Introduction: Make a Pikachu Themed Gameboy Advance (With a Tail)

About: A cosplayer/ prop maker, I'm going to be putting up tutorials alongside videos, if you have any requests for builds please subscribe to my Youtube channel and leave a comment!

Hi all! In this tutorial I am going to show you how to mod your Gameboy Advance into an adorable Pikachu! There is a video included above if you get stuck at any point.

For this tutorial you will need:

  • A Gameboy Advance
  • Yellow shell (got it on ebay)
  • Red and black replacement buttons (also ebay)
  • Philips and tri-wing screwdrivers
  • A template for the tail
  • Craft Foam
  • Worbla
  • Heat Gun
  • Scissors
  • Paint (Yellow and brown)
  • PVA or wood glue
  • Super Glue

Step 1: Disassembly

While it might seem complicated to look at, it is very simple to take apart a Gameboy. The only trouble you can run into is when disconnecting the ribbon cable but I'll talk you through that when we get to it.

First though, some tips:

  • Keep your screws organised in a container so you don't get confused
  • Work in a dust free environment
  1. First things first you need to remove the seven screws on the back of the Gameboy advance (pictured), six tri-wing screws on the back and one Philips screw under the battery cover. Once out carefully lift off the back case.
  2. Next remove the three internal screws (pictured) and the pieces around the sides, this includes the shoulder buttons, side panels, and on/off switch.
  3. Now we remove the ribbon cable, to do this you have to push up the plastic pins on either side and it should slide out easily. You can run into trouble here because the ribbon cable is extremely delicate and if it gets damaged it will cause missing pixels on your screen.
  4. Remove the microchip carefully and place to the side. Next you can gently pry away the screen and remove the sticky border plastic on the inside (we will need this for the yellow case)

Step 2: Reassembly

Now we take our new case and buttons and do Step 1 in reverse. To make the case look like Pikachu the front buttons are red like his cheeks, the shoulder buttons will be black like the tips of his ears and the side panels will be (painted) brown like his back.

  1. Lay the sticky screen border in the new case before putting in the screen, making sure it's free of any dust. The last thing you want is to put it all together and have a big bit of dust on the inside of the screen.
  2. Next we put in our A, B, start, select, and power light plug as well as the silicone pads that hook on top.
  3. Then we have to reconnect the ribbon cable. Do this by GENTLY sliding it back into the holder and pushing the plastic pins back down to hold it in place.
  4. Once the shoulder buttons, side panels, and on/off switch are in place feel free to replace the three internal screws before putting the case back on.
  5. Check that it still works and the buttons are functioning correctly before moving on!

Step 3: Making the Tail!

Craft time! (if you've never heard of Worbla it is a thermoplastic used by cosplayers, you can heat it, mold it, and it hardens back into plastic when cool)

  1. Start off by making a template that fits your Gameboy (I just eyeballed mine and drew it by hand) and trace that onto some craft foam before cutting it out.
  2. Next sandwich the foam between two pieces of Worbla and heat it up before cutting it out.
  3. Let it lie flat as it cools, you want it to be as straight as possible.

Step 4: Paint, Seal, Glue!

This is the messy part if you're like me and get paint everywhere except where you actually want it.

  1. Paint the tail (some would argue that the original tail was black at the top so do it how you want!)
  2. Seal with a few layers of PVA or wood glue.
  3. Once dry super glue the tail to the battery cover, make sure to ONLY glue it to the battery cover or else you may never get it open again. It's strong enough to support the tail anyway.

Step 5: Finished!

And there you have it, an adorable Pikachu Gameboy Advance. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and check out my other tutorials. If you've made any other kinds of mods yourselves I would love to see them so please share!

And if you REALLY liked this tutorial you could help me out by subscribing to my Youtube Channel where I do craft and cosplay tutorials.

Thank you so much for reading, hope you liked it!