Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nintendo Puzzle Dice (パズルダイス)

Another recent addition to my collection is this Nintendo puzzle from the early 1970s, called Puzzle Dice (パズルダイス).

Like the electric Panda clock shown in the previous post, it's an item that I had not seen before. Or more precisely, it is a package variant that was unknown to me.

The puzzle itself is familiar, although under a different name: the original release dates from 1969 and was called Challenge Dice (チャレンジ ダイス).

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Nintendo Panda E-clock (パンダ電気時計, 1972)

I have been collecting vintage Nintendo items for about two decades, and although my collection isn't complete yet, I pretty much know what is out there to look for.

Still every now and then I discover something new. Well, the item shown here cannot really be called 'new' as it is more than forty years old. But it was unknown in collector circles until now.

It is called Panda electric clock (パンダ電気時計).

It was released by Nintendo in 1972, one year after they had introduced a first set of five clocks.

Up until now it was believed that these five clocks released in 1971 were all Nintendo ever made. That is, until this sixth clock popped up recently in an online auction. Time to update the history books!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Nintendo Unirack (ユニラック, 1972)

A few weeks ago I added an item to my Nintendo collection that I had been searching for for quite some time.

The box it came in was battered from residing in some Japanese warehouse for over forty years. But I was happy to find it in the original packaging, no matter in what condition.

The slogan on the box states『使ってみると便利さがわかる』, which roughly means "very convenient to use".

In the early 1970s, Nintendo was producing many things besides toys. Most of these were aimed at households and offices: clocks, baby swings, photo copiers and candy floss machines, to name a few.

Nintendo Unirack (ユニラック) stems from 1972 and was one of these - short lived - attempts by Nintendo to break out in markets besides toys and games.

Unirack is a storage system that consisted of multiple elements that could be assembled freely to create an open closet of the desired size and shape.

The box I found contains one these elements.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

beforemario at Gamescom 2015 - part 1

About three weeks ago I returned home from a great experience, tired but very satisfied. After exhibiting part of my collection at last year's Retro Game Event in Hilversum, The Netherlands, for an audience of about 3000 visitors, this year I had the opportunity to exhibit at the biggest video game stage in the world: Gamescom.

For those of you who don't know, Gamescom is a video game trade show that is held annually in Cologne, Germany. It is the premiere video game show in Europe and the world's largest gaming event, measured by exhibition space and number of visitors: with 345,000 visitors, more than 6,000 journalists and 700 exhibitors!

And this year, beforemario was one of the exhibitors!

badge worn with pride

The number of visitors to Gamesom is truly staggering; a sea of people that overflows the Koelnmesse for five long days. This year the event ran from the morning of Wednesday August 5 to the evening of Sunday August 9.

South gate, one of four entrances

The Koelnmesse is a huge conference center, with eleven large halls, some of which even have two levels. Gamescom occupies all halls.

All developers and publishers of PC, console, handheld and mobile games from around the world show their latest wares, with many as yet unreleased games on display and playable for the first time. People queue for hours to play a single new game for only a handful of minutes.

The booths are lavish affairs with zillions of screens, flashing lights and thumping music. Not the kind of place for people with sensitive senses.