Tuesday, February 20, 2024

I caught a Nintendo Time Bomb from the 1960s

In a previous blog post I discussed a very rare Nintendo item from the 1960s called the Time Bomb (タイムボーン). For decades, this Nintendo-branded licensed toy had remained out of sight, even to the most dedicated Nintendo collectors and historians. That is, until one appeared for auction on Yahoo Auctions Japan in 2021. An unknown lucky winner took it home for ¥256,555.

As you can imagine, ever since that moment, I have been on the lookout for another Time Bomb. And last November, two and a half years after that first discovery, I managed to acquire one offered by an American seller through eBay. Fortunately, this one was a bit cheaper.

So, without further ado, here's the second known Nintendo Time Bomb, now part of the beforemario collection.

The box is a bit rough and squashed, with some rips. But all flaps are present and the colors of the artwork are still vibrant.

Friday, February 16, 2024

Nintendo 1950s Takarazuka cards with box

A couple of years ago, I reported about a set of vintage Nintendo playing cards from the 1950s, that had attracted my special interest. They were for the Takarazuka Revue, a Japanese theater company, and represented some of the earliest (possibly the earliest) Nintendo trump (トランプ) decks with a marketing purpose.

It is a beautiful set of cards, with full color pictures. That previous post can be found here.

Unfortunately, the deck that I had found at the time was missing the box. But that has since been corrected. Recently a version with box came into my possession, and you can see it here.

The box turned out to be just as nice as the cards themselves. It features branding for both Nintendo and the Takarazuka company.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

First Nintendo product sold in Europe (probably)

In today's post, we'll delve into the first advertisement for a Nintendo product in Europe. At least, the earliest one discovered thus far.

Displayed here is an almanac from Italy for the year 1973.

This almanac, known as Barba-Nera, is a local institution and a synonymous term for almanac in Italy. Remarkably, Barba-Nera still continues its annual publication today, over 250 years since its inception in 1762.

At its essence, the almanac provides information on sunrise and sunset times throughout the year, religious calendars, weather forecasts, and horoscopes.

This is complemented by agricultural insights and diverse topics such as cooking.

A large part of the book is dedicated to advertisements aimed at the Italian agricultural community. So you will find adds for Lamborghini tractors, rather than racing cars.

The 1973 edition spans around 350 pages and includes a sweepstake for 1500 prizes. While the majority of these prizes consist of key chains, there are more substantial items up for grabs.