Thursday, January 12, 2012


What's the ad for?
TurboGrafx-16 video game console
Spotted in

The Scoop
I remember being pretty impressed with by ads for the TurboGrafx-16 system when it first came out. 
Not because it seemed better it's contemporaries, Nintendo and Sega, but because it seemed exotic. No one I knew had one. Then while keeping my cousin company while she was babysitting, I got to try Keith Courage in Alpha Zones . The household had a TurboGrafx-16 and she called me over to play it with her once she had put the kids to sleep. The first thing I noticed was that there was only one port for a control pad. What kind of video game console has only one controller? In reality you could have up to five people playing the system but you needed to buy an additional peripheral called the the Turbo Tap. I didn't know that and I wasn't impressed.
The system didn't do that well in North America and ranked number four in sales behind the Sega Genesis, SNES and even the older but still popular NES.  In the end TurboGrafx-16 didn't have a Mario or Sonic. They only had Bonk and let's face it...he wasn't that cool.

The third party support for games wasn't at the level of Sega and Nintendo. Software developers did not want to take a chance on developing games for the system until it became more popular yet in turn the system would not become more popular without the software. Ironically enough, you can now buy TurboGrafx-16 games for the Nintendo Wii virtual console.


  1. I had it and I played Military Madness over and over and over for months! Bonk! was an awesome game too. I remember even getting that Bats issue in a Toys R US three pack with a backing board that had various DC characters on it that you could cut out like playing cards and collect.

    Great stuff,

  2. Bonk was awesome. He was so popular he made his way to the NES, Game Boy and Super Nintendo. He started off as a comic in Japan to sell Hudson's system and was so well received he became a game and mascot for the system. He's still one of Hudsons mascots and has been on the Gamecube, Saturn (in bomberman) and PS2. He's also on cell phones and may still have another new game on the way for Wii. I would say that's pretty freaking cool. People consider him one of the big three Mascots of all time, despite Turbos failure in NA. The quality of his titles and appeal of the character is universally undeniable.


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