Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mega Bargain of the Day: Famicom Basic, Family Trainer and Climber Stick

Its been a while since I've put up a post filled with some good old fashioned "Shopping Porn for Famicom collectors" - which, if I'm honest, is really what this blog is all about:)

Today's trip to good old Omocha Souko, readers will be glad to know, has provided ample fodder for such a post.

I went in today to do my usual rounds. I was massively excited on getting to the game section to see that they had created a new retro game "junk" section filled with piles and piles of good old stuff for between 50 and 300 yen per item.

You might remember 3 months ago they did something similar, putting out huge piles of boxes of retro game stuff for 50 yen each. That was the last time I went on a mega shopping spree, getting boatloads of stuff. After about 5 or 6 weeks pretty much everything from those piles had been sold, with the remainder just tossed onto shelves with their regular inventory, so for the past few weeks Omocha Souko hasn't had a proper junk section.

Today's new junk bin wasn't as good as that one in September, but it was pretty good. They didn't have any games and there weren't any particularly exciting consoles (piles of Super Famicoms, Playstations, Saturns, N64s and even Game Cubes for 300 yen each but without any controllers, etc.). They had a lot of controllers separately for 100 yen each and AC adapters/ AV cables for 50 yen.

But I didn't buy any of those.

I only bought 3 items. For a grand total of 300 yen (about 3$ US). This is what I got:
These were pretty cool. First up was Family Trainer, a Bandai game which is kind of an early version of Dance Dance Revolution and all those pad-type ones. It is also the fore-runner of the Power Pad for the NES:
It didn't come with the manual, but the thing itself was in pretty good shape. I love the box. I have a real soft spot for 80s toy ads that have kids in amusing 80s clothes, like these ones on the back of the box: socks. And short shorts. Brings me back.

Anyway, next up was the Family Basic:
I couldn't believe this was only 100 yen. This actually wasn't something they just got in new, they've had it for sale for a long time, sometimes in the glass case. It was lovingly wrapped, CIB with the manual on the outside. They had tested it and it had this lovely handwritten sign made specifically for it:
Underneath the new 100 yen price tag you can see the old price of 3,980 yen just peaking out.

This turned out to be a really good buy not just for the unit itself but for the goodies stuffed into the book: Handbills!

One for version 3 of Family Basic:
One for the Famicom Data Recorder:
And one for the Family Basic itself:
The manual is pretty cool too. I really like it because it reminds me of my own childhood. My dad bought a Vic 20 in the early 80s and later got an Apple IIC. He had a lot of programming guides and stuff that I used to look at with utter incomprehension as a kid. They were way over my head, the type of thing only dads understood how to use. They looked pretty cool though and this guidebook reminds me of them. The photography, the font, the multicolored characters written at a slight angle: Even though the language is different, it looks so familiar: The unit itself is in pristine condition:
Rounding out my shopping day, I found this little guy right at the bottom of one of the big crates:
Its called a "Climber Stick" and was released by Nichibutsu, the same company that made the game Crazy Climber, so I assume its for use with that game. You can just snap it onto a regular Famicom controller:
I haven't tried it yet but I'll probably go dig up my copy of Crazy Climber to see how it works. I rather like it, goes well with my growing collection of "oddball Famicom accessories" that I'm slowly accumulating!

Related Posts:
- Mega Bargain of the Day: Kousenjuu Electro Safari
- Mega Bargain of the Day: 3 Consoles and a Game for 10 Bucks
- Mega Bargain of the Day: Exorcising My Twin Famicom Demons
- Mega Bargain of the Day: Another Square Button Famicom


  1. Very awesome accessories! Those are actually quite expensive to buy from here :( You are one lucky bastard! LOL! Great stuff overall !

  2. After catching up, I must say that, you have a very interesting blog. I don't have a Famicom(I do plan on getting one someday), but I do collect for the NES. It's nice to get a perspective from the land that made my all time favorite gaming system(NES). I just have one question...Do they have NES carts in Japan? Or do you have to go to specialty shops(like we do in the states), to get them? Just wondering.

  3. Famicom Freak - thanks. I really am lucky, I was just looking on Ebay out of curiosity and saw that Family Trainer for $153 in basically the same condition as the one I got for $1. Way overpriced at $153 but its definitely worth more than a dollar!!

    jasonvorhees - thanks for reading! Its funny but I have never seen a single NES cart or system in any store here. It is possible that the big shops in Akihabara might have some, but yeah it would definitely be considered a "specialty" item. It would be very much like trying to buy a Famicom or Famicom games at regular game shops in North America - could take you years to find them! :)

  4. Very cool finds -- especially FAMILY BASIC. That's something I would have loved as a kid. Hell, I'd like it now -- if I could understand Japanese...

  5. Yeah, Bryan, Family Basic is great. I spent an hour or so last night playing with it. I managed to draw a big circle on a blue background in that time. What fun. It'll probably take a while to actually be able to make a game on it.

    What I really need now is the Famicom Data Recorder. That will probably be a tough find as I've never even seen one, let alone any blank cassette tapes for one! I do love a challenge though!

  6. Incredible find regarding Family BASIC. Man, for that price, how could you not buy it?

    Do you need the FDR, or would it perhaps work with any kind of audio tape recorder?

  7. Yeah, 100 yen was crazy cheap.

    I probably could use a regular audio tape recorder (the FDR uses regular tapes) if it could hook up to the Famicom. When I was a kid our Commodore Vic 20 used a similar device.

    I think I'm going to commit myself to getting the original FDR though. It just looks like the perfect match for the BASIC and standard Famicom. Seems they are one of the hardest to find peripherals out there though, guess they weren't a big seller at the time.

  8. Good luck finding one of those Data Recorders... I've heard even when they do pop up, they're fairly expensive. I wouldn't worry about tapes, though... I also heard that you can use about any empty tape and that should work for you data saving needs.

  9. Thanks! 4 months of looking since I put this post up have unfortunately not turned up any Data Recorders, so my search continues:)

    That is true about the tapes too as I've discovered. It would be kind of neat to find an original tape for the actual Data Recorder though!