Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Nintendo in the 60s, Man, the 60s! Ultra Machine!

As I have stated on here numerous times, I like to go to a store called Omocha Souko on a regular basis in order to hunt for retro video games. I go so frequently that I now have an awkward time answering the question "what is your hobby?" If I were to answer honestly I would say "I go to a store called Omocha Souko 3 or 4 times a week to look through their junk bins for old video game stuff that I collect and then write about on my blog. That is my hobby."

As this answer provides too much detail on too obscure an area of interest, I usually just say "hiking" instead.

At any rate, what I don't write about too much on here is the fact that Omocha Souko is not just a video game store, it is also a big used-stuff store. The name "Omocha Souko" actually means "toy warehouse" in Japanese. About half of the first floor is, in fact, taken up by toys.
Usually I bypass this area and head straight to the second floor for the video games, but on occasion I will browse the toy section before heading up there. Yesterday I did just that and it was a good thing I did, for on one shelf they had just put this baby out:
The Nintendo Ultra Machine!!!

This thing is so awesome I don't know where to begin. Until about a year ago information on old Nintendo toys like this was hard to come by, but now thanks to Erik's excellent Before Mario blog the entire world now has a wonderful archive of information about these things which I will now blatantly rip off by quoting a few facts that he put up there.

Released in 1967 this toy was designed by none other than the late Gunpei Yokoi, perhaps better known to video game history as the creator of the Game and Watch and Game Boys!

OK, enough of the ripping off (but do check out Before Mario if you haven't already, its really a great blog). Lets look at what I got.

Opening up the box the first thing we have is:
A totally awesome Ultra Machine flyer! The reverse of this has the instructions on how to set up the machine. Note in the lower left corner there is an ad for replacement balls (100 yen per box). This is actually quite cool though and probably worth what I paid for the thing (2000 yen) itself. I might frame it someday as a piece of pop art.

Under that we have:
YES! Everything is complete!! Even the balls are all still there!

This made me quite excited as about a year ago I actually purchased another later version of this same toy that was released in the late 1970s:
The Ultra Machine DX. It is very similar to the original Ultra Machine, but as you can see from this photo the box on it was almost destroyed. It was also missing the balls and had a crack on the blue plastic part. It was only 800 yen though so I was quite satisfied with it at the time.

My new Ultra Machine though is not only complete but in pristine condition.
I love that blue Nintendo bat:
The bat that came with the later Ultra Machine DX is gray, nowhere near as sexy.

The box is pretty cool too:
Anyway, I just love this thing. It was quite the bargain too for only 2000 yen. An Ebay search just turned up one with a BIN price of 300$. That is on the high side, but still, what a bargain.

More of my Old-School Nintendo Finds from the 60s and 70s:
-Mandarake Finds: Kousenjuu SP Gun and Old School Star Wars Stuff
-Flea Market Finds: Nintendo Batting Practice with Koichi Tabuchi and Sadaharu Oh
-Nintendo Color TV Game 15
-Mega Bargain of the Day: Kousenjuu SP Electro Safari


  1. Didn't know Nintendo was around before the 80's, really cool!

  2. Yeah, they`ve actually been around since the 19th century. Very old company!

  3. That truly is a great find. Off the subject: Is there anyway you can post some famicom disk system games. I'm interested in the cover art and there does not seem to be very much out there. Especially when it comes to the mature games. Love the blog!

  4. Oh, I love this sort of thing. Also, I love your description of your hobby. LOL! Finally, yes, Before Mario is a truly awesome blog. So many amazing little treasures discovered and detailed on that site. Anyway, back to your blog and this find: I love it. The blue bat especially. Have you tried it out, or do you not want to risk damaging it?


    "Now Brick, are you just saying you love that bat or do you really love that bat?"


  6. Congrats on the find... that is spectacular. That bat is pretty much the greatest thing I have ever seen.

  7. Great find Sean!

    In fantastic condition and for a bargain, what more could you want?

    Have you tried it already? The ball-flinging capacity of this thing is quite spectacular.

  8. Anonymous - thanks! I`ve been meaning to do some more posts about Famicom Disk System games actually, the only problem has been that my Twin Famicom`s Disk System has some problems reading most of them. Once I get that sorted though I will put up some posts,I actually just got Doki Doki Panic and I`ve especially been wanting to do something with that for a while.

    Bryan - thanks, that bat is cool, isn`t it? I haven`t tried it out yet, mainly because I don`t have a room in my apartment that is big enough. When we move into a bigger place someday, I`m putting some batteries in it;)

    Nate - do you really love that bat?

    Nathan - thanks! I love that bat.

    Erik - exactly, fantastic condition and a bargain - the perfect combination! I haven`t tried it yet but once I get a bigger apartment, I will!!

  9. Sweet I'm a big famicom disk fan also. Looking forward to some posts.

  10. That *is* a pretty awesome find! I love the artwork too, even though I have no interest in baseball, but I think it's the condition and completeness of the thing that's most impressive. Great stuff!

  11. THanks Simon! Yes, the condition, completeness and artwork combined make it one of my favorite finds!