Sign in to follow this  
RetroDefense

Nintendo Power #1 variant cover

Recommended Posts

RetroDefense    136

Hi everyone,

I imagine site regulars are familiar with the iconic Nintendo Power #1 cover, but I was curious if anyone here owns (or is aware of) this variant cover? You'll notice the star text reads "Free Sample Copy" instead of "Free Poster Inside."

I've heard - of the many millions of Nintendo Power">NP #1 issues printed for the initial subscriber campaign - this version made up about 500K of the print run. Does anyone have any firm details on this?

I may eventually try and touch up this cover and add it to the Gallery, but as you can see, my copy was well loved by its original owner. :) If anyone has this variant in better condition and would care to scan, I think it'd make a great addition to the site!

post-18528-0-39942200-1391261712.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
E-Day    700

I'm guessing that since it says Free Sample Copy, they were put out at various stores and/or Nintendo Service centers and given away, much like the first issue of GamePro. It's a good way to get more people registered with Nintendo who didn't ever bother to do so before. Just my guess though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RetroDefense    136

This is my thinking, too. I was always under the impression the entire 1st print run of Nintendo Power">NP #1 was given to Nintendo Fun Club subscribers. But if this wasn't the case, I can understand why Nintendo would want to emphasis the "Free Sample Copy" message for the subscriber giveaway issues. This would be easy to semi-confirm if anyone purchased Nintendo Power">NP #1 off a retail magazine rack way back when. :)

I recently won the non-variant Nintendo Power">NP #1 thanks to RetroMags' current contest (thanks again, Phillyman!), and thought I'd share some more differences I found when comparing the two covers.

  • The variant is labeled "PREMIERE ISSUE 1988" on the cover and "PREMIERE ISSUE 1988" on the spine. The non-variant is labeled "July/August 1988" on the cover and "JULY/AUGUST 1988" on the spine.
  • The Nintendo Power logo and logo trademark symbol ™ are larger on the non-variant.
  • Thanks in part to a narrower footer bar, the non-variant displays slightly more artwork vertically. The variant displays more artwork horizontally.
  • This may be related to the poor condition of my variant copy, but it appears the non-variant features better coloring - the background gradient is more teal than light-blue, allowing the foreground objects (especially Mario) better definition. Also, Mario's face has better flesh-tone.
  • Perhaps most interesting, the cover's Super Mario 2 sub-text reads "18-Page Spectacular" on the variant, but "20-Page Spectacular" on the non-variant.

I'll probably compare the contents of each issue sometime, as the 18 vs. 20 page difference has me intrigued. Probably just a typo/correction, though.

Here's a comparison of the two covers. (I know Retromags already has a scan of non-variant Nintendo Power">NP #1, but I thought everyone would like to see the differences when the covers are scanned with matching scanner hardware/image compression.)

post-18528-0-40524200-1391687774.jpg

Edited by RetroDefense

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's just the first print run, ALL of the free first issues were sent to Fun Club members. They changed the cover quickly because they didn't want people to assume that Nintendo Power, like the Fun Club News, was free. This was a new, premium magazine, and only that first issue was ever going to be free.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RetroDefense    136

So the first 1/2 million were labeled Free Sample and the rest Free Poster? For me, "Free Sample Copy" seems to better state that, hey, this is a freebie, and you'll have to pay for future issues. But my wife says I'm wired differently, so what do I know? :)

I compared the Super Mario Bros. 2 feature between the two magazines, and sure enough, they're identical in every way. My guess is, whomever put together the text copy for the Free Sample print run didn't count the SMB2 2-page art piece found in the article, which - granted- is decidedly out of place. These pages must have been counted when the text copy was prepped for the Free Poster print run.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RetroDefense    136

And here's the mysterious third variant of Nintendo Power #1. ;)

This looks to be a mock-up used for advertising purposes, probably doubling as concept art for the final clay sculpture artwork which actually graced the cover. I've spotted it twice, in advertisements found in Nintendo Fun Club News #7 and Nintendo Power #1.

post-18528-0-37791000-1392158125.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
twiztor    100

i'm very interested in seeing these coves but the forum won't let me. am i doing something wrong?

i can't left click on them, and if i try to "right click -> save link as" it will only save as an HTML document.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phillyman    403

i'm very interested in seeing these coves but the forum won't let me. am i doing something wrong?

i can't left click on them, and if i try to "right click -> save link as" it will only save as an HTML document.

Can you do a screen capture of what is happening when you view this thread? I wonder if a setting is wrong somewhere....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
twiztor    100

i checked it out in Internet Explorer and the pics show up right on screen. very cool. really dig the mock up, i wonder if someone has that laying in their basement or something.

when i use Firefox (my main browser) it just gives me a download link.

RetromagsScreenCap_zpsee6b9aec.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phillyman    403

i checked it out in Internet Explorer and the pics show up right on screen. very cool. really dig the mock up, i wonder if someone has that laying in their basement or something.

when i use Firefox (my main browser) it just gives me a download link.

RetromagsScreenCap_zpsee6b9aec.jpg

Try now....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So the first 1/2 million were labeled Free Sample and the rest Free Poster? For me, "Free Sample Copy" seems to better state that, hey, this is a freebie, and you'll have to pay for future issues. But my wife says I'm wired differently, so what do I know? :)

I don't know how many copies went out with Free Sample, I just know why they changed it. This is coming from editor Gail Tilden (who has a hawk-like memory, I'd trust her).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this