Friday, May 11, 2012

Nintendo Mamaberica baby stroller (ママベリカ, 1970)

At the start of the 1970s, Nintendo briefly tried its luck in the baby gear market, with two products. One was a plastic seesaw called Twins. The other was a foldable baby stoller.


The stroller was called Mamaberica (ママベリカ). Japanese people are fond of contracting words, like 'persacon' for 'personal computer' or 'pokemon' for 'pocket monster'. Mamaberica apparently is a contraction of 'mama baby car'.


The Mamaberica retailed for a very competitive price of ¥8,900.


Made from aluminium, it was lightweight. When folded, it could easily be handled on apartment-building stairs.


These days, foldable strollers are very common. But in the 1970s, this was the pinacle of modern parenthood.


According to the few pictures available for this item, it came in three bright colors: red, yellow or blue.


The colors of the wheels, handles and seat all match.


Folding and unfolding required three simple actions.

Nintendo Mamaberica instructions

The Mamaberica design was patented as 'Collapsible Carrier', and credited to Nintendo engineers Akira Sugino and Takao Ota.

Nintendo Mamaberia US patent (3,836,164)

According to Florent Gorges' History of Nintendo, the Mamaberica was not a big success.


The mechanism did not work flawless, and was prone to 'finger pinching' and accidental folding. Not the best attributes for creating loyal customers.

Label on the seat of the Mamaberica

Because of this less than steller result, Nintendo would quickly leave the baby stroller market, only to return many years later, in a format they control much better: the virtual world.

Nintendo's baby stroller attempt #2 - Mario Kart Wii

Credits

Contrary to my common practice, I did not take the pictures for this blog post myself. All photos were taken from opencage.info. I could not find a contact person there, so if you would like to be credited, please contact me.

Wanted!

I would love to add a Mamaberica to my collection. If you own one of these, and are interested in a sale or trade, then please contact me. I am sure we can work something out.

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