It’s with a heavy heart to report that our friend Etika, prominent YouTuber/twitcher and Team1upem supporter has passed away. Etika had been dealing with some serious mental issues and sadly he succumbed to his illness and took his own life. Instead of dwelling on the sadness of this situation, perhaps we can turn it into a learning expierience and take a moment to appreciate our loved ones and friends and reach out to someone who may need help and is dealing with pain. Thanks for the memories, R.I.P. Etika.
The 80’s were a iridescent time full of neon lights, synth pop and headband wearing guys and girls in tight jeans and multicolored sneakers. So it’s hardly surprising that the absolute craziest retro Nintendo products in history came from around that time as well.
I, as the founder of NintendoRetroLove, am dedicating my past time to find all kinds of retro Nintendo collectibles and vintage Nintendo items from the 80’s and 90’s to curate for you. So of course i’m stumbling over a lot of really quirky and weird Nintendo stuff from around the 80’s.
In this blogpost i want to share with you, fellow Team1UpEm reader, my top 3 of the most crazy/funny/weird stuff Nintendo has come up with to make you throw your money at them. Sometimes more successful, sometimes (much MUCH) less.
You surely know about the usual Nintendo collectibles: from watches, figures and posters to pins, cereals and patches. But some items barely made it into people’s homes because they were just too… special?
Keep reading to learn all about the 3 most exceptional Nintendo products that have ever been released to the public.
THE SUPER MARIO SHOWER POWER
We all know the Nintendo Bubble Bath and Shampoos. But Nintendo had even more plans to completely take over your bathroom supply by introducing the official Super Mario Shower Power.
Yes, an official Nintendo handheld shower that wouldn’t only look like Mario and Luigi on top of each other holding a shower head, but also protect your kids from showering with too hot water through scald protection… just in case navigating between blue and red weren’t your little ones’ strong point.
It read “A new generation of safe shower play” on the box, which really goes to show that Nintendo was all about family, safety and play. And also a tiny bit about creepy gaming merch.
THE BRODERBUND U-FORCE
Ranked by IGN as the eighth worst video game controller in history, the U-Force was the world’s first hands-free controller ever. It was released in 1989, designed for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Essentially it was a screen packed with motion sensors that needed to be placed upright or flat between the player and the television screen. Once plugged into the console, players could manipulate on-screen action by placing their hands and bodies within the U-Force’s 3-dimensional range.
The idea was that you could, for example, play Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, and throw a left jab simply by punching the air in front of your on-screen opponent. The only problem was, it was a freaking nightmare to play, because, apparently, it just didn’t work.
Alongside with advertising claims like “most amazing accessory in video game history” and “it will change the way you play video games forever”, the U-Force was ironically promoted with the line “Don’t touch” or “So hot, no one can touch it”. Uhm.. yep. And no one did.
THE NES HANDS FREE
The first-party peripheral was actually a pretty epic one, and a legitimate life safer for disabled people that would like to play NES.
The 2.5-pound device was strapped over your chest, and provided a chin-fitted joystick as a directional pad. Using a tube, gamers could puff and sip instead of pushing buttons. With more pressure you would hit Select and Start.
Nintendo sold a whopping 100 units of the Hands Free which wasn’t even considered as a flop by Nintendo. That’s why it was only available through Nintendo’s customer service line. All Nintendo wanted was to bring home console gaming to people with physical disabilities.
An announcement in the Nintendo Power read:
“Nintendo Of America Inc is happy to announce the newest adition to it’s versatile line of video game accessories: the Hands Free Controller (HFC). As its name implies, the new device will allow its users traditional control of a video game without the use of hands. It has been designed to serve our physically limited, special needs players who are unable to manipulate the conrtollers curently offered. (…)
As a result, HFC players strengthen their neck muscles while playing their favourite video games. (…)
We will sell the HCF directly to consumers through our Consumer Service number (1-800-422-2892) as a non-profit item.”
The only two downsides of the Hands Free were: a) that you would look like a super villain from a Doctor Who episode, and b) the high price of $120. And you thought modern controllers are expensive, huh?
That’s it for today! I really hope you enjoyed reading my list of the craziest retro Nintendo products that have ever been released to the public. If yes, share this article with your friends and have a peek over NintendoRetroLove.com to find more rare retro Nintendo collectibles and Nintendo merchandise!
What’s good everyone, my homies Edd and Ray are in the 2nd season of their podcast called Goblin On The Couch. I will be a regular contributor this season, just telling wild stories, in the vein of Phonetap. 1st episode just went live on YouTube. You can peep it above my segment is around 27 minutes. Peace to Edd, Ray, Benny, and @fridaypizzaparty for the amazing artwork.
Kanye Courage In Yeezy Zones (149 downloads)
Instagrasm user @turbocr1ck3t put me on to this incredible rom hack of Keith Courage in Alpha Zones done as Kanye Courage In Yeezy Zones. This slightly alters the graphics and some of the text and sprites, overall pretty hilarious and awesome. You will need a PC Engine/Turbografx everdrive or emulator to run this rom and is easily playable on Retropie.
The incredible Frank Cifaldi has given the gaming community a special gift for Christmas, Sim City for NES. This prototype was thought to be lost forever until Frank and his team of preservationists got their hands on a pair of copies. Theyve released the rom and you can download it below along with a bunch of bonus’s this is just the type of stuff we like to see at team1upem.com.
The Gaming Historian is back with The Story of Punch-Out, when I met him a few months back he was talking about working on this video and he really nailed it and dives deep and leaves no stone unturned.
Flight of Pigarus is a new Master System Homebrew game and it looks fantastic very reminiscent of Parodious. Kagesan from SMS Forums did some amazing work on this one. If you want to download hit the link below.
Vega weighs in on the psone classic games list.
Jeremy gives is the run down.
Watermelon Games are throwing a party this weekend for the release of their long awaited games Paprium. While people are excited for the release there’s still a lot of drama and shadiness on the heels of this celebration. Vega weighs in.