Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nintendo Museum exhibition, Osaka - part 2

Yesterday I posted an interview with Isao Yamazaki regarding the Nintendo Museum that was held in Osaka in the spring of 2007.

This short exhibition (eleven days only) was conducted as part of the celebrations around the 100th birthday of the Hankyu department store. On display were a broad selection of items from Nintendo's past, showing the full history from early Hanafuda cards up to the Wii and everything in between.

Here are some more pictures from this great event, kindly provided by Florent Gorges. They give a behind-the-scenes view on how the exhibition was put together.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nintendo Museum exhibition, Osaka (2007)

As frequent readers of this blog will know, Nintendo has a history that is over 120 years long. A past that deserves to be shown.

There are a number of museums around the world that depict the history of video games in general, including Nintendo's role in this. But there is no place where the public is presented the full history of Nintendo, including their days as maker of cards and toys. The only permanent exhibition that I am aware of, is the one on the second floor of Nintendo World in New York. This includes some nice items, but it is quite small and does not really do the rich history justice.

Nintendo World, New York

These showcases at Nintendo's American flagship store, though modest in scale, are even an exception for this company, as they usually do not dwell too much on their (pre video game) past. They rather focus on the future and the latest, newest game systems and games.

Modest Nintendo history exhibit at Nintendo World, New York

The company history page on Nintendo's US website even starts in 1985, with the NES! Completely skipping the first hundred year since the company started in 1889. A period, admittedly, when the focus was primarily on the Japanese home market. For that matter, the Japanese site shows the full history, but with very short statements only and without any illustrations.

According to nothing of note happened before 1985...

In recent years, the Iwata Asks series of interviewes have given glimpses into Nintendo's past. But overall, Nintendo provides the general public very limited options to see all the great toys and games that they produced over the course of their long history.

Up until now there has only been a single event in the world that presented Nintendo's past in its full breadth. This was a temporary exhibition that was held in 2007, in a department store in Osaka, close to Nintendo's Kyoto homebase.

The event was called "Nintendo Museum" (ニンテンドー ミュージアム), and Isao Yamazaki, who was featured on this blog in a recent Meet the Collectors episode, was involved in its inception. The items on display also stemmed for a large part from his collection.

The 2007 Nintendo Museum exhibition in Osaka lasted only eleven days

In the interview below, Isao relates how this unique one-off event came about. Hearing his tale and seeing the pictures from this exhibition, I really hope a simliar event will happen again sometime in the future.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Meet the collectors - #4 - Isao Yamazaki

It is a great joy for me to introduce today's participant in beforemario's Meet the Collectors series: Isao Yamazaki (山崎功).

A serious collector of vintage Nintendo toys and games for many years, Isao also has been actively involved in documenting and spreading information about Nintendo's illustrious past. One of the highlights of this was the unique one-off exhibition in Osaka in 2007, titled 'Nintendo Museum', for which Isao acted as curator.

Isao supported Florent Gorges with The History of Nintendo volume 1 and 2

In recent years, Isao teamed up with Florent Gorges for the first two volumes of the bible of Nintendo archaeology: 'The History of Nintendo'.

Colophon of The History of Nintendo volume 1

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

beforemario on Facebook

If you like things "beforemario", then please join our new Facebook page. It has regular updates that complement the posts on this blog.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Nintendo Copilas - part 2 (コピラス, 1971)

The Nintendo Copilas (コピラス) was a revolutionary budget-price photocopy machine, released by Nintendo in 1971. After the introduction in a previous post, it is now time to take a look at how this wonderful machine actually works.

Nintendo Copilas (1971)

The Copilas runs on mains power, which is 100 volts in Japan.

top view

But before we watch it in action, let's first take a closer look.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Nintendo N&B Block Leisure House (レジャーハウス, 1968)

I just completed my collection of Nintendo N&B Block sets. The first one I got - many years ago - was a Leisure House set. Fittingly, the last one was the other Leisure House set.

Nintendo N&B Block Leisure House (1968)