Sunday, August 27, 2023

Nintendo Mini Game Series number 52

As mentioned on this blog before, the Nintendo Mini Game Series from the 1970s is one of my favorites from Nintendo's past. It consists of a wide range of colorful, fun toys and games. And the range is getting wider still! Not that new ones are released, but entries in the series are still discovered to this day. I mean, literally today.

For many years I thought there were fifty different ones in total. Of those fifty, I managed to track down copies of forty-eight games. The two remaining ones eluded me for the longest time: Diving Shot (ダイビングショット) and Space Ball (スペースボール).

In 2019, I managed to get the search list down to one, by finding a copy of Diving Shot. Well, actually, I found four copies at once. More about that here.

Copies of Nintendo Mini Game Diving Shot, found in 2019

Then three years ago, I discovered a game I had not heard of before: a unknown variant of Picture Puzzle (ピクチュアパズル). This brought the the total list of known games to fifty-one, of which I owned fifty.

Nintendo Mini Game Picture Puzzle, found in 2020

And today, that happened again! I stumbled upon yet another version of Picture Puzzle! One that includes, as one of the three puzzles in the pack, a scene from Disney's Sleeping Beauty.

Old, but new to me. Nintendo Mini Game Picture Puzzle.

The copy is unused and complete. It is not in perfect shape, but pretty good, considering it is fifty years old. And I could not be happier, to have found it.

Like with the other Picture Puzzle sets in the Mini Game Series, three puzzles are included in a single blister pack. The back shows black and white pictures of the included puzzles, however, they are all full color.

Besides Sleeping Beauty, we see that there is also a puzzle with a scene from the Disney movie Pinocchio and a picture of a fire engine. Titles for each of the three puzzles are also listed in the top left corner on the front.

For now I will leave this one closed, but to give you an idea of what is inside, below you can see an example of a different entry in the series, that I did open.

Each of the puzzles consists of around 18 pieces of printed cardboard, cut out in irregular shapes, held together in a frame.

With this discovery, the total of known different Picture Puzzle sets now increased to four.

All four known different Picture Puzzle sets

Note that the three puzzles included in each set are stacked in the blister in random order during production. So each of the puzzles can appear on top, as the one that is visible. This means that you can find variants that appear to be different, but actually contain the same three puzzles. Like the two shown below.

These count as one in the list of different Mini Games. You can always tell if they are the same, by looking at the pictures shown on the back.

These two sets contain the same three puzzles;
they are not considered different, but variants of the same set

Each of these four Picture Puzzle sets includes three different puzzles, so there are twelve puzzles combined.

The first set contains a vehicle and two Disney licensed pictures: 

  • Fire engine (消防自動車)
  • Pinocchio (ピノキオ)
  • Sleeping Beauty (眠れる森の美女)

The second set also has a vehicle and two Disney scenes:

  • 101 Dalmatians (101匹わんちゃん)
  • Shinkansen or Bullet train (新幹線), and
  • Bambi (バンビ)

The third set shows two scenes from well-know fairy tales and children enjoying a party:

  • Little Red Riding Hood (赤頭巾ちゃん)
  • Jack and the beanstalk (ジャックとまめの木) and
  • Birthday party (おたんじょうかい)

And the fourth set has another fairy tale, children playing and another vehicle:

  • Seven little goats (七匹の子やぎ)
  • Kagome kagome (かごめかごめ) which is Japanese children's game, and
  • Express train (特急電車)

The latter two have been released after the first two, so at some point Nintendo choose to stop including licensed images.

Well, that's it for today. With this discovery, Nintendo's known history expanded a tiny bit. What new findings will tomorrow bring?

The updated list of the entire Nintendo Mini Game series, now fifty-two games long, can be found here.

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