I recently picked up an old piece of equipment from a Nintendo production facility.
Usually, I only buy Nintendo items that were commercially available. I know there is a whole world out there with related things, like development versions of consoles and prototype games. But I have decided not to collect these, mainly because you need to draw the line somewhere. A collection needs certain rules and boundaries, I believe.
Anyway, for every rule there are exceptions, and this is one of them.
For starters, the device was a bargain, at only ¥1000.
The main reason it caught my attention was the label on the top, which says 「任天堂 (株) 宇治工場」. This means "Nintendo company Uji".
Uji is a suburb of Kyoto. Nintendo built a factory in Uji in the 1960s, when it briefly entered the instant food business. Check out this earlier post about one of its instant ramen promotions.
When the food business turned out to be unsuccessful, the production facility was quickly turned into a toy factory for Nintendo's booming games devision.
The device shown here dates from 1977, a time when Nintendo still produced traditional toys, but also had started making arcade games and home consoles.
It's a chroma meter, which is a device used to measure color. It can be used, for instance, during production of plastic items, to check they have a constant color.
What I like about this item, is that it's not an off-the-shelf piece of equipment, but something that was, from the looks of it, built by the Nintendo engineering team themselves.
Other than that, it's a pretty standard piece of 1970s electronics. Still, a (very) small piece of Nintendo history.