Nintendo Popeye Tabletop clean & fix

You have to hand it to Nintendo, they made the most awesome portable collectible handheld games. As a casual collector of these, I am well aware of the value of these, making it difficult to collect unless you have a serious amount of money to spend. One thing I wanted to do for some time is finish off my collection of the Tabletop games Snoopy, Donkey Kong JR, Marios Cement Factory & Popeye. Popeye eluded me for quite some time. Sure they are regularly available on eBay, but at a premium price. My patience was rewarded after many years finding a non working Popeye for sale locally. This was in reasonable condition, although with a lot of light scratching it doesn’t detract from the way it looks too much.

The first thing I set about doing was seeing what was wrong with it. Something was rattling around inside. Pulling it apart, there was some bent up wire in there. It wasn’t supposed to be in there, so thats a good thing – it means that something else wasn’t broken inside. The reason the game wasn’t working was due to the battery contacts not having a good connection to the battery. This was fixed easily be lightly sanding the contacts, and then bending them to make a firmer contact.


To dismantle the game, there are 3 screws in the side to remove. Underneath there are 4 screws, which are underneath some rubber stops which can be prised out using a small flathead jewelers screwdriver.


Following removal of the base, there was sticky residue from packing tape to remove. Using some Oomph remover made short work of this.



Underneath the joystick and button pads are removed by unscrewing. Make sure to have a zip lock bag handy to safely store the screws. Once the screws and base are removed, both side panels can be prised apart.


The rest of the unit is methodically dismantled in order to wash all the casing parts. The speaker has 3 screws holding it in. The battery terminals can be removed after the wire leads are desoldered.


The front plate and light panel.


Carefully remove the screws on the main screen to remove the frame. Watch out as the screen panels can slide out.


Now give everything a nice soapy wash.


Now putting everything back together, looks good!


Finally I have the complete set of these games, and don’t they look good lined up! The Marios Cement Factory in box at the back is probably the best find I have ever had. Walking past a bake sale run by a number of senior ladies, at the back of the table behind the sponge cakes I noticed a box that looked out of place, and to my amazement was the Marios Cement Factory box. How much I asked? The reply “oh $5”. Well I could not get money out of my wallet quick enough 🙂


  1. Hi sir,
    Thank you to write your information how to clean the tabletop of nintendo. It is very helpful information to me.
    I am sorry if i disturbed you.

    Sir, my name is Jeffry from Indonesia. I followed your instruction how to open since my tabletop of Mario’s cement factory is suddenly get “error”. I purchased this game about 3 weeks ago from antique online. It was normal when i purchased and I put the batteries from 1st day of purchasing. Some time i played in short time and I set “watch” mode and it is working normal until yesterday that I found something abnormal after I press “game A” . There are more 1 mario and the score is blinking and the speed of game looks faster that this condition looks like you are playing in the score of 200 or 300 number above . It also has the song sound . I have opened and cleaned the contact rubber and the motherboard of controller with the rubber pencil eraser . The mode of “watch” is working well and no problem found.

    Sir, if you dont mind and know about this problem. May i have your suggestion for what should i do ?

    thanks again

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