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This Iconic NES Accessory Wasn't Actually Made By Nintendo

Nintendo's first true home console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), spawned some iconic, popular, and often bizarre accessories. From its innovative controller to the Zapper light gun peripheral, the console reimagined the gaming experience. There was also R.O.B. the Robot, which helped lead the NES to great success, bolstering the North American market after the 1983 video game crash. All of these accessories remain integral parts of the NES's legacy.


The Zapper and R.O.B. share a common feature — they were both directly manufactured by Nintendo. However, there's one classic NES accessory often placed in the same pantheon that has a different origin story. This accessory maintains a special place in the hearts and minds of many Nintendo fans, and its enduring popularity has been a massive surprise.

Mattel manufactured the Power Glove

The Power Glove, Nintendo's old school controller accessory, released for the system in December 1989 in America. The device was one of the first controllers to implement virtual reality mechanics, as players could control characters on a screen by performing hand motions. The Power Glove also had a wide variety of buttons, which players pressed in specific sequences to utilize different in-game mechanics.


Despite its close association with the Nintendo Entertainment System over the years and status as an officially licensed Nintendo product, the Power Glove was not manufactured by Nintendo. Rather, Mattel handled its creation in the United States (per Mental Floss). In fact, Nintendo reportedly had little (if any) involvement with the design of the product. It appears the device's exclusivity to Nintendo's platform is one of the main reasons it became associated with Nintendo, as opposed to Mattel.

The Power Glove lives on through memes

The Power Glove reportedly earned quite a bit of money for Nintendo, as it grossed an estimated $88 million in sales (via Inverse). This is notable given that the Power Glove did not come packaged with a game and only received two titles with Power Glove-specific features: "Super Glove Ball" and "Bad Street Brawler," collectively branded as the "Power Glove Gaming Series." 


Much like R.O.B., which remains popular despite its limited game compatibility, the Power Glove maintains a cult following today. This is largely because of its presence in the 1989 Nintendo-produced film "The Wizard," in which the character Lucas Barton uses the Power Glove and quips, "I love the Power Glove. It's so bad." The odd, ironic nature of the line and deadpan delivery from actor Jackey Vinson helped make the Power Glove a popular internet meme according to TechnoBuffalo. As a result, the Power Glove has enjoyed a second life among Nintendo devotees, even if it's easy to forget that Nintendo didn't actually manufacture it.