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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
Early Excalibur Logo - picture taken from a box.
EXCALIBUR BRAIN GAMES
This was the last theme that Excalibur used for their branding of intelligent games. Picture taken from a box.
Gentleman playing chess wearing a Excalibur Nicole Miller designer tie.
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.
Excalibur produces chess computers and games for the enjoyment of kids and adults. Picture taken from a box.
Excalibur Innovations Product Catalog.
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.