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Weirdness: Nintendo Goes Old School With a Mahjong Set

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Though it does cost more than a 3DS

Those familiar with Nintendo history will know that before it moved into the electronic entertainment industry it was founded as a playing card company, producing and marketing its Hanafuda game. Though not quite returning to those roots in a literal sense, the company is releasing an attractive Mahjong set, pictured above.

According to Kotaku it'll retail in Japan — its only confirmed release region — for a little under $200US, with an optional mat for $50. The Nintendo branding, as you can see in the images, is subtle; there's no smiling plumber to be found.

It's an expensive set, but shows Nintendo can produce quality away from video games, too.

[via kotaku.com]

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User Comments (36)

Morpheel

#1

Morpheel said:

They will release this in america.

But just the tiles. Solitaire for everyone!

XCWarrior

#2

XCWarrior said:

I was going to say I'd buy that, but for $200? Wow. I do own the Nintendo Memory game w/Mario characters. Plan to play that with my kid when he's older.

KeeperBvK

#3

KeeperBvK said:

Oh man, I love Mahjongg. I've been playing it for hours, days and weeks in China and back home as well. Even been bringing back a whole set, despite them being really heavy.
I'd love to have one of these Nintendo-branded sets. :(

sinalefa

#5

sinalefa said:

I saw that and I thought it was a Club Nintendo reward. That would be amazing.

Player4

#10

Player4 said:

Nintendo is doomed!!!!!!1!!1!
They should quit the gaming industry and be a hanafuda card company.

Seriously though, that's a nice Mahjong set

TheGZeus

#12

TheGZeus said:

They never stopped making cards AFAIK.
You can buy plain-old hanafuda cards made by them for a few hundred yen in Japan.

TheGZeus

#13

TheGZeus said:

@ReshiramZekrom dude, mahjong is serious business in Japan.
At the end of the night friendships will be over and bank accounts emptied.
I want nothing to do with it, but it is a complex and intense gambling game.

Yosher

#16

Yosher said:

Surprised this doesn't have any Mario/Nintendo characters imprinted on the stone thingies or anything like they did with the Hanafuda cards in Club Nintendo.

FritzFrapp

#17

FritzFrapp said:

Oh wow! Very interesting.
The set's called Yakuman Phoenix–or Ho-o in Japanese. Just checked and it seems Nintendo filed a trademark for that name along with Yakuman Four Seasons–Shiki in Japanese–almost exactly 2 years ago.
In 2014 it'll be 50 years since Nintendo launched its Yakuman series of Mahjong. The Phoenix set looks like very good quality. I REALLY WANT THIS. Will have to have a loft clear out to raise some funds.

Tony_342

#18

Tony_342 said:

A few months ago, I imported a premium Nintendo Hanafuda deck from Japan. It's a great collector's item. I wish Nintendo had continued their "toy company" business alongside their modern video game business. I would buy a lot of their toys just for myself!

AVahne

#19

AVahne said:

They've been making mahjong sets for a while now apparently. I guess this is either just a new production or they might have stopped a while back only to start up again. I hope they're also still making hanafuda decks; I've yet to pick up a black daitouryou deck like I wanted. So far I only have the Club Nintendo Mario deck and the (cheaply made) Summer Wars deck.

Magikarp3

#20

Magikarp3 said:

For a second there I thought it would have been a Mahjong set with Nintendo characters as the flowers and seasons. I can think of a few people who would love to have one of those as a gift :o

AVahne

#21

AVahne said:

Also, $200 for a mahjong set sounds like a very good price. Thought it'd be more expensive.

Kaze_Memaryu

#22

Kaze_Memaryu said:

@AVahne Came to realize this, too.
Not only is this stuff made with quality care, but also quality material - and those are much bigger than the stuff that is sold normally in the west.

Zaphod_Beeblebrox

#26

Zaphod_Beeblebrox said:

I wish the Nintendo of America web site would sell Hanafuda, Mahjong, etc. (for money, not Club Nintendo points).

wombatkidd

#27

wombatkidd said:

Not surprising. Nintendo actually has their fingers in a lot of pies. Amoung other things they make pinball machines, pachinko machines, playing cards, and for some reason owns the Seattle Mariners.

sillygostly

#30

sillygostly said:

I'm not a Mahjong fan, but that looks amazing.

I wonder if these sets are manufactured in Japan though.

HopeNForever

#35

HopeNForever said:

Mahjong? Doesn't this game have Chinese roots though?

I shouldn't be too surprised that Nintendo are still making traditional games, albeit as business on a small scale. I recall actually being an owner of an authentic, Nintendo-branded play card set! (No, not Hanafuda, but actual western play cards with all the well-known symbols ♠ ♥ ♦ ♣ .)

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