A forgotten piece of video game history is back in the spotlight, so is it time for Nintendo to produce a modern update?

Japanese Twitter user @icopico_DQX’s sister is moving into a new home, and doesn’t have space to take everything with her when she moves. So as part of her pre-move downsizing, she recently brought back a sewing machine she’d borrowed from their mother.

Weirdly enough, though, she also brought back a retro handheld video game system.

“The sewing machine my sister brought back looks crazy powerful.”

Yep, that’s a Nintendo Game Boy Color lying in a special tray built into the machine, and it’s not so that you can multitask by sewing and gaming at the same time. Osaka-based sewing machine maker Jaguar actually sold not one, but two different models that were controlled using Nintendo’s 1990s handheld hardware.

The model shown in @icopico_DQX‘s photo is called the Nuotto, and connects to the Game Boy via the Game Link Cable, the same cord used to connect two Game Boys for co-op or versus play. But instead of jumping on turtles or collecting pieces of the Tri Force, you manipulate the D-pad and buttons to choose patterns for stitches and embroidery. There’s even a special cartridge, seemingly jointly produced by Jaguar and software developer Natsume, that you stuck into the Game Boy containing the various sewing options.

Raku Raku Mishin translates to “Easy Easy Sewing Machine.”

In addition to the Nuotto, Jaguar also sold a model called the Nuyell, which worked in much the same way but didn’t have a dedicated place to put the Game Boy.

There was also an expansion/Raku Raku Mishin sequel in the form of the Mario Family cartridge, which gave you 32 more patterns to work with, from Mario, Peach, and Yoshi to Boos, Bullet Bills, and Koopa Troopas (though, oddly, no Bowser).

And while Mario Family was only for use with the Game Boy Color and Advance hardware, it appears that Raku Raku Mishin was compatible even with the monochrome Game Boy, as shown here where the Nuyell is hooked up to a Game Boy Pocket.

▼ A Nuyell, hooked up to a Game Boy Advance, in action

Again, these weren’t edutainment games designed to mix video game play with sewing lessons, nor were they some sort of sewing equivalent of Easy-Bake Ovens, toys marketed to kids to make them feel like they were doing real grown-up stuff. Raku Raku Mishin and the Nuotto/Nuyell were legitimate sewing equipment, and built to last, as evidenced by one Twitter user who responded to @icopico_DQX’s tweet by saying that they’ve been using theirs for 22 years and counting.

While a handful of in-the-know video game historians and crafting enthusiasts quickly recognized @icopico_DQX’s Nuotto, many commenters said they’d never known such a thing existed. Sadly, Jaguar has discontinued both of its Game Boy-compatible sewing machines, but one commenter made the suggestion that the company should make a model that works with Nintendo’s Switch, and considering how big of a hit that system has been outside of the hardcore gamer demographic, plus the boom in cosplay and self-produced fashion in the age of social media, it sounds like a great idea.

Source: Twitter/@icopico_DQX via Hachima Kiko
Featured image: Twitter/@icopico_DQX
Insert images: Jaguar (1, 2, 3)
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