The World of Custom Gameboys

I was probably around 8 or 9 when I got my first Gameboy. Being able to put a video game console and a tv together into the palm of your hands was the coolest thing I had ever seen in my life. Now that a lot of millennials who were kids back then are getting older, the pull of nostalgia has brought about an entirely new niche hobby of restoring old Gameboys.

How it works: You find yourself an old Gameboy (of any model) at a Goodwill, Ebay, Facebook Marketplace, or wherever you can find them cheaply. Ideally, the Gameboy used for the project already has some cosmetic damage or a broken screen. Destroying a perfectly good Gameboy is looked down upon. Next, you purchase a new plastic housing for the model of Gameboy you have from sites like RetroModding, RetroGameRepair or Etsy, as well as buttons and any other missing parts you need. Lastly, hobbyists tend to like to replace the Gameboy’s screen with a brand new, more modern IPS display.

The last step is to follow one of the many online tutorials to put it all together. I’ve recently modded an old, busted Gameboy Advance SP with a new gold case, white buttons, and new IPS display. It now operates even better than when it was brand new.

The Gameboy restoration community often takes their projects much farther than the standard new housing, new screen approach. Many people get much more creative and do custom paint jobs, new and custom form factors, and even more. Below are some of my favorite creative custom Gameboys completed by the community at reddit.com/r/gameboy.

by /u/DidSomebodySayRetro
by /u/Dannerz

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Taylor Design Blog

By Chris

Senior Front-end Developer