Saturday, January 7, 2023

Meet the Collectors - #11 - Nikita Shigov

We are back with another episode of Meet the Collectors. 

This time we travel to South-east Asia, where we meet Nikita.

"My name is Nikita, and I am 30 years old. I am originally from Russia, but I have spent the last five years in Malaysia, specifically in Kuala Lumpur. One day I decided to move to another country together with my wife, and I found a job here, on this sunny country with very friendly people."

"After realising that I wouldn't make it as a pro video gamer, I spent many evenings learning new foreign languages and studying social sciences. All my life I have worked as Digital marketing manager. I am very much a kid at heart, love to cook, play video games and travel whenever i can."

"When I was a kid I played the Soviet Game & Watch clone Elektornika because we didn’t have official Nintendo products. A Taiwanese clone of Atari 2600 and Sega Mega Drive 2 were my first consoles, and they made me love videogames."

"I had started collecting Nintendo portable consoles, and later I dug into the big N's history. I was surprised how big it was. It amazed me how Nintendo follows its traditions and carries them over time until modern days. It makes them a unique company in the current market."

"First, I bought a hanafuda deck. And then it started... "

"Since 2015 I’ve been collecting vintage Nintendo stuff produced before the Famicom. My collection is modest compared to other collectors. I am trying to find unique and old Nintendo toys without overpaying a huge amount of money. I do not care about box condition."

"During my first trip to Kyoto that year, the first place I visited was the former Nintendo HQ, and it charmed me by its architecture. Visiting it is like a mecca for Nintendo toy collectors :-)."

"Mostly, I find new stuff for my collection mostly on eBay and Japanese online second hand stores. However, also in Malaysia I can find old Nintendo board games and playing cards, in Japanese thrift stores. You will be surprised how much Japanese thrift stores with used clothes, kitchenware, and toys there are in Kuala Lumpur."

"I collect Game & watch games all over the world while I do travelling and try to find them at local flea markets."

"Nintendo was never officially distributed in Russia or Malaysia till the 2000s, and finding all these items is really a challenge! In Malaysia it is more easy to order online stuff from Japan because shipping is cheap. However, the Malaysian ringgit currency is quite weak compared to the US dollar or Yen and that makes buying items abroad pricey."

"My favourite Nintendo toy is the Love Tester. In terms of marketing, it is a brilliant idea to sell a toy that allows you to touch the hand of the girl you like without showing your passion directly. Even now, there are mobile applications with the same idea. My friends and I had a lot of fun playing with the Love Tester during drinking parties, which proves that this toy was a simple & brilliant invention."

"I really appreciate Gunpei Yokoi's ideas and philosophy. His inventions amaze even today, and fifty year old toys still amuse my friends and me when I present them."

"Slowly, my collection grows, and my biggest desire is to buy Nintendo Kôsenjû Guns and Rifles but it’s an issue getting them to Malaysia, as local customs do not allow to import toy guns. Also, it is really hard to find Chiritori, a toy vacuum cleaner. I monitor Japanese online stores from time to time to find it."

"The biggest headache is finding space to house all these toys. Toy boxes take up a lot of space. You should have a separate room for the Nintendo toys and games collection."

"I am really proud to have a handprinted hanafuda deck in my collection in a wooden box. It was most likely made before or around World War II."

"If you look closely you’ll notice that it was coloured manually. I paid only 3000 yen for this gem!"

"I also do play some of the games I have in my collection like cards and Chinese checkers."

Nikita concludes: "I believe that Nintendo's history still has unrevealed secrets and interesting facts we can find out in the future. Collecting big N toys and cards is much more challenging than collecting 'only' videogames, and it makes our hobby so unique."

Thank you Nikita, for sharing your collection!

To all other collectors out there: if you want to be next in this series, please get in touch! It does not matter if your collection is small or large, if you have been collecting for many years or are just getting started; as long as you are passionate about the history of Nintendo, we love to feature you. 

For previous episodes, check this overview of Meet the Collectors.


  1. that handprinted daitoryo hanafuda deck in a paulownia box is gorgeous!!!

  2. He probably did not had Dendy at home did he?