Sunday, April 2, 2023

Nintendo Mini Game Series leaflet (ca 1975)

The Mini Game Series (ミニゲームシリーズ) was a collection of around fifty simple plastic toys, brought to market by Nintendo in the first half of the 1970s (roughly 1971 to 1976). The series covered a wide variety of play options, with prices for each toy ranging between ¥300 and ¥900.

A selection of Nintendo Mini Games (1970s)

In today's blog post we will take a look at this piece of marketing material targeted at toy dealers and distributors.

Nintendo Mini Game Series leaflet
(ca 1975, front)

It's a single page leaflet, printed on both sides in colour. It measures 18 by 25.5 centimeters, slightly smaller than A4.

Nintendo Mini Game Series leaflet
(ca 1975, back)

The leaflet dates from around 1975. The 'new release' (新発売) claimed in the top left corner of the front is a bit of a stretch, as most of the series was already a few years old at the time, although it may refer to some of the individual new(er) games.

The Mini Game Series mascot

The text at the top plugs the series as 'packed with fun' (楽しさをパックした), and goes on to say:

"The size is mini, but the fun is jumbo!!

Full of ideas that everyone from children to adults can play together.

We also regularly release new products."

And, most important for this target audience:

"This low-priced product has a fast turnover and stable sales throughout the year."

A "floor-type" display stand (フロアー型 ディスプレイ) is shown, that allows for around eighty games to be presented in a nice way in a shop.

All games presented in this leaflet have the newer type of packaging, with a uniform style.

When the Mini Game Series was introduced, each game had its own distinct backing print, a drawing representing the game. This was changed later to a standard format, identical for all games, except for some colour variants.

Below you can see examples of the two different package versions side by side, for the game Line Up 5 (五ならべ), the initial version and the one used later in the lifecycle of the Mini Game Series.

Initial package design (left) and later design (right)

A total of in total twenty-eight different games are shown on the leaflet.

These are the games on the front: starting with Pitfall Game (おとし穴ゲーム), Hurdle Race (ハードルレース), Car License (カーライセンス) and Mountain Climbing Game (山のぼりゲーム)...

... followed by Colorful Ball (カラフルボール), Bulldozer Game (ブルドーザーゲーム), Ball Cue Soccer (玉つきサッカー) and Kurukurubanban (クルクルバンバン).

And the twenty games included on the back: starting with Rabbit Coaster (ラビットコースター), Miracle Ball (ミラクルボール), Line Up 5 (五ならべ), Baseball Pachinko (ベースボールパチンコ), Ball Cue Game (玉つきゲーム), Roulette (ルーレット), Air Gun (エアーガン), Picture Puzzle (ピクチュアパズル), Catcher Boat (キャッチャーボート), White & Red (ホワイト&レッド), Time Shock (タイムショック), and Magnet Chess (マグネットチェス), ...

... followed by Bee Hive Game (ハチの巣ゲーム), Badminton Game (バトミントンゲーム), Volley Ball Game (バレーボールゲーム) and Horse Race Game (競馬ゲーム)...

... and the final four Mini Shogi (ミニ将棋), Hockey Game (ホッケーゲーム), Smart Ball (スマートボール) and Operation Bomber (ボンバー大作戦).

A more extensive introduction to the Mini Game Series can be found here, and an overview of all game here.

1 comment:

  1. The work you do to preserve Nintendo's history is amazing! Do you have any more information on Kunitorigassen it was partially covered in your book.
    Thank you!