One of Link’s new powers in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is a tribute to one of Nintendo’s oldest toys, the Ultra Hand. While the Ultrahand ability in Tears of the Kingdom will make Link pick up and move distant objects, Nintendo’s nearly 60-year-old Ultra Hand toy has done exactly the same thing. It just doesn’t have the added feature of building a working hovercraft Tears of the Kingdom
The original Ultra Hand was created by the late Gunpei Yokoi, inventor of Nintendo’s Game & Watch, inventor of the cross-shaped D-Pad seen on Nintendo gamepads, and original designer of the Game Boy. Yokoi created the Ultra Hand in 1966 at the behest of then-President of Nintendo Hiroshi Yamauchi after seeing Yokoi play with a similar device at one of the company’s factories. The inexpensive plastic toy was a hit, selling more than a million copies.
The blog Before Mario has a great review of the Ultra Hand, which was intended as a toy for kids to grab things from afar – or hand something to someone across a table. Part prank, part skill toy, the novel device was manufactured by Nintendo for at least seven years.
But Nintendo never forgot the Ultra Hand, and the device has made numerous appearances in video games over the years. Nintendo’s WarioWare series has featured several Ultra Hand-inspired microgames, and the device has built in non-playable cameos Animal crossing new leaf
The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom could offer players a similar experience this spring, combining the powers of Hyrule’s Ultrahand and this mysterious Flesh Arrow.
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