May 16, 2012

Club Nintendo Rewards!

Posted by Delta Zero on 5/16/2012 01:45:00 AM

Think that buying that new Wii or (3)DS game is the end of the line for your value? Well, you're probably right. But only kinda right! If you regularly buy Nintendo products, which does include both systems and software, you very well may want to join Club Nintendo.

Club Nintendo is a rewards program set up by "The Big N" to gather marketing information and give people extra incentive to pick up that new 1st party Nintendo game. Unfortunately, as stated, this program only includes the Marios, Zeldas, Metroids, Kirbys, and to a much lesser extent the Wii Musics of the gaming world. If it's developed/manufactured by Nintendo themselves, it qualifies. However, there are a few exceptions to this rule in recent years, so disregard everything just said and double-check to make sure.

 Every qualifying game or hardware product comes with a pamphlet inscribing a registration code. Simply plug the code into Club Nintendo's website and earn "coins" that can be exchanged for completely free-of-charge swag. The coins are usually worth their currency in US dollars. In other words, if you buy a Wii game for $50, you'll get 50 coins. What kinds of things are these coins good for? Well, that's what this article is going to show you! But before we get into that, THERE'S MORE! After every Nintendo Year, which ends in June, those who manage to garner a set amount of coins qualify for a free reward prize towards the end of said year. This reward prize costs NO coins, so even if you reach the "Platinum status" of 600 coins, none of those coins are spent on the free reward prize. That means you get that life-size replica of the Master Sword free in the mail, and can use those unspent coins on a dinky folder set.*

Okay okay, enough explaining. What you're here for is the swag, and the swag you shall receive. I'll briefly note each item, offer a few quips and mull over whether or not they're worth the obscene amount of coins they're priced at. Click on each image to get a large view. 

This isn't a reward...yet. It's just the friendly greeting card that comes with each item!

This is one of the newer (2011) items available on Club Nintendo. Just what the heck is it? Is it a change purse of some sort? Not on your life, my Hindu friend. This is what will house your Nintendo 3DS handheld. It's a universal DS sack, too! It fits all models of DS (even the XL). The cool thing about this?...'s reversible! The material is soft but feels pretty thick. At 250 coins,  I'd say give this one a buy.

Next up is the DS game/stylus holder. The Club Nintendo insignia is etched in gold on the front cover. And inside?  It can hold 9 DS games (NOTE: THIS IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH 3DS CARDS)! The best part about this, aside from the wickedly cool retro art, is that it includes a rainbow of stylii! 

As you can see, I have lost several of mine. I still use the DS Phat because I am legally insane, and it doesn't fit these longer stylus' properly. Oh, and for anyone planning to give me a hard time about the R4 do you think I got all this swag? By pirating Little Nemo: Dream Master? Anywho, this case, if it were still in stock, would run you down 600 coins. Enjoy your Animal Crossing case, nancy boy.
"Take a this picture. *awkward silence*"  - Mr. Iwata, at the infamous E3 2008 conference.  So, just what is going on here? Well, this is the GIANT AR card. It dwarfs the standard AR cards that came with the 3DS. The result? God Mario. As cool as it is, they raised the asking price to 300 coins, which is a bit much when you could get one of those neat fans instead.   Watch my video review of the GIANT AR card here.

This messenger bag is a beast! It can fit up to 30lbs, or if you're like me...

It can also store your 30th Anniversary edition vinyl of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. The bag is a bit costly at 550 coins, but it's quality stuff.

For a not so cheep-cheep price of  550 coins,  you can show off your love for old school Nintendo with this gray slimfit Super Mario Bros. t-shirt, modeled by yours truly. 
A true mystery box, indeed. Dare we open it up to see what lurks inside?
Why, it's a PVC statue of Mario characters! This bad boy costs nothing, because it's the 2010 Platinum Reward, and was only available to those of us who blow too much money on Nintendo merchandise.
I would like to oddly add that this thing smells so good right out of the box. Now it reeks of dust.
In all seriousness, this was a very cool prize to get at 0 coins. You get what is essentially a real life Smash Bros trophy to put on display. The characters are bendable and hold a nice amount of detail at such a small scale. It's 3.9 inches high and has a 4.6 inch diameter. Not big enough to stub your toe, but thankfully you can still huck this thing at someone and pierce their skin with Bowser's spikes.

Now this is where things get interesting-er. This is the complete Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack. It wasn't released here in the States, but in Japan. I'd like to thank my friend Bry for these soundtracks, as well as for saving my ass this year (2012) in regards to achieving platinum status on Club Nintendo. :-D

The Super Mario Galaxy soundtrack was a reward released in 2008, in Japan (and later Europe). There are two versions: the crappy version without all the songs, and the much less-than-crappy (i.e. good) version with all the songs. The former soundtrack was also included with a special Wii Bundle in 2011. The one I own is the 2-disc Platinum version.
You receive a visually appealing package. I'm not sure why there's a removable spine piece, but why not? Galaxy had an incredible soundtrack worthy of this equally incredible release. Expect to pay an incredibly high amount on eBay to import it, too.

While on the subject of incredible Super Mario Galaxy soundtracks, here's another one! Super Mario Galaxy 2 was also exclusively released elsewhere. Which soundtrack is better? It could go either way! I'm a bigger fan of Galaxy 1's, but that's just my personal opinion.

Not unlike the other soundtrack, this one has 2-discs, the weird spine thing and a very appealing design. They are both worthy of translucent blue vinyl editions that will never be made.
It's all in Japanese aside from the different Worlds. Disc 1 in iTunes is imported in English, and Disc 2 was apparently too hot for TV so it's all in Japanese, causing non-Japanese speaking folks to painstakingly locate a translated soundtrack listing online, and type out each track by hand. Oh the HORRORS of living in a 1st world country.

The 2011 Platinum reward! It's...some pins. Mario's on 'em. *coughs*

You can turn the individual cases around to make pictures of either a goomba (shown), Princess or a mushroom. But that sort of defeats the point of displaying the pins, so don't do that.
And last but not least...well, depending on who you the replica Mario hat! This hat was the very first (2009) Platinum Reward in America. During this time, it was a breath of fresh air to see something that wasn't made out of paper.
  Here is what it looks like if you were to one day become Super Mario in a bowling alley, and in the middle of your perfect game Link came by and challenged you to a street fight. The hat does not fit my rather large head too well. But I will say that it's made of quality material, including a nice black lining in case you ever plan to seriously wear this hat in public.

That wraps up the Club Nintendo Rewards feature here on Living Vicariously. There are a bunch of different things you can buy using the service, and while a lot of it is far too expensive (a Game & Watch mini-replica will cost you over 20 Wii games worth of codes), at the end of the day, it's all bonus to the games you purchase. Nintendo routinely do special surveys that give you an additional 10-30 coins, and you can easily earn 10 coins for every post-game survey given. It does take some saving to get anything worthwhile, so if anyone out there doesn't want to use their coins or have missed the deadline to qualify for the free prize reward, feel free to selflessly give me your coins! Send all registration codes to me if you're feeling generous. If not? Right here, buddy. Right here.
*end of the year prize may or may not be disgustingly exaggerated


Check out my 2012 Club Nintendo Platinum Reward review on YT!:

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