Kirby & The Forgotten Facts #2: Nintendo DS System Variants
Kirby & The Forgotten Facts is Kirby Informer’s weekly Friday column dedicated to obscure and niche Kirby trivia that even some of the most dedicated and die-hard fans of the pink puff may not be aware of! This week in our column, we are spotlighting the history of Kirby Nintendo DS system variants. Enjoy!
There have been hundreds of Nintendo home console and handheld variants released over the years, but Kirby has shockingly made no footprint on the company's history of limited-edition systems. Seriously, how is it that a character as marketable and beloved as HAL Laboratory's pink puff has still not been printed onto the outer covers of any widely available Nintendo hardware?
There may seem to be none out there, but Nintendo had actually created three special Kirby system variants in the past--they just were not released through traditional retail means. For this week's Kirby & The Forgotten Facts, we are going to be discussing the two special Kirby Nintendo DS system variations!
The Nintendo World Laser Engraved DS Systems
This first Nintendo DS system variant that featured Kirby was not a retail release one could simply buy sealed off a shelf. Back in the early 2000s, the Nintendo World store in New York City (renamed Nintendo New York in 2016) offered a service for a limited time where customers could have a laser-engraved graphic etched onto their own Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite for only $20.00. The majority of the designs customers could choose from were almost all based on a handful of Nintendo games released at the time, such as Super Mario 64 DS, WarioWare: Touched!, and The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks.
Out of Nintendo World's non-game specific designs, one of the options the store did offer with this service was an engraving for the Kirby series that featured the pink puff waving and the Nintendo World logo beneath him. As can be seen below, the Nintendo World display for customers to choose their designs from showcased the pink variation of the NTR-001 original DS model with the etching.
Sadly, due to the design’s popularity and the short availability of Nintendo World’s laser engraving service, this Kirby-themed Nintendo DS has become increasingly rare over the years—even by the value standards of the other laser-engraved Nintendo World systems collectors have been on the hunt for.
For years, not a single one of these systems has shown up at auction online. As of today, we cannot even provide an estimate as to how many of these systems could be out there or what collectors might be willing to pay for them!
The Kirby Squeak Squad Contest Giveaway
From April to July of 2007, children’s magazine K-Zone held a contest with Nintendo of Australia to promote the release of Kirby: Squeak Squad by giving away 40 limited edition DS Lite systems. The Nintendo DS design in this giveaway featured Kirby jumping in the air while holding one of the game’s treasure chests.
To enter the giveaway, all readers would have to do is submit a short 25-word or less explanation on the magazine’s website with an email address explaining what they think makes Kirby: Squeak Squad cool. Readers who won received the special Kirby DS in the standard boxes Lite systems were packaged in.
Below, check out the K-Zone Nintendo DS Lite in its full glory!
While this was the only Kirby-themed DS Lite system K-Zone and Nintendo had given away, the magazine did hold other contests to promote DS games such as 2007's Wario: Master of Disguise. Nonetheless, considering there were only 40 of these Kirby: Squeak Squad systems made, and less likely still out there in good condition, this is without a single doubt one of the rarest Kirby collectibles a fan can get their hands on.
Want to learn some more obscure Kirby trivia? Join us next Friday for more Kirby & The Forgotten Facts, and be sure to follow @ObscureKirby over on Twitter!