Loopy – Magical Shop

Console Name: Loopy
Release Date: October 19, 1995
Original Price: ¥14,800
Manufacturer: Casio
Developer: Armat Corporation

Along with the release of the Loopy, Casio released an accessory called the Magical Shop (or more specifically the Video Seal Word Processor Magical Shop).  The loopy main feature was a built-in thermal printer which allowed the player to print seal (sticker). The problem is that aside from a few games that came with sticker creation tools, the option to create stickers were fairly limited. There’s no way to import images or take screenshot  natively with the Loopy.

To expand the capability of the console, Casio decided to release an external peripheral that allowed to connect any RCA video source to the Loopy (ex: VCR, Digital Camera), make a screen capture and add modify it before printing it.

It’s not known why Casio decide to use an external accessory to perform this task instead of incorporating the function within the console itself. Maybe it was to reduce the price or maybe the idea for functionality came too late in the development process. In any case, with a price tag of ¥14,800, the Magical Shop was excessively expensive for an option that should have been built in and resulted in very poor sale.

The device plugs directly into the Loopy cartridge port. It uses the same design as the loopy with the huge eject button and the same color. The device has been created to be a permanent add-on to the console. If a cartridge is inserted in the Magical Shop, the device act as a pass-through and will play the game normally.  On the other end, if no cartridge is inserted into the accessory, the Magical Shop will launch its built-in software called, you guess it, the Magical Shop.

The software was developed by the Armat Corporation. This was their first collaboration with Casio. They later release the Chakra-kun’s Charm Paradise game for the Loopy, which will be the last one released for the console.

One the software start, you are presented with a few options, but mainly you need to choose the type of sticker you will use and the number of screenshots you want to put on the sticker. Once you have made your selection, the software will ask you to see if the RCA input is ready and once you click YES, the Magical Shop will now display the feed from the RCA input. By pressing the button on your Loopy controller, you will take a screenshot. You can then use the built-in editing tools to add some text. When satisfied with your creation, you can finally print it.

Being unpopular device on an unpopular console, the Magical Shop is nowadays a rare collector item.

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