Welcome to Collectors Corner! Each week I’ll be bringing you a special article on the special editions of consoles and other Nintendo merchandise that I love. Ever since I was a kid Nintendo’s special editions have stood out to me, and I’m excited to share that passion with you all.
It’s all about the ‘Cube
This week’s focus is one of my favorite consoles that Nintendo has released, the Nintendo GameCube. Since it was released early in Fall 2001, the GameCube became my primary console growing up. The GameCube is home to two of my favorite things about gaming, the first being my absolute favorite game, one of the GameCube’s launch titles, Luigi’s Mansion. The second of those things is being saved for a future Collectors Corner, so stay tuned! There are a number of other things that I love about Nintendo’s GameCube, like the fact that it was the starting point for two of my favorite Nintendo franchises, Pikmin and Animal Crossing.
One thing that the GameCube didn’t get a lot of in the U.S. was special edition consoles. It was bundled with several games throughout its lifespan, but not many of them lent themselves to a special GameCube color scheme, often being relegated to having their logo replace the Nintendo GameCube logo on the lid of the console. This week, I’ll be covering some of these bundled editions, and some Japanese-exclusive GameCube variants, as well as the product of a partnership between Nintendo and Panasonic that you probably haven’t heard of.
Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness bundle
This limited edition GameCube bundle was released alongside Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness, the sequel to Pokémon Colosseum. Like many of the special edition GameCube bundles that were released, the GameCube itself was a platinum edition GameCube with the plate on the lid swapped out. The plate on this particular console features Shadow Lugia and the Gale of Darkness logo. That image of Shadow Lugia really complements this system, but I wish that the color scheme extended to the rest of the console. If you’re interested, this system can be found on eBay with various accessories or standalone for anywhere from $50 to $200.
Tales of Symphonia bundle
This absolutely beautiful GameCube was available in a bundle with Tales of Symphonia, but was limited to European and Japanese releases. Along with Tales of Symphonia, this mint green GameCube was also bundled with a matching mint green controller, and a mint green Game Boy Player in Japan. Like other GameCube bundles, the plate on the lid uses a game-specific logo; unlike other bundles, this particular system was lucky enough to have an overhaul of the color as well. The console greatly benefits from this new green color, looking light and refreshing. You can currently find only three listings for this system, in the complete bundle, box, controller, game and all, on eBay for $300 to $400.
Hanshin Tigers limited edition
This limited edition GameCube is one of the few specially colored GameCube consoles released that had more than just a new monochrome color scheme. This edition is also slightly confusing to pretty much everyone outside of Japan. The story behind this odd white console with black pinstripes is kind of unique. In 2003, the Hanshin Tigers won the Nippon Baseball League Championship, and Nintendo made 1,000 of these special edition GameCubes to celebrate. Bundled with the console were a special Hanshin Tigers jersey, a black Hanshin Tigers controller, and a black Game Boy Player. If you’d like one of your own, they can be found on eBay, sans-jersey, for $60 to $70. If you want that jersey though, you’ll have to shell out anywhere from $300 to $500.
The Panasonic Q is a GameCube quite unlike any other. A joint effort between Panasonic and Nintendo, the Q was a hybrid system, mixing the GameCube with a DVD player. The Q was the result of a deal between Nintendo and Panasonic’s parent company, Matsushita. When Nintendo struck a deal for Matsushita to produce the optical drive used in the GameCube, an agreement was made allowing Matsushita to produce a DVD player that played GameCube games. Thus, the Panasonic Q was born.
With a stainless steel body, a backlit LCD menu screen, and a front-loading disc tray, the Q was unlike any other GameCube ever produced. Released in late-2001, the Q was produced alongside the GameCube; however, due to low sales numbers, the Q had a production cycle of only two years. As a result, these puppies are very hard to come by these days, and the lowest I’ve ever seen one go for was $360. They’ll currently run you about $400 to $700 on eBay.
There are all the special edition GameCubes for this week’s Collectors Corner! Although, I would like to point out that I didn’t mention my favorite GameCube variant in this list, because it isn’t a special edition. For those of you wondering, my favorite is the Japan-only Spice Orange GameCube.
Join us next week for a trip a bit further back in time for more handheld goodness!