'90s Game Boy Adverts

I recently came into posession (again) of a massive quantity of video game magazines from circa 1992-1998. These had been buried in a wardrobe at my parents’ place. The purpose (or motive, really) of this article is that I’d intended to dig up as many of the old Game Boy adverts as I could find. The ones that followed the “Game Boy: More fun than..” routine. I got somewhat sidetracked and scanned the following gems also.

This was from an article on rudimentary internet access in an obscure magazine called “Gamestar”. I thought it was rather quaint to see the Microsoft Network V 1.0 BETA in pictures. An image on the facing page bore the caption “God would have you believe that to get the best of the Net, all you have to do is access MSN”. Excelsior to see that nothing’s changed since 1995!

This is the cover of my copy of the first edition ever of the Nintendo Magazine System. As it happens, my copy is far from mint condition. Some undefinable brown substance has defaced virtually the entire right-hand-side of the cover, visible plainly on Mario’s rabbit ear. Also, a few pages are missing and part of the magazine looks worse off than a bit of newspaper that has been used as garden mulch. But it’s MINE.

This is a bunch of crap you could win, then stick on your Game Boy. Seeing as this is a Game Boy-based article, I thought it’d be appropriate to add this. Also, note the museum-quality usage of the word “dude”. Classy!

This is (what I assume to be) an official advert for the Nintendo Hotline, back when it was possibly the only 0055 number not to be associated with obese housewives masquerading as leggy prostitutes. Of particular note here is the rather splendid image of a cross-eyed Mario clearly suffering from a birth defect that I'm sure it'd be politically incorrect to name.

A flip-out Game Boy calculator for the discerning geek! Guaranteed to ensure you’ll be waddling home from school with your scrotum and the majority of your underwear intricately entangled in your arse-crack. I also saw an article about a Game Boy watch with rudimentary LCD games in it, but sadly the page had been basically destroyed by moisture, so I didn’t bother scanning it. Pity.

Here’s a teasing lead-up to the “more fun than” Game Boy advertisements! The transparent Game Boy wasn’t around for long, as far as I can recall. Nice usage of x-ray images, but I can’t say I recall the Game Boy screen being illuminated so.

I’m certain there’s actually some really intelligent wit behind this, but I’m struggling to see past the blatantly 1930’s-esque comedic racism. Maybe it’s shock value, or something. Still, what a nice yellow Game Boy. And here’s what you’ve been waiting for….

More fun than a ferret down your trousers. Genius! In an unrelated magazine, I found an interview with the Game Boy Boy, or James Rullis as his mum calls him. I’ll share random tidbits with you as we explore some more “More fun than..” imagery!

James Rullis Tidbit #1: James resigned from a hairdressing apprenticeship to star in the Game Boy adverts.

More fun than a clip on the ear! Note the amazingly clever juxtaposition of the expected clip, or slap, with a bulldog clip! Mastery of mirth, dear sir!

James Rullis Tidbit #2: When James auditioned, he was asked to mimic having a bulldog clip attached to his ear. When they filmed the actual commercial, he was shocked to find it was a real clip they stuck on his lug!

A hole…..in the head! Hee! In retrospect, I shouldn’t really knock these adverts so much. They’re emblazoned into my psyche, so I guess they worked pretty well. As a side note, am I the only one who notices a remarkable similarity between the Game Boy pixel-font and the Nokia pixel-font? And am I an incredibly geeky person for even mentioning that I noticed that? And does that last question even bear thinking about when you’ve just read an entire article about Game Boy advertising in the ’90s?

James Rullis Tidbit #3: After making the advertisements, James claimed he “got stared at a lot, got a lot of strange looks, and people whispered about him, wondering whether he was the guy from the ads”. And that quote was paraphrased poorly to keep it grammatically in-sync with the sentence it was crowbarred into. Also, James claims the adverts once encouraged a girl to ask him for a kiss! No information is provided as to whether a) a kiss ensued, b) the girl was attractive or not, or c) was indeed a girl at all!

The '90s were cool in a way no future decade ever has, and likely ever will repeat.