Robb Report December 2013 – Nintendo Wii Coffee Table Feature


Gifts of the Season 2013: Table Games

Shaun Tolson

DECEMBER 01, 2013

A handcrafted piece of furniture that brings form and function to new levels.

When the nintendo corporation released its revolutionary, 8-bit video game console in the United States back in 1985, Ronald Reagan had just begun his second term, Tears for Fears’ hit single “Shout” dominated the radio airwaves, and a pair of future Hall of Fame quarterbacks, Joe Montana and Dan Marino, squared off during Super Bowl XIX in what amounted to a lopsided affair in Stanford, Calif. Charles Lushear was only 2 years old at the time, but his childhood later would be punctuated by countless hours spent playing Nintendo—more specifically, the company’s 16-bit console, Super Nintendo, which hit the American market in 1991.

Fast-forward to the present, where Lushear—now the sole proprietor of Bohemian Workbench in Southern California—spends more time building furniture in his woodworking shop than he does seated in front of a television with a video game controller in his hands. Within the last year, however, the 30-year-old furniture maker has found a way to marry those two passions by designing a functional Nintendo Wii coffee table, which resembles a classic Nintendo controller from the mid-1980s.

Lushear makes a few variations of the table, including a nonfunctioning model and one that’s designed to function only with the original Nintendo Entertainment System. His pride and joy, however, is the $7,200 Wii-compatible table that’s crafted from curly maple, bird’s-eye maple, African bubinga, and mahogany hardwoods. The table features dovetail joinery and a side-mounted bison holster, which cradles a handcrafted zapper made from bubinga and maple. The zapper, which includes a vibrating mechanism and a speaker, serves as a replacement for the traditional Wii controller and also pays homage to the old-school zapper that die-hard gamers will remember from Nintendo’s early Duck Hunt days. The nostalgic piece of furniture also can serve as a traditional table, thanks to a removable glass top.

Whether it’s being used as an oversize Nintendo controller or as a traditional coffee table, Lushear’s creation is a guaranteed conversation starter; however, the creator is most proud of the table’s functionality. “I was so excited about the materials that I got that I made the decision to make it functional,” says Lushear, explaining that it was a last-minute creative impulse to equip the table with the necessary electronics to turn it into a gaming device.

Yes, that’s right—should gamers want to rekindle their lost youth, they can use the table to play almost 200 original Nintendo games that are available for download on the Wii. Given the size of the table—er . . . controller—the gaming experience will not be exactly as they remember it, though. Lushear says that playing any game on the table is typically a two-person job. Nevertheless, it’s an object that is sure to capture the attention and curiosity of all who see it, and that, Lushear says, is what he strives to do with every new piece that he makes: “I really want to make a statement with my work and give people something to talk about.” Bohemian Workbench, 310.720.6597, -

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Boho Workbench Debuts the First Functional Wii Controller Coffee Table

“I don’t really build traditional things, and I want to keep it that way.” – Charles Lushear

repare to have your minds blown. Someone has figured out how to make a beautiful, handcrafted coffee table that doubles as a functional Wii controller. Yup, you heard that right!

Introducing Charles Lushear of Bohemian Workbench. Some of you may recall hearing about the functional Nintendo controller coffee table from Lushear earlier this year. He’s taken it a step further and really outdone himself by bringing us the first functional Wii controller of its kind. It even includes a Zapper used for menu selection (translation = the “Duck Hunt gun” for us 80’s babies). Hand-carved out of exotic wood, it vibrates and has a speaker just like the original controller.

The masterpiece debuted at the Abbot Kinney Festival a few weeks back, and to say it was the highlight is to put it mildly. It would have been impressive enough to build a basic table that also functioned, but the gorgeous woodwork is clearly crafted by the hands of an artist. The table is made of rich African Bubinga, Quilted Maple, Birdseye Maple, and Mahogany and features mid century modern legs – my absolute favorite. (Don’t worry, I don’t know what most of those are either, but it sure sounds fancy.)

I swooned at first sight and had to meet the brains behind this artful contraption. Turns out he’s as smart and interesting as you’d imagine. Woodworker, musician, classic car aficionado and self-proclaimed Excel geek. To put it in the words of my husband, “He’s basically a really handsome nerd. So unfair.”

Check out some folks having fun on the Nintendo table and an entertaining interview with Mr. Lushear himself. (Video demo of the Wii version coming soon!)


A Beautiful, Fully-Functional NES Controller Coffee Table You Can Actually Buy



If you missed out last time a functional NES controller coffee table was put up for sale, rejoice, because Charles Lushear is offering examples on his Etsy store. The 42″x 18.25″ x 18″ tables are handmade from maple, mahogany and walnut with dovetail joinery and mid century modern legs, and feature a removable glass top and retractable cord. In addition, customers can choose from four different versions to suit various preferences and budgets, including composite and nonfunctional models.




We were so impressed with the Functional Nintendo Controller Coffee Table, that we decided to purchase it for our visitors and give it away to one lucky and loyal site visitor. Entry is quick and painless. Just use the entry form below and follow the instructions. Earn more chances to win by “following” us on Twitter and “sharing” this giveaway with your friends. All can be done from within the entry form.

Coffee table doubles as functional NES controller



The world needs more luxurious gaming furniture and less of those gaudy leather gamer chairs with built-in speakers.
Gaming decor goes to the next level with this coffee table that actually works as a fully functional Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) controller. Talented woodworker Charles Lushear sells the massive controller table on Etsy for $3,500 (plus shipping). The exotic item’s 42 inches long, 18.25 inches wide, and 18 inches high, and you might want to seek permission from your significant other before purchasing it.

We truly admire how accurate the table appears compared with the original NES controller. Lushear assembled the coffee table with “maple, mahogany, and walnut with dovetail joinery and mid-century modern legs,” according to the description. The glass top removes easily for gameplay, and it features a retractable cord so nobody trips up after a marathon Mario session.




If you put an Xbox or PlayStation controller in my hand, I will look at you like you just handed me a dodecahedral hand puzzle wrapped in Chinese finger traps. What am I supposed to do with this thing? There are, like, a trillion buttons. And the joysticks? Pfft. No thanks, I’ll pass.

On the other hand, put an original Nintendo controller in my hand and, brother, game on. Best thing about this icon? Two buttons. B and A. One four-way directional pad. Start and Pause. Simplicity, folks, that’s where it’s at. As Shakespeare wrote, “Brevity is the soul of wit.”

Look, I realize my controller cantankerousness dates me. You young whippersnappers are probably snickering on your sofa, punching each other in the shoulder and saying, “Look at grandpa over there. Maybe we should get him an EZ Eyes keyboard, too.”

Mock me if you must. I don’t care. I will go to my grave still defending the original NES games, too. And I also understand the folly of exalting 8-bit graphics in an era when we can play dazzling, high-def, 3-D games on our phones.

But to try and explain the joy I get from blowing the dust off the cartridge pins, shoving it into the slot and playing a game of RBI Baseball would be like trying to tap the Dalai Lama’s source of enlightenment. Maybe I should join these guys.

The original hive of this enlightenment, if you will, was the basement of my friend Mookie’s house. It was there we wasted countless sunny afternoons playing long stretches of Tecmo Bowl and Baseball Stars. It was in these dark, subterranean confines, surrounded by Cool Ranch Doritos and Dr. Pepper, that the genesis of our misanthropic leanings first took root. And for the record, my punk band is totally going to do a cover of the Tecmo Bowl theme song.

About the only thing that could have made Mookie’s basement gaming den even better is this: a coffee table that is a fully functional Nintendo controller.

The table comes compliments of weaver of dreams and furniture maker Charles Lushear. Just to prove that we’re all adults here, with refined adult tastes in furniture design, Lushear made the piece out of maple, mahogany and walnut woods, which only adds to its elegance. The dovetail joinery and retractable cord are lovely flourishes, too.

And guess what? When you’re not conquering Contra, the controller face sits underneath a removeable glass top. That way, you don’t need to worry about spilling Diet Mountain Dew all over the place.

If I were a wealthier man, I would surprise Mookie and buy him this table for his birthday next year. But because it’s priced at $3,500, he’ll have to be happy with a paperback. For those who don’t have an NES system, Lushear says he’s looking into making a controller compatible with the Wii.

And now, I leave you with an homage to the great controller — a little finger ballet, compliments of the code to Contra: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A.

Custom Coffee Table Acts as Giant Nintendo Controller



Charles Lushear of custom design studio The Boho Workbench in Venice Beach, Calif., has created this fully functional Nintendo Controller Coffee Table. The table (which is 42″ x 18.25″ x 18″) ditches plastic in favor of maple, mahogany and walnut, and lets you play NES games using the aesthetically designed piece of furniture.

The table features a removable glass top for when you aren’t playing games, a retractable cord, dovetail joinery and mid century modern legs. A nonfunctional version is available, as well as a composite materials version that is painted to look exactly like the original controller.

USB capability can also be added, and the designer is currently working on an inverted color scheme version and one with Wii capability for those without a NES console. The coffee tables are made to order and the production time is four to six weeks. The functional table costs $3,500 and this first creation is currently being raffled off by