Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nintendo N&B Block set 500-14 (N&B ブロック, 1968)

My collection of Nintendo N&B Block sets is nearing completion.

This nice little set, simply called NB 500-14, is a recent addition.

It comes in a modest box that measures 17 by 23 centimeters and is filled with blocks.

NB 500-14 is one of the least expensive N&B Block sets, costing ¥500 when it was released in 1968.

It was a great starting set for an affordable price, with a good selection of blocks in the five base colors: white, yellow, green, blue and red.

Nintendo N&B Block set 500-14 (1968)

All blocks in the N&B Block series have a type number, and the number '14' in the product code of this set (NB 500-14) refers to the type of blocks it contains the most of: the standard two by four brick.

Block number 14 isn't the only type of block in the set though. It offers some longer blocks as well, however the set only contains rectangular blocks.

The set comes with a sheet with building examples that helps get the creative juices flowing.

Included in this sheet are simple models of a plane (ひこうき), helicopter (ヘリコプター) and house (いえ).

And my personal favorite: a robot (ロボット).

Besides NB 500-14, a larger set exists that also only contains rectangular blocks (called NB 800-14). In both sets, the round shapes that are unique to N&B Block are not present.

Nintendo N&B Block sets NB 800-14 and NB 500-14

Although that does not really limited the building fun these two sets provided, they also do not support the marketing claim Nintendo was increasingly making: that LEGO was too blocky and that N&B Block offered superior building options thanks to the various round block types.

The so-called Mixed sets, which included rectangular as well as round shapes, were more versatile in that respect. They represented the possibilities of N&B Block much better and were prominently featured in Nintendo's TV ads at the time.

Nintendo N&B Block Mixed sets

Still. Maybe it is because I am a LEGO fan as well as an Nintendo admirer, but I find that robot adorable, in all its blockiness.

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