Friday, May 6, 2016

Nintendo Mickey Mouse Card (ミッキーマウスカード, ca 1961)

Disney movies and characters became very popular in post-war Japan in the 1950s and Nintendo acquired a license to produce games featuring them in 1959.

Nintendo Disney Mickey Mouse Card (ca 1961)

The game shown here is one of the early examples of this. It is called Disney Mickey Mouse Card (ディズニーミッキーマウスカード).

It dates most from the early 1960s. A copyright sign on the front mentions 1961, but it is possible this relates to the artwork rather than the release of the game.

The box includes the name in both Japanese and Western script.

Nintendo published this game under their Nippon Game brand name, which they used for a short while in the first part of the 1960s.

The game is not originally designed by Nintendo. It is a localisation from a game by US company Transogram, called Walt Disney Character Picture Dominoes. The artwork of the Nintendo version does differ somewhat from the original (Minnie Mouse was added to the front, for example), but the overall concept of the game was not altered.

Walt Disney Character Picture Dominoes by Transogram 

Mickey Mouse Card is a basic dominoes game.

A total of 30 play pieces are included, made from thick cardboard.

One side of the pieces are printed with numbers from zero to six. The other side uses Disney figures including Donald Duck, Bambi, Dopey, Pinokkio, Dumbo and of course Mickey Mouse.

The zero is represented by an unusual figure: a star with a smiling face. Unusual as it isn't one of the standard Disney figures. Twenty-five years later a very familiar star would be introduced as the most powerful power-up in Super Mario Bros. Although I think that's a coincidence, it's funny nonetheless.

Find out more about Nintendo's Nippon Game in this post and about Nintendo's Disney board games in this post.

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