In a world where video games can be downloaded straight to your console...and children don't know the agony of having to "start over"...one man made it his mission to show the world just how much one old school Nintendo game meant to him. It meant a lot. $17,500 to be exact.
"I don't think it's working. Blow in it."
The game in question is the "holy grail" for collectors - Nintendo World Championships Gold. Originally created for the 1990 video game competition, it only contains 6 minutes and 21 seconds of gameplay (segments of Super Mario Brothers, Rad Racer and Tetris). Only 26 were ever made. Now, JJ Hendricks can shout from the rooftops he is one of the lucky few to possess the rare item.
So how did Hendricks wind up with the game? He found it on ebay of course. At VideoGamePriceCharts.com he tells his story, "I gave [the seller] an offer of $17,500, which was quite a bit lower than his asking price of $25,000. He said he would think about it but wanted more for the game so he was going to wait for some more offers." Other offers did come but all of them fell through eventually. The real drama began when the seller agreed to sell to Hendricks and he sent off his payment:
A FedEx tracking number is emailed to me that night. I get really excited, "I'm finally going to get the game". About 10 minutes later an email comes from FedEx - "Shipment Cancelled". The next day the seller tells me it finally shipped and gives me the address he sent it to. THE ADDRESS IS WRONG. It is my neighbors place. I call him to see about changing the address and he tells me "Sorry, I've decided not to sell it. I love the game too much."
Luckily (and legally I guess) the seller did not back out of the deal and Hendricks finally had his happy ending:
The next morning at 7:30AM the FedEx man comes to the door. I'm holding my 7 week old baby, probably have a ridiculously big smile on my face, and sign for the package. I quickly open everything up half expecting some other problem. Nintendo World Championships Gold is neatly packaged inside with a custom built display case and looks just as good as I imagined it would. I have the "Holy Grail of Gaming" and the emotional ride is finally over.
You can read the entire, very dramatic story on the blog but damn, who knew the world of video game collecting could be so scary? I would have been shitting my pants if I had payed someone an egregious amount of money for something and they told me they had changed their minds.
My first reaction upon reading this story was, "I can't believe someone paid $17,500 for a video game," but then I realized it doesn't really matter what it was, collecting is serious business. Hell, I shelled out a pretty penny once for a movie prop because I wanted it more than anything. It doesn't matter if people think I wasted my money on it because it holds a great value for me personally. I didn't buy it to sell down the road for more money (although that is some peoples aim), I bought it because it made me happy.
For some people it's classic art or antiques, for others comic books and video games. Granted, we should all be so fortunate to have that kind of money lying around to spend on something we "want" versus something we "need," but in a perfect world what item would you pay good money to own if you could?