Today's handheld gaming systems are amazing feats of engineering with their bright color screens, speakers that blast sound with great clarity, and easy to grip controls. Back at the dawn of portable gaming, however, these qualities were just not technically or financially feasible. The original Nintendo Game Boy wasn't exactly something you could play in the dark. Third-party aftermarket accessories sought to fill the performance gap. You could get a Light Boy add-on to bring a gentle glow to the Game Boy screen for those early morning car trips. Extra snap-on speakers could amplify the system's sound capabilities. Buying and storing all of these peripherals could be an expensive undertaking, but leave it to InterAct to try to conquer the accessory market with a single product that brought light, enhanced sound, control grips, and a magnifying lens to the Game Boy experience. Behold, the Handy Boy!
Here's how it works: the Handy Boy assimilates your hapless and trusting Game Boy, consuming and becoming one with it. The box boasts that it sports a compact design, but a fully tricked-out Game Boy doesn't seem so compact to me. Thankfully, the Handy Boy comes with a shoulder strap for hauling your handheld Nintendo experience around with you. From the look of things, you'd need one. Handy Boy requires its own power source; it comes with its own power adapter or can tap into the Game Boy's own batteries. It doesn't just envelop your Game Boy, but it feeds off it as well. Yes, this thing is about as far from portable as you can get. InterAct rebranded the Handy Boy as the Handy Pak later in the Game Boy's life and later redesigned it to fit the slimmer Game Boy Pocket as the Handy Pak 2. There's even a Game Boy Color variation. Say what you will about today's handheld gaming systems, but let's all at least agree that we've come a long way from the Handy Boy era and that, if nothing else, is a vast improvement.