Earlier this week, an online sale on Yahoo Auctions Japan made some heads turn in Nintendo collector circles.
Firstly, because the final bid was for a whopping ¥256,555 (around US$2300 or €2000). Secondly, because the sale involved a Nintendo toy that was virtually unknown until a week ago.
It's name is Time Bomb (タイムボーン) and it dates from 1965.
This particular toy was so unknown that it did not appear in any overview of Nintendo vintage toys, nor in any of the books covering this period of Nintendo's history. Not a single image of it could be found online.
|No Nintendo Time Bomb in these books|
There was one exception though, although I did not learn about that one until this week as well.
In 2019, an interesting book was published by Kohei Takano (高野 光平), called 「発掘! 歴史に埋もれたテレビCM 見たことのない昭和30年代」, or "Excavation! Never before seen TV commercials buried in showa 30s history". It covers a wide selection of examples from 1955-1965, which are the early days of television commercials in japan. [Amazon Japan link here.]
|The 2019 booklet that includes a reference to Nintendo Time Bomb|
One of the commercials included in Takano's book is... Nintendo Time Bomb. This ad aired in 1965 in Japan, and shows that the toy retailed for ¥600.
|Images of the Nintendo Time Bomb TV commercial (from Kohei Takano's book)|
However, for the origins of this toy we have to travel to the United States.