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.
The greatest of great: Game Boy Color
This week, we’re heading back to my love of handhelds by taking a look at the handheld that started it all for me: the Game Boy Color. When I was younger, I was inseparable from my Game Boy, playing every version of Pokémon that I could get my hands on. The Game Boy Color had a great library of games besides Pokémon, including some of my favorite Zelda games and the first game featuring everyone’s favorite genie, Shantae! Looking back, I realize that it’s truly incredible that we were all so captivated while playing a console with only two buttons and a D-pad.
A favorite Game Boy memory of mine actually involves a little tragedy: I had brought my trusty, Pikachu Edition Game Boy Color to my grandpa’s house to stay over, since it went with me everywhere. Being a child at his grandparents’ house, I was easily distracted by the many great things going on and carelessly left my Game Boy on the arm of the couch, where my grandma’s Irish Wolfhound decided to find her next snack. My Game Boy was doomed; utterly destroyed, along with my copy of Pokémon Silver, by the dog’s teeth. My grandpa, being the great man he was, jumped right up and took me to the store for a new Game Boy, apologizing the whole way. That new Game Boy wasn’t a special edition Pikachu Game Boy, instead sporting a simple teal color. But it was and still is, far more special to me for that reason. My grandfather recently passed away, and with Memorial Day being this week, I wanted to honor his memory with this special Game Boy Color edition of Collector’s Corner.
Japan’s special colors
This week’s Collectors Corner turned out to be a lot harder to research than I had anticipated. While researching, I found that many of the special edition Game Boy Colors were only released in Japan, in very limited quantities and often were only sold in specific areas of Japan. I’ve picked a few to feature here in this section. The Lawson Game Boy Color, pictured above, featured a clear, aqua blue front, with a white backing. The Tsutaya Game Boy Color, pictured below, was ice blue, with orange buttons.
Back in 1999, Tommy Hilfiger was all the rage. Or at least, Nintendo seemed to think it was. The two entered into a partnership during the summer of that year; with Nintendo producing these GBCs featuring the Tommy Hilfiger color scheme and logo, and Tommy Hilfiger featuring in store demos of Nintendo’s software titles on the N64 and Game Boy Color.
It’s also important to note that this was the first time a Nintendo system was co-branded with another company’s logo. In addition to selling these systems, Tommy Hilfiger employees received them as bonuses as well. Want one for yourself? They’re selling for anywhere from $25 to $175 on eBay, depending on the condition.
Say hello to one of the many Hello Kitty special edition handhelds produced by Nintendo. The Game Boy pictured above is actually one of two Hello Kitty Game Boy Color systems, with the other being a slightly brighter pink, with a different image of Hello Kitty and a different logo. To be perfectly frank, I don’t know much about this particular Game Boy, other than the fact that it is the second edition released in 2000, and the brighter pink was produced first, releasing in 1999. The second edition is also the rarer of the two; I was only able to find one on eBay, with a current price of $228.
Pokémon Yellow Pikachu Edition
Being the mobile platform powerhouse that it is, Pokémon received many Game Boy Colors featuring its logo and easily recognizable characters. This Pikachu Edition GameBoy Color was released alongside Pokémon Yellow in October 1999. The system prominently features Pikachu, Jigglypuff and Togepi. And with a Poké Ball whose center acted as the power indicator, this special Pikachu GameBoy was destined to be just as much of a standout as its namesake. My brother and I each received one of these Game Boys for Christmas 1999, and mine subsequently bit the dust a few years later, as mentioned in the intro story. My brother stills owns and plays with his though. Want to get one for yourself? Most are sitting right around $125 on eBay.
Want more collector goodness?
There you have it! Another week of Collectors Corner in the bag! Join us next week for some crazy colors of a more recent handheld! Is this your first week with us? Go back and read the entries on the GBA SP and the GameCube!