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Got it MADE?; Nintendo 64 controller origins
Topic Started: Jan 30 2016, 04:29 PM (5,217 Views)
No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
Hello and welcome. Ever wonder where your N64 controller is made? Or why some are made in different places?
Let's find out!

MADE IN JAPANMADE IN CHINA
Mario Kart Black/GreyAll NTSC Released Solid Controllers
E3 Starfox Competition ControllerNintendo "Genuine Spare Part" Controllers
Daiei Hawks ControllerJusco Controller
U.K. PAL Launch Day Grey Controller/ with console (rubber ferrite)PAL Plastic Ferrite Controller (red)
Hello Mac ControllerMidnight Blue Controller
Geoffrey ControllerDK Controller
Playtronic Atomic Purple Controller (Brazil) All Funtastic Controllers
Playtronic Solid Controllers (Blue, Green, and Grey) (Brazil)Atomic Purple Controller (NTSC)
Hyndai Comboy Controllers (grey, red)NP100 Controller
NTSC-J Black (early)NTSC-J solids (not black)
Nintendo Merchandising Inc. Controller (employee issued/red)Millennium Controller
LodgeNet Model No. LN6400 (regular stick)
LodgeNet Model No. LN6402 gamecube-style stick)

It is a very small detail in the front of every controller that is overlooked more often than not.
I've given this topic much thought and discussion with certain members here after i noticed some slight differences in my controllers. Some were MADE IN CHINA, and some were MADE IN JAPAN.

I'll start with with the most common and known example. The japanese Mario Kart 64 bundle controller.
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Second, is the e3 1997 Starfox64 championship controller.
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If you want to know what makes these controllers real? - Here it is!!

Third, is an Nintendo Merchandising Inc. (NMI) Employee issued N64 controller- and owned by former employee Deborah P.
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What does this all mean? What better place to find out! One thing is for sure, they are certainly different than normal NTSC controllers.

I believe this thread needs time to grow, so feel free to discuss. If you have any controllers that are MADE IN JAPAN and have a good camera, please post them so we can make a resource legend for them here. :yeah:
What other MADE IN JAPAN controllers are out there??

The japanese Daiei Hawks N64 controller: Courtesy of rdools
(Named for the Daiei Supermarket/Fukuoka Daiei Hawks JPB Pacific League baseball team)
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The U.K. PAL Grey Launch-Day release N64 controller. Courtesy of cell
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The Hyundai Comboy 64 Korean Grey N64 controller. Courtesy of Vinyl
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The Hyundai Comboy 64 Korean Red N64 controller. Courtesy of Vinyl
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The Toys R Us Japan exclusive GEOFFREY™ N64 controller.Courtesy ofVinyl
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The Hello Mac exclusive N64 controller. Courtesy ofVinyl
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The Atomic Purple Nintendo/Playtronic Brazilian N64 controller. Courtesy of Nillew
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The Green Nintendo/Playtronic Brazilian N64 controller. Courtesy of Nillew
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The Red Nintendo/Playtronic Brazilian N64 controller. Courtesy of Nillew
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The Blue Nintendo/Playtronic Brazilian N64 controller. Courtesy of Nillew
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The Anis Nintendo/Gradiente Brazilian Multi Sabores N64 controller. Courtesy of Nillew
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The Smoke Nintendo/Gradiente Brazilian Multi Sabores N64 controller. Courtesy of Nillew
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The Nintendo of America Product Testing 1999 N64 controller. Courtesy of SoloJones64
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The japanese Mario Kart 64 competition Gold N64 controller. Courtesy of DarkLink
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Edited by No64DD, Jun 10 2017, 12:11 PM.
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
Yes that is correct Bam.
It should be safe to say that all NTSC N64 controllers are MADE IN CHINA. :yeah:
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
Thanks Kart,
i know what you mean by "Genuine Spare Part" - i would not have thought to check that avenue. Very good to know! :yeah:
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
In the process of putting this thread together, i forgot that i had the Daiei controller as well. >_<

Thanks for the info! I will add your example with your credit.
If it's okay, i'm going to try and turn it horizontally.
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
Good question!!
All signs point to YES!

I imagine some of you may be wondering "why is he doing this?" or " Did he just give a recipe on how to fake an e3 controller?"
:yawn: Please!

Nothing i am doing here detracts or derides the effort done in categorizing the e3 97 controller. I took a personal vow to uphold and continue it's legacy and legitimacy from the moment i owned it. I believe that it is however, only a fraction of what has been and will be presented here...
let's keep going!
Edited by No64DD, Feb 1 2016, 09:57 AM.
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
Oooh baby!! :wub:

If you could take some well focused angled pics showing each of your examples, that would be great!
If not, i still vouch for this man and his controllers. We go back quite a way my friend! Thank you.

to be continued.
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
I'm officially excited!

If i am correct, Cabanon's MK64 Gold controller completely breaks down all laws of manufacturing tradition!

But, needless to say, pictures do help in this effort.
Bring it on!
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
Wow!!
I would not have expected any of the JPN solids to be MADE IN JAPAN. It's ironic.
This is quite a mindbender!
Even the Green box is the only one to use the "square" Nintendo 64 logo. :eh:
Originally, i thought that this process would deconstruct the efforts Nintendo took to avoid others from copying their "formula". And of course, Nintendo is not making it as easy as i'd like. :P

You make some great points Darklink. Thanks for all the info!

:n64:
Edited by No64DD, Feb 3 2016, 07:06 PM.
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@Darklink,
i just noticed that the placement of the controller images are all different from each other on the Green, Blue, Black, and Grey boxes!

Whew!!
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
Thanks Cell!
And welcome aboard.

You bring very interesting news to us, and for you. :yeah:

I believe your backstory on your PAL Grey controller. Please take a photo like the examples above so that we may add it to this list. I've found that natural light and an Auto-Focus camera works best.

It's also interesting that you prefer your 2 MIJ controllers over the others you own...
I noticed that my MK64 Black/Grey controller has a different feel and "texture" on the bottom half!
Food for thought. ;)
Edited by No64DD, Feb 6 2016, 04:31 PM.
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
That's true Bam. :yeah:

Since this would be a PAL controller, it would be important to get the "Kludge" in frame as well.
That thing connected to the controller wire.
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
Thanks again Bamboozled. He is good!

And thank you- cell :D

These are fantastic developments you've brought to this thread. The pictures are perfect! I will add this controller with great anticipation. We now have proof that your PAL Grey release controller is unique, and it represents something more- Not only are we getting to uncover these MIJ controller's origins, but basically, we are also getting to carbon-date them!
This is an exciting find. You should be proud.
:n64:

@cell, what PAL region are you from? :rollseyes:
Edited by No64DD, Feb 6 2016, 08:44 PM.
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No64DD
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Well, Top ó the mornin' to ya sir!

I've added that detail to your controller's description. It could possibly be of importance later on.
I believe you did capture it on your pic(s), but it is still something one almost has to see and feel for theirself. :yeah:

Also, my Red NMI controller does the same "death grip" thing you speak of!
I almost feel guilty putting anything in it. :eh:
Wow.

Edited by No64DD, Feb 6 2016, 09:57 PM.
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Thanks Bluedog! Enjoyable indeed.

Lodgenet™... good idea!
I decided to check my Nintendo 64-style Lodgenet controller. I consider it the (1st wave) until they wisely upgraded them. These have a label instead, although it feels like it has the same imprinted plastic wording underneath. :eh:
But again, also MADE IN CHINA.
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I know there has been thorough documentation on these controller(s), and on this site thanks to members like BDR and sanni, but with the N64-style version- not as often.

You brought up a good point about HORI™, which i consider a seal of quality as good or if not better than Nintendo™…
Upon closer look, the board inside is also made by HORI, and a standard N64 joystick housing, with the exception of having a black base.
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We can surmise that these findings further the addage that basically every NTSC release is/was MADE IN CHINA.
However, it is mysterious how items using HORI components in both examples should've been MADE IN JAPAN. I've always said HORI is a company of many mysteries, and i still stand by it! ;)

This thread goes to show how one never knows where it wants to go, and what it wants to show us. Once again, i would not have even thought to check Lodgenet.
Who knows whats next!

Thanks again
Edited by No64DD, Feb 9 2016, 07:26 PM.
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Neva wizard Kee
Just noticed:

Lodgenet N64 controller with GC stlye HORI joystick- Model# LN6402
Lodgenet N64 controller with standard N64 joystick- Model# LN6400

:n64:
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No64DD
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danilochka
 
I figured I could help chip in from a PAL perspective.

I also have a made in JAPAN grey controller, which I got with my near launch console in the UK - ~June 1997.

On the side of the console box it states that the 5 coloured controllers will be made separately available in the second-half of 1997. This implies that the grey controller was available to buy individually from launch (1stMarch 1997) and my assumuption is that the others were released the same day as Mario Kart 64 (13th June 1997) tho I've yet to find confirmation of that.

As you know, the key difference with the European controllers is the ferrite bead, or kludge as we like to call it here. Initally they were sold coated in rubber, before a second version was released with just the plastic housing, before finally removing it all together.

My launch grey controller has the rubber coating, and I have seen examples of all 5 solid coloured controllers with the rubber coating too. Sadly I don't own any of these versions, so it is possible that they were also made in Japan, but I have extensively researched the back of their boxes and they always state that they were made in China.

I got a red controller for Christmas 1997 (box code C/NUS-A-CR-UKV-1) and it was just the plastic housing, meaning that the change happened early on. Both the controller itself and the back of the box state that it was made in CHINA. As a side note, just above this the controller is referred to as Model No. : NUS-005A (box only), however this only seems to apply to the plastic kludge version as the other 2 are both referred to as Model No. : NUS-005 in my experince.
And it is an interesting perspective mate!

I'd have to believe that a seperate grey controller was available at U.K. launch, and following this launch.
We can still consider the rubber ferrite MIJ Grey controller part of the "1st Wave"- which i anticipated would happen. If and when a seperate Grey U.K. controller shows up from this time frame, it should have all the signs of our MIJ example above. :yeah:

This would only leave a very small window for other subsequent controller colors to have the rubber Kludge... :mellow:


danilochka
Feb 10 2016, 08:19 AM
As a side note, just above this the controller is referred to as Model No. : NUS-005A (box only), however this only seems to apply to the plastic kludge version as the other 2 are both referred to as Model No. : NUS-005 in my experince.

Are you referring to the other 2 as the PAL N64 controllers with the "plastic" Kludge, and the ones without one?

I didn't even know PAL controllers stopped using them at some point!
Awesome stuff!
Edited by No64DD, Feb 10 2016, 12:01 PM.
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No64DD
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Neva wizard Kee
:eh: !!

Sometimes i'm glad to be a cat person:-8

Then it looks like the U.K. console launch N64 controller is the only one MADE IN JAPAN!
HOW STRANGE!

Thanks for clearing this up cell. I hope the rest of Europe will go as smoothly.
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:o

I swear i've seen the EUR Blue/Clear controller with a plastic Kludge. Am i wrong?
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No64DD
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Thanks to Danilochka's grid, there is a clear pattern forming. It looks like U.K. PAL MIJ didn't even make it to the colored controllers!

As for the Daiei Hawks controller...

Let's start by explaining that this controller's name is paraphrased.
The Fukuoka Daiei Hawks (currently Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks)- is a japanese baseball team that was owned by the DAIEI Supermarket chain. This team ended up winning the Pacific League Pennant, and then the 1999 Japan Series (equivelant to the World Series) in late October 1999. To celebrate and honor this win, Nintendo released the specially colored console/controller to be sold at their Daiei store locations.
With that said, i want to say- early 2000 ;)
Edited by No64DD, Feb 19 2016, 03:24 PM.
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@danilochka, it does help.
I have a tendency to speak off the cuff, and i was mistaken. My apologies.
As much as i try to encompass the Yang, you are the Yin of :n64: 64

@Vinyl, thanks for the pics! I'm not sure what to make of your third pic, but nevertheless, post #1 is updated. :)
Edited by No64DD, Feb 19 2016, 09:00 PM.
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Thanks cell,
It's another one of those instances where in i know what i saw... but what i saw was just an image. Most likely ebay. I'm only from NTSC land, but i know what i saw.
At the time when i saw the Kludge on the EUR PAL Blue/Clear controller, i said to myself- So that's the way of distinguishing them from the JPN version!

Again, i have to say as of now , it does not fit our formula represented on this thread. I will honor that fact.

Let it ride. :lol:
Edited by No64DD, Feb 20 2016, 08:53 PM.
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Thanks for the revision Vinyl! It definately gives the Black/Grey controllers some provenance.

I'm on it.
Edited by No64DD, Feb 22 2016, 06:24 PM.
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Hello there,

I can't really recall either, but if you say you've seen them- you seen them...

I assumed it's what set my N64 style Lodgenet controller apart from normal thumbstick housings.
I cannot confirm the Hori Lodgnet version.

I suppose we can eliminate all transparent controllers of a black housing base?

I'm not certain, but you got me thinking- the real kicker here could be that you'll find examples of this in only the controllers that were MADE IN CHINA.
where's my screwdriver? :eh: X_D

@Linus, thanks for the input!
You must tell us how us how you turned a thumbstick into a chromed-out GO-BOTS™ wheel! :w00t:
Edited by No64DD, Feb 22 2016, 08:30 PM.
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@Tofu, you're right. Atomic Purple isn't a Funtastic! color. I will add this distinction to the list. Thanks. :yeah:

I like where everyone's head is at! You took the thread in a different tangent. I appreciate that. It is interesting.
@Linus, you have yourself a LOT of parts! I think it's great what you did with the thumbstick. It would be nice to try one on Mario Kart 64.

With all of the internal discussion going on, i took the liberty to carefully open the NMI Red controller, and wouldn't ya know... Black base/case!
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I know sanni is an internals expert and i thank him for his input.
Once again i wasn't expecting to find this in a MIJ controller.

Does anything else look different to anyone?

With the amount of pieces Linus has, it's entirely possible that some could also be from normal Lodgenet controllers. I've seen boxes and boxes of used/unused LN controllers from hotels. Some are still being used today!

Anyway, if the placement of the black case is random, it's funny that they still had the wherewithal to leave them out of transparent controllers.
Interesting indeed.
Not to worry, i'll run the e3 97 controller through an X-Ray machine before ever opening it.
:)
Edited by No64DD, Feb 23 2016, 12:44 PM.
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@cell, i have the same problems.
Any content is welcome. Knowing you're from the U.K. makes a difference. :yeah:
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Hey pal. Long time! Good to see you.

Amazing!
There have only been a few members from Brazil on this site, and you are one of them. Thanks for the news. :yeah:

There is some unique items down there! Not much has been known, but i hear that even the internal components of these controllers are different as well.

Looks like i have editing to do. :)

Any pics by chance?
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The Extreme Green is MADE IN CHINA. Only available at Toys R Us, there was also a console bundle that came after the initial NTSC release, so most likely MIC in both versions.
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Sorry for the delay. My fault. :-8

Our brazillian native Nillew has informed this thread, and sent pics of a distant relative to the MIJ family!
I give you Vermelho- the Nintendo/Playtronic Red Brazilian N64 controller.

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Since we were on the topic of internals, check this out...

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This is certainly a first! From the box to the chipboard, it seems Nintendo and PLAYTRONIC covered every corner. There is no mistaking this controller in any aspect. This should have been the benchmark. It is the epitome of detail.
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You are keeping it real in Rio! :yeah:

I see some similar labels when compared to the NMI controller... not sure at the moment what it means, but it's awesome!!

Saúde!

more to come!






Edited by No64DD, Feb 24 2016, 06:40 PM.
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incoming!

Brazilian Atomic Purple
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Brazilian Green
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Brazilian Blue
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Here are even more pics of the lengths that Brazilian branding went!

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Here is the elusive ISS64 1998 bundle gold controller. This pic reminds me that Brazil also had Gold SNES controllers. They are a thing of beauty.

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Atomic Purple
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Even the Controller Paks weren't forgotten!
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I have, and will have more to sort through at the moment and will add when needed. I can't thank Nillew enough!! :n64:

enjoy!
Edited by No64DD, Mar 3 2016, 11:17 AM.
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Anis - Multi Sabores Nintendo/Gradiente Brazillian N64 controller.

You can still see MADE IN JAPAN in the edge of the picture. :yeah:
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Edited by No64DD, Mar 3 2016, 11:19 AM.
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