"from the broken carcasses of DS Lite systems, breathing new life into dead hardware "
Nintendo Life May 2018
Neon Advance started as a new year's project in 2018 to learn how to repair and re-shell Nintendo DS Lite consoles. Spare parts were amassed, Game Boy Macro projects were attempted, original features of the console were removed and much mess was made by cutting, filling, priming and painting the shell to result in what looked decidedly like a home-made product. It became an obsession to find a way to achieve a professional looking product without causing excessive damage to the original features that made the DS Lite such a design classic. Throw in some helpful feedback and encouragement from the always wonderful Instagram retro gaming community and I eventually arrived at the Neon Advance. A console built using the lower half of a DS Lite, with a light up acrylic bar suspended between the original hinge brackets and a relocated speaker positioned at the now redundant opening for the DS Lite's stylus. Always one to take on a new project, I developed a logo, packaging, display stand and more to achieve that professional product I'd always dreamed of.
The colour palette of the original DS Lite consoles means I can mix and match original parts to achieve an almost infinite combination of parts, with the goal being to make something different every time. The dreaded painting can be kept to a minimum, however a paint job can come to the rescue when the original colour has been worn away, and saves more parts from being thrown away.
I was not prepared for the wonderful response it received! I put out an initial tweet to show a few examples and it went viral. After that there was a huge surge of interest from media and the general public. It was a really exciting time that gave me the opportunity to continue building these consoles and scale up production, make new friends and also raise money for charity. It's been a wild ride and one of the key aims of building this site was to archive both the features written about my Neon Advance creations and to document my story so far.
Thanks for visiting!
Joe Bleeps, December 2018