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Weigh My Fish
Hey nintendo143, firstly I want to say congrats on your great purchase. I want to give my 2 cents on the matter but first let me explain a bit about the boxes.

I've touched on this in a previous post but I thought that I'd update you guys with what I know on the subject. If you look at my old post I outlined the 3 main type of boxes for the original 6 solid colour controllers in Japan.

Now I believe the 1st wave of these controllers were the "Made in Japan / Printed in Japan" variants. These are what I consider to be the rarest boxes. So far I've only been able to confirm that Black and Red exist but I don't see why the other 4 won't exist in this variant too. If we assume that they were soon replaced with the MIC versions, it would help to explain their scarcity.

The "Made in China / Printed in Japan" variants are what I believe came next. These are pretty common and it is easy to find all six colours in this set.

I would count the "Made in China / Printed in Hong Kong" box in this category as the above, as were probably released around the same time. I was aware of this box before but I've only ever seen it used for the Grey controller. In that case I would say it's uncommon as they do crop up on eBay every now and again. Note: this is not to be confused with the box released in Hong Kong, which has English text and is stated to be Made in China.

Finally came the "1996" only boxes. Although no country is stated on the back, I believe these are also Made in China controllers, but don't hold me to that. The "Black & Gray" controller uses this box design and its supposed to be Made in Japan. Anyhow, because of this match I assume this set of 6 came into use around about the time of Mario Kart 64's release in December 1996. From here they were used for the rest of the console's life. Good evidence for this is that you'll often find listings for these boxes which include revised instruction leaflets (JPN-1 / JPN-2) with them. In addition to that its design (i.e. with the phone number now removed) was carried on with the much later released Clear Blue and Red controller boxes.

For a few years now I've been trying to document all the different controller box variants across the world by looking at eBay listings, however it's a lot harder than it seems. This is because the most important piece of information is usually on the inner box tab and sadly people rarely show this, so thanks for showing yours as it was a great help mate :yeah:

In North America there was also a 1st wave of MIJ contollers, again these were short lived and replaced by the MIC controllers. If you look at the box tab codes for say the Black controller it looks like this: MIJ = NUS-A-CK-USA and MIC = C/NUS-A-CK-USA. So naturally I've come to assume that the C/ prefix denotes Made In China, as it clearly has some purpose otherwise it wouldn't be used.

It could also stand for Controller, however there's a U/ prefix used for some of the later North American controllers, like the blister sealed funtastics. Also there's a J/ that's used for the Japanese "Made in China / Printed in Japan" of all things, so I'm not sure what to make of that. Given how common they are I've surprisngly not been able to confirm what any "1996" tab codes are, I have suspicion they may be J/NUS-...-JPN-1 however. If anyone here can provide me with any photos of these, be sure to PM me!

Anyway the only Japanese "Made in Japan / Printed in Japan" box code I have is NUS-A-CK-JPN, so that starts as expected, without a prefix. Then there's your "Made in China / Printed in Hong Kong" which is C/NUS-A-CG-JPN, implying that it too should state Made In China on the controller itself.

Your theory of it getting swapped with the console's original controller is a good one, and it's what I'm tending to lean towards myself. If someone had 2 Grey controllers, then they would have both been hooked up to the system at some point, and it would be easy to confuse which one should go in the individual box.

So with all that said, I've no doubt that your controller is an authentic MIJ controller from Japan, I just have some doubts that it originally came in that box. However, I'm not ruling anything out, as last year I saw one of the previous listings I've seen for the Grey "Made in China / Printed in Hong Kong" box, also had a controller which was Made In Japan.

TLDR; Japan is confusing!
Edited by danilochka, Jan 4 2017, 06:31 PM.
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