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How to make "retro-brighting" a thing of the past... a 'mini' inspiration.

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Plug n play maybe fueled today's HDMI 'mini' market: Nintendo, SNK, Commodore, Sony, and upcoming Sega and [WOW!!] NEC offerings. Analogue's slimmed and sleek designs also inspire. Modern offerings:

 

New Sega controllers from original molds - The 8-bit guy printed a new Pitfall label. New Commodore computer cases for the C64c, Amiga 1200 and 500. Thankfully now FANS can invent Mechboards for the c64, new Amiga keyboards and key caps. All this is much more involved than the basic plastics of a CONSOLE, especially when the tooling/molds are still owned by the original corporations , and said giants are still active in the world.

 

With all the obvious LOVE for retro gaming in computers and consoles, the minis... there is one trend I am SURPRISED companies haven't cashed in on... BRAND NEW CASES for working original hardware.

 

I've seen a batch of Super Nintendos literally CRUMBLE when touching them from the chemical that makes us retro-bright everything. I thought someone surely makes replacement top/bottom shells [cricket noises]. I then thought about saving the working electronics and making lego Super Nintendo shells ala the 'brixty-four' (see the wonderful Perifractic's channel for more info).

So, Nintendo, Sega and any current corporation dominant from the 1980s and still standing and has their original console molds... remember when 'Family Guy' showed not only can a canceled show get new seasons, but it can launch a little market called "TV shows on DVD"? You no longer need to make cases flame retardant, especially if selling them as stand-alones without any electronics to get hot. If they HAPPEN to also be perfect to fit one's original electronics in (albeit, void the warranty), fine. Why not go nuts and release new colors or collector edition cases like a Zelda SNES, Space Harrier SMS, or a gold NES? Why not re-release brand new white dreamcast shells or NON-Sega Sports black ones? SNES? PC-Engine? Instead of countless action figures and swag, how about packaging a new console shell in a repro of the original box, artwork, manuals, POSTERS, and even styrofoam molds so people can display their treasures on shelves or throw a motherboard into brand new glory? Some may want an inexpensive empty shell just because it looks cool... or to house a raspberry pi or FPGA project. Sega could use some cash flow, no? Why not re-release a Game Gear WHITE without the 'gear'?

 

So who is with me? If the minis sell so well, who wouldn't be excited to end retrobrighting a SNES and instead replacing the case with an all new one? What system/computer would you like to see a new OFFICIAL exterior for?

 

The chips may be out of production, but our current working gear could look nicer in the living room.

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The first obstacle that I can see is the setup cost: not all of the original injection molds have survived, and those that have may not be in a usable state. Tooling new molds, or even readying the original molds for reuse, may be prohibitively expensive; it would all depend on how many people would be interested in buying new cases. 3D printing isn't the answer, either: it probably wouldn't be economical at the sizes required to replicate the original cases at full size, and the quality still can't match the original injection-molded plastics.

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I wouldn't expect Nintendo, Sony or Sega to do 3d printing. Yes, a case by case scenario applies. if Retrobit got the molds for Sega controllers (presumably from Sega), I'm merely assuming Sega has and owns the molds for all their hardware and I assume the same of Nintendo even if I may happen to be incorrect. I can see where some guy could buy the tooling for the Commodore 64C when Commodore isn't really around anymore unless you consider the great efforts by Icomp. Sega at least still is around in software, and I only just learned Konami controlls the NEC minis coming up. Nintendo however is one of the big three today. I may be one of VERY few that would be interested in a documentary on such matters... when and why would a company part ways with their molds? The company folds? Would Sega not still have the tooling to make a new no-electronic hollow SG-1000 or Sega Master System coffee table conversation piece regardless of the financial viability? Does Nintendo not have the tooling to make more NES/Famicom etc cases anymore? I really don't know how it works and would love to. For example, how does a breadbin C64 mold go missing like the original moon landing tapes but the C model survive to make repros? I don't even know if the Amiga 1200 and 500 cases are from original molds or if it was made ala Hollywood plaster resin mask reverse mold so I'm all ears, but if old yellowed console and computer cases in our collections can be remade, I am all for it.

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Never mind Nintendo's legal department.... I'm sure if someone was showing they were selling repo Nintendo cases, I am sure Nintendo will shut them down as soon as they open.

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There are GameBoy Classic cases floating around. I got one and the quality is stunningly good.

You can find NES door flaps too.

But other than that there aren't case parts made unfortunately indeed.

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