This was originally going to be a ‘post cool auction finds’ thread where we share cool things that we might see on Yahoo Auctions, Surugaya, Mandarake, eBay etc…but it turns out what I did find has enough historical significance for a different sort of thread:
It’s an old kanban (signboard) adorned with the earliest Nintendo logo (the one used up until the 1950s) on its upper half. Despite the classic logo it’s got little to do with Nintendo the playing card company - these signs were actually used in franchise of stores that began operation in Japan starting in the early 90’s: the Nintendo Entertainment Shop「任天堂エンターテイメントショップ」.
Simply put, it appears Nintendo used constraints on software supply as a carrot to convince retailers to join their franchise and adopt Nintendo’s own approved store operation. Retailers that joined as Nintendo Entertainment Shop franchisees would thereby receive preferential treatment on the supply of major new releases at the time. This TV feature from 1991, also below even went as far as claiming that nearby stores would be buying copies of games from the franchisee stores to sell on.
Perhaps today’s Nintendo eShop branding is a nod to this…
Presumably the franchise programme collapsed after the mid-90’s following PlayStation’s stranglehold on third party software in the region.