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.





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.


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!


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.


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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