Power Pad

“CAUTION! DO NOT JUMP IN OR NEAR THIS AREA!”

Long before Dance Dance Revolution and Wii Fit, there was the Power Pad.

Designed by Bandai and snapped up by Nintendo, the Power Pad was a thing of beauty–– a two-sided vinyl mat that plugged into your NES. On one side, eight blue and red pads… on the back, 12.

And just like that–– your days of just sitting on the couch, giving your thumbs a workout as you Super Mario your way into immortality, were over.

Well, almost.

Not quite the hit that Nintendo hoped it would be, the Power Pad didn’t survive for long, but for those couple of years in the last 80s that it DID… well, we’ll admit it was pretty cool.

Games like Athletic World (in June 1988) World Class Track Meet (in August) kept things interesting as you ran in place, hopping hurdles and running the 100 meter dash… but then came Dance Aerobics in March 1989, and suddenly Mom wanted to co-opt YOUR video games. Bummer, dude.

…and what was up with that not-too-subtle warning at the top of the Pad? Jeez, man, we’re NOT gonna step there! Chill!

Eventually the Power Pad would disappear from our consciousnesses, but have no fear… within a decade it would return (in the late 90s) as the ‘step pad’ craze reared its ugly head again.

So the next time you lace up your Keds for a round of DDR, take a moment to remember where it all started.

We ♥ Power Pad.

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~ by weheart80s on July 17, 2012.

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