Back in the 90s, before fan-created, bootleg, and official Nintendo merch was everywhere online, it was pretty slim pickings for kids who wanted video game memorabilia. Maybe that’s why Nintendo Super Power Supplies is so memorable to me — it was a mail order catalogue that came with Nintendo Power magazine, containing some of the most coveted items I can recall from my childhood. I never ordered anything from them, as you had to be a Nintendo Power subscriber to do so, and I only ever borrowed issues of it from the library. So for this installment of the column, let’s look back at some of the offerings from the Nintendo Super Power Supplies Catalog that I longed for as a child — and some that were, uh, nearer to the bottom of my most-wanted list. (Thanks to archive.org and retromags.com for the scans!)
Zelda Pocket Watch (Winter 1998)
I never wanted a pocket watch before I saw this thing and I have never wanted one since, but I loved The Legend of Zelda so much in the 90s, and this seemed like such a sophisticated, adult timepiece. It now goes for over $100 on eBay. Even with inflation, that’s still double its original price. $30 doesn’t seem so bad now, huh dad?
N64 Jacket (Winter 1997) — Nintendo Super Power Supplies
I would probably wear this today. It also probably goes for several hundred dollars on Grailed today.
Weirdly Shaped CDs! (Spring 1998)
They only worked on CD players that used spindles, meaning they were unplayable on most home and car stereos, but these soundtracks were the coolest thing to me. I didn’t really understand the concept at the time — they’re just CDs cut down with the usable part still being a circle that doesn’t extend past the shortest point of the disc. Still, even after learning that, I still like them. And while Yoshi’s Story may not have been the best title on the N64, you have to admit that it had some pretty good background music.
Zelda Purple Shirt (Summer 1998) — Nintendo Super Power Supplies
How often do you see a purple Zelda shirt? Look how purple it is! Unfortunately, it was adult sizing only, so even if I could have ordered one in 1998, there’s no way it would have fit me.
Mario & Yoshi Message Centers (Summer 1998)
These are straight-up just magnetic dry-erase boards with renders of Nintendo characters on them, but “die-cut board” sounded so high-tech to me. Check out the Yoshi one — today, Forsaken is probably best remembered for a bizarre marketing campaign and cover featuring model Donna DeCianni, but in 1998, it could be mentioned alongside titles like 1080 Snowboarding, Banjo-Kazooie, and Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr.
Controller Gloves? (Fall/Winter 1999) — Nintendo Super Power Supplies
Ok, I never wanted these — I don’t even remember seeing them in the catalog — but I had to include them here because, well, look at them. The catalog says they’re “for serious gamers only.” I guess they’re for added grip during sweaty Donkey Kong 64 sessions? But they’re Neoprene, which is cool. For some reason, anything that could be Neoprene was Neoprene in the late 90s.
DK Country Banana Boat (Summer 1995)
And speaking of Donkey Kong, this one is a little before my time, but it’s too amazing not to share. For only $40 USD, you could purchase an inflatable Banana Boat measuring 5’5″ x 2’4″ that even came with an patch kit to deal with the inevitable holes. I can’t imagine how different my life might have been had my family owned the Donkey Kong Banana Boat. I probably wouldn’t be writing this. I’d be a completely different person. Ah, what might have been. (Credit to Hidden Machine on YouTube for the screencap.)