Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Was this the idea for Game & Watch Octopus?

Through blog reader Eric Ash, I was pointed to an intriguing board game, made in the USA in the 1950s.

To fans of the Nintendo Game & Watch series, it looks very familiar. It raises the question if this board game was the inspiration for the Wide Screen Game & Watch Octopus.

Octopus board game by Norton Games of New York (1954)

It all seems to match: the title (obviously), as well as the game's objective (prying bounty from an octopus protecting a treasure chest) and the board layout (with a cross section of the sea).

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Game & Watch collectors guide

A few days ago, a new Game & Watch book was released by Austrian duo David Gschmeidler and Gerhard Meyer. The book is called Der Inofficielle Game & Watch Sammer-Katalog (The unofficial Game & Watch Collectior-Catalogue), and - as this title kinda gives away - the book is written in German.

Authors Gerhard Meyer and David Gschmeidler

For folks who master the German language, or otherwise want it anyway, the book is currently available in a regular and limited edition on the authors website www.gameandwatch.at.

Update: An English version now also available here.

Regular and limited edition

It looks like an informative book for collectors. You can expect a full review here soon.

David also participated in our Meet the Collectors series.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Nintendo Companion Kotaku 'Shop Contest

A few days ago, gaming website Kotaku ran a story on the Nintendo Companion walkie-talkie, based on an earlier post here on beforemario.

There is no arguing that the Companion set contains two very cool looking 1960s-style handsets. But the box art featuring two chatty youngsters is arguably even more compelling.

Nintendo Companion

So when a Kotaku reader threw out the question "Photoshop contest?", the Kotaku team simply had to abide. Thus began the Companion 'Shop Contest 'Shop Talk. The rules are very simple: take the original box image and Photoshop it into whatever you want.

Below a selection from the entries. For credits check out the post on Kotaku.

Nintendo logo overview

Nintendo fan Gustavo Acero rummaged through my post on Nintendo's logo through the years, and created a neat little overview based on that. I quite like his result, which you can see below.

The original post of the overview by Gustavo can be found here.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nintendo Pastel Cards (パステル トランプ, late 1960s)

I am not sure if this card product was a small stroke of genius, or the result of a lack of inspiration.

Nintendo Pastel Cards (late 1960s)

After designing hundreds of card styles, maybe one day the Nintendo creative team drew a blank? If this is what happened, then they bounced back right away.

The particular set I am talking about is called Pastel Cards (パステル トランプ).

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Bassmate Computer update

One of the interesting discoveries of 2013 was the Bassmate Computer.

This alternative Bassmate version comes in a plain white box

Although already out there for close to thirty years (released in 1984), it had never popped up in Nintendo collector circles before.

Inside a polystyrene tray with Bassmate,
thermometer, ziplock bag, batteries and manual

The Bassmate Computer does deserve a place in Nintendo history, as it was engineered by Gunpei Yokoi's R&D1 team.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Nintendo Companion manual

The Transceiver Companion (トランシーバー コンパニオン), or Companion for short, is the earliest electronic toy sold by Nintendo. It is a very rare piece of Nintendo history.

Some time ago, I was lucky to add one to my collection, and posted about it here.

The Nintendo company name is written in bold kanji on the manual:
Nintendō kabushikigaisha (任天堂株式会社)

Although the Companion I found was in very good condition, unfortunately it was missing the manual.

But a few weeks ago, I was able to track down another Companion set, this time with manual!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Nintendo Miracle Trump (ミラクル トランプ, 1972) and Magic Card (魔法のトランプ, 1975)

Following the three-part post on Nintendo's Iroha Karuta, we will continue with some more of their card creations.

The sets we see here are called Miracle Trump (ミラクル トランプ).

Three variants of Nintendo Miracle Trump

It appears to be a standard set of playing cards. But looks can be deceiving.

The Miracle Trump box has a red and a blue side

The name Miracle Trump already suggests that this is not just any pack of cards, and this is true: it is a magic set.