Today is a special day on Nintendo’s calendar, as the iconic company marks its 125th anniversary.

The company was founded on September 23, 1889 by Fusajiro Yamauchi. Nintendo’s first endeavor  was to produce and market handmade Hanafuda cards. The cards soon gained popularity and assistants were hired to mass-produce cards to keep up with demand.

In 1959, Nintendo struck a deal with Disney to use Disney’s characters on Nintendo’s playing cards. The tie-in was successful, with the company selling at least 600,000 card packs in a single year. This led to Nintendo’s public listing on the Osaka Stock Exchange Second division in 1962.

The extra capital invested in the company allowed it to branch into many new fields, and from 1963 to 1968, Nintendo set up varying ventures, including a taxi company, love hotel chain, food company, and a vacuum cleaner.

All these ventures eventually failed, with the exception of toymaking, and electronic toys followed in 1969, clearing the way for the computer games that we all associate the company with today.

Here’s a short historical overview of the company’s milestones over their 125 year history:

  • 1889 – Founded in Kyoto, Japan
  • 1962 – Listed on the Osaka Stock Exchange
  • 1970 – Introduced electronic technology to Japanese Toy industry
  • 1976 – Introduced first home TV game
  • 1980 – Started selling “Game N Watch”
  • 1981 – Mario and Donkey Kong made their first appearances
  • 1985 – NES is launched, along with Super Mario Bros
  • 1989 – Game Boy launched
  • 1991 – SNES launched in USA
  • 1994 – Nintendo established in Australia
  • 1996 – N64 launched
  • 2001 – Game Boy Advance launched, using the latest 32 bit technology
  • 2001 – Nintendo GameCube launched
  • 2003 – Game Boy Advance SP released
  • 2005 – Nintendo DS launched, introducing touch screen controls
  • 2006 – Wii launched, with innovative motion sensitive controls
  • 2011 – 3DS launched in US
  • 2012 – Wii U launched in US

So happy anniversary to Nintendo – a company that has impacted the world with their long and varied ventures, and creative vision.

Let us know your favorite Nintendo memory in the comments section below.