Thursday, September 25, 2014

Nintendo Double Diamond Anniversary Retrospective... Part 1: The Beginnings

So I'm planning to do a pretty ambitious project known as the Nintendo Double Diamond Anniversary Retrospective (AKA Project Double Diamond), It'll come out on the 25th of every month to honor the 125th anniversary of the Big N, This'll take you through every bit of Nintendo's history, from Hanafuda to Smash Bros for Wii U. So get ready, because there's no turning back, and all constructive criticism is welcome.

Play video if it doesn't autoplay. 

Time to go back to the ancient year of 1549, when Japan was found by western explorer Francis Xavier. Since then Japan traded things like guns, silver, art, food, and of course Playing Cards. This introduced the Japanese to gambling. Japan's gambling got so out of hand that the emperor Tokugawa Ieyasu after the war banned all gambling to protect the stability of Japan (By Banning all foreign influences). This whole thing got so ridiculous that Japan started making their own games by any means necessary. It wasn't until 1889 when a game called...

Hanafuda popularized by Nintendo Koppai.

Hanafuda which at first was a game made for recreation and families, became popular by gamblers and organized crime. You had to get a complete suit to win the round, and the one who gets more points by the end of the match wins. Over the years, they made licensed decks, like Disney, Popeye, and more. However they wanted more than just playing cards, so they ventured into food, love hotels, taxis, vacuum cleaners, which pretty much all BOMBED!!!!!! After realizing their failure, they ventured in a a new avenue,



They struggled there too. Facing off against the likes of Bandai (best known later for every toku toy in existence, Machine Robo, Chogokin and it's brother Popynica, Digimon, Gunpla, and various merchandise based off shonen and shojo manga and their respective animes), Relative newcomer Takara (Licensing Transformers, GI Joe, and TMNT for Japan, as well as originals such as Battle B-Daman, Beyblade, Battle Beasts, Microman, and more), and it's soon to be brother company Tomy (Zoids and Pokemon merchandise). But they did release some successes like...

Ultrahand (above), which was arguable their biggest success in their market,

Ultra Machine (above), which was a miniature pitching machine, 

Love Tester (above), Which was the weirdest thing they did up to that point,

and the 10 Billion Barrel (above), which was their answer the Rubik's Cube.

(above) N&B Block didn't catch on like Legos did in Japan, and was one of Ninteno's least successful products up to that point (see below).

But For all the successes they had, They couldn't make it to the big leagues for very long, and by the 80s, they faded into obscurity as far as toys. But in the mid 70s, they made a new venture to the market that made the relevant again, we'll talk about that next time.


Fusajiro Yamauchi was the founder of Nintendo, He popularized Hanafuda, and made the company a household name in Japan.

Hiroshi Yamauchi will play a bigger role in the next part, but he was president of the company around the time they became a toy company for a while.

Gunpei Yokoi will also play a bigger role later, but he did invent most of the toys that made Nintendo become relevant in modern Japan.



Most of these products are rare and expensive since they did come before Nintendo was the juggernaut that they are now so here's some recommended games for you.

Google Hanafuda Flash if you want to get the jist of the game. 2 games come to mind when referencing Nintendo's past.

The Warioware series has a lot of references to Nintendo past and present, so check out for references to things like Ultrahand.

Animal Crossing: New Leaf also has Nintendo's toys as collectible items during August. so play any Sunday in August.

That's all the time I have, so on my blog, expect Talking a Bunch of Toku Part 2 soon.

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