button and pins were distributed during the classic CES
(Consumer Electronics Shows) shows in years past, prior
to E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) being formed. The
CES shows being held primarily in Chicago (summer) and
Las Vegas (winter) and were closed to the public and only
available to those parties involved within the industry.
Most of these items were hard to come by, even to those
that fit the CES attendance requirements. Take a look
- You'll be impressed!
the left is the original button issued by Westwood Studios
representing the forces of the GDI from Command &
Conquor. To the right is an updated version released
at a subsequent E3. The second pin uses an experimental
mosaic effect, but most hardcore fans and collectors (including
myself) prefer the original.
Here's the other half of the Command & Conquor
button set from Westwood Studios. The original Brotherhood
of Nod pin is seen at the left alongside the more recent,
mosaic-design update. I've worn a set of the original GDI
and Nod buttons on the lapels of a cool leather jacket I
bought in Amsterdam and have had several people come up
to me thinking I'm a veteran, believing they recognized
EA Sports launched its famous sports division, it hit a
speedbump. The original logo, seen at the left, stood for
Electronic Arts Sports Network. Then ESPN got a look at
it and decided it looked a little, oh, I don't know... familiar?
Before you could say "litigation" the division was re-christened
EA Sports and a new button was issued.
on the Sega Genesis and Super nintendo game with the same
nice job on this cutaway portrait button of Earthworm Jim.
The game wasn't the megahit its developer expected, but
the button is still the best thing about it.
got into the grunge look for this "Fast Forward" campagn
in the mid-90s.
went for simplicity and name recognition when it tried to
push its Jaguar hardware at CES this time out. The upside:
They can (and did) giveout the same buttons at the next
famous "Welcome to the Next Level" campaign was among the
most successful in the history of video gaming and this
button captured the triumphant, kick-out-the-formulas spirit
of that period.
tries to get funky again with its "The Best Play Here" button.
The button is very cool, but the catchphrase never... caught.
all my pins and buttons, this has to be my favorite. The
Street Fighter II logo (complete with Japanese "apostrophe")
is very nice, but the hanging gold plaque reading "Championship
Edition" absolutely knocked me out when I first got it and
the whole thing remains my prize to this day.
before Sega knew it had a mascot (it's very own "Mario"
at long last!), this nicely sculpted piece was distributed.
His first appearance in a quality pin.
2 inspired something of a crowd scene as Sega added Tails
and other characters to its franchise. A nice button nonetheless.
included this one for the sake of having all three pins
from the first Sonic trilogy, but I think it's a bit of
a mess. Too busy, even for a character as fast as Sonic.
Star Trek ensignia at the left is, I believe, the very first
such button ever given out in relation to a game. I got
this one from the folks at S&SI back in the mid-80s when
Arnie Katz and I were writing Star Trek: First Contact (no
similarity to the later movie), so it wasn't even given
to the general press. I believe the pn on the right is from
Interplay and is from the '90s.
Virtual Boy? SURE you do! It revolutionized the world of
VR gaming and... oh no, sorry, that happening in an alternate
reality. In this one, Virtual Boy was a total turkey. Nice
Isn't this one a beauty? The shield and sword etched in
a stone-like medium made this Zelda button an instant favorite.
Also, Nintendo, unlike Sega, Sony, Atari and most other
companies, was not exactly liberal with its buttons. Getting
a complete set at any show was extremely challanging for
members of the press corps. As a result, Nintendo items
are apt to be much more rare than pieces from, say, Acclaim,
which has always been very generous with its premiums.