In 1992 Nintendo Power magazine
created the Super Power Club in an effort to attract new subscribers to the publication. Existing subscribers were automatically grandfathered into the Club and were eligable to win valuable prizes & discounts and to recieve special free goodies such as coupon
s, trading cards
, and Nintendo Player's Guide
s. Subscribers were issued membership card
s that could be flashed at official Nintendo Repair Centers
for a small discount on system repairs.
Each subscription issue of Nintendo Power published between October 1992 and December 1994 came with six trading cards that depicted some of the most popular video games for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The front of the card would show character art or box art from the game framed by a colored border (red for NES, purple for Game Boy, and green for Super NES). The back of each card featured the release date of the game, a brief descrption of the game, and three challenges for power players to undertake. For example, the card for Punch Out!! challenged players to defeat Super Macho Man in three rounds (novice), two rounds (intermediate), and one round (pro). Each card was also labeled with a card number. The cards were distributed seemingly at random with no two issues including the same set of cards. Every month in Nintendo Power a list of three game cards would be listed, and anyone who had those three cards could send them in to Nintendo and, in return, would receive a game of his/her choice. Trading card fanatics could order a complete set of the cards for $5, however these cards were stamped with a VOID mark, making them useless for the contest. The games that were featured on these cards and their card numbers are as follows:
Several times a year the magazine would include three coupons for new Nintendo games. An example of a coupon set is $5 off Super Mario Kart, $4 off Metroid II: The Return of Samus, and $3 off Kirby's Adventure. These coupons had an expiration date of approximately the time new coupons would be issued.
Super Power Club members were also sent the first five Nintendo Player's Guides as a part of the subscription fee. Beginning in late 1993 and continuing for the next five months the Nintendo Player's Guides were included in a polybag with the magazine. The five guides that were given away are...
And to top it all off club members were also sent a free hologram Mario keychain
with the Super Power Club logo on it when they subscribed to Nintendo Power
Nintendo got into the merchandising business around this time, and all Super Power Club members were also sent catalogs full of Nintendo merchandise, such as game storage racks, plush toys, additional Nintendo Player's Guides, hats, shirts, and other promotional items. The catalogs did not sell the actual video games, however, as Nintendo did not sell directly to the public at the time. With each new catalog came three $2 off stamps that could be sent in with orders for a discount. Subscribers could save the stamps and cash them all in at once if they wished, however cashing in enough stamps to get an item from the catalog for free was prohibited.
On special occassions club members were also sent some random free goodies. When Mega Man X was reviewed in the January 1994 issue of the magazine, club members received six free pogs of Reploids from the game, such as Chill Penguin and Storm Eagle. Every January Nintendo Power featured a members's only exclusive look at upcoming games for the year. When the "Now You're Playing With Power!" Nintendo slogan was replaced with "Play It Loud!", the magazine included a special insert of upcoming Super NES games and interviews with some members of various development teams. For example, January 1993's insert featured the making of Bubsy. Special video tapes featuring footage of Donkey Kong Country were sent to members in mid-1994 (with a brief sneak peek of the arcade version of Killer Instinct hidden away at the tail end). Nintendo took every opportunity to promote new games and generate hype.
The Super Power Club was phased out in late 1994 and all coupons, discount stamps, and trading card contests were expired and eliminated. Perhaps the cost to Nintendo of keeping the promotion going began to outweigh the influx of new subscribers. Perhaps the editors just felt it was time for a change. No matter what the reason, the Super Power Club phase of Nintendo Power was one of the most profitable periods for subscribers as Nintendo took every opportunity to send out free goodies and discounts.
Memories of the club
Can you fill in the missing card entries? Let me know!