Collectors Corner: Game Boy Color | Nintendo Wire

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.

GameBoyColor-Teal

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

GameBoyColor-Lawson

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.

GameBoyColor-Tsutaya

Tommy Hilfiger

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.

GameBoyColor-TommyHilfiger

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.

Hello Kitty

GameBoyColor-HelloKitty

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

GameBoyColor-Pikachu

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!


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Written by Jaxson Tapp

While Jaxson's time is currently filled with writing for Nintendo Wire and making sure he remembers to bring his 3DS absolutely everywhere, the greatest occupier of his time will always be anxiously waiting for Luigi's Mansion HD to be announced.

Jaxson Tapp

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  1. Sharon Hammond says:

    Hi!
    I’m kind of hoping that you might be able to give me some advice. I stumbled upon your site while trying to research the Game Boy Color unit. I have an original, still factory sealed Game Boy Color limited edition icy blue unit. I won it back in 1998 at a church festival and never opened it because I already had a gameboy. I put it away for my son who was less than a year old at the time. I had actually forgotten about it until I was cleaning out a cupboard and came across it recently. I took it to a comic book store/video game place and he offered me $250 for it but a gentleman who was a customer there told me that it was worth a fair bit more in his opinion. Now I don’t know what to do with it! My now 21 year old son wants it, but he wants to open it and play with it as he’s into retro gaming. But I feel that it would be silly to do that because it’s probably rare to find one in this condition, I’m sure for someone that collects them this would be a wonderful edition to their collection as I’m sure there probably aren’t too many still factory sealed around. Any advice would be awesome!

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