Here on consolevariations.com we are passionate about every variation there is. But once in a while a
console catches our attention with a story so unique, we just have to write about it. One of these exotic consoles is the Nintendo 64 ANA Edition. Why is it so rare? How could
you obtain it? We will try to answer all the questions here.
First of all, ANA stands for “All Nippon Airways” and is the largest Airline in Japan. In 1999 the company held a seat lottery, where one was able to randomly win one of these consoles. According to the official announcement from the 14th of January 1999 on the All Nippon Airways website the console was winnable on national and international flights from 1st of February to the 30th of April 1999. So it was only available for 3 months in total.
The name of the contest was “ANA 20th century legendary campaign with ANA Pokémon Jet Part 2”. To win you
had to be on a ANA flight within this time period and the lucky winner received it in a white shipping box with blue print along with 2 games. Hey You! Pikachu and Pokémon Stadium. It was most
likely shipped to the winners home address.
The most eye-catching feature is the ANA Logo printed on the expansion lid. Actually this is its only obvious identification feature since otherwise it is just a normal charcoal black console. Even the box is the same as a regular charcoal version. However, the ANA logo is extremely well done and it would be very difficult to make a replica of it.
As you can imagine these ANA N64 consoles are extremely rare, before 2010 only a hand full of collectors were known to have one in their possession. However, the awareness of these consoles has spread within Japan and it seems to be easier to pick one up today. You can find them loose on eBay occasionally and sometimes boxed. How many were made exactly is unfortunately up to speculation since neither Nintendo, nor All Nippon Airways released any numbers. But we would not be who we are if we would not enlighten you with a number crunch at the end of this article.
The true rarity of the console is the shipping box. To this day we only know 3 collectors that own one. Since the last one was sold with its original shipping box almost 4 years have passed. So having a complete set is ridiculously rare compared to other N64 consoles. It makes sense that many people through away the box (although it has Nintendo and ANA printed on it).
Fakes and Serial Numbers
Up to this day there were never any fakes spotted and this makes sense since despite its rarity the value is still on the lower side of the spectrum. The logo is extremely well made so it would not make a lot of sense to make counterfeits for this specific variation. But there are ways of checking if it is real by checking the serial number.
ANA consoles were given out in 1999, the N64 was released in 1996. Naturally the serial numbers of the ANA consoles are extremely high and actually among the highest of all N64 consoles in existence (The GamCube was already in the pipe by this time). All ANA serial numbers are within range of each other and usually higher than 14.602.000 or somewhere around that number.
All Japanese consoles came out with matching serial numbers on the console and their manual. If you get a boxed ANA version and the serial number in the manual is different, then someone swapped the expansion lid from an ANA console and put it on a normal charcoal boxed version. If the serial number is not around 14.602.000, someone also just swapped out the lids. This does not mean the lid is fake, but it means the original composition of the console has been changed to make it complete or at least more complete.
Here a comparison between the N64 ANA 1999 on the right and the N64 Pokémon Promotion 1996 on the left (The Pokémon promotion was the first release of the N64, maybe we’ll get to that one another time) As you can see the gap is huge and shows how many consoles have been produced in between these 2 releases
How many were made? A realistic number crunch!
Rumor has it that the ANA consoles were only winnable in one of the Pokémon Jets of All Nippon Airways
fleet. Yes, this is actually a thing. Check out this image from
Wikipedia. The name of the contest even includes the word "Pokémon Jet".
As you can see 4 new Pokémon Jets were introduced by the airline in 1999, the same year the contest started. This is surely not a coincidence since the airline had to profit of this partnership in some way also. And what better way to promote flying with All Nippon Airways then promoting the 4 new planes of the fleet to Nintendo fans, who could also win a console at the same time. We know for a fact that people were and still are desperate to fly with one of these Pikachu planes or at least spot one at the airport. (Hence more have been released, the newest in 2011)
The entire fleet of All Nippon Airways consisted of about 200 Airplanes in 1999. The number of passengers
transported annually was about 45 million. (Source: Estimated from Chart Wikipedia DE)
So 1 plane statistically transported 225.000 passengers per year
Of course the promotion was only held for 3 months, so we have to divide that number by 4.
This equals 56.250 passengers transported in the promotion time period of 3 months (We are ignoring seasonal fluctuations for the sake of simplicity)
An average ANA plane has about 200 seats, so there were statistically 281 flights made by each of the 200 planes of the fleet in 3 months.
Let’s imagine 1 person per flight won an ANA console this would mean that 56.250 people would have received a console.
Of course this cannot be the case, because it would not be rare at all and we would see ANA consoles everywhere. Also the
logistics of shipping so many consoles would exceed any promotion deal. So let’s get back to our original statement and suggest that only the Pokémon Jet flights were part of the promotion. At
the time there were 7 of them in operation (3 existing ones from 1998 and the 4 newly added ones from 1999)
So 7 x 281 = 1967
So this is our estimate. We say that there were roughly 2000 consoles made and to further support this theory we also have some light evidence.
We have had 3 ANA consoles over the years with the serial numbers:
And we found another one on eBay with the serial number:
The highest gap we get is just under 1000, so our estimate of 2000 seems pretty realistic. If anyone from
our community could tell us their serial numbers we could narrow it down even more. So feel free to contact us :)
Conclusion and Value
The ANA is one of the most unique N64 variations due to its history and foremost the very unusual way how it was distributed by a seat lottery.
In terms of rarity (estimated 2000 units) it is very rare, but not the rarest N64 out there. Anyway obtaining it today will not be easy even though several appear during a year.
Prices tend to be around:
Loose: Between 100$ and 250$
Boxed: Between 200$ and 400$
With shipping box: If ever found again likely over 1500$ (or you get super lucky)
I hope you enjoyed this very thorough full review of the very special N64 ANA variation and will leave you with a few more pics. Feel free to like our Facebook Page and share this article by pressing the social media links below.
Your consolevariations team