Life is all about one-upping what came before you. The iPhone 6 one-upped your sad little flip phone. Your 60 Megapixel camera one-upped your disposable cardboard point and shoot. And the Game Boy 1Up is worlds ahead of the original Nintendo Game Boy.
This concept by freelance graphic designer Florian Renner reimagines what the handheld console that rocked 1989 would look like today. He chose a horizontal setup that’s more ergonomic, plus a cross-shaped controller that rotates on its own platform. Renner kept the Select and Start buttons, and added another two buttons—the X and Y—to the original Game Boy’s A and B buttons, to better suit today’s gaming needs. Game cartridges would load on top and there’s a headphone jack on the bottom. Renner even imagined a version with a sustainable, organic fiber case. Fancy that.
Saving princesses and clobbering turtles on the head can really make you work up quite an appetite. And while meatball subs are delicious, man cannot live on balls of meat alone. That’s why the Super Mario Brothers start each day with a nice piece of toast, cooked to perfection in the Nintoaster 2.0. Ok, ok, we’re just kidding about the toast part. The REAL function of the Nintoaster 2.0 is to actually play old school Nintendo games. For real.
This fully functional game console is exactly what it looks like: a retro toaster whose guts have been torn out to make room for an 8-bit NES console. It’s the second such project by Finnish artist Jarno Kotavuopio, and while version one was cool, this 2.0 version got a nice makeover, pimped out in a funky orange and chrome color scheme. You just stick your favorite game into one bread slot and plug the controller into the other. Does it work? You bet your flying fireball. Kotavuopio posted a video of himself playing Duck Tales with his Nintoaster 2.0. Sounds like a party to us.
While sipping on your 8-Bit Ale and kicking back with your Gameboy, sometimes you need a little art to get inspired. Like this awesome Super Mario Custom Poster Set($49.00). This 4-piece collection depicts everyone’s favorite Nintendo hero bounding through blue sky and chucking fireballs while on his admirable quest to kick some dragon ass and rescue Princess Toadstool. Each 12×18 poster in this collection is printed with high quality pigment inks and printed on a 100 lb heavy duty, textured sheet with a matte finish. Just mount them, frame them and throw your Converse Super Mario Brothers sneakers up on the coffee table to admire the view. You just did art.
The birth of MTV, the uprise of girls in leggings, Kelly Kapowski…there’s a lot to remember fondly about the ‘80’s, including the Power Glove. Released in 1989, the Power Glove was the ultimate gaming accessory for the Nintendo Entertainment System and totally up to the moment…at the time. Though it seems archaic now, and it didn’t nearly live up to the coolness potential that it could have, the glove still deserves some love, seeing as it was the first peripheral interface controller that could recreate hand movements on a screen.
Though Nintendo endorsed the Power Glove, it had no say over the production of the product, and some people credit its failure to this very fact. During its release only two games had with specific features for the Power Glove, including “Super Glove Ball” and “Bad Street Baller” and only 100,000 Power Gloves were sold in the US, making it a flop. Though the Power Glove is long gone, thankfully there are elements of the 80’s we can still feel good about, like that Kelly Kapowski poster you’re still rocking in the garage.
Compared to some of the Heroes we’ve featured—magicians, race car driversand face-painting professional wrestlers, profiling a business man could seem a little less than titillating. But Hero: Hiroshi Yamauchi proved that you can be a business man who has fun, and who creates fun for people all over the world. Like as the president of Nintendo for 53 years…who happens to have been worth $2.1 billion dollars according to Forbes in April of 2013, just months before his passing in September.
Yamauchi took the helm at Nintendo in the late 40’s after his grandfather, the incumbent president, had a stroke. Still a university student at the time, Yamauchi accepted his grandfather’s offer on one condition: no other family members could work at the company while he was at the helm. His grandfather agreed, and his older cousin was suddenly out of a job (sorry, cuz). Still young and inexperienced, many of Nintendo’s employees didn’t think much of Yamauchi when he joined the company. He responded by firing them. Over the next few decades, he moved the headquarters to Kyoto and led the company in a “notoriously imperialistic style,” relying solely on his instincts.
During his tenure, Nintendo had lots of electronic toy hits, including the Love Tester, the Ultra Hand (you know, the infamous claw arcade game), and in 1981…Donkey Kong. Kind of a big deal. You know the rest, since you likely spent most of your childhood (and some of adulthood) with your eyes and hands glued to NES, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64 and GameCube. In the 90‘s, Yamauchi also bought the Seattle Mariners, which eventually opened the gates for Japanese players to enter the world of American baseball. Innovating video games, owning a pro baseball team, AND being one of the richest men in the world? Definitely hero material.
They’re short. They’re moustached. They like to bash their heads into bricks for coins. And now, Mario and Luigi can accompany you anywhere and everywhere you go. Introducing the Nintendo Game Boy. An 8-bit handheld gaming device at the forefront of gaming technology, that will change the way you feel about going to church forever. This portable fun-box has almost all the fun of a full-sized Nintendo system, and runs on 4 AA batteries, with the option to connect to an external rechargeable battery back or AC adapter. A 3.5 mm stereo jack connects to headphones or speakers, so you won’t disturb the sermon–unless of course you shout out in celebration when you save Princess Toadstool. Game Boy comes with Tetris; Super Mario Land, Baseball, Tennis and Alleyway sold separately. It doesn’t get much more high-tech than this.