The SEGA PLAYERS ENJOY CLUB or「SPEC」was a fan club formed by SEGA in 1988 prior to the release of the MEGA DRIVE mostly to support their incoming line of next generation stuff.
SPEC members were given their very own membership card which no doubt made them the envy of everyone else in their block and school.
Among other benefits SPEC members were also sent a mega exclusive SPEC magazine/newsletter whenever a new issue became available.
Unfortunately the SEGA consumer division wasn't very successful in Japan so the release of these magazines was very few and far between to say the least. In fact, within a 5 year span only 8 issues of SPEC were released.
I have a better name for the club : 「SEGA PURE AWESOMENESS ENJOY CLUB」 !
The SPEC magazines were pretty cool though because they were written by the actual SEGA staff members that were involved in making the games. The magazines themselves were made in the doujinshi (fan-made) tradition as that seems to have been the concept behind them : A SEGA fanzine made by fans for the fans.
SPEC issues came packed in special envelopes like this one. Yet again can you say A-W-E-S-O-M-E ?
Overseas SPEC gained notoriety, mostly among the PHANTASY STAR series fan circles, thanks to their prominent PHANTASY STAR related content which most importantly consists of some truly cool artwork and various short but equally cool stories.
For some reason (probably because some guy scanned them) the issues 7, 7.5, and 8 seem to be far and away the more popular ones around the web, and so they can be found on most decent PHANTASY STAR series fan sites. Like this one for example.
The rest of the issues however are much, much harder to find.
SEGA tried very hard to make the MEGA DRIVE succeed in Japan, but they just had the worst luck. In the end the consumer division never came close to emulate the success of their parent arcade division which to this day still goes strong.
This was a real pity because success in Japan would have meant a lot more games for the SEGA systems. At this point in time Japanese game companies dominated the video game industry, so doing good in the Japanese market was crucial.
In any case, those lucky enough to have counted themselves among the MEGA DRIVER user base of the time know that there was no sweeter system to own back then than the one with the bad-ass 16-Bit logo.