Through much research and with the help of my contacts and collectors in Japan, we now know there are 40 Menkos in the 1985 Super Mario Bros Menko set. Since I found out directly from Amada (Ensky Plus) that they didn't keep specific records of the production of these Menkos, I had to use other methods to figure this out. Several dealers and collectors I know in Japan through the years have tried to collect all the different scenes of Menkos in this set when they acquired large lots of Menkos. Every time they put together all the different scenes in this set, they always ended up with 40 Menkos. I also know a collector in Japan that collected these cards in the late 1980's not long after these Menkos were released. He collected hundreds of these particular Menkos and when he put together a set of all the different scenes, he ended up with 40 Menkos every time. All of this combined with years of research online looking at all the different Menkos that sold and are available for sale, I have determined with a 95% certainty that there are 40 Menkos in this set. There are only a few exceptions. There are a few other Mario Menkos dated 1985, but the scene and the information on the card tells us it is not part of this set. The scenes of the Menkos in this set is obvious and unmistakable. They have a very distinct blue sky background. The only other exception is the round Menkos have just a few different scenes dated 1985, but again you can tell they are not part of this set.
I consider this a huge breakthrough in the mystery behind Amada and understanding what constitutes a complete set of these particular Menkos. The mystery still continues on some of the other Mario Menkos. I have uncovered more exciting information on some of these other Mario Menkos that I haven't shared yet.
So, stay tuned in as I am uncovering the mystery of Amada and the specifics of these pieces of Nintendo history!
I have made a cool historical discovery that has a great story related to the 1985 Super Mario Bros Menko set. In Japan back in the 80's, when you bought Menkos from a shop, it was possible to get a Menko with a red symbol & number on the blank side. This Menko was considered a "Winner" Menko. If you were lucky enough to get one of these Winner Menkos, you would take it back to the shop you purchased your Menkos from and redeem it for a special "Large" Menko from the shop owner. These Winner Menkos were round and the Special Large Menko you won was a very large round Menko that could be 7-8 inches across. As mentioned above the 1985 Super Mario Menko set has 40 rectangle Menkos in the entire set. These particular Menkos are unmistakable because of the blue sky backgrounds. I was lucky enough to not only make this discovery, but I was able to acquire one of these Special Large Menkos. To my suprise, one of the Special Large Round Menkos has an additional scene that belongs to the 1985 set. Like the others, it is quite obvious it belongs to the 1985 set because of the blue sky background. It has one of the best scenes in the entire set. King Koopa (Bowser) has Peach in his arms while spitting fire at Mario all while on the bridge of the castle. The scene, the colors & the art on this Menko makes it one of my favorites.
This Menko is considered extremely rare. Not only here in the US, but in Japan as well. Amada would have made far less of these winner Menkos. It was rare to get a Winner Menko to redeem for a Special Large Menko, and even more rare that you would have received this Mario Menko as the Special Large Menko as Amada did make other Large Special Menkos that could be won. How many of these were made? We may never know, but this scene does not exist in the standard rectangle or round Menko. This scene only exists in this Special Winner edition Menko.
We can now officially say that the 1985 Super Mario Menko set has a total of 41 Menko scenes when we include the Special Edition Large Round Winner Edition Mario Menko. Below are pics of the Winner Menko and the rare new found large Mario Menko.
Another piece of the puzzle solved!
While scanning over the internet I was pleasantly surprised to run across this Mario Menko from 1985.What drew my attention was the blue sky and the background scene. It's real similar to the other scenes in the 1985 set. There are a few other differences though. The words Super Mario Bros are in Japanese. There is also a small playing card on the Menko, in this case a 10 of spades. Just another game kids could play like who had the highest card or something. This is also the only Mario Menko I've seen where Mario is killing enemies with fire balls. There is actually a goomba in this scene completely lit on fire.
Even though these differences exist, the background scene of this Menko suggests it may belong to the 1985 set. I will have to do more research as to why the Japanese writing instead of English. All of these Menkos were made only in Japan. So, were there separate sets? One set with Japanese writing and another with English writing? Or, were there just a few one-off's with Japanese writing in addition to the other set? More research will have to be done. As I discover more information I will post it. But for now, below is the pic of this Menko I was able to acquire.