Here is the original Mappy arcade game. Back in the '80s, the cabinets of many arcade games were recycled as games came and went; all owners had to do was switch out the outside artwork and the inside computer board. Mappy machines, however, were difficult to recycle because of the unusual title sign looming on the roof of the cabinet. Also, the joystick has no up-and-down motion, only right-to-left. Because of all this, many Mappys were simply chucked once the game became outmoded.

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Here's my own original Mappy machine. It's in the kitchen.

Here's my original Mappy owner's manual, complete with circuit board diagrams.

The manual has this great image of the rare Mappy cocktail unit.


Here we see the differences in the US version (left) and the Japanese version. Although on both sides of the Pacific, the boss cat is still mysteriously described as "The Big Bit."

From video posted on Kotaku and related to an old 1986 document, here are some screengrabs of a Mappy robot (and Goro!) navigating a micromouse maze... from an event sometime between 1982 and 1986. Mappy 1, Mappy 2, Mappy 3, Mappy 4, Goro 1, Goro 2

Mappy fan Benjamin sent this along, a YouTube video of a Mappy toy that runs along a customizable maze. It appears to be a toy version of the robot Mappy above. Crazy!


This is the front of the promotional flyer available to prospective buyers of the game back in 1983. Here, as on the side of the Mappy cabinet, you can see the anthropomorphized versions of the Meowkies... the happy female kitten, the bandanna-wearing average male, and the scowling bad-ass male.

This is the back of that flyer. Tons of over-descriptive gameplay text!

Coolest U.S. Mappy piece ever. This unfolding postcard was mailed to arcade owners to promote Mappy. When fully folded it's 6" by 5". Open it up to reveal a cool pop-up that sorta kinda vaguely illustrates the classic Mappy multi-level gameplay.

A 2" promotional pin, dated 1983. (Supplied by Thomas.)

This is from a 2004 Nintendo calendar. Nintendo gave them out as a reward in Japan for collecting what we in America call proof-of-purchase seals. The calendar features classic NES games on every month; Mappy was November. Other games included were Super Mario Bros., Legend of Zelda, Excitebike, and the Donkey Kong series, putting Mappy in some pretty impressive company. (Image from John Ricciardi's website.)


An LCD handheld version, released sometime in the mid-eighties by Microgames.

I found this rarity in a Boscov's department store for $3.99 circa 1988. This may be one of the few pieces of non-video game related Mappy merchandise that was released in the USA. There was also a Pac-Man watch in the series.

A 5" Goro plush from 1991... probably a prize available in Japanese arcades, like in the familiar crane games. (Supplied by Thomas.)

Although we did get the Namco Museum PlayStation series in the US, in Japan you could get a special collector's edition boxed set. In this picture you can see the included game cardboard standups.

A windup walking Mappy! He's about 2 1/2" tall and was made in 1998. Also probably a Japanese arcade prize. (Supplied by Thomas.)

Here's a pair of Mappy keychains from Japan. One is about 1" and is a great likeness. The other is 2" and is not so great, but it swivels at the waist. For Mappy hip-twisting action, I suppose! (Supplied by Thomas.)

This one is just crazy. A Mappy cigarette lighter... in the shape of a pistol. The box has a big outlined Mappy head on it, and the lighter itself has a little Mappy glued on the handle. Unbelievable. Available only in Japan! (Supplied by Thomas.)

A Mappy pachinko game, called Mappy Park. I think it was released in 2002. The center of the playing field has an LCD screen, so the slots are CG instead of actual slot machine rollers. The Sansei company website has some great images from the game, including lots of Quicktime movies of the animated slot machine sequences. I especially like Mappy's new look!

From a 2003/2004 collection of Japanese "gacha" toys, a tiny set of Mappy charms. Gacha is the term for gumball machine toys; usually small and cheap in the US, in Japan they are detailed collector's items. This set featured 10 Namco games. Note the included ad flyer that shows all 10 charm sets... two of the three blocky background shapes are Mappy sprites. More about gacha here.

In February '04, Mappy was released as part of Nintendo's Famicom Mini series of GBA games. Mappy was game #8, alongside Super Mario Bros, Pac-Man, Legend of Zelda and 6 others. This is the NES version of Mappy, not the original arcade version... but it is very close. The packaging was beautiful: a small box containing the cartridge designed like a miniature Famicom game box, tucked into a larger display box, wrapped in a clear plastic box. The GBA cartridge itself is two-tone - red and white - to match the colors of the original Famicom.

July 2004, Mappy is released on Jakk's popular TV Games series as part of the Namco Ms. Pac-Man collection. The packaging has Mappy and Goro on the side, and the unit itself has a big Mappy sticker (bigger than the stickers for the other games, except Ms. Pac-Man)! Like all the TV Games toys, you plug the RCA jacks into your television, and you're ready to play. The first edition has an eight-way joystick, Jakks claims future runs may trim it down to a four-way joystick after hearing complaints about overly-touchy controls.

2004. This terrific Mappy diorama is part of an 8-part retro Namco diorama collection. Other games featured in the series include Xevious, Dig-Dug and Pac-Land. The Mappy set is about two inches tall when fully assembled. The sets are unfortunately sold in blind boxes, so you don't know which one you're going to get. To score this beautiful Mappy diorama, I had to buy an entire set of 8 from One of the finest Mappy collectibles around.

2004, a blind-packed collection of enamel lapel pins featuring characters from many Namco games. The series combines nostalgia icons like Mappy and Pac-Man with newer characters like Mr. Driller and the cute drum guys from Taiko Drum Master. Order here! (Pin scan supplied by Thomas.)

2004. "Namco Game Sound Museum"... a series of blind-packed mini-CDs with soundtracks of various NES games! The Mappy versions contains music from NES Mappy, Mappyland and Mappy Kids. Another example of cool retro-gear for Japanese collectors. Order from or from! (Mappy CD image supplied by Cary.)

2005. Namco re-releases the Ms. Pac-Man TV Games unit, this time with infrared wireless play. This version also saves your high scores! In addition to Mappy and Ms. Pac-Man, this edition has Galaga, Pole Position, Bosconian, New Rally-X and Xevious. The controls (still 8-way) have been improved since the non-wireless version, particularly for Ms. Pac-Man.

2005. Nintendo did something similar to this for Super Mario Bros in 2004, and now Namco follows suit with their own pixellized 3D dioramas! While the Mario set used magnets to create custom scenes, the Namco version has a pegboard design. (Thanks to Cary for the link!)

2006. Part of Namco Bandai's Let's! TV Play Classic series of plug and play controllers. These compact units feature two classic games and two all-new games based on those classics... so the Mappy / Xevious controller (called Namco Nostalgia #1) has a New Mappy game! The controller appears to come wth switchable faceplates, so you can remove the black Xevious look and go for a hip Mappy style. (Website here: Tamashii Web)

July 2006. More retro toy madness featuring the usual Namco suspects! These Namco-Bandai characters are available with a beverage purchase; collecting the set forms a circle for display(?) (Info via Kotaku and Famitsu)

July 2006. Mappy is added to the Dot-S (or Dot-Pin) series of constructible dioramas, which also includes such games as Super Mario Bros, Pac-Man, Bubble Bobble and Legend of Zelda! The plates are about three inches tall and work sort of like a Lite Brite. Each set comes with plenty of extra pegs, so you can make different sprites from the game. Check out my scanned instruction manual for details! (Order yours from!)

May 2007. Mappy is part of the Namco Classics Sound Drops series, little keychains that play video game sound effects.

2008. Mappy joins a legion of respected game properties - from Pac-Man to Sonic to Virtua Fighter to LittleBigPlanet - in Uniqlo's series of gaming tees.

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