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Retro and functional, Melissa Sidwell makes these diplomatically named “broken controller” wallets. Whether she’s avoiding using a registered trademark or not with her nomenclature, obviously they’re Nintendo controllers, otherwise dysfunctional and headed for the trash. Not a first but definitely one of the nicer finishes around, with what appears to be a dark, soft-fabric lining (so you don’t scrape your knuckles on the interior’s hard plastic when fishing for coins!), this upcycled accessory proves that almost nothing really outlives its usefulness. Melissa writes:

I have taken old, broken controllers from a video game console and gutted them. I added a zipper and a lining and made them into wallets. I couldn’t stand to see them end up in the landfill! They are just big enough to fit ID’s, credit cards along with bills and coins.

Sadly, entering the Konami code will not dispense economic “power ups” from these wallets!


Calling all remakers, upcyclers, found object artists, and refuse miracle makers! Win a MakerBot Replicator and a trip to World Maker Faire in NYC! Submit your idea to Project Remake, presented by Schick.

Nick Normal

I’m an artist & maker. A lifelong biblioholic, and advocate for all-things geekathon. Home is Long Island City, Queens, which I consider the greatest place on Earth. 5-year former Resident of Flux Factory, co-organizer for World Maker Faire (NYC), and blogger all over the net. Howdy!


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Comments

  1. artanis says:

    I’m more curious how you break a NES controller? My have been working perfectly since 87′….with heavy heavy use.

  2. mystery liquids spilled inside 20 years ago seems to do the trick, artanis.

    1. Nick Normal says:

      Thanks for submitting your project Melissa – your other wares are also great, especially the jewelry box!

  3. Jana says:

    Melissa, you have always amazed me. You are creative and put a lot of thought into your designs. Even as a child you would make something out of nothing.

  4. HowardC says:

    Actually I call foul on this one as well. I’ve got a launch month NES and over the years my controllers have been stepped on, thrown, used to death, had drinks spilled on them been stored in extreme heat AND extreme cold. You can’t break NES controllers.

    I like the little purses, I’m just saying… several nes controllers were harmed in the making of them.

    1. Nick says:

      Nintendo sold over 200 MILLION controllers, if they ever become rare I will be a rich man!

  5. FyberOptic says:

    All that ever really goes bad with an NES controller is the shift register IC on the circuit board (since that’s literally the only component in there), and the cord. Both can be replaced. So while I don’t have a huge problem with someone taking something of their own which is “broken” and turning it into something else, I do kinda have a problem with acquiring and destroying such things in larger quantities. People who turn an NES into a DVD player or PC, controllers into belt buckles, zappers into glorified laser pointer holders, etc. It’s all a huge waste of classic equipment which can never be replaced. I don’t really mean to be harsh towards the person who made the wallets, since I’m sure they take pride in their work and all, but I think a true Nintendo geek would rather have the controller intact and broken than to carry it around as a “geek” status symbol to make conversation around whenever they’re paying for something at the store.

  6. mary says:

    i think you may be a little harsh on creativity and artistry. Well, for me, I AM amazed that someone can turn turn things into a step back into time using things that are fun and nostalgic. As the saying goes…”beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and may I add, love the nostalgia. Thanks for the fun memories

    mary

  7. chuck says:

    Is anyone else having trouble entering the contest? My pics won’t upload and it all freezes up. I really want to enter my project. Help!

  8. [...] response to Upcycled Game Controller Wallets, Mary reminisces: i think you may be a little harsh on creativity and artistry. Well, for me, I AM [...]