Super Mario Bros. 3 Raccoon Mario
Image: KeshiCorner

When we typically think about video game preservation, we often focus on the games themselves. So something that usually gets lost or forgotten about is the ephemera surrounding these titles. Things like toys or other merchandise.

The retro enthusiast Mr. Talida, however, thinks they have come up with a solution. Recently, they announced a new YouTube channel, called Keshi Corner, that aims to deal with exactly this type of material, archiving objects using 3D scanning technology.

Mr. Talida tells Time Extension:

"The game preservation community has gotten really good at preserving the digital aspects of games--basically the game data itself--but there's this whole other space that needs attention too, which is the preservation of the contemporary environment surrounding the games: how they were marketed, how they were received, what merchandise or other ancillary materials were created for them, etc.

"Luckily, groups such as Gaming Alexandria and the Video Game History Foundation are up to the task and have been doing outstanding work scanning publications like old gaming magazines and other paper gaming ephemera. Still, I feel there's this additional vector that doesn't have a lot of coverage just yet, and that's this space of preserving physical artifacts relating to vintage games. Speaking of vintage game merchandise specifically, what do we do about all these little toys and other physical objects that were an important part of a game's history, but can't be adequately digitized with our usual two-dimensional formats like a flatbed scan or a photograph?

"My personal goal is to digitize my collection of gaming-related rubber figure toys (known as 'keshi gomu' or just 'keshi'), which totals dozens of individual pieces, and upload the 3D models to hopefully make them available to anyone who wants them in perpetuity."

So far, the channel has only uploaded one video, in which the collector scans in an old Bandai Keshi toy of Raccoon Mario modeled after the character's appearance in Super Mario Bros. 3 from 1988, but from this, we can already see the methods behind their approach. With every scan, a cloud of points is generated in the shape of the toy. They then spend a little time cleaning it up and finally transform it into a 3D mesh. Some background is also provided in the video about the history of the toy line and Keshi toy lines in general, giving the viewer some additional context.

According to the original tweet, Mr. Talida will upload new scans every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so we recommend heading over to their YouTube channel and subscribing if you're at all interested in video game history or simply a collector of toys yourself!

What's the rarest video game collectible you own? Let us know in the comments!

[source, via]