A Look at Super Potato’s New Year’s Lucky Bags – Culture Collection #8


It’s the first Culture Collection instalment of 2016 and what better way to kickstart a year’s worth of gaming culture coverage than with a look at some New Year’s festivities, Super Potato style! Japanese chain retro game store Super Potato is considered something of a pilgrimage site for many fans of Japanese’s gaming’s more dated delights due to its unrivalled selection of used games and hardware. As a yearly tradition, Super Potato sells a variety of ‘fukubukuro’ (‘lucky bags’), each containing a selection of random titles for a specific system; whilst there’s always going to be the chance you’ll come away disappointed, I can imagine there’s nothing quite like the thrill of testing your luck on a selection of classic gaming goodies!

As you can see from the pictures taken by urapotato, bags featuring titles from a whole host of consoles are available, ranging from the Famicom to PS4, all at varying prices. Each bag contains a set amount of games depending on the console, so you’ll have to choose wisely!

In this picture by ninten_taro, it’s clear to see that the bags sold out pretty quickly, with Super Famicom bags being one of the first types to disappear from the shelves completely! This is hardly a surprise; people were lining up outside Super Potato’s Akihabara store early to get their hands on a bag, which is remarkably well-priced when you consider the rising prices of retro games in Tokyo’s ‘electric town’, regardless of the genuine element of luck required in your purchase. Perhaps the contents of one of these bags could act as a sign for the luck you’ll have in the coming year? I’m not one for superstition, but I am one for Famicom carts.

Of course, Super Potato’s Nagoya store wasn’t left out of the fun with a fleeting selection of their own bags. Whilst the striking red packaging and jam-packed labels are a visual treat on their own (I’m a real sucker for game packaging, with or without the element of surprise), I can’t help but be mesmerised slightly by the sight of those boxed Famicom Disk Systems and Virtual Boy stacked up on the shelves there, not to mention that hefty-looking stack of used Nintendo 64s!

When creating a lucky bag, the packaging is important, but the real main event comes in the form of the contents! Below I’ve picked out a few shots from various Twitter users highlighting the various titles that luck has helped them (or worked against them) to add to their collections!

I can imagine that as enjoyable as the original Pilotwings is, getting two pairs of duplicates must be hard to stomach for abeno_taro

…although collection pictures from a few days later would suggest that he wasn’t quite so unlucky, getting his hands on a number of Super Famicom gems ranging from more well-known titles such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past to the likes of Assault Suits Valken! An impressive SFC haul indeed.

Mahjong games and Pachinko titles such as Pachislot Hisshouhou Twin 2, which can be seen in yukitooo‘s collection shot, run rife throughout the 16-bit era of Japanese gaming and are unlikely to be top priority titles for those after a particularly lucky draw from their bag. However, the inclusion of RPGs Seiken Densetsu 2 (the second game in the Seiken Densetsu series, released in the west as Secret of Mana) and Dragon Quest IV help make this pick a little sweeter.

The only thing as common than Mahjong and Pachinko games during the Famicom and Super Famicom’s lifetime are games based on Akira Toriyama‘s Dragon Ball Z, such as those seen in empty1598‘s bag haul (amongst other bounty from their Super Potato visit). OK, maybe horse racing games are slightly more common, but it’s still a regular site when viewing people’s collections. The inclusion of Chrono Trigger and Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island help to show that Super Potato weren’t simply intent on unloading some of their unwanted stock in these lucky bags; there really are some true classics to be had for your money!

There were some keen portable offerings to be had, such as those found in the Game Boy bag chosen by dona4649Kirby’s Star Stacker (bizarrely known as Kirby’s Sparkling Kids in Japan) and the Game Boy’s best-selling title, Tetris, are guaranteed to give you your portable puzzling fix. However, it seems that this selection wasn’t particularly enticing for dona4649, which is fair enough; games based on the likes of SD Gundam and Crayon Shin-chan are hardly difficult to come by.

The Famicom lucky bag was also a popular choice! Whilst the selection of titles featured in TAJI‘s bag aren’t exactly what you’d call rare, they certainly do include some unforgettable classics, such as ExcitebikeMach Rider, vertical scrolling-shooter ArgusDr. Mario and of course, the original Super Mario Bros; perfect for giving you a nostalgia-filled afternoon of gaming!

More modern offerings, such as zassyokugeemu‘s DS lucky bag, were also on full display. Notable titles here include Daigasso! Band Brothers DX (Jam with the Band), bizarre life sim Tomodachi Collection (the Japan-only predecessor to western-released Tomodachi Life) and Atlus’ Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor which was first released in Europe via the 3DS remaster Devil Survivor Overclocked. It’s great to see an endorsement for a system with one of the most diverse libraries around!

This is just a handful of pictures posted following 2016’s fukubukuro event at Super Potato. The year may have only just begun, but I can’t wait to see what treats people have in store at next year’s event! If you’d like to see more lucky bag collection shots for yourself, search for ‘スーパーポテト 福袋’ on Twitter, where you’ll find a whole host of retro gaming fans with varying degrees of satisfaction at their acquisitions, not to mention pictures galore!

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