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Stone Age Gaming: Classic NES Mystery Box?!?

Stone Age Gaming: Classic NES Mystery Box?!?

Kris Randazzo
13 minute read


In the before times, big companies like Nintendo used to send out Retailer Kids to stores filled with glorious swag to be handed out to customers and employees alike. Today's subject hails from Kris's days as a Game Crazy Store Manager in Brooklyn NY when Nintendo sent him this delightful mystery box filled with NES flavored goodies. Let's see what's inside!

Transcript of the video:

Welcome back to Stone Age Gaming. Long ago in a distant land, I worked in a video game store in Brooklyn, New York, called Game Crazy. Nintendo was celebrating the anniversary of the NES and they were doing so by releasing a bunch of cool NES related stuff for Game Boy Advance. It was kind of awesome. One day I was at my store, I was working and this magic box showed up in the mail. What's inside? Let's take a look. 

OK, here's the big beefy box. But before we get to the mysteries that lie within, I thought it would be kind of cool to take a closer look at some of the other things that surrounded this release. So let's start with this right here. This is the NES Anniversary Edition, Game Boy Advance SP and I fell in love with this thing the moment I saw it. I had to buy it, even though I, you know, I didn't need to spend extra money on yet another Game Boy Advance SP but how can I say no to this thing? It was it's gorgeous. I have no idea where my box is, though. I lost the box to this somewhere. I'm convinced I still have it. But anyway, as you can see, it's two-tone just like the NES. You got the little stripes on the side here for the venting, then you got the darker gray on the bottom and then when you open it up it looks like a controller. 

And this is actually, if you've never seen one of these in person, this is actually just like, it's an extra layer of plastic, just like the NES controller itself. It's got the same texture and everything. It's really quite cool. So that's amazing. I love this. I love this thing. It's one of my one of my favorites. 

Then you had the games themselves. So this is my copy of the Super Mario Bros. Classic NES series. They released a whole mess of these things and I foolishly did not buy all of them. I only picked up a handful. I have Mario Bros., Metroid Zelda, Zelda II. So I skipped all the stuff like Pac-Man and Castlevania and whatnot. And in fact, I didn't even buy the Metroid one at first because it seemed like such a silly idea because I already had Metroid Fusion and that has the full NES Metroid game in it. So I didn't need to bother buying it because I didn't really think so much about buying for future collectibility. You know, I always just bought stuff because I wanted to use it or just because I wanted to have it. So regardless, let's take a look at what these things are, because they're actually a little bit cooler than they seem. 

This may look like kind of a waste of space right now but the world was really different when these things came out. The Virtual Console didn't exist. Digital downloads for classic Nintendo games didn't exist. So a full copy of Super Mario Bros. on Game Boy Advance that you could take with you anywhere was was still kind of a big deal. Even stuff like Super Mario Bros. Deluxe for Game Boy Color was a facsimile of Super Mario Bros. and in fact had a whole lot more content in it. But it still wasn't a pixel perfect port. Not that this was necessarily a pixel perfect port because the screen shape was different in the Game Boy Advance than the NES they had to squish everything and the sound of the whole thing feels like it runs a tiny bit slow. But even though even still this was a fancy, big deal back then. So we've got a couple of cool things inside of it. 

Let's see, you had, this a facsimile of the instruction manual, which is pretty cool. The all the artwork on the end. You've got the original Famicom artwork on the inside, the simplification of the story, like in the original NES book. But we also have like all these images. This is exactly how they showed these off in the original NES booklet, which is pretty darn cool. I like that a lot. That's a lot of attention to detail in this stuff, including the cartridges themselves. This is really neat. So if you've just seen these laying around, chances are you may not have noticed this little detail, but they actually changed the color of these cartridges to match the NES cartridges. So here's a Game Boy Advance cartridge right next to it, you can see is a different shade of gray. It's a slightly different shade, but it's a different one nonetheless. Here's a copy of Super Mario Bros. to show you they matched the same gray, which is that's a pretty cool detail. I appreciated that quite a lot. And I know in Japan they had a Famicom anniversary set, too, that did a similar thing. The colors of the cartridges were all matching their Famicom colors and stuff like that was pretty neat. 

So let's take a look at the big guy here. Let's let's look inside the box now. Let's look outside the box first, honestly. we've got some cool stuff going on here because this box is even cooler than it just looks. Right? This looks like it. And yes, I mean, it's bigger than an NES. Yes, but look at the detail on the front of it. It's the whole thing that's got, you know, side here, got your your ports in the back, your AC, channel switch, and RF. You've got your AV ports on the side here, but then on the bottom is a little bit different. Bottom's just a big old ad, because well, this is a retailer kit, they used to send us stuff like this where they'd just give you a handful of physical goods to give out to customers or wear around your store and stuff like that. And this was easily my favorite one that I ever got. So I kept it. 

Now, we did use it. So I don't have all the original parts to this. I'm missing a bunch of the original pieces because, you know, my employees wanted to wear shirts and stuff like that. And I'm not going to hoard all this stuff just because I love it. But I kept as much of it as they didn't want. And then I even used some of it around the store and whatnot. But there is another little bonus inside of here. I keep it inside of here because it fits pretty well. And this thing is totally awesome. So let's let's let's crack this bad boy open and right on the top we have this. This was the countertop standee, which is super cool on it's own. I love countertop standees. It did get a little bit bent, as you can see. But, you know, it's fine. I'm not going to put this up on a counter. I just kind of like to to have it around because it's a really neat, neat look. 

You know, these sold for twenty bucks, which was, you know, you think about now spending 20 bucks on just a copy of Super Mario Bros. to play on the go. That's complete insanity. But oh, back then it seemed like a pretty fancy deal. So if you look at the back here, you can see that I wrote my name on it so nobody else would take it home. And it's got this big, big battery pack on here. And that is because this thing makes noise. I'm going to... This is Donkey Kong. Here's Super Mario, there's the legend of Zelda, and it just goes through all three of those in a row on a loop every time you press it. How cool is that? 

I love this. I love this thing and I'm glad I was able to keep it. We did, you know, put it up on our counter, obviously, and let people use it and touch it and squeeze it. But I kept it in good shape and managed to hang on to it for myself. So now we have the contents of the box. They gave us a bunch of shirts. There was a Super Mario Bros. one as well. I think I'm missing two of them. It was Mario and I don't know what the other one was, but I think I'm missing two of the shirts, if I'm not mistaken. But we have they're pretty straightforward. They're just simple single colored shirts. But, you know, here's the Ice Climber one. Here's Excitibike, which was in red. This one, you can see that I wore these. They don't look new because I wore the heck out of them. And eventually I just said, you know what, I need to put these away. So here's the Legend of Zelda one, and then here's the Donkey Kong one. And yeah, I know I'm missing Super Mario Bros. I can't think of what the other one would be. Maybe that was it. Maybe I'm just missing Super Mario Brothers. Maybe I'm crazy. But either way. 

So then we have a couple other cool little things in here. I've got a lanyard here. This says Nintendo on it. This might not be the one that came with this set, though. I think it is. Either way, they give us these little cards. I used to have a bunch of them, but, you know, we gave these out to the employees. We would wear them on our nametags that just like, hey, ask me about Classic NES Series now on Game Boy Advance. Pretty neat. And, you know, set these up on your name tags and wear them around your neck. And that's a little fancy and cool. And then you have some guy here. Oh, I do have a couple of these. Oh, I thought I used all of these, but I didn't. Oh, that's wonderful. So this is super cool. I had, this came with a couple of sets of these, and I put a bunch on one of my, on my drum set when I was younger just because they were super cool. These are scratch and sniff stickers, scratch and sniff. Don't just remember the classics, play them again on Game Boy Advance, Smell the jungle fruit and Donkey Kong, the cool winter air in Ice Climber, the cedar trees and Zelda, the burning rubber in Excitebike and the spaghetti in Super Mario Bros. Your favorites are back only on Game Boy Advance. If I remember correctly, this Super Mario Spaghetti one was disgusting. What a weird concept to include scratch and sniff stickers, but I'm so glad I held on to something. I seriously thought I didn't have these anymore.

And then this is the info sheet I like. Here's another one of those. Those guys doesn't have the hole punched in it. So this is the the info sheet we used to have. All the retailers, not not retailers. We are the retailers. Everyone gave us a binder. So like you would have a retail rep coming to your store from Sony or from Microsoft, from Nintendo. And when they came in, you would take out your Nintendo binder and they would sign in and they would check all of your products and stuff. And they also had these info sheets that would go inside of those binders. So I kept this one because, I wanted to I wanted to keep the whole darn binder. But that that didn't happen. And they were just kind of, you know, fact sheets for the games that were coming out at the time for employees to reference if they didn't really know all of the ins and outs of these different games. So they would give you ways to educate yourself on the products that they wanted you to sell the most, which was, it was pretty cool. I always just loved looking at it to see what the what were the factoids that they wanted us to know most. And even more than that, just what were the facts that they thought were the most important, like the stuff that they thought was the the better selling points. 

But, yeah, that's that's pretty much it. That's the classic NES Game Boy Advance series retail kit, which I love with all of my heart. 

You know, it's easy to look back on the old days like that, although they really weren't all that old. I mean, I got Atari games behind me here and these are we're talking Game Boy Advance. But regardless, it's easy to look back on that and think, man, those were the good old days when Nintendo would send out this cool physical stuff. And, yeah, there were a lot of advantages. But I mean, if you think about what it's like being a retro gamer now and the kind of stuff we have access to, I think it's pretty safe to say that things have gotten considerably better in the world of that kind of stuff. Either way, this has always been one of my favorite pieces in my collection. I love this thing to death and I really wish I still had those missing components. But what are you going to do? They got used and they were well loved. Thanks for watching, everybody. 

If you enjoyed what you saw here today, please comment like subscribe. Let me know if you ever shopped at Game Crazy in Brooklyn, New York. I'd like to say hi. Or what's your favorite Game Boy Advance rerelease of an NES game? What are you playing these days? Anything, we want to hear from you. Thanks again for watching. On behalf of all of us here at Stone Age Gamer, keep playing games. 

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