Making an insane Custom Game Boy Case
We wanted to re-visit a project we started a couple of years ago. We have a Game Boy Advance SP and a heap of games including retro classics like Sonic and Pokemon Ruby to name just a few. Since we made our first case for portable gaming a couple of years ago with the now discontinued Shadow Foam Original, we have massively added to our games collection. So an upgrade to our Gameboy case was very much needed. We picked a new case from Amazon called a Smatree. It’s a soft-shell zipped case which will work perfectly for this project. And to perfectly compliment our upgrade, we’ll be introducing you to the awesome Boxy Pixel.
The new case is slightly wider and slightly deeper than the original. It does come with some plastic inserts already but we can easily remove those and replace with a piece of Shadow Foam. That will then make it customisable to our exact needs.
Whats going in it
Jonathan confesses to not being a gamer in the more modern sense of the word! But he’s always loved his original Game Boy from 2002 which he’s been playing with since he was 12. The screen is now getting a bit dark on that console, so in typical fashion, he went on the hunt for a solution. And boy did he find one. This is from Boxy Pixel and it’s an upgraded, milled aluminium Game Boy Advance. Ours is in black with ruby red highlights that make it look super cool. First thing is it’s got a lithium battery in it rather than the old AA batteries. So now it’s rechargeable with a USBC charger. It’s also got great quality aluminium buttons and a hugely upgraded screen. This is an IPS v2 screen so it’s super bright!
What we are aiming for is a pretty typical solution for anyone who has a Game Boy and games. We want to create the ultimate in portable gaming so whenever you are travelling or on the move your precious console and games are organised and protected. So the first thing for us to do is to clear out the new case, get some foam to go in it and we can take it from there.
What else do we need to create the Gameboy case?
We’ve decided to use 30mm red foam to go into the case. A trick to get the foam to fit perfectly in the case is to use the original insert we removed as a template. Then, just cut around it. Simple! The rough cost of this foam if you were to buy it from our website would be around £9.00. We are also going to use one of our cutting kits. If you don’t have safety gloves at home we really recommend you get this. Along with the scalpel and blades it also includes those and we really want you to wear those at all times when cutting foam.
Having roughly cut the size of the insert, we then go back and create the radiuses on each corner. Again using the original insert as a template lets us get a nice exact result here. But if you have a case which doesn’t have an insert you can copy, never fear. We have a solution for that too! Here’s a link to a hack we shared a while back on how to create your own foam insert for any case. Once the corners are done, we also create a radius for the inside edges of the case. This is just done freehand and by eye, shaving off the minimum of foam required to get that snug fit.
Planning your Gameboy case layout
Planning is the next big part of the project, it’s usually what takes the longest of the whole process. And this one did pose us a few changes of direction!
We know that by standing the games on edge we can fit way more in than if we laid them flat. That does mean, however that we can’t see the artwork and know what the game is. We thought we were happy with that but then once we started we realised it didn’t look great. So a re-plan happened and we went for stacking the games instead which looked much better. We stacked them three games deep with the less often played ones on the bottom. That way, the more frequently played ones like Pokemon Ruby and all our favourites are on top.
We’re really pleased with how this has turned out, it’s a great improvement on the original. We now have a compact, portable and totally self-contained little Gameboy case which is great on the move and when travelling.