Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Nintendo board games - part 3 - More Disney

Part 2 of the series about Nintendo's board games featured four Disney themed games from the mid 1960s. Today we will continue the Nintendo board game retrospective with five more Disney board games from that same period (ca 1964-1966).

We will take a look at:
  • Disneyland Adventureland Game
  • Bambi Game
  • Peter Pan Game
  • Lady and the Tramp Game
  • Sword in the Stone Game

Disneyland Adventureland Game

We already saw some Duck based games before, and here is another one. Well, at least Donald Duck is presented on the box front; his popularity used to attract interest.

Nintendo Disneyland Adventureland Game

The front shows Donald and one of his nephews in dire straits; their canoe has capsized and a hippo, alligator and a handful of spear-toting natives move in, competing for the fowl feast. [Forgetting for a moment that hippos are herbivores. And come to think of it, the natives may actually only be interested in getting Donald's autograph.]

The game is called Disneyland Adventureland Game (ディズニーランド冒険の国ゲーム).

Friday, January 24, 2014

N&B Block vs LEGO (任天堂 ブロック vs レゴ)

I just performed a small experiment. For some time, I had been wondering about the compatibility between Nintendo's N&B Block bricks and - its source of inspiration - the original LEGO bricks. In fact, the experiment is so simple that I don't understand why I had not tried it before.

Let's first take a closer look at the respective rectangular bricks, side by side. They have identical dimensions and are overall very similar, except for the names on the top of the studs.

N&B Block brick (left) and LEGO brick (right)

When we flip them over, we see more differences.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nintendo board games - part 2 - Disney (early 1960s)

When Nintendo started expanding their product line from playing cards to other toys and games, the first format they went after were board games.

In the first part of the board game story, posted here almost two years ago, we already showed some Nintendo board games from the second half of the 1960s, based on popular Japanese manga and anime characters like UltraQ and Obake no Q-tarō.

Nintendo board games based on manga and anime series

Over the coming weeks months, I plan to run a series of posts focussing on Nintendo's board games, as there is a lot still to show and tell.

The first board games that Nintendo released were all licensed games based on figures from the Walt Disney studios. These were very popular at the time, and after securing a deal to feature Disney characters on Nintendo's playing cards, it was a natural extension to use these also for other games.

Nintendo board games that are all Disney themed

Some of the Nintendo games that we will show are simple localisations of licensed games, meaning the original version is translated but otherwise left unchanged (like the 101 Dalmatians Game shown below), while others are original creations by the Nintendo team, using Disney figures.

There were a couple of American game manufacturers producing Disney themed board games at the time, most notably Whitman and Parker Brothers. Nintendo acquired licenses to localize their Disney games for the Japanese market from both companies, in particular from Whitman. [Another toy series that Nintendo licensed from Whitman, a few years later, were the People House doll sets.]

Original game by Whitman (bottom) and Nintendo version (top)

All of the Nintendo board games from this period do not included any year of release on them, so it is quite difficult to date them. Based on the characters featured, the style of packaging and the logos used, I would say the games are all released by Nintendo roughly between 1963 and 1965.

In this post we will take a look at four of Nintendo's Disney board games:
  • Donald Duck Universal Travel Game
  • Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color Game
  • Toyland Game
  • Mickey Mouse Adventure Game

Although they all feature licensed figures, most of these are original game designs, as far as I can tell (except for Wonderful World of Color Game).

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Meet the Collectors - #8 - David Gschmeidler

A few days ago, we reported here about a new Game & Watch book, that was just released.

Today we meet one of the two authors of that book, who happens to be the proud owner of an impressive video game collection. He shows us around his collection and tells about this book project.

David with one of his pride possessions:
the Entex Adventure Vision

David: "Hi! I am David Gschmeidler. I was born in Vienna, Austria in 1973.

After training at the Industrial College in Vienna, I worked for eight years in electronics at General Motors Austria. During this time, I began to learn about recording studios and have since worked for many years as a music producer and mastering engineer. In the meantime, I also learned a lot about photography and web design."

David's collection room is packed
floor to ceiling with video game goodness

"I collect video games and video consoles from all brands and also some of the interesting home computer models."