Saturday, February 22, 2014

Choujin Ultra Yakyuu Baseball Limited Edition and the Elusive Phone Cards

 I bought this limited edition version of Choujin Ultra Baseball off of Yahoo Auction the other day, mostly out of curiousity. 

I wouldn`t normally bother buying a baseball game, but this one is of mild interest from a Famicom collector`s point of view.  Note the little red circle there which says `Tereka tsuki Gentai Hin` - Limited Edition, comes with telephone card.
 This was a special release of the game that came packed with a phone card.  Collecting phone cards is a kind of popular hobby in Japan since over the years lots of them have been issued with various artwork on them.  I don`t collect them but I see them for sale from time to time.  I am guessing they must be on the wane with everyone having cell phones today, but in the 90s they were pretty commonplace.
Anyway, my copy of Choujin Ultra was almost CIB but not quite - the Telephone card had been removed.  I did a bit of looking around and found quite a few of these almost CIB copies of it on Yahoo Auction, all of them with the phone card removed.

It seems the phone cards, which have the game`s cover art on them, are a prized collectible among both Famicom and phone card collectors, so over the years pretty much every CIB copy of this game (there seems to have been a few cases of them that survived as dead stock) has had the phone card removed.  An almost CIB copy of this game goes for about 2-3$, but the phone cards go for more like 15-20$ each, so it is by far the most valuable part of the game. 

I can`t really get too excited about owning a phone card, so I haven`t bothered picking one up.  But if you are a purist, I suppose you would need one in order to truly have a CIB copy of this game.

Anyway, that is just another random, extremely minor piece of Famicom collecting trivia that I stumbled across recently and just thought I would put it out there!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

10 Yen Finds: Famicom Sky Destroyer Chirashi

I came across a little 10 yen (10 cent) bargain the other day, an original chirashi (flyer/mini poster) for Sky Destroyer by Taito. 

It is in pretty rough shape, wtih a crease down the middle, some wrinkles here and there and some surface wear on the pilot`s face. Still I count this as a pretty cool purchase.

Sky Destroyer was a Japan-only release on the Famicom that never made it to the NES.  Somehow I forgot to include it on my recent overview of Japan-only releases.  It is not a bad pilot-perspective shoot em up. The gameplay is somewhat similar to After Burner, only not quite as good.  I still like it though, the graphics are a bit primitive but in their simplicity they make the screen look pretty cool.

I guess it is pretty obvious why this was never released outside of Japan - you are flying a Zero in World War 2 and trying to shoot down American planes.  No way in hell that would have been released anywhere but Japan, unless they reversed the roles.

Anyway, politics aside I`ve always really liked the cover art on the Sky Destroyer box (and by extension my new chirashi). 

It has the perfect balance of color - the blue sky, green plane, yellow border and pink lettering of the game title.

This was one of the early Taito series that came numbered.  Sky Destroyer is number 5 in the series.  The back of the chirashi has an ad for the first four, Space Invaders, Chack n Pop, Front Line and Elevator Action:

Actually all of those also have really awesome cover art.  I have Chack n Pop and Space Invaders CIB and they are both pretty cool, especially Chack n Pop.  Elevator Action in particular is a game that I really want to find CIB and to get a chirashi for.  The artwork on that one is even better than Sky Destroyer and probably one of the best out of the entire Famicom catalogue.

For now though I have put my Sky Destroyer chirashi in a little frame next to my DC Cab movie poster, which is by far the coolest thing that I own.  I think they go well together.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

CUTE!! Oh my god these are so....CUTE!!

 I got some little itty bitty Famicoms in the mail yesterday!

Look how small that is!  It fits in the palm of my hand like it was nothing.  So cute!!

And look the Super Mario Bros cart isn`t just a molded part of the Famicom, it actually comes out and is so tiny:
This is part of the Nintendo History collection, a series of Gachapon (capsules) that are sold in vending machines.  There were six Famicom themed ones released and I got the whole series off of Yahoo Auctions a few days ago, still in their original capsules:

Each comes with a little explanatory booklet:
There is also an AV Famicom one:
 The details are awesome, the controllers actually plug into and out of it like on a real one, and the cart slot flaps open and close so you can put a copy of SMB3 which came with it in:

The FDS is pretty cool too, it hooks up to the Famicom just like a real one:

My favorite part about them is probably that they are almost perfect sized Famicoms for vintage Star Wars action figures

Too bad they don`t have a little TV to play it on.

I also got a Wild Gunman set (which comes with three teeny weeny carts - Wild Gunman, Duck Hunt and Hogan`s Alley), a Family Basic and a Square Button Famicom.  I might put pics of them up in a future post.

I really like these things, I have to find some imaginative way of displaying them....