Chatting with a few media and celebs last night at the Nintendo Switch Pop Up Zone, one thing was certain, Nintendo rocks at merchandise. No really, no other gaming brand has the swag and names that Nintendo does and why do we love it all so much? Well, because Nintendo has stuck to their IPs for so long that they perfected their branding and presence in the gaming market.
People go crazy for a Mario hat and bag because they know him and love him even if they have never played a Mario game in their life.
With that being said, I wondered why it took so darn long for Core Group, the local representatives for Nintendo in SA, to open their own destination store for the brand. Well, it could not have been better timing for this to happen now as the Nintendo Switch is at its prime. Over the past few months, we have been treated to some of the best titles on the platform, if not some of the greatest games Nintendo has produced over the past few years.
he Nintendo Switch Pop Up Zone is a tribute to all this and more. With a heavy focus on hands-on content like the upcoming FIFA 18 and more titles to play like Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon 2, there is so much to see and do that every gamer could get lost in there for hours.
The moment I walked into the zone I felt as though I teleported into a Nintendo demo disc. The music playing in the background acted as a layer to the various activities around me as I could choose to visit the shop, walk around and look at the wallpaper that was beautifully designed to the current Switch lineup, or I could simply choose a Switch console and jump into one of the dozen games on display.
It was like living in one of Nintendo's many social hubs across their games. Somehow the design and feel of the venue have been perfectly crafted to create an escape from the Sandton City Mall into a world of Nintendo.
The most concerning thing for me is the store which has been opened in it. Here the Zone has some fantastic Nintendo swag to buy like Amiibos, plushies, games and consoles. I recently visited the New York Nintendo Store and I got the same feeling of this uncontrollable urge to spend money as I did there in the Zone. Like I said, Nintendo does have the best merchandise, and as I type this I am looking at my new Splatoon 2 Joy-Con set and I am wearing a Mario hat that I got at the Zone. You can understand where I am coming from.
If you find yourself in the area or looking to experience being teleported into a Nintendo world for a few hours then be sure to stop by the Nintendo Switch Pop Up Zone. It is situated at the Banking Court in Sandton City, Johannesburg. There are dozens of games to try, things to buy, and just a general vibe that you get where you would not want to leave. Find more about the zone on the Nintendo SA Facebook page.