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Nintendo's Forgotten Product Lines

by Danny Bivens - November 26, 2013, 6:34 pm PST
Total comments: 9

Nintendo is all about the games. ALL of them. 

Nintendo has been in business for well over 100 years. Before the advent of video games, the Big N made most of their money by creating and selling a variety of toys and games throughout Japan.

With the recent news of Nintendo gearing up to release a new high quality Mahjong set in their home country, some gamers out there might have seen this as a sign that Nintendo is kind of going back to their roots. While the release of a new table top game is definitely not common place, Nintendo has continually sold more traditional products even after getting into the video game industry. Some products that the company sells are things known to fans, while others are products some of you out there may have never even heard of.

The purpose of this feature is not to teach you how to play all of these games, but rather give you insight what kind of products that Nintendo still sells to this day and, trust me, there are surprising number of these!

A big thanks to Yuzo Kurihara, Asako Izuka and Satoyuki Kawashima for help with some of the more difficult kanji readings and some of the in depth information about materials used to make the game boards!

Talkback

azekeNovember 26, 2013

I recommend "History of Nintendo" books by Pix'n'Love if you're interested in that kind of stuff. Lots of information about Nintendo's products before they entered videogames, highly fascinating stuff.

That sounds awesome! I'll have to be sure to check it out!

azekeNovember 27, 2013

Just make sure you handle books with care. Binding isn't all that good in first two volumes -- i have first book with few pages literally falling from it.

Also i heard complaints that english translation isn't all that good (english being my third language, i honestly can't tell), so if you're fluent in French -- you might want to check out books in original French.

I'm going through the first volume in French, it's good stuff!

Towards the end, it almost becomes a catalog of old Nintendo toys, but there are still fun facts to be learned. For instance, I didn't expect to see that the Game Boy's Game Link cable had a predecessor... in 1982. For Nintendo's Yakuman portable electronic Mah-jong game!

CericNovember 27, 2013

I was expecting something more to tell you the truth.  I mean I didn't know all the variations of play cards they have but I did know they made all those cards.  I also knew they made a lot of what would be thought of as traditional Japanese games.  I was sort of hoping to find out they made bikes or an action figure line not related to any of their game properties.  Lego like things.  You know something that just makes you go "Oh that is a toy."

Damn Nintendo for disappointing us!  :P

I seriously want to get one of Hyakunin Isshu sets. To play a competitive game all by myself. Woo?!

Quote from: Ceric

I was expecting something more to tell you the truth.  I mean I didn't know all the variations of play cards they have but I did know they made all those cards.  I also knew they made a lot of what would be thought of as traditional Japanese games.  I was sort of hoping to find out they made bikes or an action figure line not related to any of their game properties.  Lego like things.  You know something that just makes you go "Oh that is a toy."

You mean exactly like this?

They made plenty of toys, of board games, of little "travel size" toys, electronic toys. They had their own designs, and they licensed toys and games from other companies for sale in Japan as well.

CericNovember 27, 2013

Quote from: Pandareus

Quote from: Ceric

I was expecting something more to tell you the truth.  I mean I didn't know all the variations of play cards they have but I did know they made all those cards.  I also knew they made a lot of what would be thought of as traditional Japanese games.  I was sort of hoping to find out they made bikes or an action figure line not related to any of their game properties.  Lego like things.  You know something that just makes you go "Oh that is a toy."

You mean exactly like this?

They made plenty of toys, of board games, of little "travel size" toys, electronic toys. They had their own designs, and they licensed toys and games from other companies for sale in Japan as well.

Yes, I'm fairly sure We've posted those before but, yes.  Only still making.

sehrgutDecember 06, 2013

They actually still manufacture harifuda cards for tehonbiki as well. Only the Daitōryō are available, and they're sold without the nice plastic case the hanafuda and kabufuda come in: they're just the inner paperboard box.

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