The Reason TurboGrafx-16 Had a Caveman Mascot
As a child, I had and loved NEC’s home video game console known in North America as the TurboGrafx-16. It existed during the era of video game console mascots. Nintendo had Mario, Sega had Sonic, and NEC had Bonk. Prominently featured on most of their marketing was this loveable little caveman with his huge head he used as a weapon.
NEC marketed the TurboGrafx-16 for its advanced graphical capabilities, as its name would suggest. As a child, this made it more than a little bit confusing to me as to why they would want a caveman to represent the brand. Little did I know, it was based on a pun that only made sense in Japanese.
In Japan, the name for the system was the PC-Engine. Instead of Bonk’s Adventure, the game’s name was PC-Genjin, with genjin being the Japanese word for caveman. So there you have it.