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Review: Numskull SEGA accessories

Just last week we report on some new additions to Numskull’s range of SEGA accessories. The company had previously released a great range of SEGA products, including SEGA console-themed notebooks and a cracking Sonic the Hedgehog Christmas jumper.

New to the range are two Mega Drive wallets (one console themed and the other controller themed), a Mega Drive and a Master System keyring and some very fancy Mega Drive controller cufflinks.

Well, those very gorgeous people at Numskull has very kindly provided us with a few items from the new range to review for you: the Mega Drive controller wallet, the Master System keyring and Mega Drive controller cufflinks – just in time for Christmas! So without further ado, let’s check out these accessories.

First impressions:

IMG_8112-editUpon opening the envelope containing the accessories, I was immediately impressed with the packaging the items are sold in. Rather than some plain white, or even over-elaborate designs, Numskull has brilliantly opted for a black-to-purple fade with simple white checkered-lined pattern synonymous with 80’s and 90’s SEGA designs.

There’s a chance some younger gamers out there won’t get the same sentimental feelings from this design. But there is something about the aesthetics of the packaging that really warms the heart in the old SEGA Nerd, bringing back the nostalgia factor and the days of buying (or receiving) new SEGA games as a kid.

I also want to give a nod and a thumbs up to Numskull for the back of the packaging. All the products have a little blurb of writing on the back and rather the normal “this a thing, use it” they have humorous and unique blurbs for each item.

mega-drive-controller-back-cut

This, again, makes think of the good old days when gaming companies actually liked to have fun with their advertising and a bit of attitude.

Right, let’s onto the actual individual products.

Mega Drive controller wallet

Price: £14.99 | Buy here

Aesthetics:

megadrive-controller-frontAs mentioned, Numskull has released two Mega Drive-themed wallets. The Mega Drive controller is perhaps the subtler of the two designs, with a simple A, B, C & Start buttons on the front and the D-Pad on the back.

Other than a tiny SEGA copyright logo on the back, there is nothing that screams: “Hey everybody, this is a SEGA Mega Drive wallet!”.

Now, don’t get me wrong. For any SEGA fan, or long-term gamer, the D-Pad and three buttons are enough to say: “This is a SEGA wallet” and it does it brilliantly; I instantly recognised the design.

megadrive-controller-backBut to the un-trained eye, this is something that not everyone will know what it is. I asked my non-gaming girlfriend what she thought it was and this was her response, verbatim:

Me: “What do you think this is?”

GF: “What do you mean? Is it something other than a wallet?”

Me: “Yeah, it’s a wallet. But what do you think the design is, or means?”

GF: “It’s a game! … *pause* … It’s a game console thingy”

She literally had no idea what console it was for.

But then I showed her an image of the second Mega Drive-console:

And she said: “It’s a… SEGA Mega Drive!”

megadrive-console-frontTo be fair, I think she just read the words on the wallet. But that’s partly my point – the design of the console wallet makes it more obvious to everyone around what it is.

Now, I bring this up in favour of both wallets – depending on the person receiving the wallet.

Some people like to show off their gamer/geek style to world (and why not?) and would probably prefer the Mega Drive console look.

Then you have others who like to embrace their inner gamer, but perhaps not to shout out about it. In which case the Mega Drive controller would be more suitable.

Either way, both wallets will enable you to show off your love for classic SEGA action.

Build quality:

From, experience, typical things that you need to watch for with wallets are the material it’s made from and the stitching.

While visible all over, the stitching appears to be spot on – no fraying or loose ends and tightly bound to the material.

The material itself is PU leather.

Now, for some people, this will be a negative aspect – as PU leather is a man-made material and traditionally far less durable and cheaper in cost than genuine leather; meaning it may not last as long if used regularly.

The material is extremely pliable and has some stretch in it, kind of like a spandex material. Generally this material is water resistant and easily cleaned or maintained.

Some PU leather products have grooves indented, to make it look more like leather. The Mega Drive controller wallet does not have these grooves and Numskull has opted for a smooth surface.

To the touch, this makes the wallet feel incredibly soft and really nice to handle.

The design of the buttons appears to be heat embossed onto the wallet – a bit like a sticker of sorts, where the design is essentially stuck down, using heat and pressure. This technique is not uncommon and generally holds very well – but can rub off over time with general wear ‘n tear usage.

Ergonomic design (aka how much does it work like a wallet):

megadrive-controller-openWhile looking damn good is one thing, wallets obviously need to be functional and serve a purpose. So just how well would this wallet serve its purpose compared to non-gaming wallets.

The wallet consists of a note slot and multiple card slots, with a ‘window’ slot for ID cards (such as driver’s licences).

Due to the material of the wallet, the card slots are slightly more flexible than some wallets and allow for slightly larger-than-average cards to fit in.

The downside is that there is no coin part in the wallet. This won’t be an issue for everyone – many wallets don’t contain coin parts – but for people like me, this can be an annoyance.

I personally enjoy a coin compartment – as I hate loose change jangling around in my pocket.

Summary:

The Mega Drive controller wallet looks great and, while perhaps not as durable as real leather, does offer a very well-made product that should be suitable for many SEGA fans.

The design is subtler than Numskull’s other wallet design, but still bold enough that any SEGA Nerd or gaming fan will instantly recognise the classic Mega Drive controller.

But if you require a coin compartment in your wallets, then you are out of luck with this product.

At £14.99, this wallet is in about the average price range of console/comic book themed wallets on the market. However, you do often find those other wallets at this price point to be made out of real leather, rather than the softer PU leather. That said, the feel and overall quality of this wallet does mean it is value for money.

Pros:
+ Subtle, but effective Mega Drive controller design
+ Well made
+ Good for cards and note money

Cons:
– Material not as sturdy as genuine leather
– No place to hold coins

4-SN-Good-300x120

Master System keyring

Price: £4.99 | Buy here

IMG_7891The Master System keyring is pretty cool. It is essentially a solid lump of plastic, with detailed design etched out of it and (what appears to be) painted on decals.

But what they have done with this ‘lump’ of plastic is great. The attention to detail Numskull has provided on this little accessory is pretty impressive.

Due to the size of the keyring, it’s hard to read the writing, but Numskull has persisted and included all the text featured on the real console.

In doing so, they have recreated what seems to be a perfect replica of SEGA’s 8-bit machine, including a notch for the SEGA Card input (the thin credit card-sized cards that could also be used for games instead of cartridges – they were cheaper to produce, but had less memory).

IMG_7893Numskull has even included all the air vents the original console has on top and on the bottom, plus the little raised feet.

In terms of ergonomic design, there isn’t really much to explain. It’s a keyring.

It comes with a chain and ring, so you can attach it to your keys, or whatever else you attach keyrings to.

The only downside I can really think of, and this is a dumb thing – so I won’t really count it as a true negative, is that it’s ‘just’ a keyring. But I can’t fault Numskull for that – it’s a great keyring – but for some people they might find that a little mundane, as it doesn’t really ‘do’ anything other than just dangle there.

But for those who don’t need their keyrings to light up, open bottles or make you a cup of tea, and if all you want in life is a keyring, then it’s a great option.

Summary:

The Master System keyring is a great little accessory for any SEGA Nerd. Well designed and incredibly well detailed and at £4.99 it’s a perfect little stocking filler.

It’s just a pity that this little baby can’t play games 😉

Pros:
+ High-level of detail
+ Solid build
+ Err… works like a keyring should

Cons:
– (No legitimate cons)

5-SN-Excellent

 

Mega Drive cufflinks

Price: £14.99 | Buy here

mega-drive-packaging-frontI have to admit, out of the three accessories we were given to review, the cufflinks got me the most excited.

I rarely wear shirts that need cufflinks, but when I do, I always struggle to find ones that I really love. But these are great for any SEGA Nerd.

Similar to the Mega Drive controller wallet, the cufflinks feature the Start, A, B & C buttons on one cufflink and the D-Pad on the other.

Again, these offer a subtle way to embrace your inner-gamer, but will impress any SEGA fan you might encounter.

Unlike the wallet, the buttons and D-Pad are not painted on, stickers or heat embossed, but rather raised and formed to feel and look like they are part of a tiny controller.

IMG_7901-edit

Similar to the keyring, there’s not a huge amount to say about the ergonomics of these cufflinks – they work like cufflinks should and hold very well in a shirt.

Summary:

While not an everyday item, the Mega Drive cufflinks are probably favourite accessory I got to try out.

Very well built and looks great. A fun way to show off you’re a SEGA Nerd, with some style.

Pros:
+ Subtle, but stylish design
+ Solid build
+ Work like cufflinks should

Cons:
– (None)

5-SN-Excellent

If you like the look of any of the products reviewed here, then be sure to check out Numskull’s complete range.

 

Graham Cookson

I'm the European Editor of SEGA Nerds and co-founder of the original SEGA Nerds website with Chris back in 2004 or 2005 (genuinely can't remember which year it was now!). I've been a SEGA fan pretty much all my gaming life - though I am also SEGA Nerds' resident Microsoft fanboy (well, every site needs one) and since SEGA went third party, I guess it's now ok to admit that I like Nintendo and Sony too :0) I'm also the Content Manager of the big data company, Digital Contact Ltd, in the UK: http://digitalcontact.co.uk/company/team/

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