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Stone Age Gaming: The Power of PAMPHLETS

Stone Age Gaming: The Power of PAMPHLETS

Posted by Kris Randazzo on Sep 19th 2022

While Sega was out there creating generation-defining ads, Nintendo was waging war on another front... PAMPHLETS! Let's take a closer look at some of them. Because they're awesome. No, really!

Transcript of the video: 

Hi, everyone. Kris from Stone Age Gamer here and welcome back to Stone Age Gaming, a show where I talk about, well, weird stuff that I had. So I know this might sound a little nerdy, even by the standards of somebody standing in front of a giant wall of video games. But I love old video game advertisements. Now, the old 16 bit wars between Nintendo and Sega were legendary. I love being alive during that time, and Nintendo had this specific set of advertisements during that era that always fascinated me to no end. And it was pamphlets. These people made a whole bunch of pamphlets, and you fight them at Toys R US stores and stuff, and they are just the coolest darn things. It actually went a little bit further than the the Genesis stuff. There's a lot. 64, virtual boy. I love these pamphlets. I think they show a bunch of really fascinating stuff. And, well, let's take a look at them. 

[00:00:58] All right. Pamphlets. Now I know what you're thinking. This isn't the most exciting thing in the world to make a video on. But trust me, these things are way cooler than they look. So let's get started with this guy right here. Now, these two are almost identical. I kind of try to put these in what I think is chronological order. So let's see what we got here. These two. I love this bit. These were done when they were trying to push the the top loader and. Yes. And the Gameboy and the Super Nintendo all at the same time. So this has just this wonderful these really great pictures in it. So this is the earlier one. And you see, you've got this really great glamor shot, the Super Nintendo, the game boy in the top loader. And he has explaining what the advantages are of each one of them. So like the Super Nintendo is the new hotness. And then you've got the Gameboy, which is great for portables. And then if you want the classic with the giant library, you've got the $50 top loader. And he has which I love this picture and I'm such a sucker for old hardware. And these this picture is great. Then you crack it open and oh, my goodness, look at all these characters together in the same place. I love it because again, like, this is like, this is pretty Smash Brothers. 

[00:02:08] So, like, I always loved seeing all the different Nintendo things together, but you got to wonder who put this together because you've got football, dude. You've got like three characters from Battle Clash. Now, I love Battle Clash. That's that. That shouldn't be a surprise to anybody who's been around this channel for a while, but holy cow, three battle class characters sitting there right behind Link and Warriors. And I think this is just the shopkeeper from the link to the past instruction manual like, okay, sure, why not? Let's do that. And again, breaking down what these things can do. I think so this is play super max right at the top. So this must have been right around when Star Fox came out. So you got this coolness and then you crack it open. Actually, you know, this is where you'll see the differences. So this is pretty much the same. But then you crack open this one and it just adds a super Gameboy up there. So that's kind of the and Kirby's smaller and you've got this a little doodad here and looks all know Wigler Wigler gotten oh Wigler got moved look at that Wicker there's over there now in that fun. All right so after this, then you open it up and you get this, which is so cool. So you've got this giant selection of screenshots, starting with a Super Nintendo up top, yes, star Fox, Stanley Cup. And it's so cool looking at what they were focusing on. Like these were the games that Nintendo wanted to push at this time. 

[00:03:35] So yeah, your top two are Star Fox and NHL Stanley Cup because I, I imagine at this point they're noticing how much Sega has kind of kick in there, but in the sports game department and so they've got this really unique hockey game that uses all the Mode seven to make it like a 3D hockey game. And it's, it sure looks great in pictures, but this was before their whole Play It Loud campaign where they started really taking Sega head to head. So you're still pushing them like the past. You have metal combat falcons revenge over here so they're still pushing the super scope. This I find interesting because I don't think that's a screenshot from Falcon's revenge. I'm pretty sure that's a screenshot from Just Battle Clash. I thought that's very interesting to me. I would love to know exactly when this thing dropped for the new year. Gameboy stuff here Marlin to some some Metroid too and Mario land one and Link's Awakening and the NEA stuff takes, you know, the big spot on the bottom with the original Legend of Zelda labeled as Zelda to the adventure of Link. That's pretty funny. Dr. Mario Kirby's adventure is open. Mario three, Mario two punch out and Tetris two. So that's pretty cool. Let's see what's in the other one. 

[00:04:49] The slightly refreshed version is. Boom. Look at this super metroid right up there. Super Metroid was such an amazing game. Still pushing Stanley Cup and the base. Look at this. The three next three are sports Griffey, Stanley Cup and NCAA star race effects Yoshi Safari. And and it's not exactly an attractive picture for Mario All-Stars. I find it so weird they picked that one. The Gameboy selection looks a little bit smaller and then he got your start. Tropics two Megaman six Metroid. You know, they got all three of the classic Metroid games on here. How fun is that? Yeah. Love it. I love the way this looks breaking down. Like how many games reveal Valve? There's over 330 Super Nintendo games or 330 Gameboy games and over 630 and yes, games. Just love that. So there you go. That's this one. 

[00:05:48] All right. Next, let's look at this guy here. This is when they had moved on to the best play here. Ad campaign. I remember the super scope commercial at why. You know, this is issue number one on there, which continues with this one, issue number two, Wolf. We'll get to that in a minute. So this one wasn't really super eye catching to me. In fact, I every time I look at it, I think it's folded wrong because it's just this wall of smallish text and some dude with a Super Nintendo controller over his eyes. For some reason I crack it open and it's just talking about thumbs and another dude holding a giant Super Nintendo controller. Okay. You going it here? So far, this one is, at least to my eyes, so much less interesting than than these ones over here. But it's still got some cool stuff going on. You know, different version of the system, the super scope. I've never seen this box before. I don't know what that's about. I think this was supposed to be the box if you bought it without the super scope six game. But I don't think I've ever actually seen that. I don't even know if they released that. And then Mario Paint looks a little weird. If you look at this art nice and close, it almost looks like a not final art. I don't know. Something something strikes me as odd about this picture of Mario here. But anyway, let's see what's all the way on the inside. And we've got. 

[00:07:09] Yeah, it's also still kind of ugly. Not the most attractive one, I guess. Not bad. It's bright orange. Stanley Cup NCAA player play action football. So you've got the sports kind of do agglomerate there. Lost Vikings. That's a weird one to point out. Star Fox obviously is a deal. Alien three. This is such a strange, eclectic group of games here. Pretty nice, though. 

[00:07:35] So now there you go. Not my favorite, but it's going to get better from here because I love this one. Nintendo's Play It Loud campaign was flippin bizarre. This is when they really tried to take on the whole extreme thing that Sega was doing and. I don't really know that they pulled it off. Well, like, what is this ground meat doing here? Whatever. So here's Super Nintendo issue number two. I still love this family. I love this one. I don't see why in a bit. The insides are great. So you go here and it's just like a bunch of like, hey, man, we're super cool and young and hip and we do cool things. Never hit the pause button and play it loud. Okay? And then you open it up and you get your Kirby with a gold chain from their loud commercials where they're trying to be all like, super cool and loud and extreme and whatever. Man, when I was a kid, it was the coolest thing in the world, obviously. But looking back on it now, it's borderline embarrassing. I see your super game boy front and center. I love this, but the super Gameboy, I had so much fun with this thing I started on game was amazing. And of course you get Mario pay with the math super scope super power club but this one I love it's got this breakdown chart here of why the Super Nintendo is better than the Sega Genesis and like. Wow. Neither has root beers. Way to go, guys. Memory, lots or half. Oh, my goodness. This is such delightful propaganda right here. It's fascinating. 

[00:09:10] But on the inside of this, one has as the coolest. I think this is so awesome. Look at this. This is such an attractive layout. It's got everything sectioned off by, like, sports, adventure, puzzle fighting, racing action. I love the way that the colors have it all together. It's it's got that kind of nineties extreme ridiculousness to it, but it's also so well-organized that I can't help but be excited by it. Here you go. Illusion of Gaia and every single one of these things. I mean, these are completely ridiculous, obviously, because it's all, again, this extremist propaganda stuff. But like, look at this super punch out one here. You've got each fighter as in style, huge opponents and ugly ding ding. Like it's ridiculous. It's completely ridiculous. But it's so cool. And unfortunately, it's all ripped here. I have I have a couple of this one, but they're all in various pieces. This is the only one I have that's like complete uni racers with such a good game. Then you hit them like Lion King and Power Rangers and Batman Earth and Tin Star is how I learned about the game. Ten Star Thunder played since Dark Ten starts a great game, especially if he's a super handsome mouse. It's like, totally awesome. So this is one of my favorites. I don't like it quite as much as this one, but I do think this one is super awesome. But Bear Hunter, come on. It's like one of the best sprites I've ever seen in the. The game is absolutely amazing. 

[00:10:33] All right. Let's see where they went from here is more of the play it loud type stuff, except this one also incorporates Gameboy stuff. So this was this was killer instinct era right here. So this is after dark country exploded and basically took over the world and they had Donkey Kong country two and Killer Instinct and Yoshi's Island taking center stage on this one. So this is when other systems were trying to come out of PlayStations around the corner, Saturn and 32 acts and all that stuff. And Nintendo was like, No, you don't need a new system. You can do all the coolest, newest games on the Super Nintendo. And you know, they weren't completely wrong to play it loud. Game is right. We're not going to make the game boys in color. We're just going to make the game boys colored. So what a ridiculous idea. And they're so cool looking. It's like they're selling this ancient technology. They just wrap it up in a new shell. And you better believe I bought one. I have this red one here that I bought that one. Brand new of that one. This is a really cool set up here because I look at all these great games showing off in the background and again, this is another really nice looking one. Try and be this which you know, looking back on it, this is a really great set up Illusion of Gaia, Earthbound, donkey kong country. 

[00:11:50] This is really playing to late super NASA strengths right here and just showing off all this game boy stuff. What a bold move like considering how ancient this technology was, you know, showing off stuff like, yeah, we got killer instinct and Street Fighter on Gameboy and they technically function Kirby's Dreamland too. And then all these arcade classics, ones that did look pretty, they looked pretty good when you played them in the of the Super Gameboy. So it's an interesting collection of things to show off how your Nintendo stuff is cooler than all the greatest newest technology on on the market. But it's I bought into a hook line and sinker I was this is one of the reasons I played Earthbound was was these pamphlets and Dr. Country two was so good. Yoshi's Island was the one that really blew me away on so many different levels. But yeah, man, good stuff. All right. What was next? This one is for the game boy pocket. So after the play it Loud Game Boys, they actually gave us a new game boy. But it still wasn't in color. It was just in various colors. I remember this purple ish game boy pocket, though. That's interesting. I remember that's just supposed to be the clear one. It just looks kind of purple here, but whatever. 

[00:13:06] So this is only a three tiered one sort of for you pick a color, any color, and then you crack this open. You got all these, you know, classic pictures of people with their respective colored Gameboys. And then you got this nice little folding set up here. I like this one a lot, too. It's it's pretty straightforward and a lot of great games. Any time you're showing off King of Fighters, 95 per game, boy, that's great. Star Wars and Super Mario Land. And these are mostly Gameboy Super Gameboy images, which I think is hilarious. Like you've got the borders on these things. This is not what these games look like on a game for a pocket. Is this so specifically not a black and white game boy? They're like, Oh yes, they're super game boy. Screenshots shown. Although we're actually advertising these, it's somewhat misleading. Like it's not because they're they're saying it down there on the bottom, but this this whole thing is about the game boy pocket and they're showing off colored screenshots and borders on things that just don't ha good times are still great selection games more mania that's a really cool game and this space invaders the game boy Space Invaders that was a super super game boy enhanced is completely insane. 

[00:14:17] We've got a full Super Nintendo game built right into it. And I love the I love the first Don't Come when I didn't like the other ones as much. But the first Donkey Kong land I was fascinated by and of course, the original Donkey Kong game boy, one of the best, just one of the best games I've played. Skunk Game was amazing. So that's Game Boy Pocket. Now we're moving on to Nintendo's tumultuous times. So if you're up on your history, then Nintendo kind of. I mean, they fought valiantly against Sega, but they kind of eventually ruled the roost in the Super Nintendo era, and they always owned the Gameboy market. They had, you know, nobody was able to tackle them in handhelds. But after the Super Nintendo, their home consoles took some beatings. And this is where Nintendo really lost it lost a lot of market share was once PlayStation got it. Also their 32 bit system was the virtual void. And this pamphlet, I mean, obviously, the virtual boy did not succeed. It was a crazy idea to begin with. I have it. I love it. But and I loved it at the time. I thought it was amazing, but not long term of playing games in red and black. 

[00:15:24] But so this is like this is like a whole poem here. It came from a new dimension, a third dimension, a good dimension. For a moment I became distracted as though magnetically attracted the invention reacted, pulling me into the third dimension. And then you get all the breakdown of the hardware, the AC adapter sold separately. Yep. This thing's so weird. If you've never used the virtual buoy AC adapter, it plugs into the controller. Like, this is where the batteries go as you swap that out and you plug this thing into it. But this actually opens like a latch and this is just a Super Nintendo AC adapter. It's the same thing as Superintendant One just plugs right in there and then that snapshot and then that plugs into the controller where the power button is. Virtual voice Such a weird system, but this is this is really interesting stuff. When I opened this one up, we're going to see some cool stuff. Check this business out. So this is not exactly eye catching because everything is in red and black. Right. So what's interesting about this? Well, Mario clashes, Mario clash, Wario Cruise instead of Wario Land Virtual Boy. This was actually had its own logo and everything on the back of the original virtual toy box. It was also called Wario Cruise. I kind of wish they would have stuck with that name, kind of makes it stick out a little bit more. But those are real screenshots. 

[00:16:48] This, on the other hand, is absolutely not what Waterworld looks like. If it did, this would have been awesome. I'm pretty sure this is a screenshot from the Super Nintendo game that never came out that was just red scaled and plopped on this poster. I thought this game was going to look so cool looking at this screenshot and then imagining what this whole thing would have looked like in Virtual Boy. I was actually really excited for this game and I've never seen the movie, but I was excited for the game because it looked super cool. And then I got. Based on the screenshot, I got the game and it was like this. Then you got red alarm over here. That looks like what it looks like because it just looks like a mess of lines. Red alarm does not translate to 2D imagery at all. 

[00:17:39] This is another fascinating one. Look, it's Goldeneye for virtual boy and it's a car. So if you thought rush hour traffic was a nightmare, wait til you get behind the wheel of Double Seven's car. Avoid obstacles and blow the other cars away. Buckle up for safety because this in this game, you never know what's going to happen. This game doesn't exist. And if it does, I have never, never released. I don't know if there's actually a prototype out there for this one. That'd be really cool to see what this game was really supposed to be. But there's a whole Goldeneye game. This unlike unlike Waterworld, this looks like it's an actual screenshot from something that was functioning and that's really cool. Jack brother is virtually baseball. Mario's tennis. Yeah. The rest of this stuff is all things that actually exist. Tell her a boxer. Awesome game. Teleroboxer. But yeah, I. I love this one because I love the virtual voice so much. I peered into the invention and heard a voice say, turn it on, virtual boy a 3D game for a 3D world. I now look, the virtual void did just about everything wrong, but a 3D game for a 3D world, that's a pretty good tagline. Way to go Nintendo. So there's your virtual boy want. 

[00:18:51] All right now I only got two left I only ever saw the two for the N64 and this is the first one and it's way more interesting. So we're going to finish on that because this is this is the last pamphlet I ever got from a Toys R US for Nintendo stuff. And this one's kind of bland. So it's only three tiered, it's more extreme nineties looking stuff showing various ways to hold the controller. Okay I green of time talk to NFL blitz colored controllers and like if this isn't some up how dire the Nintendo 64 was I don't know what does this was what they're promoting at the time and it's a handful of multi-platform stuff and a couple of exclusive. But this is so sparse. Look at how much negative space is on here. This is all they had to show at this point. He got Duke Nukem Zero Hour, Fox Sports College Hoops, NASCAR 99. Like, I don't know what the aim for this one was, but boy, thinking back to the N64 days after it was out for a good long while brown banjo because it was coming out, it was just it was so dire compared to what was happening on PlayStation. And I loved my N64 at the time to a degree, but this was the generation where I was. I was convinced to go out and buy another system and I got myself a PlayStation. 

[00:20:20] I'm so glad I did because like wow, the N64 is release schedule was so paltry compared to the other. PlayStation is ridiculous, but here's where we get some really fun stuff. This one came before it. This was the pre N64 release thing, so this was before the system had come out and I'm pretty sure and I love all artwork inside of this. This is as much as I dislike the N64. Now, the hype for this machine before it came out was unbelievable. It was. It would change the system. It was this whole new crazy thing, like the PlayStation and the Saturn had been out there, like, okay, well, what's Nintendo going to do? Why are they going with cartridges? The system itself used to be the ultra 64. There was so much mystique around it. And the idea of a Zelda 64, Mario 64, was also very exciting. So while it ultimately didn't live up to it in my world, especially in retrospect, at the time this hype was. Unbelievable. [00:21:21][61.6]

[00:21:22] So you crack this thing up and you get a nice close look at the analog stick. Remember, analog sticks were again a new thing back then. This was a big deal. They had an analog stereo trigger on the back four controller ports built right in. They're just talking about it's a the power of the system. Then you get this right here. So three dimensions are better than two. You got your Mario Kart back there. This was Gretzky's three hockey pilot ring 64. But this, you know, Tusk from Killer Instinct two or Killers two gold on N64, N64 videotape offer. I love this videotape if you haven't seen it. There's videos on YouTube where you can see this whole video. It is ridiculous. This whole video is so crazy. But this this artwork, the Mirror 64 artwork of him swinging bowser by the tail. How awesome is that? All right, now here's some really cool, interesting stuff. Check this business out. So this is kind of hard to read because it goes around all these different circles, but some of this stuff is really weird. So my N64 pilot, N64 Cruising U.S.A. Super Mario Kart are so not Mario Kart 64, it still has the super moniker from like the Super Nintendo game and it's Super Mario Kart R and it's just showing off four player in this screenshot. One of the best racing games ever just got better revolutionary for player fun and multi multiple game modes create huge challenges and variety while the three dimensional terrain will leave you dizzy. Right? Because the original Super Mario Kart was not 3D. It was a, you know. Anyway, Wave race 64, Kirby's air ride, which eventually got repurposed to Kirby Air Ride for Gamecube, but in very free time. I've seen footage of this on that VHS tape that they talked about. On the other side of this, there's footage of Kirby's air ride running, and it looks like a completely different kind of game than what Kirby air ride wound up being. I mean, I'm so curious about this one. I was always so excited about it, too. Looks really cool. And then, you know, it never materialized. When the Gamecube one came out, I was like, This is also cool, but this looks nothing like the old stuff I used to see in the videos. But Tetrisphere,Shadows of the Empire. I love this star. Fox 64 logo was just the Super Nintendo one was 64 slapped on the side. But it's really cool seeing how early on Star Fox 64 was like a part of the N64 identity. 

[00:23:54] Goldeneye Turok Blast K Gold Mortal Kombat Trilogy. Ken Griffey's Baseball. I feel like that got a different name too, but or at least a different logo because this isn't even a screen, just a picture. KING Like, Oh, we don't have anything to show, but I promise you, we have a baseball game and it's got Griffey in it. FIFA 64, this one, I don't think that wound up being the actual logo on the game. It's pretty cool. Look a logo and be a Hangtime Gretzky three hockey and we're back we're back around but yeah Mario Kart R Kirby's air ride old logo for star fox 64. Like I love this kind of prerelease stuff and when they show off things that never actually wind up existing like Kirby's air ride is relentlessly fascinating to me. 

[00:24:44] So there you have it. Those are all the Nintendo pamphlets I have from back when I used to go to Toys R US. And while I collect these things, I adore looking at all these pamphlets. The old posters are great too, and they eventually transitioned into those little booklets more than fold up pamphlets. They had these these like little mini catalogs and stuff. Some of them were even like had thick binding on the side. Maybe I'll do a video on those in the future. But there you go. Those are my Nintendo pamphlets, as are. It's especially wild to me and the later ones where you'd see those games that weren't quite there yet. You know, you've got the N64 one that shows Kirby's Air Ride or the Goldeneye screenshots on the Virtual Boy one. I love that kind of weird stuff, but I also really love the older ones where they're showing all their different brands coexisting together. In the era of way before, Smash Brothers was a. I just love all of this stuff so very much. And as a Nintendo nut case, it was it was they were the coolest things to just go to Toys R US regularly. And then every couple of months or so you'd go in there, you're like, Oh, there's a new pamphlet. It arrived and I'd open it up and look at all the games inside, and it was just fun. 

[00:25:57] It was such a fun time to be a gamer, and I'm very thankful that I got to live through that entire experience, that the gaming now doesn't have its advantages. I mean, the day of recording, this exact thing, there's a Nintendo Direct happening in like an hour. And seriously, I couldn't even imagine what that would have been like as a kid, as a Nintendo nut kid, having stuff like Nintendo Direct or even like later with PlayStation. There's the PlayStation state of play later today. How crazy is that that we have these presentations that happen all throughout the year of just info dumps on new games coming out, but you can't hang a Nintendo Direct on your wall like you could with these posters. And I definitely did that when I was a kid. I hung all this stuff up in my room because well, I mean, look at me. This is this is in my house. 

[00:26:43] So anyway, thanks for watching, everybody. If you like what you saw here today, please follow comment like and subscribe and let me know if there are any cool pamphlets that I missed because I'm sure I didn't get all of them. I mean, there must be more out there and I would love to know if there are some other really cool pamphlets or where did you get them or are you watching this in another territory? Do they have different kind of pamphlets out in the UK or whatever? This kind of stuff fascinates me. Old video game advertising, especially Nintendo stuff, is fascinating to me. So thanks again for watching everybody. On behalf of all of us here at Stone Age Gamer, keep playing games.