Friday, January 27, 2012

Nintendo Mister Magician Coin & Stick (ミスターマジシャン, 1975)

In the 1960s and early 70s, Nintendo produced a number of novelty games, like the Miracle Box (ミラクルボックス), Miracle Trump (ミラクルトランプ) and Rising Trump (ライジングトランプ). These all offered simple card-based tricks, and were a natural extension of Nintendo's cards dominated heritage.

Nintendo Mister Magician Coin & Stick (1975)

A more sophisticated little magic set was created by Nintendo in 1975. It was called Mister Magician (ミスターマジシャン) Coin & Stick.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Nintendo Color TV-Game 15 (カラー テレビゲーム 15, 1977)

When Nintendo entered the home video game market in Japan in 1977, they did so with two Pong based TV tennis games, co-developed with Mitsubishi: the Color TV-Game 6 and its bigger brother (sister?) Color TV-Game 15.

Advertisement for TV-Game 6 and TV-Game 15

The circuitry inside TV-Game 6 and TV-Game 15 was very similar (their main chip was actually identical), but the latter came with detached controllers and provided more game options: fifteen to be precise (obviously).

Nintendo released two versions of TV-Game 15 (again, just like TV-Game 6).

Nintendo TV Game 15 CTG-15S Manual

The first release had an orange colored box and orange housing with a black base. It had product code CTG-15S.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Upcoming posts - TV Game 15 and Nintendo board games

In the next days I will upload a post about the Color TV-Game 15 (which I noticed was still missing from the series overview).

I will also make a start documenting the wide range of Nintendo board games.

What would you like to see first?

Nintendo Space Launcher (スペースランチャー, 1979) - Leaflet

Nintendo was one of first Japanese companies creating electronic arcade games. Starting in this area as early as 1973 (compare: Atari's Pong saw the light of day in 1972), they initially focussed on arcade versions of light gun games, building on the technology of the Kousenjuu SP Light-beam series.

Despite Nintendo's first innovative steps, the Japanese company that was first to be really successful in the arcade was Taito.

When Taito introduced Space Invaders in the summer of 1978, this became phenomenally successful in Japan and across the world soon thereafter. It did not take long for Nintendo (and all other arcade game manufacturers, for that mater) to follow with their own interpretations of the 'shooting aliens' theme.

Nintendo Space Launcher leaflet (1979)

Nintendo's first response to Space Invaders was Space Fever, followed by Color Space Fever and SF-Hisplitter (all from 1979).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nintendo Color Screen (Game and Watch Table Top) - Leaflet

The most spectacular games in the Nintendo Game & Watch series are the Panorama and Table Top games. Combining the excellent LCD based game-play that shines throughout the entire series with full color images, these were innovative as well as fun to play.

The Table Top games were shaped like mini arcade cabinets, with joystick and all. In the 80s, owning one of these must have been close to being in handheld nirvana.

Nintendo Color Screen (a.k.a. Table Top) from 1983

The original name under which these games were sold in Japan was Color Screen (カラースクリーン), with strangely enough no reference to Game & Watch, although they are clearly part of that family. They were introduced in the rest of the world as Game & Watch Table Top.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Nintendo Computer Othello (コンピューター オセロ, 1978) - Leaflet

In the mid 1970s, Nintendo started making arcade games. One of the earlier of these was Computer Othello (コンピューター オセロ), which is the topic of the leaflet shown here. [A second leaflet can be found here.]

Nintendo Computer Othello (1978)

The Computer Othello arcade allowed for one person to play the game othello (also known as reversi) against a computer opponent. It was also possible for two people to play head to head.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Nintendo Computer Mah-jong Yakuman - Leaflet

Let's do another leaflet, after yesterday's Block Kuzushi. It is a beautiful four-sided brochure for Nintendo's Computer Mah-jong Yakuman (コンピュータ マージャン 役満). The style of the image on the front reminds of the 1982 movie Tron.

According to the leaflet, the release date of this pocket game was 昭和58年10月18日 (in the formal Japanese calendar notation), which means 18th of October 1983.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Nintendo Color TV Game Block Kuzushi - Leaflet

I recently acquired some vintage leaflets for Nintendo products. These leaflets were used as marketing material for distributers and shop buyers, and are very colorful and informative.

The leaflet below is the one for the Nintendo Color TV Game Block Kuzushi (任天堂 カラー テレビゲーム ブロック崩し).

Block Kuzushi is part of the Color TV Game series. It is the first home video game system to bear the Nintendo name on its front.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Nintendo Picture Book Trump (絵本トランプ, ca 1965)

In the 122 years that Nintendo has been in business since its start in 1889, there has been one constant: they make playing cards. It is the product range which provided the foundation for the company, and although their importance as driver of revenue has been greatly diminished in the last thirty to forty years, they are still selling them today.

Nintendo Ehon Trump (ca 1965)

Over the years, Nintendo has produced many different types and styles of playing cards. One of my favorite card series is called Ehon Trump (絵本トランプ). They come in cute television-shaped cases.

Ehon Trump based on Obake no Qtarō

'Ehon' translates to 'picture book', and refers to the second use of these cards (besides their regular playing card function), which is a creating your own cartoon show.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Nintendo Twins (任天堂 ツインス, 1971)

In the early 1970s, Nintendo was still going in all sorts of directions commercially. They even (briefly) tried the baby and toddler market with the Mamaberica stroller and the Twins. Japan was still going through the post-war baby boom, so this must have been a lucrative but crowded market. Nintendo tried to get a piece of that pie through innovative product design.

The Nintendo Twins (ツインス) is a plastic, multifunctional baby-seat-child-seesaw contraption.

It is the biggest "toy" Nintendo released.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nintendo Challenge Dice - Rare Western version (1970)

I recently came across a rare Western release of the 1969 Nintendo puzzle game Challenge Dice.

The packaging is a great example of 70s design.

Nintendo Challenge Dice (1970 version)

Up until now, I was only aware of Challenge Dice sold outside Japan under the name Chaotic Cube.