Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Nintendo N&B Block promotion (1970)

At the start of the 1970s, Nintendo ran a campaign in order to push sales of the N&B Block series. This campaign must have started sometime in 1970, judging by the end date (January 31st 1971) listed on the promotional poster. The poster also mentions television adverts supporting the campaign.

Nintendo N&B Block promotion poster (1970)

With each N& B Block set purchased (N&Bブロックで) a free pack of cards was gifted (任天堂絵本トランプをプレゼント).

At this point in time, Nintendo's N&B Block construction sets had been out in the Japanese market for two years and had been quite successful. This give-away must have been devised to bolster sales even further.

As one of the largest cards manufacturers in the country, using cards as gift item was an obvious choice for Nintendo. In fact, even today cards are offerred as one of the gifts to choose from in exchange for Club Nintendo points collected by buying Wii and DS games.

The cards offered in the N&B Block campaign were from Nintendo's Picture Book Trump or Ehon Trump (絵本トランプ) series.

The Picture Book Trump cards featured stories based on familiar characters from Disney and popular Japanese manga series.

N&B Block promotional card pack...

The copy shown here is based on Spaceboy Soran (宇宙少年ソラン).

...still sealed

The promotional version of Picture Book Trump came in a cardboard case. To keep production cost down for this free item, it does not have the cool plastic TV shaped case these cards were originally sold in.

Regular (left) and promotional (right) version of Nintendo Picture Book Trump

It is unknown how many packs of cards were given away, but they are very hard to find these days, especially in unused condition. If you have a copy, I would love to hear from you.

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