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.
Reflecting back on the DS Lite
We’re talking handhelds once again this week, taking a look at the first redesign of the Nintendo DS, the DS Lite. As a smaller DS with brighter screens, the DS Lite was nothing but an improvement upon Nintendo’s innovative, dual-screened, hit. I was actually lucky enough to snag a DS Lite a few weeks before the U.S. street date, thanks to a clueless RC Willey employee who had one out and available for purchase. Sadly, my Polar White DS Lite bit the dust four or five years ago, completely snapping in half at the hinge. It was lucky then, I guess, that it wasn’t one of these fascinating special editions below that ended up meeting its maker after a long and useful life.
Mario Red Edition
Probably the most recognizable of all the special edition DS Lites out there, the Mario Red DS Lite was released on November 28th, 2008, and was bundled with New Super Mario Bros. This DS Lite takes its striking red color from Mario himself, and features his instantly recognizable logo on the lid of the console. Sporting what is perhaps the most vibrant red we’ve ever seen on a special edition console, this DS sure stood out and is still the DS that comes to mind when I think of special edition DS Lites. This also may be the last DS Lite color ever produced, as it was released almost immediately before the launch of the DSi. If you’re looking to get one for yourself, this particular DS Lite goes on eBay for pretty cheap, coming in anywhere around $30 to $60.
Final Fantasy III Edition
Featuring artwork by Akihiko Yoshida (whose work you may recognize from multiple Final Fantasy games, Bravely Default, and Bravely Second), along with the Final Fantasy III logo on the lid, this pretty little console was released to commemorate the enhanced re-release of Final Fantasy III on DS. Up until this point, FFIII was the only Final Fantasy game that hadn’t been localized and released in the U.S., and although the remake was Final Fantasy III’s first English localization, this particular Special Edition DS Lite was released exclusively as a bundle with the game in Japan. I, for one, would love to see a similar special edition featuring Yoshida’s artwork from Bravely Second someday. Want to own this gorgeous special edition? There are currently a couple listings on eBay that place the bundle anywhere from $150 to $350.
Dialga and Palkia Edition
Released alongside Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, this DS Lite was available exclusively in Pokémon Center stores and the Nintendo World Store in New York City at launch. Along with the trademark glossy DS Lite finish, the console features glitter designs of Dialga and Palkia on a jet black background. The system actually ended up in a few different bundles in the U.S. once it was released outside of the Nintendo World Store, one bundle included both games, the DS, a Prima strategy guide, and three pins featuring Dialga, Palkia, and all three Sinnoh starters. Other bundles included a matching carrying case, a DVD of an animated Pokémon Mystery Dungeon feature, and a poster! This classy, Pokémon themed DS Lite is available on eBay for pretty cheap, with the lowest listing starting at $60.
Seattle Mariners Edition
Nintendo of America has held a majority stake in the Seattle Mariners for the last 24 years, although they recently announced that they’ll sell most of their shares, leaving them with a 10% stake in the Mariners. It was a because of this ownership that Nintendo was able to do so much in partnership with the Mariners. One of the most interesting stories that came out of this partnership revolves around the DS Lite era of Nintendo handhelds. Starting with the Seattle Mariners Edition DS Lite, which had the Mariners logo emblazoned on the lid. Only 2,000 of these consoles were produced, and were sold exclusively at a booth at Safeco Field.
It was also during this time that Nintendo and the Mariners unveiled the Nintendo Fan Network, a network that, as far as I can tell, is still in use today. The app, now available through DSiWare, was/is available from kiosks at Safeco Field, and allows fans to get real time-stats on the baseball game, check scores of other Major League Baseball games, play mini-games with other fans using the app, and order food and drinks right from their seats. Nintendo Fan Network used to cost $5 per game, but is now available to everyone, free of charge. The limited edition DS, however, is definitely not. I was only able to find one for sale online, and it’s going for $220.
Tune in next week
There it is, folks! Another fascinating look at a Nintendo handheld and some of its special editions, along with some interesting stories to go with them. Join us next week for a followup to a previous Collectors Corner, a look at a product that I hope to one day have a complete collection of. Want to try and guess which one it is? Take a look at our previous Collectors Corner entries and you just might figure it out!
Do you have a particular favorite special edition you want to see featured? Do you collect something Nintendo themed that isn’t a console? We want to hear your suggestions! Let us know over on Facebook, Twitter, or down in the comments!