excalibur Electronics was for royalties on any chess computer sold by Excalibur including the Eric White Krypton line of computers.

 

Ronald C. Nelson

Ronald C. Nelson

Inventor, Programmer, Developer & Designer at Fidelity Electronics and Excalibur Electronics

 

Excalibur successfully worked out agreements with the Hong Kong firms Same Time Limited and EWIG to make their games and chess computers.

Both companies manufacturing operations were in Guangdong Province, China, were production cost was much lower than Timorite.

This culminated in Excalibur Electronics severance of the Eric White Krypton connection.

At around this same time that Excalibur were building their own Brand, the United States Patent and Trademark Office turned down the Pop Up Tent inventors patent application

This forced Sid to close Pop Up Tent and join Excalibur Electronics full time.  Sid Samole assumed command of the Excalibur enterprise until his death on July 30th, 2000.

After Sid's death Excalibur relocated their operations into a smaller building in Miami, Florida.

 

Sidney Samole 1935-2000

Sidney Samole 1935-2000

Founder of Fidelity Electronics and CEO of Excalibur Electronics

 

Ron Nelson took a 9 month sabbatical between June 15, 1999 and March 1, 2000 to work full time on a new 4-bit chess program with a new LCD segmented chess display and an innovative new housing design.  Years later Sony would emulate this design and call it the Walkman Bean.

Ron returned to Excalibur with the new LCD Chess (Model 375) design where he worked out a new more advantageous contract for himself.

Excalibur, because of mechanical build issues with Mirage and EWIG's shortage of experience in assembling a robotic computer, were at that time suffering severe hardship.

The Ron Nelson designed LCD Chess was a tremendous success during the 2000 Winter Holiday period, due to its cheap manufacturing cost and significant profit margin.

This ensured Excalibur would get through its economic stress and proceed to trade another year.

 

Shane Samole

Shane Samole

Founder of Excalibur Electronics

 

Shane continued activities as proprietor and CEO after Sid's death.

Ron Nelson remained as chief designer, developer and programmer until the Firm eventually went broke and were sold to EB Electronics on July 1, 2009.

His 4 and 8 bit programs were the pillar of Excalibur computers until he was laid off by EB Excalibur on October 24th, 2010.

For further reading on Ron Nelson and Excalibur go to: Hiarcs Forum.

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American Mensa Collection

 

908 - 2003

129E - 1995

119-E - 1995

902E - 1997

807E - 1993

Alexandra the Great

Avenger

Chess Express

Alpha 2-in-1

Chess Wizard

Excalibur Model 908 Alexandra the Great (2003) Electronic Chess Computer
Excalibur Model 129E Avenger (1995) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer
Excalibur Model 119-E Chess Express (1995) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Excalibur Model 902E Alpha 2-in-1 (1997) Electronic Chess Computer
Excalibur Model 807E Chess Wizard (1993) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

Travel

Travel

Table Top

Table Top

975 - 2002

Chess Station

Excalibur Model 975 Chess Station (2002) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

903 - 1997

Crusader

Excalibur Model 903 Crusader (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

118E - 1994

Cutlass

Excalibur Model 118E Cutlass (1994) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

901E-4 - 2005

Deluxe Electronic Chess

Excalibur Model 901E-4 Deluxe Electronic Chess (2005) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

404D - 2004

Deluxe Talking Touch Chess

Excalibur Model 404D Deluxe Talking Touch Chess (2004) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

EXCALIBUR ELECTRONICS -- PIONEERS AND ON-GOING LEADERS IN COMPUTERIZED CHESS!

Chess is fun -- why else would so many people down through the centuries have played it? And Chess gives you that rare combination of something thats truly fun and truly beneficial. Chess keeps your mind sharp. Numerous studies from around the world have shown that students improve their grades by playing chess. Adults can improve their problem-solving skills by playing.

Excalibur's computer chess partners stand reliably ready for a game whenever you are -- any time day or night!

You can count on Excalibur to expand the abilities, user-friendly features, and even the personalities of these computer trainers and partners. Excalibur has sustained spectacular growth over the last few years because its given more and more people around the world the high-quality, thought-provoking fun thats become our trademark.

EXCALIBUR ELECTRONICS... WE MAKE YOU THINK!

The above is an introduction that Excalibur used in some of their early User Manuals.

New in 2008 Einstein Brain Games Logo used for the new range of chess computers used under license. Represented exclusively by Corbis.

New in 2008 Einstein Brain Games Logo used for the new range of chess computers used under license. Represented exclusively by Corbis.

Early Excalibur Logo - picture taken from a box.

Early Excalibur Logo - picture taken from a box.

410-3-CS - 2004

410X-CS-RS - 2005

E714 - 2008

E-Chess & Checkers

E-Chess Express

Einstein Chess Wizard

Excalibur Model 410-3-CS E-Chess & Checkers (2004) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer
Excalibur Model 410S-CS-RS E-Chess Express (2005) Electronic Travel Chess Computer
Excalibur Model E714 Einstein Chess Wizard (2008) Electronic Chess Computer

Travel

Travel

Table Top

E123 - 2008

Einstein LCD Chess Wizard

Excalibur Model E123 Einstein LCD Chess Wizard (2008) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

775 - 1997

Electronic Glass

Excalibur Model 775 Electronic Glass Chess (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

ET404 - 2008

Einstein Touch Chess

Excalibur Model ET404 Einstein Touch Chess (2008) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

410 - 2001

E-Chess

Excalibur Model 410 E-Chess (2001) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

E951 - 2008

Einstein E=MC2 Master

Excalibur Model E951 Einstein E=MC2 Master (2008) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

127E - 1995

Escort

Excalibur Model 127E Escort (1995) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

-

Express

Excalibur Express Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

EXCALIBUR BRAIN GAMES

EXCALIBUR BRAIN GAMES

This was the last theme that Excalibur used for their branding of intelligent games. Picture taken from a box.

711E-2 - 2000

Igor II

Excalibur Model 711E-2 Igor II (2000) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

310E - 1997

Karpov 2294

Excalibur Model 310E Karpov 2294 (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

701-E - 1996

Ivan The Terrible

Excalibur Model 701-E Ivan The Terrible (1996) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

747P - 1997

Grandmaster Platinum Edition

Excalibur Model 747P Grandmaster Platinum Edition (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

711E - 1997

Igor

Excalibur Model 711E Igor (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

747K - 1997

Grandmaster

Excalibur Model 747K Grandmasterr (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

712-1 - 1997

Ivan The Terrible 2nd Gen.

Excalibur Model 712-1 Ivan Terrible 2nd Generation (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

712-2 - 2002

Ivan II The Conqueror

Excalibur Model 712-2 Ivan II The Conqueror (2002) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

915-2 - 2001

King Arthur 1.7

Excalibur Model 915-2 King Arthur 1.7 (2001) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

915 - 2000

King Arthur

Excalibur Model 915 King Arthur (2000) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

Gentleman playing chess wearing a Excalibur Nicole Miller designer tie.

Gentleman playing chess wearing a Excalibur Nicole Miller designer tie.

169E-2 - 1997

Kingmaster II

Excalibur Model 169E-2 Kingmaster II (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

911E-2 - 1997

Kingmaster II

Excalibur Model 911E-2 Kingmaster II (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

375-1 - 2001

LCD Chess (Universal)

Excalibur Model 375-1 LCD Chess (Universal) (2001) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

This TEACH MODE Logo can be seen on the boxes of many Excalibur Chess Computers. Picture taken from a box.
“I TALK” Excalbur has produced more Talking Chess Computers than any other manufacturer of chess computers. Picture taken from a product brochure.

This TEACH MODE Logo can be seen on the boxes of many Excalibur Chess Computers. Picture taken from a box.

“I TALK” Excalbur has produced more Talking Chess Computers than any other manufacturer of chess computers. Picture taken from a product brochure.

375V - 2005

LCD Kingmaster 375V

Excalibur Model 375V LCD Kingmaster 375V (2005) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

702E - 1996

Mirage

Excalibur Model 702E Mirage (1996) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

Excalibur produces chess computers and games for the enjoyment of kids and adults. Picture taken from a box.

Excalibur produces chess computers and games for the enjoyment of kids and adults. Picture taken from a box.

901E-3 - 1997

Saber III

Excalibur Model 901E-3 Saber III (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

638E - 1993

Stiletto Deluxe

Excalibur Model 638E Stiletto Deluxe (1993) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

excalibur_innovations_catalog

Excalibur Innovations Product Catalog.

375V - 2002

Talking LCD Chess

Excalibur Model 375V Talking LCD Chess (2002) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

404-2 - 2003

Touch Chess and Checkers

Excalibur Model 404-2 Touch Chess and Checkers (2003) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

The World Chess Hall of Fame and Sidney Samole Chess Museum is the last endowment of the great chess computer pioneer Sidney Samole. This picture is today used by Excalibur Electronics as an endorsement for their chess computers. Picture taken from an Excalibur Chess Computer Box.

The World Chess Hall of Fame and Sidney Samole Chess Museum is the last endowment of the great chess computer pioneer Sidney Samole. This picture is today used by Excalibur Electronics as an endorsement for their chess computers. Picture taken from an Excalibur Chess Computer Box.

404ET-CS - 2006

Touch Chess II

Excalibur Model 404ET-CS Touch Chess II (2006) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

169E-2 - 1997

Travel King Master II

Excalibur Model 169E-2 Travel King Master II (1997) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

120E - 1997

Viper

Excalibur Model 120E Viper (1997) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

922E - 1995

The Explorer

Excalibur Model 922E The Explorer (1995) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

932ED-2 - 1997

The Excalibur

Excalibur Model 932ED-2 The Excalibur (1997) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

5T 969WE - 1995

The Explorer Deluxe

Excalibur Model 5T-969WE The Explorer Deluxe (1995) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

404 - 2001

Touch Chess

Excalibur Model 404 Touch Chess (2001) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

5T-932WE - 1994

Stiletto II Deluxe

Excalibur Model 5T-932WE Stiletto II Deluxe (1994) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

5T-932E - 1994

Stiletto II

Excalibur Model 5T-932E Stiletto II (1994) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

932ED - 1996

Stiletto III

Excalibur Model 932ED Stiletto III (1996) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

410V - 2007

Talking E-Chess

Excalibur Model 410V Talking E-Chess (2007) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

901E-2 - 1995

Sabre II

Excalibur Model 901E-2 Sabre II (1995) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

901E-4 - 2001

Saber IV

Excalibur Model 901E-4 Saber IV (2001) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

117 - 1997

Squire

Excalibur Model 117 Squire (1997) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

328E - 1993

Stiletto

Excalibur Model 328E Stiletto (1993) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

974 - 2003

New York Times

Excalibur Model 974 New York Times (2003) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

NY22 - 2007

New York Times Deluxe

Excalibur Model NY22 New York Times Deluxe (2007) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer

Travel

740D6-ML6-US - 2007

Phantom Force

Excalibur Model 740D6-ML6-US Phantom Force (2007) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

923ENM - 1995

Nicole Miller

Excalibur Model 923NM Nicole Miller (1995) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

303E - 1995

Legend III

Excalibur Model 303E Legend III (1995) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

301E-2 - 1993

Legend II

Excalibur Model 301E-2 Legend II (1993) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

323E - 1995

Merlin

Excalibur Model 323E Merlin (1995) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

311E - 2000

Mentor

Excalibur Model 311E Mentor (2000) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

375-2 - 2003

LCD Chess & Checkers

Excalibur Model 375-2 LCD Chess & Checkers (2003) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

375X-JC - 2005

EI5316RE - 2010

LCD Chess Express

LCD Chess Wizard Keychain

Excalibur Model 375X-JC LCD Chess Express (2005) ElectronicTravel Chess Computer
Excalibur Model EI5316RE LCD Chess Wizard Keychain (2010) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

Travel

410K - 2007

LCD Keychain Chess

Excalibur Model 410K LCD Keychain Chess (2007) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

375 - 2000

LCD Chess Model 375

Excalibur Model 375 LCD Chess Model 375 (2000) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

K215- XC5547BK - 2010

Kingmaster III

Excalibur Model K215- XC5547BK Kingmaster III (2010) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

911E-3 - 2003

Kingmaster III

Excalibur Model 911E-3 Kingmaster III (2003) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

911E - 1994

Kingmaster

Excalibur Model 911E Kingmaster (1994) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

915-W - 2005

King Arthur Deluxe

Excalibur Model 915-W King Arthur Deluxe (2005) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

915-3 - 2002

King Arthur (Universal)

Excalibur Model 915-3 King Arthur (2002) Electronic Chess Computer

Table Top

119E-CS - 1997

Chess Express

Excalibur Model 119E-CS Chess Express (1997) Electronic Travel Chess Computer

Travel

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