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.

It comes in a box which measures a whopping 102 by 33 by 27 centimeters.

It dates from 1971, and cost ¥4,980 at the time.

The Twins itself is a little over a meter wide. The base piece is colored brightly orange, and the additional seat is white.

Nintendo Twins - mint in the box

This forty year old item is very difficult to find these days. I was lucky enough to have one fall through a time-warp in new, unused condition.

The Twins consists of four pieces: the baby seat (with a green-white striped deck), the seesaw and two handles (provided in the smaller cardboard box).

An instruction leaflet is included, but setting up the Twins is really very easy.

The handles are fixed with bolts through the two holes in the base.

They can be installed facing up, to hold on to when the Twins is used as seesaw, or facing down to provide stability when the it is used as baby rocker.

The baby seat can be used standalone, or be placed on top of the orange base.

The Twins' many uses are pictured on the back of the leaflet.

For babies between two and seven months, the Twins can be used a rocking cradle.

But be sure to strap in your 'little red one' (as babies are called in Japan: 赤ちゃん) with the provided belt, or they may fall out.

Children aged between one and seven years old can use the Twins to play solo or together.

Both sides of the seesaw have a huge Nintendo logo embossed on them.

Biggest Nintendo logo ever

In 1971, the phrase "the kids are playing with their Nintendo" had a whole different meaning!


  1. I tell ya, Baby Mario, Baby Luigi, Baby Peach and Baby Daisy would have a field day with this toy!

  2. Really neat. How long have you owned this item?

    1. I am not sure, but I guess around 5 years. I remember it only cost me ¥2,000. And a lot more for shipping! :-)

  3. I bet Nintendo could somehow convert this into a microgame in the WarioWare series. They've already done the same with other old products like Chiritorie, Custom Gunman, Ultra Hand, and Ultra Machine..