Family Fun Fitness (NES)

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Source: Nintendo Fun Club News – Volume 1, Number 3 – Fall 1987

A rip off of the Power Pad you say? No, you’ve got it all wrong… The Family Fun Fitness “Control Mat” was released by Bandai in 1986 with a North American release in 1987. It came with a game called “Athletic World” with exciting mini-games like “Hop A Log” and “Dark Tunnel”.

Shortly thereafter, Nintendo acquired this item and rebranded it the “Power Pad”. There were no functional changes and the same game was included, at least initially. Like most NES peripherals (e.g. the light gun and power glove) there weren’t a lot of games released for it. The Power Pad had a total of six games released in North America with a few others being Japan only releases.

While the Family Fun Fitness Control Mat is functionally the same as the Power Pad, the original is far more collectible because of the relative short amount of time it was on the market. In addition, when Nintendo bought and rebranded it, they recalled all of the original versions left on the shelves. I imagine a boxed original could fetch a pretty penny on eBay. The games released for the Power Pad are not all that memorable for the most part but this device influenced the development of far more popular games that would come later like Dance Dance Revolution.

The above ad is from the Fall 1987 issue of Nintendo Fun Club News (the predecessor to Nintendo Power). Screen shots are from Athletic World, the game that was packaged with the control mat/power pad.




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