Being the youngest sibling usually relegated you to using the cheap, third-party controller that hardly ever worked. Even more so if you went to your friend’s house and they handed you some strange controller nobody had ever heard of. Well it seems Beeshu Inc. knew that feeling all too well when they designed and created the Beeshu Zipper.
At first the Beeshu Zipper looks like your standard third-party turbo controller for the NES. That is until you realize this was an officially licensed product and was held to much higher standards, which are easily noticeable in the quality of this controller. The Zipper was available in a variety of colors, most of them being 1980’s LOUD colors, but were also available in a pretty standard, two-tone, dark grey on light grey.
Many third-party controllers of the time used the Famicom controller as their base, and the Zipper was no exception. However, the Zipper feels much more rigid with a textured front and back, which I think helps with gripping the controller. The Zipper is also slightly larger than both third-party and official NES controllers, making it more comfortable for larger hands than its counterparts.
The main defining feature of the Zipper are the two switches over the A and B buttons giving the player the choice of which button they needed turbo for, as well as allowing them to choose between two speeds of turbo or turning it completely off. Both turbo settings are useful, but personally I find the difference between them to be very slight. My only real complaint about it would be that the switches are quite difficult to switch back and forth, but they still function.
One thing I’ve always disliked about third-party NES controllers was that the plugs never fit quite right into my NES console, but since the Zipper is an officially licensed Nintendo product it has an official NES controller plug on the end for a perfect fit. In terms of reliability I can say that I’ve owned mine for over seven years and always had it packed away, but when I pulled it out to test it for this article everything still worked as if it were brand new. That’s far better than most of my other third-party NES turbo controllers.
With the rounded off edges of the Famicom controller, the tried and true NES familiar button layout and an over nine foot long cord, let’s not forget the official plug on the end, the Beeshu Zipper would be an OEM killer in my mind. It’s comfortable to hold, it still functions after being packed away for many years, as if it was brand new, and if you happen across one of them in the bright 80’s colors, you’re in for a great time as player two when your friend or older siblings hand you this controller.