Modder transforms toy Pokedex into working Game Boy

Rosalie Newcombe
A promotional screenshot from Pokemon Fire Red/Leaf Green, with a Game Boy Micro and a Pokedex on top.

Game Boy modder Hairo Satoh has transformed the iconic Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen Pokedex into a working Nintendo handheld.

The classic Nintendo Game Boy, and its many iterations, are constantly being kept alive through the modding community, decked out with gorgeous custom shells. Not to mention, quality-of-life features like improved displays and upgraded speakers.

One modder is gradually making a name for themselves, by creating some of the coolest-looking custom handhelds. Now, they’ve gone one step further, turning an official Pokemon Pokedex toy into a working Game Boy Micro.

The custom Pokemon Pokedex was shared to Hairo Satoh’s own Instagram account. Here, the creation by the self-described “Gameboy doctor” can be seen in its nostalgia-inducing glory, where the multiple decade-old Pokedex toy is opened up to reveal a fully working Game Boy Micro.

The sleek silver shell of the original Game Boy Micro handheld, released in 2005, has been done away with entirely. Instead, Satoh has encased it into a toy version of the Pokemon FireRed and LeafGreen era Pokedex, also used within the Pokemon Battle Frontiers anime series.

While some custom Game Boy mods involve making a shell entirely from scratch, Satoh cleverly picked a more than ideal toy for this project. The shell is made up of the Hasbro ‘Talking Pokedex Game’ toy, released in 2005 for the 10th anniversary of the Pokemon brand.

The original toy allowed Pokemon fans to play a built-in Pokemon game in the re-envision Kanto Pokedex, in which you could catch and scan different Pokemon.

As a result, the Pokdex toy already came with working buttons. Also including a D-pad is more than enough to play Game Boy Micro games.

An official screenshot from Pokemon Fire Red/Leaf Green blurred in the background with a screenshot of the Pokedex Gameboy in front by Hairo Satoh.

Satoh doesn’t detail the modifications used to put the ‘Pokedex Boy Advance’ together. However, judging from the short clip, it’s apparent the big blue button from the toy has been replaced with a joystick. The custom GB Micro also features an integrated GBA game cart slot, power button, volume dial, power light indicator, and a charging port.

Over the years Nintendo has released many official Pokemon versions of its handhelds. Most recently, the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Nintendo Switch OLED, was released in 2022 to coincide with the latest Pokemon generation.

That said, all those official Pokemon handhelds don’t come close to what it must feel like to play a Pokemon game on a real-life Pokemon Pokedex.