The Internet gaming community let out a collective "Really?" a few weeks ago when Nintendo revealed that this year's Elite bonuses for Club Nintendo members were merely game downloads rather than exclusive tangible collector items. I shared my dissatisfaction, downloaded my copy of EarthBound, and suggested better Club Nintendo exclusives, but I'm not the only one with ideas regarding how the loyalty program could be improved. David Oxford over at Poison Mushroom has plenty to say on the topic as well along with some ideas for better giveaway incentives most of which tread on the retro side of things. For instance, how about a published edition of Nintendo Power's old Super Mario comics?
A long, long time ago, Nintendo Power magazine would include monthly comics based on current games to run alongside their usual strategies, news, and other coverage. Upon completing their runs, Super Mario Adventures and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past were gathered up and released in a trade paperback-styled format. However, the books aren’t especially common, and the main way to read them now is to try to dig up scans online. Reprinting these would provide fans with pristine copies they could keep on their bookshelves and read whenever they want.
Moreover, Super Mario Adventures was actually gathered up and printed before the series was complete– it contains the 12 regular Super Mario Adventures chapters, which were based on Super Mario World, and the first Mario vs. Wario story that was based on Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, but not the second Mario vs. Wario story, wherein the two battle for Princess Peach’s affections on her birthday by trying to obtain a coveted Samus doll.
Those were fun comics, and thanks to the Virtual Console, the old games spotlighted in those stories are still relevant and available to newcomers who missed out (or weren't born yet) the first time around. Oxford also would like to see DVDs of vintage Nintendo commercials, the ever-popular game soundtracks, and other reasonable items taken from the Nintendo vaults. I think the gist here overall is that people want some kind of physical object rather than yet another chance to get Ice Climber.