Saturday, April 1, 2023

Nintendo playing cards price increase in 1976

The 1973 / 1974 global oil crisis hit the Japanese economy relatively hard, because of the country's large dependency on foreign energy, mainly in the form of oil. The resulting increasing energy cost caused a strong inflation that echoed on for years.

Like so many other Japanese manufacturers, Nintendo was forced to increase the prices for its products, as we can see in the message below called "guide to partial price revision of playing cards", date December 20th 1975.

The one-sided printed memo measures 18 by 25 centimeters.

Message from Nintendo to Distributors
(December 20 1975)

The message reads:

"Dear Distributor,

We would like to express our sincere gratitude for your continued patronage.

Now, due to the increase in raw materials and processing costs for playing cards, we have decided to revise the following prices for playing cards from January 21, 1976.

In any case, I would like to ask for your understanding and understanding of the circumstances."

This is followed by a table in which the changes are outlined.

Three types of cards are included in the price increase:

  • Disney playing cards (ディズニートランプ)
  • Ado playing cards (亜土 トランプ)
  • Girl playing cards (少女 トランプ)

The 'Ado' cards are designed by famous illustrator Ado Mizumori (水森亜土).

Examples of the three types of effected cards are shown below, taken from a Nintendo product catalogue from July 1975, published a few month before the price change announcement.

For all three types the price is increased from 500 円 to 600 円, a steep 20% increase.

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