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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.

Some elements of the box art are simliar to the MB original, while others are unique to this localized Nintendo version.

Although aimed at the Japanese market, half of the sides show text in English.

The drawn figures on the box are a predominately Western looking, with the exception of the girl holding this bomb.

The box's two opposing sides with the large bomb drawing contain the same text, one in English, the other in Japanese: "Time Bomb" (タイムボーン) and "Tic Tic" (チック チック).

An extremely wholesome looking family is shown on one of the sides.

Although you would expect this artwork to originate from the American original, this was created specifically for this Japanese version.

The box or Time Bomb itself does not show any reference to Milton Bradly or MB. The only name mentioned is that of Nintendo, together with its "NG" trade mark.

Other games that Nintendo licensed from MB do include a reference to that company, like the Twister Game and Marble. Could it be that Nintendo acquired the rights to sell Time Bomb in the Japanese market directly from its inventor Marvin Glass?

The "#600" listed on the box relates to the suggested retail price: 600 yen.

Although the box has seen better days, the Time Bomb itself is in very good condition.

It is about sixty years old, but still works perfectly. You wind the toy by twisting the red knob in the direction of the arrows. It then starts ticking, and after a while, stops with a loud "bang" sound.

The game play is simple. Within a group of people, the ticking bomb is passed around. The person holding the bomb when it "goes off" is out of the game. This continuous until a single person is left in the game, who then is declared the winner.

The Time Bomb has a "Nintendo Co. Ltd." stamped into the plastic mould.

For more information about the Time Bomb's origins, check out this earlier post.


  1. Could you post somewhere a video of using this toy?

    1. Try this vintage "commercial" showing it being played.

  2. I've heard of the Nintendo Time Bomb commercial is there any footage of it online?

    1. I am only aware of the still images that I shared in the first post about the Time Bomb. Have not seen the full video.