Retro console fans know there are few things as satisfying as inserting a cartridge into those classic Nintendo Entertainment Systems from the 1980s. Today, with all our optical discs and online downloads, the ritual has become an ancient tradition. The closest thing that gives that same feeling is slamming down a piece of bread in your toaster.
Mathijs Sterrenburg, known on deviantART as MyBurningEyes, realized this and used a 3D model he created of the classic NES to render this inventive mashup: The NES Toaster, taking the outer shell of the decades-old Nintendo Home Entertainment console and exchanging its videogame-capable innards with those of an everyday bread toaster. Fresh toast from a retro design.
Modifying a console to function as a completely different appliance requires a lot more work than just putting insides of one into another. (Just ask designer Jonas Merian of Jonas’ Design; he’s been transforming appliances for years) Mathijs Sterrenburg’s heavily modified render is based on a design that, unlike bread, will never go stale: the outer shell of a Nintendo Entertainment System.
The toaster utilizes the console’s dust cover as bread slots that open when you’re ready to toast a slice. The controller ports can be pulled down to activate the toaster and lower the bread. The ‘power’ and ‘reset’ buttons turn the NES Toaster ‘on’ and ‘off’. Clearly, there’s a lot more to this design than meets the eye. But what meets the eye is captivating all on its own already.
The NES cartridge loading mechanic and a toaster’s bread loading mechanic bear some obvious similarities, and Mathijs isn’t the only one to make the connection. As far back as 2008 DIY modders have been fusing the two, turning their broken down toasters into fully operational Nintendo Entertainment Systems.
The latest and greatest addition to this Nintoaster collection is created by Finnish artist Jarno Kotavuopio and dubbed, what else, The Nintoaster 2.0. Unlike Mathijs and his NES-to-Toaster 3D render, Jarno’s design is more than just concept. It’s a functioning NES with a classy aesthetic. Marrying the 1950s-style look of the toaster to 1980s gaming technology makes for a double layer of vintage and retro beauty.
If you have a favorite gaming console, chances are somebody has modded it to be an intriguing piece of furniture or home decor. Although Kotavuopio wasn’t the first (an earlier version of the Nintoaster appears in many of internet personality ‘The Angry Video Game Nerd’s online videos), his Nintoaster 2.0 seems to be the most functional and beautiful rendition of the Toaster/NES mashup so far.
But there are many more projects equally inventive, using a host of different home consoles. There are classic Sony Playstations transformed into PSX lamps, Sega Dreamcast clocks to hang on the wall of your private gaming pad, an NES controller turned into an iPhone charging dock, and even a Microsoft Xbox 360 shell turned into an atmospherically lit aquarium.
The Nintoaster 2.0 might not allow you to make toast (maybe a feature for the Nintoaster 3.0?) but it will let you play NES classics such as Metroid, Castlevania and the Mega Manseries in an unconventional vintage style. Or you could do what I’d do: skip the classics and go straight to your childhood favorites.
Bubble spewing 2-player dragon action with Bubble Bobble, co-op ninja action with Blue Shadow and entering the exceedingly strange fantasy world of Little Nemo for hours on end. Sweet 8-bit memories.
Watch The Nintoaster 2.0 in action in the video link below!