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I saw this badge 4 times (webimages/real) from ca. 2005-2008, then I saw 4 offered on ebay in 2009 (after that I didn't check ebay for many years), and later I saw several more in the Elite:Dangerous forum.
This is the Elite badge that Acornsoft sent to people who sent in their 'order of the Elite' postcard with the code they got at Elite level (even outside the UK, despite the card saying the offer was only valid in the UK, at least to the Netherlands, which I found out in the early 2000s, as someone here in NL showed me his badge. Upon getting the badge there was also a form to buy an Elite t-shirt (which I think wasn't available to buy in another way), which he did and he showed that shirt to me.
So I should just have sent in my registration card!
This seems to be a 2nd Acornsoft badge, likely from end of 1985. It was until 2009 the only one I had seen, then in 2009 I saw the same one in the same presentation case offered on ebay (after that I didn't check ebay for many years).
This is the 2nd type of Elite badge that I encountered, also apparently from Acornsoft. This one that I got hold of was the only one of this kind I had ever seen until I saw another on ebay in 2009, in the same presentation case... That means that it's not a one-off. I was and still am pretty sure that this one is a later one, from end of 1985. The original owner was a bit hazy on details but he said it is for/of the Acornsoft Elite verion and the date he remembered was about end of 1985.
My guess is that after the enamel/chrome badges ran out a new bunch was made that was easier/cheaper to make). Addition 2017: However a few of the black enamel + chrome badges did turn up several years ago, some were sold, and some others were given away as part of a package deal for supporting the making of a documentary on computer gaming. If they didn't ran out of badges, why did they make a new batch of different design? I enquired about the source of those badges that were found but the origin is not clear. Possibly someone kept a few for himself or was given some for promotion purposes and for the ones sent out new ones had to be made?
I asked someone from Acornsoft who is quite detail oriented, and he thinks thats this badge is indeed from Acornsoft, but he doesn't know why/when it was made.
It would be interesting to know also, how many Elite badges were sent to people sending in their 'Order of the Elite' form...
Finally a third pin (which looks to be gold plated). Although first advertised as a badge for/from the Acornsoft/Superior version of Elite by the seller, I don't think this is the case. I bought this from someone who worked as a PR consultant for Firebird, and he now thinks he got it from them. This sounds plausible as the Elite figure is gold (yellow) on the Elite boxes of games produced by Firebird, as I've seen on a number of pictures of such boxes, e.g. for the ZX spectrum and PC.
Dave Moore found the following web page which confirms this: http://www.birdsanctuary.co.uk/sanct/s_mem.php which says: "The Elite badge was a very exclusive badge only given to people who reached Elite status, and a few others who worked or did work for Firebird. It has to be said that the Firebird produced badge is not as detailed as the badge originally created by Acorn, but it's still a very nice badge!". I disagree with the "not as detailed" bit, as you can see for yourself above, it's just as good (some parts are a bit less detailed, others a bit more; overall it looks a bit more refined than the Acornsoft badges to me).
I've seen this badge twice: on the above page and the one I have... (addition 2017: And a few years ago I saw a few on the Elite:Dangerous forum which I visited after an enquiry about these badges)
Here are all three of them in natural light:
2017-7-27: Some more stuff related to these badges, such as paperwork, can be found in this thread: https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/3113-Elite-Badge/. Note that on page 7 (https://forums.frontier.co.uk/showthread.php/3113-Elite-Badge/page7 is mentioned about me: "has confirmed he took the photo and still has the badges having earned them on various versions of Elite." This is not quite correct in that I did reach Elite status but I didn't send in my order of the Elite card as I mentioned above as the card says that the offer is valid in the UK only. I wrote in my reply about a query about these badges the following:
I made the photo and I have all 3 badges shown there.
I reached Elite on the cassette version of Elite for the BBC micro. Then ca. 1995, I redid it on the disc version when I bought a second hand BBC micro with disc drive (unaffordable for me in the 1980s). The disc version is better with missions but it's still a boring process to reach Elite after getting enough money and equipment, so the challenge was the early stages, not the later stages of the game...
I also bought the other badges as was clear from each description of the badges such as mentioning original owners.
I'm curious how many badges for the BBC micro version of Elite were sent out. Who has information about this?
See also my Elite page on some persistant claims about numbers sold vs. numbers of BBC micro's.
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Last modified: 2017-11-15