Did you send in your warranty card that came bundled inside your NES packaging? If so, you should be receiving the very first issue of the Nintendo Fun Club News absolutely free! Included in the welcome kit is a membership card, a letter from Nintendo, and some special offers for a free copy of “How to win at Super Mario Bros.” hint book and free Official Scorepad Set.
In this premiere issue of Nintendo Fun Club News, Howard Phillips welcomes you to the club. He mentions that members are going to receive several issues each year. They will contain articles on how you can achieve the highest scores by playing the hottest Nintendo games. There will be confidential sneak peeks at the hottest new games before they’re available in stores. Plus, as a member you can get selected Nintendo games and merchandise discounted, and in this issue’s case, free! The cover story is Super Mario Bros. and it gives some background story on what the game is all about.
Page two offers up some information on two NES games already on store shelves: Excitebike and Hogan’s Alley.
Page three covers the Super Mario-A-Thon, an event where celebrities played the NES to raise money to help kids say “NO!” to drugs. The winner of the day was Wil Wheaton, star of the movie “Stand By Me”, who won the NES Deluxe Entertainment System with 15 of the top NES games!
The two sneak peek games are Pro Wrestling and Slalom, both from Nintendo. Oddly they didn’t show any screens of the upcoming games, but they do give a little bit of information on both. They promise some new information on The Legend of Zelda and Punch-Out!! for the next issue.
On page four we are introduced to the High Score Competition, which is only open to Fun Club members. In order to compete you’ll need to get your set of Official Nintendo Scoresheets (free) and then take a picture with your 35mm camera and send them both in to Nintendo Fun Club. Winners will get their names and scores printed in a future issue.
Page five is our favorite of the bunch. It features Pro’s Corner, where Nintendo gives out special tips and hints to help players get the most out of their Game Paks. This issue they cover Super Mario Bros., Hogan’s Alley, and Excitebike. For example, did you know that you can make fireworks appear at the end of the stage in Super Mario Bros.? The number of seconds remaining on the timer determines whether or not the fireworks go off, and how many times they do, and since each blast is worth 500 points, you’ll want to experiment.
The last page is pretty much just advertisements. One talks about the Amusement Players Association, which will print the scores of Fun Club members whose scores qualify. The other is more information about the aforementioned Super Mario Bros. book and Scorepads.
So, what did you think of the debut issue of the Nintendo Fun Club News? It’s always cool to get free stuff in the mail! We found it a little light on content, but we’re hopeful that it will grow into something bigger and better. Some screens of upcoming games would be a big improvement. No word yet on how many of these to expect each year. Four would be a good guess, since Nintendo labeled this one as Winter 1987. We will update as more issues become available.