Do you have $10,000 lying around and really love Nintendo? You might just be in luck.
A hyper-rare NES cartridge could fetch a small fortune in an eBay auction. But you’ll have to be quick, the window closes in just over 24 hours.
The cartridge holds three games - Super Mario Bros., Tetris and Rad Racer - and was only given out to players at the 1990 Nintendo World Championships.
But you couldn’t exactly describe the game as “mint condition.” The label’s badly torn and only a hand-written “Mario” can be seen.
Despite the blemish, only 116 were made and that has collectors and insiders abuzz.
“The ultimate game to have in your collection, not only due to its extreme rarity, but for everything it represents to gaming history.”
Chris Scullion, editor of Computer and Video Games, describes the find to the BBC as a holy grail. “It's like finding the rarest Ferrari but with a scratch - you'd still buy it.”
Hints of the original logo boosts the game’s authenticity but even the seller isn’t happy about the ripped label.
“... Someone probably wrote on there long ago not having a clue what they actually had.”
You could even say this one’s a bargain. Time says previous copies have sold for over $20,000.
A super rare Nintendo game cartridge could sell for a small fortune in an eBay auction. With just over 24 hours to go, the game collectors call 'the holy grail' is fetching over $20,000.
This Nintendo World Championship cartridge for the Nintendo Entertainment System was given out at the first Nintendo World Championships tournament in 1990. With only 116 carts in circulation, the auction is attracting both collectors and casual gamers alike. (Via eBay)
But as far as mint condition goes, this prize has seen better days.
With the original label ripped off, all that remains is the word "Mario" handwritten in pen. (Via eBay)
It's an odd game to be so highly-valued: the cartridge holds only the first levels of three different games and gameplay lasts just under seven minutes. But enthusiasts say it's about what the game - and the Championships - signified.
"Battling the best, with the magic of the mind, in six minutes, twenty one seconds of intense action and when that smoke clears, three world champions will stand tall as the best in the world." (Via Nintendo)
"It was the first significant video game competition of its kind in the U.S., but it also represented something larger. Video games and Nintendo had now become an everyday part of children’s lives and now there was no turning back." (Via YouTube / Pat the NES punk)
There's only one game valued above the Championships cartridge in the world of video game collecting: Stadium Events. According to Computer and Video Games, there's likely to only be ten copies on the market.
And in 2010, a copy went for over $40,000 on eBay, though the buyer never completed the transaction. The Championships cartridge could go for even more, if it were one of the 26 golden copies given away through a Nintendo Power magazine contest. (Via Kotaku)
But even with the gray plastic and missing label, this cartridge would set a record. According to PriceCharting, a gold copy of the game went for a mere $18,000 in 2009.