An incredible new DIY Game Boy, the “Frog Boy Color”, has just been revealed by a clever modder Chris Hackmann aka Froggocustoms.
When Chris teased the innovative design back in June, the Game Boy modding community had their interests piqued at maximum levels.
At first glance, you’d have absolutely no idea what you were looking at.
But an educated eye will start to pick apart some of the clues, such as the use of the familiar Q5 IPS screen mod for the Game Boy Color.
So is it a Game Boy Color? A Game Boy Advance? Well.. it’s both! Kind of.
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Frog Boy Color
The Frog Boy Color was developed by Chris Hackmann, a professional software engineer based in Seattle, Washington USA.
Chris’ love of Game Boys and Game Boy modding had time to grow during the post-pandemic life reset many of us experienced.
And his technical abilities meant that he was capable of a lot more than just a simple shell swap and IPS screen upgrade.
In our communications about his project, he expressed his preference for the horizontal form factor of the Game Boy Advance.
And, like myself, found the original monochrome game boy and Game Boy Color to have a superior screen experience. Especially since playing GB and GBC games on a GBA resulted in a reduced screen size.
So Chris spent months teaching himself the ins and outs of 3d printing, CAD, and CNC. And he put all of his skills together to create his dream Game Boy Color + Advance hybrid.
Frog Boy Color Specifications
At it’s core, the Frog Boy Color is a Game Boy Color on an entirely custom circuit board.
Chris broke down the project for us as follows:
- Reuse of the main parts of the Game Boy Color (CPU, RAM, cart slot, link port, etc.)
- FunnyPlaying’s laminated Q5 IPS screen kit
- Improved audio quality and stereo speakers
- Built-in battery with USB-C charging
- Tactile switches and Game Boy Advance SP buttons
There was a lot of custom work inside of the Frog Boy that allowed for all of the modern enhancements, as well as borrowing some of the best parts of the GBA and GBA SP.
Froggocustoms has created both a CNC metal shell version and a 3d printed resin version.
The rear of the design leaves the entire game cartridge exposed to allow the artwork to shine.
And there are clever little touches, like a custom volume wheel that appears on the front right of the device.
The inclusion of dual Lipo batteries and USB-C allows for easy recharge and you can play the device while it is plugged in (something most USB-C mods do not allow for).
As you can see, there’s a lot of incredible work happening here. And most of all… it’s absolutely gorgeous when it’s all put together.
How To Get One
Froggocustoms already answered our most important question: “Does it come in metal?”
But at this point, Chris does not plan to offer a pre-built Frog Boy Color to purchase from him.
Surely the demand would far exceed his free time, and we have no doubts these things take a lot of time and patience to complete.
Chris has mentioned the possibility of releasing the design files for you to make one yourself in the future.
And we’re absolutely dying to get our hands on one someday!
Surely we don’t need to tell you how incredible this achievement is. It takes an innovative mind and a sharp technician to make something like this happen. Especially at the level of beauty of the Frog Boy Color.
With stuff like the Game Boy Camera 2.0, the Reactive Light Portable Wii, and the Game Boy Pocket SP (to name just a few)… you know that Retro Dodo has a lot of love for the modding community and creative DIY projects.
As with many of those previously mentioned projects, often times people’s response is “Why?”.
And the answer is usually as simple as somebody out there had a vision for their perfect console/peripheral/etc, and they waited long enough for somebody else to make it.
So it is often best in the hands of the person with the passion to see it become a reality.
We’re proud to see people like Chris still dreaming of beautiful new ways to present the Game Boy.
And I want to personally thank Chris for taking the time to share his project, photos, and a specs breakdown with me and the Retro Dodo readers!
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.