The campout line was enormous
At 8:45am, I arrived on the scene of the Nintendo NY (its new name) store grand re-opening, only to walk past hundreds of fervent Nintendo fans in the approach to Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Well-equipped to handle this sort of thing, the patrons casually chatted (argued) about which Super Smash Bros. character is best and passed the time with their New Nintendo 3DS's.
The line curled around the corner even as I approached the store. The first guy in line? He had to be sitting there for at least a day. At least.
The front door hasn't changed much in the remodeling. Come to think of it, the Nintendo logo hasn't changed in some 40 years. Talk about brand identity.
Shiggy grants his blessing
While the illustrious creator of Nintendo's most-beloved game franchises couldn't make it to the store opening, designer Shigeru Miyamoto christened its hallowed halls with a custom sketch.
I'm still not sure what Shiggy's getting at with his John Hancock, though.
The Master Sword of The Legend of Zelda fame now seemingly has a permanent home in New York. (Temple of Time, eat your heart out.)
Mario plays with the paparazzi
Even members the press (myself included) couldn't help but get some face time with the man of the hour. I sure hope that suit had air conditioning inside.
Mario, the voice of Mario – Charles Martinet – and a fan wearing a Mario hat? I don't think it gets more meta than this. (Martinet went on to do this sort of thing for hours, bless his insanely happy heart.)
Can't find that last, elusive amiibo?
Well, then you clearly haven't been to New York. Naturally, the Nintendo NY store has these things in spades, from the latest releases to the more obscure.
Looking for that one Splatoon amiibo (for some reason)? These guys definitely have it.
Oh, and if you're looking for that – pardon the cliche – epic Mega Yarn Yoshi, the Nintendo NY store seems to have those on pallets, too. Just look at it!
It's like a mini Mushroom Kingdom in there
Honestly, I wish I could see the kids' faces when they first walked into the store. Nintendo's managed to transform the store into a veritable wonderland for Mario fans.
From the goofy pillars that are supposed to be mountains (I think?) to the gigantic Piranha Plants in the windows, the Nintendo NY story is oozing more of Mario's charm than ever.
Speaking of which, here's the man of the hour now up on the second floor. Though, between this guy and the giant suit downstairs, I'm starting to wonder whether Mario can actually make any other face.
Then again, I'd have a constant cheeser if I were Super Mario, too.
Nintendo NY: part store, part best museum ever
Nintendo has always taken the opportunity to highlight Mario's history from within the Nintendo NY store.
But, with Super Mario Maker out there now, the House of M has opened up about the past even more.
What you see here are "planning sheets" for the original Super Mario Bros. This is where Shiggy and his team would literally map out the levels of the game – on paper.
Honestly, this isn't a far cry from the storyboard work you see animated movie houses, like Pixar, do before hitting the silicon.
Did I mention that this place is a wonderland?
Have you ever seen so many Pikachu in one place? Probably not. The Pokemon fan in your life would likely swoon before placing a foot on the final step of the second floor.
Don't worry, if somehow-even-cuter characters – like Kirby – are more your fancy, Nintendo's got that covered, too.
There's enough swag in this place to make the oldest fan let out a hearty nerd squeal. True story: I saw a man seemingly twice my age take a photo with Charles Martinet. This stuff is powerful.
Nintendo's 35-year handheld history in one case
I'll be honest, I didn't even know this many variations on the Game & Watch – Nintendo's first handheld gaming gadget – existed. That's nine different devices before the Game Boy arrived.
Speaking of which, here's every type of Game Boy ever made. Even the one that survived a blast or two in the Gulf War is present and accounted for.
Nintendo's unedited past on display
This Virtual Boy in a glass case is almost as if Nintendo is saying, "We were down with VR before it was cool."
If anything, it shows that the firm isn't afraid to highlight its past – pockmarks and all.
Not many kids were lucky enough to have the R.O.B. toy that released alongside the original Nintendo. That's partly because it worked with just two games and stayed on shelves for a terribly short time.
That's a wrap
The Nintendo NY store grand re-opening was, again, like walking into Nintendo's own little take on Disneyland. That's not just because of the countless bits of memorabilia, but also that it grants a glimpse into the company's storied history.
If you call yourself a game fan and ever have the chance to make it out to New York City, make this one of your stops.