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Stone Age Gaming: "Complete" Nintendo Power Collection

Kris Randazzo
30 minute read

Nintendo Power magazine was the epitome of cool back when it launched, and carried on quite a legacy until its untimely closure. After a number of years searching, Kris has not only completed his collection, but he found a nice place to put it! If you ever wondered what a "complete" collection looks like, have a look!

Transcript of the video:

Hi, everyone. Kris, from Stone Age Gamer here and welcome back to Stone Age Gaming. Every generation has that something special that captures the imagination of kids everywhere. Be it Star Wars or Disney stuff or Ninja Turtles or whatever. For me, it was Nintendo. The world of Nintendo was just the most fascinating thing between the game boxes and the posters, the cartoons, and, of course, the Nintendo Power magazine. This magazine right here. I never had a subscription to when I was a kid, but I was super jealous of all of my friends that did, and I would pore over the pages constantly as I could eventually. Probably about 10 years ago, I tracked down a complete collection of Nintendo power magazines. And since I just recently found a nice new place to put them in my house, I thought it would be a great opportunity to go through my collection and the of power magazines show off what a complete collection looks like and really just have some fun reminiscing about the glory that was Nintendo Power. Let's take a look. 

[00:01:06] OK, so this here is what a complete run of Nintendo Power magazine looks like with a couple of other things thrown into the mix will go over that a second. You can see it's in my basement, so my kid's toys are all over it. But before we go into the actual into the powers, I want to point out these guys right here because this is what I was using before to store all my Nintendo power magazines. Long, long, long ago, I worked in a comic book store, and I learned a lot about how to properly take care of periodicals like magazines and comic books, and these guys write for our magazine boxes. So they're built kind of the same way as comic books. Even if you're unfamiliar, they're just cardboard boxes built specifically to hold things for specific shape. They're very sturdy. They do the job, but they don't look very nice. They've started coming out with fancier versions of this for comic books and stuff that have pictures on them. But at the end of the day, they're just cardboard boxes and they just don't look extraordinarily cool and they're a little bit more fussy to get in and out of. This is the the shelving system that I have. We've actually had this for quite a while now. 

[00:02:11] This is from Target as a pretty basic cube shelf thing, and the magazines just fit perfectly on there, which is ridiculous. Now I am well aware that this is exceeding this shelving system's weight limits. Each one of these cubes is designed to hold about 15 pounds with the way I have these magazines bagged and boarded. These each weigh about twenty five to twenty eight pounds, so it's this isn't great, but it looks so good. I'm just going to have to find a way to reinforce this because this shelving system is just a little bit too perfect for the way these magazines are set up to not use it. So another piece worth mentioning here is how I stop the magazines from going back, and you can kind of see it easily on this one out of the way. Real quick. And I put this word here, and I basically just measured two inches from the back of the couple of nails in here. And then I cut this wood to fit the, you know, to fit inside of the cubes there. And that stops. It stops the magazines from pushing themselves back and they stay off screen. It's take a little bit of a closer look at some of the stuff here we have on the first shelf. These are all just go in and order going across. There's your first set of issues. 

[00:03:31] Then we move over to here, which is where we start to get the cool stuff with the pictures. So we had a Mario 64 render an offering of time and this was Donkey Kong 64, which I had to split up because of room that finishes over here. And then they did Lugia, and they just kind of said, Nah, never mind Spider-Man. So they never finished Lugia there. But then they moved to blank for a little bit and did Star Fox and Mario Sunshine, Metroid Prime, Wind Waker. And then this is kind of hard to read. It's as if there Who Are You campaign. And then they moved on over to black labels and white labels, and down here is where all the special issues and stuff and this is Nintendo Force magazine, which I'll go over in a bit and a couple of my strategy guides and loose issues of Atari age because I also love Atari age. I don't have all of them, but boy, that's a cool magazine too. But anyway, that is what this looks like. That's the physical space. So let's take a deeper dove into what makes some of these issues cool and just kind of my general love and history of Nintendo power. 

[00:04:37] All right, folks, it is Nintendo Power Time, but before we go any further, I want to address the quotation marks in the title of this video. I've done Complete Zelda Collection, Complete Metroid Collection, The Peasants, because I consider them complete, but it's arguable that they aren't. In the case of Nintendo Power, I do have every issue, but some of my issues are missing the poster or some of the trading cards. And there were a couple of issues that had variant covers, especially towards the end of the run. There was technically a whole mass of variant covers, which I just didn't bother with, but we'll get to that in a little bit. So here is tender power number one where it all started or is it now in fact, on Nintendo Power started before number one. If you want to get technical with it. So we're going to look at the actual start of Nintendo Power, which is quite fascinating. And that is this. 

[00:05:27] This is the Nintendo Fun Club newsletter, and this is where Nintendo Nintendo Power got its start. You know, I have all of my stuff bagged and boarded. I used thick magazine bags and regular magazine boards because thick magazine bags are will handle the square ball stuff like Nintendo powers a lot better than the regular magazine bags, which aren't quite big enough. So there now you have that information. So here is the very first issue of the Nintendo Fan Club news, and as you can see, it's a pretty far cry two dollars and fifty cents from where Nintendo Power eventually turned into. Not in full color. You've got some, some red and some blue ish going on there. And this is this quite fragile and pretty old, and there are really many pages. This is kind of it. That's all there is. Who is this? Who's got another page here? And then the back of it. And this is no, this is not mine. From when I was a kid, I didn't even know about this until later. But this is why Doc Lewis says, join the Nintendo Fan Club today, because that was the thing who back before the Atlanta no power days. 

[00:06:39] But I didn't have this stuff when I was a kid. I wound up tracking all this stuff down took me about a year to piece it all together on eBay. And finding these ones was one of my most fortunate finds was tracking down these old phone called newsletters, so there's the first one. Not a lot to it. It evolved pretty quickly, though the second issue was again, just another another newsletter. But by issue three, it had become more of a magazine than stone to no fan club news. But it got a cover. It got multiple pages will go ahead and take a quick look inside of this one. Since the first one was real. Information and, you know, substance, I guess, I mean, the information on the other ones was super cool, but yeah, here we go. That's not information. Some of it's in full color, some of the heads are. But then you also get a lot of pages that look, just look at this artwork. It's just so awesome. I absolutely love these old things. Some of are in full color. Some of them aren't. You got this great Zelda map? That's a this one was taped together. This is an extra page, actually, if there's a duplicate page. Yeah, because I wound up getting a lot of this stuff in lots, so I had wound up with some duplicate parts and things here and there, and I just kind of pieced them all together. But that is how Nintendo Fan Club news. 

[00:08:04] Eventually. After seven issues, here we go. This was the last issue of Nintendo Five O'Clock News, and this is where they made the announcement that Nintendo Fan Club News was turning into Nintendo Power magazine and the back of this one right there. There you go. There's your prototype Nintendo power. I'll go ahead and. Blur that out, because that was who I ordered this from on eBay, but there's the this this different alternate cover. It's it's kind of fun to look at because you can tell and the actual cover will look like they had the basics going on there. There's the hills. I'm not sure if that's supposed to be someone's foot back there, but if it's like it definitely has a clear connection there between the end of this at the beginning of that, and here's another full blown ad for a Nintendo power up. There you go.

[00:08:59] That's that's that prototype cover once again for what the fun club news is about to turn into. And by this point, this was a full color magazine with glossy pages and all this kind of stuff that you wound up seeing in Nintendo Power Paramo. So let's go ahead and shift gears to the first issue of Dan Tendo Power, and here is my copy of the first issue. I was so jealous of everybody that had this this magazine back in the day I because my parents wouldn't get me a subscription and intento power. I guess they looked at me and said, You really don't need to be more obsessed with this stuff. But. And I guess to a degree, they were right. I always wished I had my own and eventually I did, but not to way, way later in life. But if you've never seen the original Nintendo Power before, is your big welcome page with some, some killer art there. You got to love that. There's your your counselor's corner, Howard and Nester Pack. Watch all these things really stuck through with Nintendo Power over the years and look at this Crazy Mario artwork. Absolutely bananas. And you've got this whole blowout in Mario two and some Legend of Zelda stuff with some great Zelda art, and he's your classified information, which is always love the sex and the way it looks like. 

[00:10:19] These document, these these little Manila envelope files and stuff is a really, really good luck that they went away from and then came back to video shorts. It's just a really fascinating magazine. Here's your Mario and blue and red with a blue hat for your players poll. Howard doing is doing his thing. You can see that this is a little water damaged most of my issues. About half of my issues got hit with a flood a while back. And oh boy, that really hurt. That was a bad time. So, yeah, that's the first issue of Nintendo Power, and this format stuck around for quite a while. This, you know, they made a few alterations, but this basic format stuck around for a while. 

[00:11:07] Around Issue 13 was when they did this for the first time. They only did this. I think three, maybe four times I can only think of three this ninja guide and Final Fantasy, where they just dedicated an issue entirely to being a strategy guy. So if you look at the spine here, it says SG one. So this was their first strategy guide, but it also counts as the 13th issue of Nintendo Power. So they just skipped all the regular Nintendo power stuff and just published a strategy guide as an issue of the magazine, which is pretty wacky. And that's that's all it is like top to bottom and isn't printed on the same paper either. It's printed on. It's not newsprint, but it's not as glossy as the stuff in the regular issues. But here you go. That's like you can see the whole thing. Top to bottom is just a Mario three strategy guy, which is pretty different from the stuff that you saw in a regular Nintendo power. So things kept normal until about this issue. Right here was the first, I think, major change in the way the the the magazine worked and this is issue volume 68. This one super cool because this 95 glows in the dark, or at least it did when I first got it. And this is where they change the logo for the first time. If you look back at this one here, this was, you know, just the regular hand-drawn logo, and this is where they did the whole computer generated thing. This was in the wake of Donkey Kong Country and rare and killer instinct and all that stuff where that CG technology was the future. 

[00:12:34] But it wasn't just the logo that changed. It was kind of the general attitude of the magazine on the inside as well. I didn't get that out of there. And of course, this did have a regular cover was Batman and Robin, which is pretty snazzy. But they did a whole thing about the fact that the the logo had changed. I think it was right towards the beginning, but you can see the contents here. Don't have that, that classic Nintendo power look anymore. This is where things start to get funky. They were heading in this very extreme territory and things got weirder and weirder looking from here, like, you know, classified information still looks the same. But you'll notice as the issues went on from here, they started to lose this very clean look and get a little bit more 90s extreme, which is super hilarious to me. Just just wonderful stuff. So let's go ahead and get this all go in the dark to the all. His designs glowed in the dark, I'm pretty sure mine is completely out of glow in the darkness at this point, but oh man, what a great issue this was. So this one here is Issue 79, and this is kind of this is a couple of different changes here. Thing number one, this is where they changed the size of the magazine. The magazines themselves got a vertically shorter. I'll just go ahead and hold it next to this other issue here, so you can see. But this was still square bound following this issue. They changed it to being just stapled on the side for a year, year and a half, something like that. So this magazine is visibly shorter. So that's not no worth noting, I guess. And this was also a great example of the inside of the magazine being just in this a little bit more extreme. Look, it's got this called Donkey Kong Country trading cards and stuff, but you can see it's just reeking of those really loud 90's play it loud, the kind of things like these, you know, colorful bits up in the corner. And that was so that was that was a change. 

[00:14:36] And that kind of stuff continued on for a while until we got here. This is where we got another new logo. They ditched the CG one for just the white, white basic one here. This is volume 143. And if memory serves right, I picked all these out earlier this morning and I didn't take any notes under why I was playing these issues. So this has told me this has the balls in it. Nintendo Power did this thing for a while were the inside was just look like a garish. This stuff is it's it's fantastic. I got Pokemon comic in here. They had this whole thing going on for a while were the all the different platforms had a ball logo, which was pretty wild. Kind of like these circles, but now a little bit more. I don't know. 90S garish, but you can see all these here. They're very based on colors and CG look and stuff and very, very of its time, and it's also very much full of ads. For a while, Nintendo Power didn't have too many ads, and then that kind of changed. There are some. There are some ads thrown in there, and that was a thing that happened. So now we're at this basic white and that stuck around for a while until Nintendo decided to change things up again and try to make things a little bit more. I don't know. Overall classy in volume 193. You know, this is another major change to the way the magazine looked, the way the magazine ran. It was instead of a gradual change, like in the bunch of the issues prior where things started to look more extreme and then they try to gear it back a little bit bit by bit. This was a major top to bottom overhaul of the magazine. You can see everything was kind of based on a much more modern, more clean look. 

[00:16:22] They actually gave this one out at the E3, where they showed off Twilight Princess and fall for the first time. And this is actually fun. This is here. This page here basically replaces this whole darn video ha ha ha. It's got the breaking down all these important things that changed throughout the course of the years, and Nintendo powers a really good issue right here with all this Twilight Princess information and the app, there's Pokemon. And what is this? Oh, Schwinn Stingray. It's an advertisement for bikes on the back. How interesting. If I really like this? Look, I like this new rendition of the logo. I thought it was a really good way of modernizing it. So next major milestone I wanted to hit was this issue right here. This is Vol. 222. And this was the first volume where future U.S. took over publication of Nintendo Power. Nintendo was publishing the magazine themselves for the first two hundred and 21 issues, and then they sold. I think they sold the publication rights or whatever. I don't know. The exact deal was about future. U.S. took over on volume two hundred and twenty two, and there's a whole letter from the editor about it like, Hey, welcome future U.S. the don't worry, everything's going to be fine, nothing's really going to change. And in fact, future us were were excellent stewards of this magazine for quite a while. We went back to the classic vertical posters, which disappeared for quite a while, and they introduced a lot of the things that would stick with the magazine going forward. They did it. 

[00:17:53] They started focusing more on being less of a propaganda magazine and doing stuff like, you know, these interviews and like character profiles and stuff like that. And it just became a really interesting magazine to read for a different reason than, you know, in the old days, the Nintendo Power magazines were very much propaganda magazines. They were like an antenna was awesome, and everything in Nintendo is awesome. And by this point, they started taking things a little bit more seriously. And I mean, obviously, asteroids on steroids for Geometry Wars get look at this. And this is just insane. But they did they did a really good job handling the magazine all the way through to its untimely conclusion, including this right here, which is why I was talking about with variant covers. This was issue 234 and this was the first subscriber additions cover. This is a really cool thing that they did, and I didn't bother collecting the alternate covers for this because they weren't all that different. But what they did was for subscribers to the magazine, they made a unique version of the cover that focused solely on the artwork instead of all the other, you know, splash images that are on there. They they do a good job of breaking this down pretty early in the magazine here. So you can see right here in the the editor was talking about, this was the newsstand edition and this was the subscriber edition. So every issue going from here until the end of the magazine had a unique look. 

[00:19:26] But it was the same artwork. Size wasn't going to go out of my way to buy duplicate issues for everything, just to have a different version of the cover. But I thought that was a really cool thing that they did. And like I said, future U.S. did a really good job with this, and by this point, I was also subscribed. Here's here's my old address if you want to track me down. And there you go to blog. What a great game that was. I know a lot of fun with that anyways. That pretty much stuck forward with the way Nintendo Power ran until this guy right here. The final issue of Nintendo Power, which once again had a clay cover based on Mario, and I'll go ahead and grab my issue one again out of this stack next to me for first direct side by side comparison. There you go. Bowser replacing Wate as always, poor wart getting none of the love and respect he deserves. But boy, it's really come a long way. And this was a this was a great issue. This this was a lot of fun to. Here's this little note that came with the subscriptions for the final issue. Get off me tape. It was basically like a little note saying, you know, thank you and farewell. Very nice thing. Surprise. A huge bummer. But yeah, there it is. Last issue has this a really nice nester comic at the end of it, where nesters all grown up? This was this. This was a great issue going through all these awesome things and power had done over the years. And really, just look how clean this got and how this is a really good reading magazine. At this point, they did so many nice things. It was really clean. Layout is easy to read. They had a lot of interesting features going on, just talking about the way the industry works and this whole feature in here about all the coolest things that happen in Nintendo power over the years, which was great. Who was the last character profile they did? This character profile, once I always thought, were super cool. Power players talked about different people who wrote for the magazine, worked for the magazine over the years previews. 

[00:21:30] Obviously, it was still being a Nintendo Power. Magazines have shown off the cool stuff that was coming for Nintendo, and I can't find it. But yeah, last issue of Nintendo Power Fantastic magazine. Absolutely loved it. But it is not over. I'll tell you why. So? Before we get to what happened next, there were a couple other special things that happened like Nintendo Power Advance. This sub series ran for four issues, and it was just for Gameboy advanced focused Nintendo power issues, which. They're not all that interesting, but boy, they are fascinating, huh? They're they're really something, and I wound up picking these up again online over the years. This is fun. Deer stick. It shows a specific note for the person who had subscribed to this in the first place. So that's pretty neat. Then we have some other special issues. As far as I know, I have all of them and this is one of my favorites. This is pocket power. I love this little guy here, and you just don't see this one around. And I have never been able to track down a complete list of special issues of Nintendo Power, so I don't know for sure that I have all of them, but I think I do. 

[00:22:43] And this was given out to people who went to go see the wizard in movie theaters, and I found this one on eBay when I was doing my whole Nintendo power collection thing. And I really haven't seen this in many places since. I've only seen him pop up a couple of times, but it is very much a Nintendo power issue. Golf, that layout of the classic Nintendo powers and you know, a bunch of stuff on The Wizard and the nice satellite. And it was just such a cool thing, man. I wish I saw the wizard in theaters, but man, my my theater didn't have this. I wish I would have gotten one of these. I the coolest thing. And then maybe I would have been able to convince my parents to get me a subscription and an tendo power. But now what are you going to do? So there's pocket power and love this little guy. Then they did towards the end of their run. We had a bunch of stuff like this. These are the posters issues they did. Two of these were they're just it's just a book full of posters, and they're really, really nice looking posters to crack up in this one show. They don't look too good unless you rip them out of the magazine, which I never did because I'm a goober. I was just really into it. But like, there's the center one, right? How cool is that? And it's just a whole bunch of these things. You can see half of them. Oh yeah, go play circus. Get go play circus star. Definitely want a poster of that hanging up my house makes major miners majestic. March some punch out over there so you can see how they work. It's just like you take out the staples in the middle and then you got these posters that you can tear up all over the place. And they're really, really nice. Like just really good stuff. And they did two of those, which was pretty neat for a little while they were doing these. This is a Summer Games preview. Actually, I think this was the only one of these little preview issues that they did. You have this, which was really nice 20 years of Nintendo power. This is just kind of a look back at some of the coolest things that had happened over 20 years of Nintendo Power magazine, which was pretty nice cover. And I think it went platform by plant generation by generation. Yeah. So here's A. s and then Gameboy and really just kind of highlighting some of the cool stuff that Nintendo Power did for those specific platforms over the years, which was a nice thing to have.

[00:24:55] Then we had these guys here. These were character specific guides. There was this is the Super Super Mario one, and then they redid it a little bit later as a second edition where they updated it with information from some of the newer games. And they did the same thing for Zelda. There was this guy here and then the second edition. Then they did this, which was pretty fun. This is the Nintendo gaming superstar's Vol. one. There was no volume two as far as I know, and this was basically just that that feature they had in Nintendo Power, where they did a character profile, but they just clocked them all together into one magazine. So there's just breaking down on the characters and their timelines and stuff, and I always love that particular thing and a couple of posters stuffed there in the middle, because why the heck not? Actually, it's actually that's the whole second half of it really looks like a bunch of it is. But there you go. There's Nintendo gaming superstars from Nintendo Power. That's a pretty cool thing. However, here you have the ultimate guide to Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Power Collector special, and that is exactly what it sounds like. And that, as far as I know with all the special issues of Nintendo Power. But like I said before, things didn't exactly end for Nintendo Power, at least not in the traditional sense. 

[00:26:15] So here's our last issue of Nintendo Power again, and after this closed up a bunch of people throughout the writers throughout the video game writing industry decided that that could not stand, and they made this. This is Nintendo Force magazine. You may have heard about it if you've been around me because I talk about it all the time, and I was beyond thrilled with this came out because I was super sad when Nintendo Power ended because I had finally gotten a subscription for the last couple of years and I was just happy as a clam. Whenever I showed up in the mail, I when it went under, I was devastated that I wasn't going to get those new magazines and then this showed up and this is fantastic. So this is the very first issue, and the magazines evolved a decent amount since then. But there is a bunch of industry people who had, you know, worked at sites like the Struc Doit and Jean Lucas. Thomas is the editor in chief, these were the the people who started the magazines, ran a hand mouth Toronto and Kevin Cassidy of Go Nintendo and like there's some real names got together as Jonathan Holmes up there. He was just on this strange gaming podcast. Love that guy got together and made this magazine and really just continued the legacy of Nintendo Power. They did the things that antenna power was doing. 

[00:27:27] Structurally speaking, this works very similar. He had the honor and yeah, which was there was a good and bad and Nintendo power that work the same way the character profiles were still in here. And it's just a really well put together magazine about Nintendo, just like Nintendo Power was doing its very best to stylistically and content wise. Follow up on the legacy of Nintendo Power, and I just think it does a wonderful, wonderful job of being a real spiritual successor. I mean, look at that that just looks like your pages of Nintendo Power, and there it is. So this wonderful thing had comic in it as well was so cool that I, a lifelong dream of mine, was always to be to write for Nintendo Power. That's what I wanted to do as I was when I was a kid. That was what I wanted to be. When I grew up, I wanted to be someone who wrote for Nintendo Power, and that obviously never happened because Nintendo Power ended and I lost my chance. But in an issue of Nintendo Force magazine, they talked about a book that somebody who worked for Nintendo Power had written about how to break into the industry. And then they did a whole thing saying that, Well, if you've got a good idea, pitch it to us and we'll see what we can do. And then, like a year later, I heard back from my pitch and in this one right here, I intend to force issue eight. I got my very first published work in Nintendo Force magazine, and a couple of years later, after contributing to the magazine, which now comes with posters. I don't remember exactly when that started, but now every issue of Nintendo Force comes with posters, which is super awesome, and a bunch of them are hanging in my kids' rooms. But yeah, following that, continuing that legacy of Nintendo stuff, there's a super awesome Mario Kart poster that's folded up in this issue issue eight and I wrote about the power pad I did. I started off doing this whole thing, talking about video game peripherals and after writing for them for a number of years, I eventually became a staff writer and now I write for the magazine and every issue, which is great. But there's my my first published work, which I am just so obscenely proud of and fight showed this to little kid me. I would have lost my lost my darn mind. And then this right here is the most recent issue of Nintendo Force magazine. 

[00:29:50] They're up to 58 now talking about the new Kirby game coming out, and this one is pretty cool because my co-host on the Strategy Gamer podcast, Dan Ryan, got himself in this issue as well because we needed somebody to write about baseball and nobody on staff is really a big baseball fanatic, and Dan was so. But this is what the magazine looks like now. It's it's evolved a pretty decent amount since the first one still has the same basic look to it, but it does. It's just it's besides the fact that they let me write for it. For some reason, it's it's full of really great content. And if you were a fan of Nintendo Power, this is definitely right up your alley. It's got fun comics in it. It's got interviews, it's got character profiles, it comes with posters and it really satisfies that Nintendo power itch. And I'm not just saying that because they let me write for him. I love love this magazine, and I'm so glad it exists. And then it carries on the legacy of Nintendo Power in a glorious fashion. 

[00:30:50] So that's my Nintendo power collection. And that's one of the many reasons why I love Nintendo Power so very much. And I am extremely thankful to the people at Nintendo Force magazine who let me write for them being a part of Nintendo Power's legacy in that to the extent that it is as just one of the greatest thrills of my life besides actually getting to make videos like this, or I get to talk about this kind of stuff, so thank you very much for watching everybody. If you liked what you saw here today, please follow comment. Like Subscribe? Let us know your Nintendo power memories. Did you have the posters hanging up in your rooms? What were your favorite thing about Nintendo Power and or did you like Sega Vision's better man? I should really start collecting significant magazines or so expensive, though regardless. Let us know. We always like hearing from you. Thanks again for watching everybody on behalf of all of us here at Stone Age Gamer. Keep playing games. 

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