Nintendo is the oldest company in gaming today. They have a long history of making quality video games. Before that though, they were a toymaker, and even before that, they made great trading cards. They wouldn’t still be around today if they weren’t good at what they do. Sometimes they made some mistakes along the way, and sometimes they make decisions that just confuse everyone.
Nintendo’s history of churning out truly bizarre games, consoles, controllers, and accessories is lengthy. If you think the Virtual Boy or the Wii U is the fullest extent of their weirdness, then you haven’t seen anything yet. From the Panasonic Q GameCube DVD player to the Sharp Famicom Television, Nintendo seemingly prides itself in making as many absurd and forgettable products as possible.
But it’s their accessories, and those made for their consoles by third party companies, that truly take the eccentric cake. We all know about Amiibos and the ridiculously overpriced Pro Controller for the Switch, but did you know that those two aren’t even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wonderful and strange world of Nintendo accessories. We’re talking fishing rods, internet devices from the 1990s, robots, and even lumps of plastic that don’t do anything.
Nintendo’s vault of tricks is a vast and confusing wonderland full of things the human mind can barely comprehend. Some are completely worthless today, and others are worth a fortune for their rarity. So sit back and strap in, because we’re going to take you on a strange (and possibly lucrative journey if you’ve got some of this stuff sitting in your attic) journey.
30 Worthless: Mario DDR Dance Mat For GameCube
Dance Dance Revolution was once a cultural icon, and it probably still is in some parts of the world. But the DDR craze officially reached peak fad in 2005, with the release of Dance Dance Revolution Mario Mix.
The game is standard DDR, except with Mario characters and songs. But the thing about DDR is, it needs a mat. Enter the Mario DDR Dance Mat, a plastic mat made exclusive for the game. It’s just a regular DDR dance pad with a silhouette of Mario in the middle, so it’s not particularly collectible.
29 Fortune: NES Speedboard
Hold on to your hats everyone, because I’m about to blow your mind. In 1991, Pressman released the “Speedboard,” which was just a lump of plastic to hold your controller. Allegedly, you’d put your NES controller inside, and it’d let you tap buttons faster, or something.
Astonishingly, these things are worth some money online. One sold for as high as $85 on eBay, complete and in box. Another sold for $50 without the box. All for a piece of plastic!
28 Worthless: Donkey Konga GameCube Bongos
Donkey Kong Jungle Beat released in 2005 (2004 in Japan) to a mixed reaction. The game was good, but it’s method of control was interesting. Rather than using a regular controller, you instead had to use the plastic bongos that came with Donkey Konga, a DK-themed rhythm game.
Being just a pair of plastic bongos for two relatively obscure and forgotten games, the bongos aren’t really worth much compared to how much they originally cost.
27 Fortune: NES Power Pad
Speaking of worthless NES accessories, Bandai released the Power Pad in 1986. Originally sold as the Family Fun Fitness, this pad was meant to work with the game Stadium Events. Playing the game with the pad was terrible though, as all you could do was quickly stamp your feet over and over again until you won.
Still, the Power Pad is worth a pretty penny online these days. One sold recently on eBay for $76 without a box, and an original Family Fun Fitness version went for as high as $100.
26 Worthless: Konami LaserScope
The 90s was full of “too cool for school gadgets,” still living in the world of Top Gun. Enter the Konami LaserScope for NES, a jet fighter-esque headset with microphone and targeting scope you’d wear while playing shooting games. It’d work by the player just yelling “fire!” into the mic, which would make your character shoot.
Despite it being made by Konami, the LaserScope is completely worthless today. A big part of that is because this thing didn’t work, as you could yell anything into the mic and have just as much luck with it.
25 Fortune: NES Power Glove
We all know about the Power Glove, right? The complete joke of a controller that was meant to be worn on your hand, but didn’t actually do anything except barely work with two terrible motion controlled games? Well, did you know the glove is actually worth something?
Thanks likely in large part to the movie The Wizard, you can expect to pony up quite a bit for a complete Power Glove today. Like, say, $282 for a complete version, with the receiver, manual, and a poster.
24 Worthless: SNES Super Scope
Now here’s a worthless hunk of junk. In 1993, Nintendo released the SNES equivalent of the NES Zapper, this time with a huge difference. Rather than a slightly realistic looking gun, they instead decided to make a bazooka. The result was a giant, ugly, and unwieldy giant gray tube that was supposed to act like a light gun.
Unfortunately, while still a part of Nintendo today thanks to its reference in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, it’s not actually worth anything. That’s mostly due to the fact that they were cheap, made in bulk, and were only ever compatible with 11 games.
23 Fortune: Nintendo 64 Controller Glove
The Power Glove is not the be-all, end-all for glove controlled gaming. The Nintendo 64 had its own glove-based controller thanks to Reality Quest. Rather than being motion controlled, it instead fit all the N64 controls on one hand, making it perfect for those with disabilities. However, due to its limited use, it was extremely rare.
A complete glove – tested as working, complete in box, and with the instructions – sold on eBay for the incredibly handy price of $150. Now that’s playing with power.
22 Worthless: Famicom BASIC
The Famicom BASIC was a device released in Japan to be used in conjunction with the Famicom and its cassette tape recorder. The package came with a cartridge and a full QWERTY keyboard, and the idea was to use it all to code games. It was only released in Japan, which might make you believe these are strange keyboards are worth something.
In reality, though, they really aren’t. For the most part, they seem to be everywhere, and only go for about $70 tops on eBay. That’s not much more than what they originally sold for.
21 Fortune: R.O.B. The Robot
R.O.B. the Robot might be the worst product Nintendo ever made, including the Virtual Boy. It was a plastic “robot” that could be used to play two-player games. The problem is, it didn’t work at all, and was only compatible with two games before it was scrapped.
Still, it’s somehow become an icon, and a complete R.O.B. in the box with the manual can go for a pretty penny online. One sold on eBay recently for the astronomical price of $500.
20 Worthless: Wii Fit Balance Board
During the height of Wii-mania, Nintendo decided to push the “fun for the whole family” angle with the Wii Fit Balance Board, marketing it as a revolution weight loss/yoga machine that’ll help you lose weight. It even worked with some games! In reality, though, it was rubbish that nobody ever bought.
Since Nintendo made so many of them, and because nobody wants them, they’re completely worthless now. Maybe someday in the future when the Wii is considered retro it might be worth something, but not today.
19 Fortune: Game Boy Pocket Sonar
Nintendo’s (even if it was made by Bandai in this case) weirdness knows no bounds. In 1998, they released an honest to goodness sonar device to be used with the Game Boy. You’d plug it into the cartridge slot, and drop the yellow bit into a body of water to detect fish. No, I’m not kidding.
As you’d expect for something this strange (and exclusive to Japan), it’s quite valuable today. One sold on eBay for as high as $250, but they’re also quite hard to find.
18 Worthless: Super Nintendo Mouse
The Super Nintendo mouse was, like its future Nintendo 64 predecessor, intended to be used with a paint program, Mario Paint. And like its younger brother, it’s pretty much just a cheap computer mouse, only in the colors of the Super Nintendo.
The thing is though, the Super Nintendo Mouse was available everywhere, not just Japan. That means the Super Nintendo Mouse is practically as valuable as dirt. It did come with a plastic mouse pad though… which is also worthless.
17 Fortune: Nintendo 64 Mouse
If you were to remove the Nintendo 64 logo from the N64 mouse, you’d have a worthless piece of junk mouse from the 90s. But because of that logo, it’s might as well be worth a fortune – as much as $145 or more on eBay.
This little-known mouse was to be used with the Nintendo 64 DD (more on that later), along with the Mario Artist program, which was basically the N64 equivalent of Mario Paint. Since the DD was only released in Japan, and because the mouse itself is cheaply constructed, finding a working one is somewhat rare.
16 Worthless: Famicoin
Speaking of worthless plastic, take a look at the Famicoin. Deriving its name from its shape and not any kind of inherent value, the Famicoin is a circular disk of plastic that you would slot over the D-Pad on a Famicom controller. You know, if you just decided you wanted to make the controller ten times worse, for whatever reason.
Only released in Japan, these things are somewhat difficult to find, but that’s for good reason. They were cheap, unpopular, and would often break or get lost very quickly. Bah humbug.
15 Fortune: GameCube Broadband Adapter
The Nintendo GameCube was released at the cusp of online gaming, and Nintendo at least vaguely tried to get in on the market with the release of their broadband and modem adapters. It’s not the coolest thing in the world: just a box you plug into your GameCube and play online. At least in theory; in reality, only four games ever supported online play, and one of those was exclusive to Japan.
For whatever reason, these things go for a lot of money online, especially the Japanese models. Some sell for as high as $95.
14 Worthless: U-Force
Motion controls in video games are nothing new, in fact, companies have been experimenting with the technology as far back as 1989, with the U-Force. This is basically two pieces of plastic that you position in an ‘L’ shape, hook it up to your NES, and swipe your hands around to control the game.
Surprise, surprise, it didn’t work. At all. How this was allowed to be sold when it was so blatantly broken is a topic for another day, but because of its jank-ness, it’s worthless today. Well, except maybe as an interesting piece of history.
13 Fortune: Nintendo 64DD Keyboard
The Nintendo 64DD (disk drive, or dynamic drive, depending on who you ask) was an add-on for the Nintendo 64 that would have played games from a disk. The DD was supposed to release worldwide, but flopped in Japan, and was scrapped as a result.
A keyboard was released in very short quantities for the 64DD, to be used with its modem for online capability. This keyboard is incredibly rare, with only one listed on eBay, which sold for the insane price of $1,750.
12 Worthless: Nintendo 64 Transfer Pak
The Nintendo 64 Transfer Pak (no, that’s not a typo), was released in 1998 alongside Pokémon Stadium. The idea was that you would hook it up to your Nintendo 64, plug in your copy of Pokémon, and transfer your Pokémon from the Game Boy to Pokémon Stadium, so you could fight with them there.
Over the years, the Transfer Pak would go on to support about 15 other games, but its uses were limited, to say the least. You could transfer images you’ve taken with the Game Boy Camera over to Mario Artist, that’s a fun tie-in with this list.
11 Fortune: Nintendo Sharp Television
Believe it or not, Nintendo and Sharp partnered together once upon a time to release what’s been dubbed the Nintendo Sharp Television, or the SF1. This was a standard 4:3 CRT television that had a built-in Famicom on top of it in Japan, and an NES at the bottom in North America. It was mostly sold exclusively to hotels.
Because it wasn’t really sold on the market, these things go for a fortune. Expect to pay upwards of $1,000 if you want a near mint condition one, and as much as $600 for the even rare remote.
10 Worthless: N64/DS Rumble Pak
“Last gen tech” like a rumbling controller was so last gen it first began with the Nintendo 64 as an add-on accessory. You’d plug this little device into the memory card slot on your N64 controller and (if the game was supported) your controller would rumble like they do nowadays. Nintendo even used the tech again with a cartridge for the DS years later.
Support for the Rumble Pak (still not a typo) soon became standard for N64 games, and because the device sold so well, it’s pretty common today, and thus not really worth anything.
9 Fortune: Game Boy Camera & Printer
The Game Boy Camera and its printer add-on might not be the worst things Nintendo ever made, but they’re in the running. The camera was the cheapest piece of junk imaginable, taking extremely low-quality images even for its time. The printer, meanwhile, was just a thermal printer – the same that print receipts at retail stores.
Still, it’s an oddity, plugging it into the back of the Game Boy, and was one of the first digital cameras available for an affordable price, released in 1988. One rare version released was the Ocarina of Time edition, which once sold for $405.
8 Worthless: Roll 'N Rocker
It’s about to get radical in here, dudes and dudettes. Have you ever wanted to control your favorite NES games by leaning forward, backward, left, and right, while still needing to hold the regular controller to press the buttons? Well, has the infamous LJN got the perfect accessory for you!
Yes, the Roll ‘n Rocker has gained infamy online, thanks in part to the Angry Video Game Nerd. This bizarre, useless, and terrible accessory is complete trash and is worth about as much.
7 Fortune: GameCube ASCII Keyboard Controller
No, this isn’t a joke. Nintendo really did release a full QWERTY keyboard controller for the GameCube. And you thought the Wii U controller was unwieldy. Released exclusively in Japan, this beast of a controller was made for two games: Phantasy Star Online Episode I & II. Presumably this was for either typing in chat, or maybe playing with a keyboard, if that was your thing?
These things are incredibly rare (especially the purple variant), so if you’re looking for one, expect to pay upwards of $167.
6 Worthless: NES Lockout
No, this isn’t the infamous NES10 “lockout” chip. This is the NES Lockout, also sold as the Safecare Homework First. This is an actual, physical lock a parent would install through the NES’s cartridge port to prevent their child from playing NES games, so they would do their homework first or whatever stereotypical thing parents want their kids doing instead of playing simulators.
It was pretty much just a standard lock on a stick that required a combination to open. And since this isn’t an official Nintendo product and has a confusing named, it’s both rare and unwanted by most collectors.
5 Fortune: Panasonic Q
Not strictly an accessory, but it bears mentioning anyway. One of the GameCube’s flaws at the time was that it couldn’t play DVDs. So, Nintendo partnered with Panasonic to fix that, releasing the Panasonic Q. This was just a GameCube that could play those DVDs in a weirdly mirror covered box.
Sold more as a DVD player that just happened to play GameCube games, the Panasonic Q was made in limited numbers, for whatever reason. Finding one online is rare, and can go for as high as $850 online, or even $1,170 for a modded, region free one.
4 Worthless: Nyko Game Boy Hip Clip
Everyone wants to show off their latest expensive purchase, and how much more expensive can you get than with the latest tech trends? That was likely the thinking behind the Nyko Game Boy Hip Clip, which, in theory, allowed you to clip your Game Boy to your belt so you could listen to music.
Yes, look like your dad in the mid-2000s and walk around with your Game Boy on your belt and your shirt tucked in. Of course, music from the Game Boy is terrible, and this is an unlicensed piece of plastic, but whatever!
3 Fortune: Super Famicom Satellaview
In 1995, Nintendo released the Satellaview for the Super Famicom, exclusively in Japan. It was a broadcast modem that slotted into the bottom of the console and could receive data transmissions over satellite. These transmissions were mostly music, and even games.
While the service no longer runs today, these devices fetch a decent chunk of change for how revolutionary they were. These can go for as high as $230 online.
2 Worthless: Wii Inflatable Mario Kart
What is there to say about this monstrosity? It’s a cheap inflatable go kart that you hook up the Wii’s steering wheel accessory to so you can pretend you’re actually in a car. This was sold as being specifically for Mario Kart, though it’s just a generic go kart design with no Mario ensign whatsoever. Which means it’s unlicensed, who would have guessed?
Honestly, so much crap was released to capitalize on the stunning success of the Wii it’s surprising there wasn’t something even worse than this ever released.
1 Fortune: Super NES CD-ROM System
The Super NES CD-ROM System, better known back then as the Play Station (two words at this point) is the holy grail of video game collecting. It’s so rare that there’s only one known prototype in existence, and even then, the CD unit doesn’t actually work. It’s priceless, and if a second prototype were somehow found, it could get tens of thousands of dollars.
The reason for this is simple: Nintendo and Sony were originally going to launch a CD add-on for the Super Nintendo, akin to the Sega CD, but Nintendo canceled the partnership before the device was ever even finished.