Sunday, September 2, 2012

Nintendo Pin-up Playing Cards (ca 1970)

Following the previous post on Nintendo's playing cards, here's a somewhat surprising item.

Nintendo Pin-up Playing Cards (ca 1970)

"Nintendo" and "Pin-up" are two words you don't expect to see close together on a product. At least, not in today's world. But in the past this was different, as this pack of Nintendo Pin-up Playing Cards shows.


Not sure about the date, but the packaging is similar to Nintendo's 1972 Miracle Trump, so I'd place it around that time.

In the 1960s and (early) 70s, Nintendo was still very much a standard playing card manufacturer. And pin-ups have long been a popular theme for playing cards, so it is not really a surprise to find this in their then product portfolio.

Pin-up Playing Cards, front and back

The real surprise, if you may call it that, is in the way the pack opens. Nintendo managed to add some innovation to the crowded market of playing cards featuring scantily clad women.


On the top of the pack, a message states "please pull in the direction of the arrow" (矢印の方向に引いてください).


Sliding the lid sideways undresses the lady shown on the front and the back.


At the same time, the cards are pushed up.


The cards themselves feature semi-nude Western ladies.


This pack of Pin-up Playing Cards isn't the only set Nintendo produced in this genre. Multiple others exist, many of which were made on behalf of other companies, who gave them away as promotional items.

The one shown on the right in the below picture, for instance, was produced for Japanese whiskey giant Suntory. Giving new meaning to the slogan "for relaxing times, make it Suntory time".

Two more examples of Nintendo pin-up playing cards

When Nintendo became more established as a toy company, fully focussed on children and families, they soon dropped this kind of product, in order to build their current 100% clean, offenseless image.

3 comments:

  1. This is very good! I am also searching.
    Because present Nintendo never puts on the market.
    from Isao Yamazaki

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  2. Just wondering, why did you censor the cards and not the box?

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  3. There is no formal policy behind that decision. Although the cards are quite innocent (IMO), this blog is read by people from all sort of ages and backgrounds, and that is why I did not want to overdo it with the nudity. However, I thought the way that box opens was too funny not to show, and censoring that would have spoiled the fun.

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