Gaming

The Custom NES Guy Turns an Original Console Into a Glossy Dallas Cowboys Shrine

Console modder Jared Smith of Valdosta, Georgia, painted a custom Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) for a local Dallas Cowboys fan.
Console modder Jared Smith of Valdosta, Georgia, painted a custom Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) for a local Dallas Cowboys fan. Custom NES Guy
There's no limit to the amount of money some sports fans will spend to acquire memorabilia and keepsakes of their favorites teams and players. Just think of that one Tom Brady fan who bought the last football Brady threw for more than $500,000 — only to watch the quarterback un-retire from football.

Jared Smith of Valdosta, Georgia, who's known online at the Custom NES Guy, has an interesting side hustle that caters to fans of all kinds. Smith paints and customizes classic video game consoles for fans of everything from video games and movies to their favorite sports teams. He recently customized an original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) for a Dallas Cowboys fan, and it looks really slick.

"That one was a little bit more difficult because of trying to match the team colors for one thing," Smith says. 

Smith's work covers every inch of the console, including the boxy NES GamePads. He printed out designs for the face, painted the buttons and even turned them into wireless controllers.

The main console is covered with faded paint of varying blues and silvers that blend into each other. The top has the Dallas Cowboys logo, and the cover is so slick it almost looks like he embedded an LED screen in it.

"I did my best to match the blues and then I faded the blues together," Smith says. "It seems to be kind of a lighter blue and a darker blue for their team colors. Then I just included the silver on what I call the vent where the head comes out of the console on top."
He also painted on the logo and letter stenciling with an airbrush.

"The sparkles, you can see better because sometimes the colors tend to look different when you film things," Smith says. "Certain colors just look way different on video or pictures from some reason."

Smith says it takes several days for all the paint to dry before he can sand his work and give it a smooth, slick coating.

"There's no edge to any of it," he says. "All of the art goes on first, and I clear-coat it and let it set for four or five days, and then I block-sand it."

If that wasn't impressive enough, Smith even customized the "Power" and "Restart" button on the console by fitting a custom sound activator powered by three AAA batteries under the console's motherboard. When pressed, the buttons play the theme from the NES football game Tecmo Super Bowl.

"It's a sound module," Smith says. "It has a USB port on one end and you can upload sounds to it. It has a 360-second limit and comes with these pads, which is a lot like when you push a button on a Nintendo. It works exactly like that. I just had to figure out a way to put them behind the buttons without interrupting the power or restart buttons, and it came out so well."

Smith says he makes four to five consoles a month and demand is growing.

"I do now more than ever but it's still kind of a side job," he says.

The videos and posts for his custom sports team consoles seem to get the most hits, and it's not just because of the teams' respective fans.

"I was kind of surprised, but a lot of it was hate for the Cowboys," Smith says with a laugh. "The videos that get hate always do well. That's the internet for you, right?" 
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.

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