Target and Toys R Us Nintendo Ads, 1986/1988

Nintendo Ad 1986

Nintendo Ad 1988

I can’t remember if I got my NES for Christmas ’86, or Christmas ’87. Either way, it was the most my parents ever spent on a single gift. I got a Schwinn Scrambler (red mags—it was beautiful) one Christmas, but I’d been putting payments on the thing for months. I’d sold my old bike to a kid in the neighborhood and used the money as a down—I think it was 20 bucks. My parents sneakily paid the balance, and there it was propped up by the tree in the morning.

Anyway, Atari it isn’t, but the NES is a great system. I put it third behind the 2600 and Intellivision. Favorite games: Tecmo Super Bowl and Xenophobe. Friend J. and I, and his brother, logged many, many hours on the former. And I have a very strong memory of renting Xenophobe from Blockbuster, getting pizza from the neighborhood joint next door, and playing three-player mode throughout the night.

The fact that the NES went up in price between 1986 and 1988 shows how dominant it was at the time. The next system I got—and the first one I bought for myself—was a Sega Genesis in the early ’90s, when Sonic the Hedgehog was bundled with it.

(Images via The Mushroom Kingdom and Fins Vintage Paper and Collectibles/eBay)

1 Response to “Target and Toys R Us Nintendo Ads, 1986/1988”


  1. 1 J December 15, 2013 at 7:59 am

    I remember finding an NES under my parents bed while exploring my house as a child. Of course I opened it, hooked it up, and started playing it. My Mom was not pleased (it was a yet to be wrapped present).

    As for top consoles, my list would start like this; 1) TurboGrafx 16/ PC Engine, 2) Sega Saturn, 3) NeoGeo Pocket Color, 4) Sega Genesis/ Megadrive, 5) NES/ Famicom. Import gaming is like a secret magical world, especially when you can’t read Japanese!


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