BitBox NES game cases are super sexy. No, really, they are. I’ve discovered—after returning to the wild and surprisingly expensive world of NES collecting—that bare bones cartridges aren’t the most-exciting items to display on a shelf.
The carts are a dull gray color, and the decades-old sticker-art that fronts them no longer pops with vibrant colors. On top of that, many (if not most!) used NES games lack dust sleeves, so there isn’t a way to prevent crud from gunking up the carts’ interiors. So what does one do when it comes time to tidy up and protect the collection? Invest in BitBox NES cases.
A BitBox is a sturdy, plastic case that recalls a Disney ’90s-era VHS case. You can purchase plain, black BitBoxes, or opt to have Stone Age Gamer—BitBox’s official retailer—print insert art scanned from NES box art supplied by The Cover Project for an additional fee. Prices start at $3.99 and $2.00 for a BitBox and printed insert, respectively, but Stone Age Gamer offers discounts for those who buy in bulk. You can also order manual-holding Document Straps, which are free for a limited time. Stone Age Gamer ships its BitBox orders via UPS or USPS.
If you order insert art, Stone Age Gamer emails you a link where you select BitBox covers. The Cover Project had images for the 10 inserts I ordered, and in come cases, multiple versions. I opted for covers that were especially made for BitBox, because they carry attractive borders that keep the art in the proper aspect ratio (the borderless, default NES box art scans are stretched a bit when printed to match a BitBox’s size).
Here’s a valuable knowledge nugget that will serve you well before placing an order: Stone Age Gamer doesn’t place the inserts into the cases. When I opened the box, I thought Stone Age Gamer botched the order, because the art was tucked away in a padded envelope beneath the BitBoxes. After breathing a sigh of relief upon discovering the inserts, I began slipping the surprisingly sturdy covers into the BitBoxes.
I was immediately impressed. The inserts wonderfully duplicate the look of ’80s- and ’90s-era video game box art. The Ninja Gaiden 2: The Dark Sword of Chaos art has a bit of color bleeding in the lower-left corner, and screenshots on the back of all the inserts aren’t quite as sharp as the overall art—a likely a carry-over from the games’ original box images. Still, I’m more than pleased with the purchase.
So, a doff of the cap to BitBox, as well as Stone Age Gamer and The Cover Project, for giving my retro NES collection a touch of class.