Printing Fun-Fun with Sega Pri Fun

Today I’m finally testing the Sega Pri Fun printer that I bought 4-5 years ago. Back then it was still sealed.
The printer was marketed by Sega in 1995 as an add-on for the Pico and Saturn game consoles. You won’t find much information about it in the WWW except a small article at Sega Retro or a commercial on YouTube.

Sega Pri Fun 01
Sega Pri Fun 01


Sega Pri Fun 02
Sega Pri Fun 02

In the package is the Pri Fun printer, two ink ribbon cartridges for 30 prints each, a video cable, the pause pack with manual, 30 stickers (15 full page and 15 4x stickers), 30 pages and a manual pack (user manual, safety manual, cleaning manual + cleaning swab and warranty card).
Sega Pri Fun 03
Sega Pri Fun 03

There is a slot in the lower right corner for an extension cartrige, I assume it’s called Character Pack and contains various stamps to be superimposed on the video (don’t have it and can’t test it).

Controls from left to right: Power Switch, two-digit LED display, up/down Select (my guess is that these are for the Character Pack), Mode full page and 4x page, Pause/Play button (for the Pause Pack), a 3-step switch light to dark and a potentiometer red to blue (5 marks).

Sega Pri Fun 04
Sega Pri Fun 04

On the back there are video in and out connectors and a connector for the Pause Pack above (hidden).
Sega Pri Fun 05
Sega Pri Fun 05

The hood can be opened with the Eject button on the front:
Sega Pri Fun 06
Sega Pri Fun 06

Sega Pri Fun 07
Sega Pri Fun 07

This is the printer head:
Sega Pri Fun 08
Sega Pri Fun 08

To function the printer needs a ink ribbon cartridge and and paper/stickers. I highly doubt to find more of these accessory materials ever, so my printer will be limited to 60 prints…
Sega Pri Fun 09
Sega Pri Fun 09

The video connector accepts composite video only and I don’t have those cables for Pico and Saturn – I’ll use a first generation Mega Drive instead. Upon powering up the printer greets me with error E5 – saying it needs an ink ribbon cartridge:
Sega Pri Fun 10
Sega Pri Fun 10

Insert the cartrige…
Sega Pri Fun 11
Sega Pri Fun 11

Sega Pri Fun 12
Sega Pri Fun 12

Sega Pri Fun 13
Sega Pri Fun 13

Sega Pri Fun 14
Sega Pri Fun 14

…and insert the paper:
Sega Pri Fun 15
Sega Pri Fun 15

While printing the LED counts down from 30 to 00, the paper is being moved back and forth three times to print Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. The whole process takes about two minutes. When done the page is being extracted below the tray:
Sega Pri Fun 16
Sega Pri Fun 16

This is my first print of Galaxy Force II:
Sega Pri Fun 17
Sega Pri Fun 17

As you can see this print shows many overlapping screens of the game – seems it is useless when the picture is moving. Luckily the Pause Pack to freeze the screen was included:
Sega Pri Fun 18
Sega Pri Fun 18

Sega Pri Fun 19
Sega Pri Fun 19

Inside the Pause Pack:
Sega Pri Fun 20
Sega Pri Fun 20

Sega Pri Fun 21
Sega Pri Fun 21

The cover of the connector can be stored in the cartridge – very convenient:
Sega Pri Fun 22
Sega Pri Fun 22

Sega Pri Fun 23
Sega Pri Fun 23

Sega Pri Fun 24
Sega Pri Fun 24

Pause Pack attached to the printer:
Sega Pri Fun 25
Sega Pri Fun 25

Let’s see what we get now after pushing the Pause button:
Sega Pri Fun 26
Sega Pri Fun 26

Sega Pri Fun 27
Sega Pri Fun 27

And the same picture in 4x mode:
Sega Pri Fun 28
Sega Pri Fun 28

To understand the printing process I turned back the wheel of the ink ribon cartridge, this is how the film looks for the three colours Cyan, Magenta and Yellow:
Sega Pri Fun 29
Sega Pri Fun 29

Sega Pri Fun 30
Sega Pri Fun 30

Sega Pri Fun 31
Sega Pri Fun 31

There is a black marker strip, my guess is that is it magnetic, so the printer can distinguish between what has been used and then scroll forward to the next free space:
Sega Pri Fun 32
Sega Pri Fun 32

Sega Pri Fun 33
Sega Pri Fun 33

The normal paper can be printed on both sides. This doesn’t apply to the sticker paper (obviously), so it has directions on how to feed it into the printer:
Sega Pri Fun 34
Sega Pri Fun 34

Sega Pri Fun 35
Sega Pri Fun 35

My first set of Stickers:
Sega Pri Fun 37
Sega Pri Fun 37

It seems that the quality is getting worse and worst, just have a look at this LaserDisc print (can you guess the movie?):
Sega Pri Fun 38
Sega Pri Fun 38

The cleaning manual recommends to clean the printing head and the areas next to the rubbber drum:
Sega Pri Fun 39
Sega Pri Fun 39

The swab contains 99% isopropyl alcohol, so I’m not going to tear it open and use my own supply instead to clean the areas indicated:
Sega Pri Fun 40
Sega Pri Fun 40

Sega Pri Fun 41
Sega Pri Fun 41

Sega Pri Fun 42
Sega Pri Fun 42

Looks a little bit better, doesn’t it? I still think that the decaying rubber drum is causing the problems, the thicker the paper (e.g. stickers), the bigger the problems with the prints.
Sega Pri Fun 43
Sega Pri Fun 43

That was a PAL Sonic in NTSC/J mode, by the way, in PAL mode it looks really cool and psychedelic (e.g. turquoise Sonic), but the Pause Pack doesn’t work this way and outputs this instead:
Sega Pri Fun 44
Sega Pri Fun 44

Everything considered this peripheral is much better than the GameBoy Printer and Camera, as it produces real cool Sega stickers:
Sega Pri Fun 45
Sega Pri Fun 45

For your reference I scanned all the manuals:
User manual
Safety manual
Warranty card
Cleaning manual
Pause Pack manual
Ink ribbon package
Paper package
Sticker package

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