This is everything! Okay—not everything. There’s always one or two Game Boys hiding around the house somewhere. But this is definitely a huge chunk of the collection! If you had a Game Boy as a child, you probably see one just like it here. The full picture doesn’t do it justice. Let’s dig in and check out the highlights of the collection.
The original Game Boy design is iconic in the gaming world. This was the first model created for the Game Boy line. They all have the classic offwhite/cream shell. A couple have yellowed more than others, this is likely due to poor storage conditions.
Before the Game Boy Color—there were colored Game Boys! The Play It Loud series brought a much-needed splash of color to the original Game Boy design. We've almost got every Play It Loud color: blue, red, yellow, green, black, and transparent. The only one missing is white.
The original Play It Loud shells typically have a gray bezel, gray buttons, and black text. On the black Play It Loud shell, the Game Boy text is a pink/red color. We managed to snag a couple in the original retail boxes. One of these boxes had the original Game Boy pamphlets!
One of the green Play It Loud Game Boys has been backlit, this makes the screen look darker in comparison. One of the unmodded Game Boys came with the original booklets, a Nintendo Power ad, and a really awesome Play It Loud poster. I love finding original documentation. It's like unfolding pure nostalgia.
The clear Game Boys are so cool. They are just as exciting today as they were 20+ years ago. I'm really happy to have a few good clear shells in the collection. One of the boxes still had the Play It Loud box art tucked inside. There's just something wicked about seeing the Game Boy guts while you play. These shells are some of my absolute favorites.
You can't lose a Game Boy this bright. The Play It Loud yellow is just too hard to miss on a chunky device like this. These two easily bring the most sunshine to the collection. I was also excited to discover the original Game Boy booklets in the retail box!
These Game Boys are super rad. Wait...no they're super red. Red Play It Loud's aren't very difficult to get ahold of. They're not as common as the original Game Boy edition, but definitely not the rarest, either. I always appreciated the contrast of the gray bezel and buttons against the vibrancy of the red shell.
Blue Game Boys are a bit harder to get your hands. They were only released officially in Europe and Japan. As a US resident, this makes it much harder to complete the collection. But there's nothing that can't be resolved with a little research online. You can find blue Game Boys on eBay.
I love to mod Game Boys! One of my favorite mods is the backlight mod (I do not have enough AA batteries to light up this picture). The backlight installation process isn't super easy, but it's definitely something you can pull off in an afternoon.
These are the Game Boys that have aftermarket aesthetic upgrades. They've got brand new bezels, shells, buttons, and screens that weren't manufactured by Nintendo. This is how people get crazy colored Game Boys that were never on the market.
These shells are aftermarket creations. You can find them on Amazon in a variety of colors. While original shells definitely have their appeal, sometimes a nice aftermarket upgrade can help salvage an old device.
In a world without Cartoon Cartoon Fridays and Slime Time Live, honor must be paid.
It's one thing to backlight the screen on a Game Boy—but the buttons, too?! Not only do these buttons illuminate, they're made with RGB LEDs. You can expect a full rainbow rotation of color while you play. It's super cool and only a little bit distracting.
Sometimes it's hard to say goodbye. These are the remnants of projects past. From broken shells to fried motherboards, these are the pieces we keep on hand. While preservation is key in a collection, sometimes you have to know when to cut your losses and make sacrifices for the greater good. You never know when you might need to salvage a part for another Game Boy.
Enough flash and flare, it's time for the real deal. The biggest majority of the collection is dedicated to unmodded, original hardware. These Game Boys are carefully stored and maintained. While modding is fun and has its perks, nothing beats the appeal of an original Game Boy.
Game Boy resources
Thinking of starting a Game Boy collection of your own? I don't blame you! Here are a few resources to get you started.
And lastly, don't forget to bookmark our Game Boy troubleshooting guide. You never know what can go wrong, but you're probably not the first person to encounter the issue before. We've got you covered.
The Nintendo Game Boy is one my favorite retro hand-helds. They came in a surprising number of variations, some of which are very hard to get ahold of.