Given the huge size of the popular culture influence on modern coins over the last half-decade or so, it’s surprising that the massive gaming market hasn’t appeared more. With games now making more money than movies and music combined, it’s fair to say that the potential remains, to a large part, untapped. The New Zealand Mint has a very neat trio of coins, one with Space Invaders, one with Tetris and one with Mortal Kombat. The latter pair are simple coloured affairs, but the debut coin was a brilliant mix of lenticular technology and presentation.
Now, US coin dealer APMEX has issued, for Niue, a range of silver and gold coins to mark the 40th anniversary of this most iconic of titles. Designed by 25 year old Toru Iwatani, with limited programming knowledge, it was Namco’s attempt to fight the growing influence of Taito’s Space Invaders, which it did very successfully. It remains hugely popular to this day.
It isn’t difficult to do a Pacman coin, of course. Simple, strong characters and playing field lend themselves well to the limited canvas on a coin, and these coins pick the charcters we know best to showcase the game. It looks okay, not a classic representation, but the characters have morphed over the years to be a little more three dimensional, which is what we have here. There are three basic variants in the range. Of most interest will be the 1 oz silver bullion coin with its 25,000 mintage. That looks to be one for every collector given how unique the genre is in the bullion market. A gold 1 oz brilliant uncirculated, and a 1 oz silver proof round out the trio, both with a mintage of 400 pieces and coming boxed with a C.O.A.
The fourth coin is also a 1 oz silver issue, but has a unique colour design on the reverse, quite different from the others. This isn’t being sold as a full-on numismatic, but rather as a niche coloured bullion coin, complete with a 4,000 mintage and slabbed packaging. All coins in the range are issued for Niue, but eschew the usual effigy of Queen Elizabeth II for the national coat-of-arms. A nice change, and the border of Pacman and ghosts is a great touch. Available now, you pick these up from APMEX, or from select dealers worldwide, like LPM in Hong Kong, for example.