I've had my Sears Catalog and 1981 Atari Catalog scans wind up on a number of popular sites like Digg, Reddit, Kotaku, and Fark. It was unexpected but by no means unwelcome. I learned two things from these experiences:
1) There are a couple thousand folks interested in looking at old video game marketing scans2) ~1% of those viewing said scans are overly-sensitive whiners
To expand on 2), it turns out I deeply offended a few with the following comments:
Pele is the most famous soccer player of all time and I still have no idea who he is.
I'll take any of these games over Grand Theft Auto II: San Vice Andreas City or whatever it's called.
Night Driver was fun, albeit with a soundtrack that makes Aphex Twin sound pleasant.
[Referring to the Sega Master System] Face it, if you admitted to owning any of this stuff you'd be crammed into a gym locker.
I don't see how these could have been interpreted as anything other than a joke. Besides, I figured no one actually liked any of that crap.
So here I am posting another set of scans and have to make a decision, do I:
a) Go out of my way to not say anything that could even remotely upset anyone ever
b) Go out of my way to work in comments that I'm positive will upset someone
c) Continue my policy of not caring, dating back to when I started this site in 2000
I gotta admit, it's a tough decision.
Oh, so yeah, the scans.. this is not intended to be a comprehensive collection of Nintendo ads. There are a few places around with more and better scans than these. These are just whatever I happened to stumble across in magazines I didn't mind cutting up. I'm sure I'll add to this page someday or whatever. As the name implies, these are from magazines published in 1988-1989. Yeah, some of these games came out before or after then so hold back on the correction emails.
This was a great time to own an NES, new games were pouring out like crazy. Of course this meant plenty of duds too, "shovelware" I hear it called today. These ads tend to be these b-to-d-list games, I suppose good ones didn't need to advertise. Don't let these ads paint a false picture, this was the peak of the 8-bit era.
The images you see are thumbnails, click for the full-size versions which are ~1100x1500. I know you're going to post these on a message board or something. Please do me a favor and link to this page, not the actual images themselves. Don't make me update my .htaccess file to redirect hotlinks to scenes from my favorite movie involving a cup and some girls.
Here are ads for individual games.. heavy on artwork, light on screenshots:
The movie Rambo was, um, a work of, um, cinematic genius. The storyline was, um, not at all preposterous and the acting was, um, Oscar-worthy. It should, um, be held in the same regard as, um... Ah, screw it, time for plan b). Rambo was awful in every measurable way. I didn't see the latest installment because I was busy pulling out all my toenails. I laughed like a banshee when I read that Sylvester Stallone was busted with human growth hormone, laughed like a banshee.
OK, with that out of my system I can go back to plan c) - not caring (or really thinking) about the comments or whether people love or hate them. Speaking of not caring, I don't really care about Guerilla War. As far as I can tell, it's a game celebrating the Cuban revolution. How's that working out for them? I suppose if internet access wasn't heavily restricted someone from there could read this and send me an email to let me know.
Every time I see Jessica Simpson I can't help but think of how much she looks like John Elway. Tony Romo was what, 18 when the Broncos were on top of the football world? That's a very formative age, maybe he developed a subconscious attraction while watching John Elway capture back-to-back championships. When did the horse face become something guys are into anyway? I'm like the only (straight) guy I know who finds her and that singer Fergie completely unattractive.
WCW never received much respect from game companies until the Monday Night War era. At this point WCW was the name of a TV show that aired NWA matches which was confusing until they split off. Poor NWA, at the time of this writing they've been diminished to hosting shows at elementary schools and roller rinks.
Double Dragon II wasn't half-bad. Better than the original, third, and fifth installments.
Shadowgate is one of my absolute favorite NES games, decent enough ad too.
Casino Kid was an under-appreciated game. It managed to wrap poker & blackjack into an adventure game, sort of. Definitely one of the games from this time worth collecting. I always thought Sofel was a small game company that went out of business. Nope. Turns out it's one of those Japanese companies that dabbles in a variety of industries. RFID technology is their main thing now.
For the record, I own several GTA games and a Sega Master System. I can understand people enjoying soccer too. I didn't grow-up around it so it so it's not my thing but I totally get that it has tons of fans. Aphex Twin though? The first time I heard them I thought I was listening to someone getting a root canal. Speaking of root canals, here's a game that's almost that much fun.
Here are some ads from companies promoting several games together:
If you think there are a lot of second-rate controllers and accessories out today, you have no idea what it was like back in the NES days:
The Power Glove didn't actually come out until 1990, or at least that's what this ad implies. I may have to work on this theory some more but I think the Power Glove was when the NES jumped the shark. Sure, several great games came out after the Power Glove, but it was the first sign that the NES wasn't a serious competitor to the 16-bit systems.
Let's wrap things up with a few ads for stores:
Toys "R" Us was the biggest force behind game sales in 1988 as I recall. There were Electronics Boutiques and Babbages but they carried more PC software back then. As evidenced by the Suncom ad, local electronics stores were still around. There was Sears and K-Mart of course but Toys "R" Us was the most reliable place to find games in stock.