Nintendo Fun Club

Nintendo Fun Club was a fan club marketed by Nintendo.[1] It was free to join, and its members received a free subscription to Nintendo Fun Club News, a periodical that discussed popular games and games that were planned for the near future. It also offered tips and tricks, Nintendo video game news, and comics.

Nintendo Fun Club
Nintendo Fun Club News, Issue 3
CategoriesVideo games
First issueDecember 1987; 35 years ago (1987-12)
Final issueJuly 1988 (1988-07)
CountryUnited States
Based inRedmond, Washington, U.S.


Since the NES's launch in 1985, warehouse manager and gamer advocate Howard Phillips and marketer Gail Tilden had operated a consumer feedback campaign of insert cards within packages of Nintendo's hardware and games, and built a database of customer contact information with names and mailing addresses. Phillips started a free-of-charge gameplay advice hotline at Nintendo of America, with five or six counselors on staff. They wanted to consolidate this resource-intensive gameplay counseling into mass media form.[2] Phillips said, "When we first launched the NES in 1985, we figured out very quickly that kids were just dying to get extra information about the games—not just new games that were coming out, but also how to play them."[2]

In 1987, Nintendo Fun Club was started at Nintendo of America by Gail Tilden and Fun Club President Howard Phillips, with the publication of the Nintendo Fun Club News.[2][3] The newsletter's first four issues were delivered quarterly starting in late 1987, with the final three issues being bimonthly.[3] Phillips said, "Kids loved the magazine because it included screen shots. Pre-internet and VCRs, actually showing kids the games was the only way to explain how to do tricks. They couldn't just look it up online."[4]

The Nintendo Fun Club was marketed via catalogs and flyers contained in Nintendo Entertainment System boxes, and within the content of at least one game, Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!.[2] During the intermissions between rounds, when Little Mac's trainer gives him tips, Mac calls out "Help, Doc", who responds with, "Join the Nintendo Fun Club today! Mac. [sic]"

After seven issues and 600,000 subscribers, along with more than 100 telephone gameplay counselors, Phillips and Tilden wanted to further streamline and expand the resource intensive and non-revenue-generating marketing outreach. The Nintendo Fun Club News was discontinued in favor of the vastly more expansive and ambitious Nintendo Power magazine in August 1988. Its first issue was free to Fun Club members, and otherwise a traditional paid subscription.[2][3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Phillips, Howard (1987). "The Name of the Game is Fun!" (PDF). Nintendo Fun Club News.
  2. ^ a b c d e Cifaldi, Frank (December 11, 2012). "Nintendo Power: Remembering America's Longest-Lasting Game Magazine". Gamasutra. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  3. ^ a b c Luke Plunkett (August 22, 2012). "Remembering Nintendo's Other 1980's Magazine, The Nintendo Fun Club". Kotaku. Retrieved December 27, 2015.
  4. ^ Phillips, Howard (April 14, 2013). "Interview: Howard Phillips (Ex-Nintendo Power Co-Editor)" (Interview). Interviewed by Michael Levy. Retrieved July 9, 2019.

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