Remember when you bought a new game, and you couldn’t possibly wait to open it until you got home? So you opened it the car and immediately flipped through the manual to read every last word? (and if you’re as weird as me, you smelled it because it smelled like new game and it was glorious!). And there were a lot of other somewhat random things too, like the excellent “operation cards” that came with Nintendo 64 games. I love all of those video game box inserts!
I miss those days. And apparently I’m not alone-games that are complete with all inserts fetch crazy high prices on eBay! A young me never would’ve guessed the nostalgic power of silly video game box inserts.
What were some of those delightful yet unnecessary inserts, you ask? I went through some of my game collection (a lot of these come from the N64 era) and wanted to share some fun examples of random things I found. Read to the end to see a “new old release” from Limited Run too!
Advertisements for Nintendo Power and game guides
These were the most common. Don’t you wish you could send in that card and your $19.95 to re-subscribe to Nintendo Power and get a free guide? What a deal!
Upcoming game teasers
This was a great way to advertise when the internet was still young. Ads like these just helped make new games seem appealing!
Merchandise for the game
I never actually ordered anything from one of these advertisements (sound off in the comments if you have!) but I’m pretty dang sure I should have. I’m very tempted to call the number at the bottom and see if I still can…
Shameless promotion designed to look “cool”
This is what the 90s did best! Sega really pioneered this in their attempt to overtake Nintendo in the “Console Wars”. Look all the awesome games and merch on this poster included with Sonic 1!
Of course, Nintendo eventually responded with their colorful “Play It Loud” campaign, that was equally as 90s as Sega’s marketing. This insert came with a lot of Game Boy boxes:
Surveys about the player base
These might be my favorite in terms of nostalgia. I LOVE the answer choices for some of these questions, both because some answers don’t exist anymore, and because some are just so reflective of the time. This one is from the box for Mystical Ninja on the N64, which I bought used from Blockbuster for about $10 back in the day:
New Limited Run inserts!
Let’s be honest, if you’ve found your way to my website, then you’re probably familiar with Limited Run. One of my favorite things about their physical releases is that they ALWAYS include a manual, and the Collector’s Editions always come with all sorts of bonus goodies that remind me of heyday of game inserts. I want to share one of my favorites that is a throwback to the N64 era of glorious box art:
Other physical releases are now including things like maps, stickers, and comics too! The absolutely stellar Hollow Knight has a gorgeous map and manual:
Do you miss the days of random video game box inserts? Or am I just a crazy person? Let me know in the comments below, and please share any awesome ones you remember, or still have!