800 – Mini-Lectron

The model 800 was marketed by Egger-Bahn as the Mini-Lectron.  Sadly, this was the last model Egger-Bahn designed and prepared for release. The Mini-Lectron was never sold by Egger.  It was created as a cost effective introductory model to encourage budget minded customers to buy into the Egger-Lectron product line. At 48 DM, it was half the cost of the base 8000 model. Unfortunately, Egger-Bahn went out of business in the Fall of 1967.  The model 800 did appear in two other incarnations. 

Ironically, the Mini-Lectron model was first released to the United States marketplace in the Fall of 1967 as the Raytheon Education Company‘s model 800. There are multiple indicators showing its Mini-Lectron pedigree. Further discussion on this topic follows below.

The German model 800 would be rebranded and was released as Braun‘s MiniSystem during their initial product line launch also in the Fall of 1967. 

The possible existence of the Egger Mini-Lectron was first documented for Lectron.Info by Günther Stabe in 2011 based on its printed appearance as the last item in an Italian four page brochure published in 1967 by G.B.C. Italiana SA.S, a Lectron System distributor in Milano, Italy.

The Mini-Lectron’s existence was further corroborated in April of 2013 by Rolf Nitzsche, another Lectron System community expert with many rare documents from the Egger-Lectron era. He donated the ensuing graphic to Lectron.Info. As it turned out, the 800 Mini-Lectron model was never commercially sold by Egger-Bahn despite being announced as available in July of 1967 — “Lieferbar juli 1967”. The graphic below appeared in the March, 1967 edition of the RIM Bastel Buch.

The final proof was received when I saw the various photos from Mr. Georg Greger‘s personal papers back in December of 2016.  This photo was taken at the Spielwarenmesse on February 11th of 1967.

Egger-Bahn’s brief management of the Lectron System from 1966 through 1967 yielded a sales agency association with the Raytheon Education Company. The Mini-Lectron was sold as their Model 800 with only the slight modification of substituting one earphone block for a photo-resistor block. 

Examining the immediately above photo of the Raytheon Model 800, the reader will notice that the boy has two earphone blocks in use, the Styrofoam packaging is black, and the brand on the metal base plate uses the Egger era , all Egger Mini-Lectron model ‘trademarks’.  The photo on the left is also from the Raytheon model 800 instruction manual and the Egger era black Styrofoam is shown but the 2nd earphone block has been replaced with the photo-resistor block. The production run of the Raytheon model 800 would exclusively use (as far as I know) the white Styrofoam packaging, unlike the model 820!

Interestingly, Raytheon would adopt the brand as part of their own brand for the life span of their involvement with the Lectron System which ended in 1969.