Check Out This Dumb Thing I Bought: Hanshin Tigers Gamecube

Japan has this chain of second-hand stores called Book-Off. Like it’s name suggests, it started as a second-hand bookstore, but over the years its morphed into a general secondhand media store. At Book-Off you can buy DVDs, CDs, video games, and even VHS tapes and laserdiscs at some locations.

Book-Offs are dope, and  have become my go to spots for finding the weird and unusual, usually at cut-rate prices. Thanks to my crate-digging at Book-Off I’ve found countless game music CDs on the cheap, a few weird movies, and even some great classic GBA titles. But last week’s score has to be a crowning achievement.

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BEHOLD THE HANSHIN TIGERS GAMECUBE.

I don’t know why.

So I actually had been looking for a Gamecube for a while now, mostly because I wanted to get a Gameboy Player so I could play those Super Mario Advance games on my TV. I was just about to pick up a Gamecube/GB Player bundle for about 1,500 yen (about $15) when I peeked this pinstriped piece of idiocy out of the corner of my eye.

At just 2,500 yen, complete with the Gameboy Player, it was a steal. Despite knowing nothing about Japanese baseball, and finding the pinstripe look kind of hideious, it was just too damn weird not to pick up.

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Time hasn’t been exactly kind to this one, it’s yellowed and looks a bit dingy, but it still plays perfect. And besides, it’s just so damn weird. Apparently this thing came out sometime in 2003 after the Tigers (who are a Japanese baseball team, by the way) won the championship. It originally came with a jersey, but mine is sadly lacking that. I don’t know how many they made, but I can’t imagine that this sucker was in production for long. It’s one of only two limited edition Gamecubes, the other being a blood red model that came out as part of a special Resident Evil promotion. I don’t think I’ll ever buy that, but who knows?

As well as the Gamecube, I also got some games to play on the Gameboy Player, but not just any games, amazing Famicom mini reproductions!

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These came out in 2004 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Famicom. I don’t know how many got made in total, but I know that I scored three of the best with this find. Mario! Zelda! Xevious! All in amazing packaging that play homage to their original Famicom boxes! So cool.

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Actually, I’m not hanging onto these for much longer as I’m going to give them to a friend back home (hi Anna!) but I thought they were too neat not to share.

One thing I’ve discovered in my time here is that stuff that would be incredibly expensive, or at the very least a worthwhile and hard-to-find curiosity, is usually dirt cheap here. And since I’m a sucker for cheap stupidity, expect “check out this dumb thing I bought” to become a somewhat regular feature here.

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