Thursday, January 6, 2011

Planes, Trains and North Korean Propaganda: Tour de Super Mario Brothers 2011

OK, I promise not to do this too often.

Its January. Its raining. Its cold. I have a camera, five Super Mario Brothers Famicom carts, a bit of free time and a penchant for taking pictures of stuff I have five of.

Having done something very similar with my five Excitebikes a few months ago and not wanting to go to the same creative well too often I was a bit hesitant to do this. But the handwriting was on the wall: time for another Famicom cart tour. So off we went.

First stop: the library.
A shelf of English translations of ancient Japanese poetry caught their eye:
Then, an old newspaper from 1931 lying on a shelf. Early Showa retro meets late Showa retro:
But that wasn't really why we were there. They wanted the good stuff. You know. The North Korean propaganda section!!! Whoa yeah!
In their naivety the Super Mario Brother carts believe that North Korea is some sort of amusing lair run by Dr. Evil, who they are a real fan of. They've got it all. They're own Frau Farbissina:
Accordian lessons:
And absolutely immense quantities of lipstick for their performing artists:
So they really like to break open the old North Korean propaganda literature that our library - for god only knows what reason - has a whole shelf devoted to:
Oh and the collected works of Kim Il Sung:
Oh how they do enjoy the library:
After that, outside to the trains!
They fit just perfectly in here:
This shot I like:
Next stop: Planes!And then the rain started again so I went home.


  1. Oh, you are *too* funny! My favorites are the ones involving N. Korean propaganda. This one, too --

  2. Thanks Bryan! North Korean propaganda is rather amusing, isn't it? I like that train wheels shot too, they fit in perfectly there!

  3. BTW, I've got a blog post about this blog post all ready for Monday morning :)

  4. Really? Hey, cool!! Thanks! Look forward to reading it:)

  5. Love the blog. I have a question though, but need to give a bit of background before getting to it.

    All of the Super Mario Bros Famicom carts I've seen on the internet (eBay mostly, and now here) are yellow in color. A while ago, I picked up a Super Mario Bros Famicom cart with an adapter in a local thrift store here that's a sort of baby blue/teal-ish color, with the same cover label.

    So, my question: Were there color variants of popular Famicom games or were all cartridges of a release the same color?

  6. Hi Paul, thanks for the comment.

    To the best of my knowledge, all of the Super Mario Brothers carts for the Famicom were made in yellow/orange.

    I suspect that what you found may have been an unofficial pirated cart from China. They often come in different colors than the official versions.

  7. Hey Sean, thanks for the quick response.

    I always assumed that it was a pirate or something to that effect since I had never seen another one like it out there. Still, considering that I paid a dollar for it and an adapter, I think it's a pretty neat little piece. And it sparked my interest in Famicom stuff, haha.

    Keep up the good work!

  8. Thanks Paul! A dollar for that and an adapter is a great deal! I'm glad that it sparked your interest in the Famicom!