Today brought reports that, after a publishing run of 24 years, the famous Nintendo Power magazine is no more. If true, it’s a sadder day than most involving the closing of a game publication, because for many Nintendo Power was more than just a magazine. It was a piece of their childhood.
Those who are a little older, though, may remember the publication that came before Nintendo Power: Nintendo Fun Club, a newsletter that began circulation in 1987. Though only running for seven issues, it’s important not just because it was shut down and turned into Nintendo Power, but because it kickstarted the whole idea of turning Nintendo customers into lifelong Nintendo fans.
To get access to the publication, kids had to sign up for it, which for the first year was free (a great deal, since the thing didn’t last that long). In return, they’d not only get the newsletter, but a membership card as well, which would get them discounts and extras on games and Nintendo merchandise.
Nintendo Fun Club wasn’t much of a magazine; it was really just a collection of advertisements, with a few letters and tips thrown to mix things up. Today, that probably wouldn’t fly, there’d be at least some attempt at editorial, but for small kids in the 80s, that’s all they wanted!
Despite its short run, the newsletter even managed to work its way into a game; in Punch-Out, Little Mac can be seen telling kids to go sign up for it.
You can see some shots of the newsletter below, courtesy of Video Game Obsession.