TCI (Twentieth Century Imports) was a Colorado based plastic model kit and game importer, exporter and co-operative manufacturer. Among other items, (Hobby Japan, Bandai 1/48th armor, Star Blazers mini kits) they carried the exclusive distribution license for Nitto which included the SF3D line. In 1986, the catalogue already mentions difficulty obtaining the kits due to "manufacturer difficulties."
I have heard tall tales that back in the day, TCI had a bin where returns and rejects were tossed and you could purchase sprues by the pound. Think of that for a moment. I'm not exactly sure when TCI went out of business, but it was a long time ago.
TCI translated the SF3D board game, but altered the rules, changed the pace, and didn't completely follow the story line. It was this misinformation that lead to most early adopters thinking SF3D was a repeat of World War 2 or Nazis from Space. It wasn't until the early 2000s, that most non Japanese reading fans understood the story line was more complicated than that.
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