Legend of Zelda sealed NES cartridge goes on sale for $110,000
By - a_Ninja_b0y
Well it's made out of gold after all
I was going to say, it better be the gold one in there and not the regular one for $110k.
The grey cartridge is the one that is rarer and worth more.
I looked it up after I posted and saw that. Still kinda disappointed. All of my nostalgia for that cartridge is for the gold one because it felt so special.
All I remember about it was being amazed that you could save your game
It's part of what makes it iconic, like the yellow dk64 or pokemon games.
Or the gold Ocarina of Time cart
And the red Doom on SNES lol
And the red Carnage cart on SNES
Black also for Killer Instinct
My ocarina was grey but my majoras mask was gold and holographic
I heard the holographic one is actually more common than the plain sticker.
That's an interesting tidbit.
They released a gold Zelda OOT. It was actually the previous version, there were minor updates done and that version is the grey cartridge we are accustomed to seeing.
The first gold OOT cartridge had red blood in the fight with Gannon, the later grey OOT cart was more common and had green blood.
As for Majora’s Mask, not sure if there were any in game differences, but like the NES games, the holographic version which was supposed to be limited, actually had a longer print run than the plain sticker and is more common.
Interesting! Thanks for the tidbit!
The collectors edition of Halo 2 (the heavy metal case) is much more common than the standard green case of it too.
I had the gold ocarina of time as a kid. It was so cool. No idea where it is now.
The gold majora's mask is still my favorite with its hologram label.
I have one and can sell it to you at a discount. 99k take it or leave it!
Me too! Mine even still works!
I can still remember opening that as a Christmas present and seeing the gold and knowing exactly what it was.
It’s rarer but not worth more.
I think it’s because the gray ones were common in the player’s choice edition
There are three variants: grey, gold, and five
-screw gold. The latter being the original run of cartridges before Nintendo of America went to a three-screw cartridge design (i.e. subsequent gold carts)
Loose grey carts (the most common way you’ll encounter them) sell on average of $3-5 more than their gold equivalent.
The Five-Screw version (which this recent $110k sale *is not* and it’s ridiculous someone paid that much) sells for double that of the grey cartridge. They are / were a fairly uncommon sight in the wild and that drives up the price. While they *are* gold cartridges, they’re a rarer subset of them and don’t get lumped on with the broader “gold cart” title.
The boxes are different for each version, with the gold / five screw cartridge being the most sought after for the gap in the top left of the shield. This is why CIB or sealed gold carts command a higher price. At the same time, the sealed market is *incredibly* speculative and can change greatly as unknown collectors come to light.
How can they be sure it’s in there at all?
But that assumes the cartridge would weigh the same if it was made out of gold.
It would weigh a lot more.
An NES cartridge is 13.3cm × 12cm × 2cm = 319.2 cc
Density of gold is 19.3 g/cc
19.3 g/cc × 319.2 cc = 6161g = 13.6 lb
That assumes the cartridge is solid, but obviously it would need to be hollow to accommodate the electronics.
Let's say the cartridge is a shell that's 3mm thick.
The volume of the inner hollow area would be (13.3 - 0.6) × (12 - 0.6) × (2 - 0.6) = 203 cc
319.2 - 203 = 116.2 cc
116.2 × 19.3 = 2243g = 4.9lbs
Current price of gold is $57.455/g
I, for one, acknowledge your legendary status. Have a great life 👍🏽
This guy gets up around 7.
But I don't get out of bed until around 9.
Battery still gonna be dead
Boy, this is really expensive!
BUY SOMETHIN WILL YA!
As a really young kid, I used to think he was saying "buy something. Well... Yeah?"
As in "well, yeah... This is a store. You're supposed to buy something. Idiot"
Well excuse me, princess.
It's a secret to everybody!
“Hey, quit staring at my boxes!”
I bet you are 1 of 50% who are subscribed
Of course, I need to make sure Chompy eats this month
I suggest you do so
I cannot believe he’s this big
Mizkifs accountant just had a panic attack
You mean synack
They couldn't render breasts as round so boxes they were lol
Came here for the mizkif comments
First game I ever bought. Had to save and save to get it.
For a $100k that damn cartridge better load without having to blow on it.
The will never know because they will never play it.
I used to work at Electronic Boutique. They would open and re-shrink wrap these all the time. How can one determine og shrinkwrap and someone else doing it? (This was before they started using the cellophane wraps.)
I imagine that's part of the grading process
You're graded on your authentic rewrapping skills.
It's like Christmas except you get paid instead of the other way around.
You mean this random company WATA that just appeared out of the blue and decided they were the official "graders" of classic video games?
Yes, the same company that graded a sealed Super Mario Bros., then published that it was sold for $100k with a few of the founders of WATA in on the sale so when you read news stories about it, they made damn sure people knew it was a WATA graded copy. Lol.
Pretty much this there was a youtuber pretty much pointing out that this company has been in on multiple sales to make video game grading a thing. It was also pointed out that these where produced in the millions and nothing is special about them that would command this kind of premium.
>these where produced in the millions and nothing is special about them
Maybe 35 years ago, but most of them have long since been opened.
Lol. Bro. Nothing near $100K for a sealed copy of the insanely-popular (and thus not-rare) Zelda 1. That's a fake company gouging the market if I've ever seen it.
Zelda 1 was worth like $2 opened not that long ago, because it was plentiful. The rare games were always decently expensive because people want a complete collection for a given console. This shit here? Ridiculous.
I mean they are the ones who grade these games.
As time goes on these old games are seen more as art and history of the medium.
Zelda was a huge milestone in gaming in general.
That, it being a recognizable name, being graded a 9.0 which is excellent condition, and the fact that you just can’t find these like this anymore, it could totally be worth the money. The original Mario Bros sealed sold at auction for $660,000 this year. Theres a demand for these right now as these antique games are hot right now.
You don’t see the value because you aren’t a collector, but this is like serious stuff for collectors. And for someone with an expensive collection, this is a huge collectors item. It will sell for that amount. And WATA is legit. Just like all these other companies that grade cards and such started somewhere. Now gaming collecting is in.
The factory wrap itself is different. As are the seal(s). Then you have wear/aging of the wrap. Stickers. Box wear. Weight. Even sounds the box contents make can give it away.
Gotta love the triangle folds of the original wrap seal.
Those things are the fucking devil
For $100k I think I could summon an industrial machine and find some guy selling old shrinkwrap stock.
For very very valuable stuff you would want an expert to authentic the wrapping, including it's age. A 30 year old wrap isn't going to be the same as a recent one.
However for cheaper stuff, this absolutely happens. People are known to buy old and rare unopened stuff like pokemon cards, see if there are any rare cards and then reseal it.
*Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark...*
Got sold one once but the guy that owned the store said he didn't believe it was true and said if I opened it up toblet him know. Didn't last a day we opened it and it had saved games on it. Gave us the money back (110k is just dumb tho)
I actually learned this the other day. Factory sealed Nintendo plastic wrap has what's called an H seal that hasn't/can't be reproduced by normal resealing. The plastic has a seam at the top and at the bottom that are connected by a seam that runs through the middle of the back of the box forming what looks like an H. If you Google "H seam" you can get visuals of what I'm trying to explain. Cheers
If I remember correctly, we would just make a pocket and seal the top. I guess this is the difference
Damn, EB, that takes me back
posted elsewhere but the main ways:
1. is that they have sources of "proven copies" that require a matched sealing.
2. the paint on the edge of the box cracks when opened.
Wait til Nintendo hears about this. We thought $60 for a wii u game was bad...this is Nintendo testing the waters!
haven’t their games been around $60 since like…the 90s?
Yeah, a bunch of SNES games were $70 when they came out. I remember paying that much for Mortal Kombat 3 and a few others.
I definitely paid 60-70 for Pokémon stadium 2
In New Zealand when Mortal Kombat 1 came out, you could only really get it as an import from specialised retailers. And it was NZD$200. That was over USD$100.
I saved pocket money for A WHOLE YEAR to buy that game…
70 bucks for the NES version in the late 80s.
Omg. I had no clue games were so expensive back in the day. That’s outrageous!
The fancier SNES games had coprocessors in the cartridge. This bump the cost up for some of them.
DK64 was always sold with a memory expansion thingy because without it the game would crash via memory leak.
Lol and it told you a lot about a person if you saw their N64 and it had the door covering the red expansion pack ripped off instead of figuring out how to flip it open and then close it again.
There was a point in time in the early to mid 90s where there was *zero* publisher unity on game prices, so you’d see games come out for $50, $60, $70, $80, whatever they wanted to charge.
I remember buying Final Fantasy 3 on SNES with my Christmas and birthday money for $80.
The thing though is… well worth it. Oh, and game rentals were at their peak so you could rent the “quick” games and play those without buying them.
>game rentals were at their peak so you could rent the “quick” games and play those without buying them.
That just reminded me what renting games before memory cards was like. If you were lucky the game used codes to save progress so you could write it down and re-enter it to start where you left off. If the game saved progress on the cart itself though you were doomed to always replay the same bits unless you bought it or binged the hell out of it.
I remember “returning it” and just rerenting it on the spot.
My Dad bought me MegaMan for like $85 in the early ‘90’s. I didn’t realize until after he was gone how much that actually was.
I played the hell out of that game. Thanks pops.
Yeah for a bit a lot of SNES games were half the price of the console, it felt absurd at the time too. That’s not even getting into inflation, $70 in 1993 would be comparable to $130 today.
Yeah the SNES version of Street Fighter II was £89 ($123) when it first launched in the UK but, this was an extreme example. Most games were around £40.
I bought Super Mario Bros 3 near release from Toys R Us, $69.99.
I paid about $80 for Phantasy Star IV back in the 90’s. The clerk even made some comment about how ridiculous it was that I would pay that much.
SNES games would regular be sold for $80-100. Those old gaming ads are crazy.
who would have thought
Piggybacking.. here’s a really [good explanation about WATA and Heritage Auctions](https://www.reddit.com/r/Gamecube/comments/nw47w7/do_not_use_wata_games_for_grading_a_cautionary/h177wpg/?utm_source=share&utm_medium=ios_app&utm_name=iossmf&context=3):
I feel game grading is a scam.
Their "graders" don't have special experience. They are just collectors. It makes no sense- It's like getting a painting verified/authenticated by somebody who just has a lot of paintings. They've happily graded fake prototypes, reseals, misprints, etc. Some have also tested and removed their graded game and sent it in to be graded again and it got different scores (sometimes higher). It's owned and operated by game collectors and the the purpose is simple: drive up prices.
WATA was founded by Deniz Kahn. He was given the money to start WATA by one of the three co-owners of Heritage Auctions. So he basically functions on their behalf.
Those same three bought Dain Anderson's collection for $225K. This also included NintendoAGE.com and the main focus of the contract is "NintendoAge must cease to exist and all historical pricing must be wiped out".
The goal of that is to make it harder for collectors to base prices on legitimate sales, or compare the prices of auctions to what would otherwise be the "going value".
Heritage Auctions uses shillbidding to raise prices on their auctions to gain news attention- Every year or so you hear about a "Super Mario Bros. Sealed sells for $10,000!" or something. Normally the shillbidders are one of the main three investors. If these auctions fail to find a chump, they will uncase the games and WATA will recase with a new case, different certificate and a similar grade, so it looks like a different copy of the game when they relist it.
Dain Anderson sold his collection to WATA for $225k after which WATA quietly wiped NA from history, they rebranded NA's work as "the Carolina collection" and sold mega man 1, Mike Tyson, and 2 other games and made back all their money from buying NA from Dain Anderson.
1. Remove all reliable price references that collectors can use to determine the collectible value of games
2. Drive up prices of auctions to cause them to eventually sell for high sums, which sets a new price value for said game
3. Profit because as collectors you can directly benefit from the inflated values. Additionally, by having the high value auctions be for "graded" games, it increases the value of the paid grading service because it legitimizes it, so collectors are more likely to use it.
NintendoAge was the gold standard for finding and appraising rare games/prototypes/promo items.
So much information was lost when the site was nuked. it sucks.
I mean to me the value of this is purely insane. its a box. the game ( what people paid for when it was new) is relatively worthless. if you want it, its available in many different forms.
Boxes are expensive now, so are memories, the 110k someone pays or paid for this won't bring back that feeling of having this as a kid. its no different than a junkie chasing his first hig, just less dangerous ( depending on your financial situation) but I don't subscribe to collecting stuff in a box.
Like "fine art" there could also be some embezzlement too.
When Peter Lik sold that record 6million dolalrs, it was widely noted among photographers on maui, whete he a gallery, that it was likely laundering money for friends of his in a cartel.
There's no way these games are "naturally" going for so much when that Nintendo Playstation prototype only sold for $300K to someone who identified themself.
I don't think it's that. I think they do this to spur interest in this market. Right now, the mid/late 90s games (N64/PSX/Saturn) are booming, but the price for older games have dwindled in the past few years. This may just be me, but those of us who are/were mostly interested in the NES have pretty much bought what we're gonna buy, so I think they just bid these up to create hype for this era of games.
There's always going to be collectors passing away and descendents who don't share their passion and would rather have the money.
Outside of pre-NES systems, literally everything is on fire.
WATA games is a scam until they release population reports. End of story.
And they found it in a closed GameStop store
I think ur on to something
I chose to believe your theory
Similarly sites write articles like “the top 25 childhood toys sold for outrageous sums of cash” that draw from these types of sales but nobody ever verifies the actually sale. Just chalk it up to click bait.
it's the same with pokemon cards and stuff like that.
You’ve just described auctions in general.
Serious game collectors already know that grading is a con.
Years ago I collected coins and remember there were two major grading companies, NGC and PCGS. I recall one of the companies was rumored to be much stricter with their grading standards so folks would buy coins graded by them and resubmit them to the other company in hope of a higher grade. In some cases that could be a huge difference between just one grade level.
It made the entire thing seem a bit sketch, although it still beat the dishonest street dealer. I was always happier having a coin graded at a certain grade than a shop owner calling something uncirculated if he was selling or poor if he was buying.
Beyond that, a lot of grading companies now charge you a percentage of the graded item. Meaning, not only do they have interest in grading items higher than they should be graded (in order to make the customer pay more for grading) but also they have interest in making those high grade “values” be as high as ever.
I’ve never had anything graded myself before but I’ve spoken to some shop owners who have. They said that lately grading companies seem to be a lot less strict on what gets high grades. I’ve even had a shop owner who was selling a 10.0 graded card explain to me why he was only selling it based on 9.5 grade value, because of some flaws he himself pointed out.
For example. If a company (These are not accurate numbers just random to show the point), charges 10% the “book value” of a card for their grading service and a 9.0 is valued at $100, but a 9.5 is valued at $250, they grade it up in order to make extra off their service.
Also important to note that the “book value” is usually determined by them and their “statistics” and not actual market or sales information.
Auction houses value and grade items being sold in their own auctions all the time. Thats why you look for well respected legit auction houses. A big name auction house isn't about to fabricate grades. Just a small handful of situations where that happened would be enough to ruin them and cost them a whole lot more money than they make on those lots.
I have a buddy who meddles in the trading card market and had for some time. It used to be possible to get a card graded for $10 if you sent them enough cards and had them all graded at once. Recently the trading card market has had a bit of a boom and now it costs $300 to get a card graded, also it will likely take months.
cards went nutso this year!!!
go to a local store that used to sell cards and you will find that they only sell on certain days and only for those in line and once it is sold out the day is over.
i tried to get my kiddo into cards and had a hard wakeup.
>now it costs $300 to get a card graded
PSA was sold to private investors that raised the prices.
>$20 per card for cards valued at $499 or less, with a ten-card submission minimum (note that this price is available only to PSA Collectors Club members)
$50 per card for cards valued at $499 or less (this is the price for non-collectors Club members)
$100 per card for cards valued between $500 and $999
$150 per card for cards valued between $1,000 and $2,499
$300 per card for cards valued between $2,500 and $4,999
$600 per card for cards valued between $5,000 and $9,999
Suddenly every card is valued at $5k+. Better send all your cards to get graded because the one you thought was worth about $200 got valued way higher than you thought it would. And now you’ve spent $60,000 on grading but can’t find someone to buy your collection that’s valued at $500,000.
Another point is that the grading industry has become incredibly lucrative and even some of this is about their profits and volume from grading, and not selling a 1 off item for $100k. NPR recently did a great piece on Pokémon card grading as said that the demand has got so crazy during the pandemic that the wait list is 8-10 months, if you can even book it at all. They questioned whether this was legit as they made the point that people were offering more money to get gradings done sooner due to market hype of prices.
Think about a 40 year baseball card 40 years ago.
Buyer beware, there been an organized effort by the grading company and people affiliated with them to artificially increase the value of classic games.
Stuff that's supposedly 100k today was actually maybe 2k a few months ago
I play magic the gathering so this is just normal life for me.
WYM wotc doesn't pay attention to the secondary market /s
The original sealed Super Mario Bros sale was a scam, true.
It was a publicity stunt that Heritage used to introduce a new investment category to its bidders and to prop up the newly formed WATA grading service as legitimate and the industry standard.
Wait - this is all Heritage Auctions? They recently combined with Profiles in History. But also... they’ve had a lot of suspected fakes in their current auction. There’s an “original” Star Trek phaser in particular that has people going crazy because it’s something that *shouldn’t* exist. They had it verified by one known expert and 3 anonymous ones, and they refuse to publish the experts opinion completely which is very fishy in itself.
Same with VHS tapes
I just bought Nintendo Switch and Online subscription, problem solved
Oh wise one, grace us with your knowledge. What is it like to have the power to play this ancient game?
I pirated all the NES roms on my wii
Except you don’t keep those
Reason why I still buy physical copies but it's prone to lose easily since the cartridge is so damn small.
I like video games. I particularly am a fan of Nintendo games
I still can’t fathom how someone is willing to pay this much for what is essentially a sealed cardboard box*
Collecting is weird
*that said I’ve also had to conversations before ‘diamonds—just shiny rocks, let’s be real- worth fuck all honestly’- so what do I know
my mom made a joke comment about her beanie babies yesterday.
I looked up the pricness diana one, multiple ebay listings for 5 and 6 figures.
last sold for $20.
Same with classic cars, or cars from the 80s or 90s which are hard to value.
“This car is up for £40k” because an eBay classified is up at that price while none have ever sold for that amount and the ad is over a year old.
Those same spam articles still get passed around for Disney VHS tapes too.
I’ll never understand this culture of collecting and grading sealed video games.
It’s so strange to me
It's just for nerds who like having boxes that they mustn't touch or enjoy
That guys getting ripped off! I paid $5 for a Zelda cartridge at half price books.
Has Mizkif bought it yet?
Hey, quit staring at my boxes!
Somebody call mizkif
This one's graded a 9.0, but there are shares of a 9.4 sealed copy available soon on Rally with an estimated value \~115k. The plastic seal on the one in this article is scored an A and the one on Rally is a B+, but the box condition itself on the Rally one is better.
Meh, I’ll just buy both.
I'm gonna buy both then open the lower quality one to make the other one 3x as valuable
Yeah on sale. You could put it on sale for $10.000.000 doesn’t mean anyone will buy it
Like those "among us chicken nugget" things that made the rounds a week or two ago.
Sure somebody can set their price at $1,000, but that doesn't mean someone will buy it for that much.
Did that nugget sell for just under $100,000? lol
The current bid is $110,000 and the next bid is $115,000, so someone has offered $110,000 for it. Also, from the article:
> Meanwhile, a 1985 cartridge of Super Mario Bros. – which has been sealed and unplayed for 35 years – was sold in 2020 for $114,000 (£90,300). So if you have any old, unopened games kicking about the place, now might be the time to dust them off...
Thai means a perfect sealed Zelda 2 must be worth at least $5
Who would of ever thought video games would be so valuable today
I got a factory sealed Dragon Warrior.
It just wanted to be played.
I remember getting one of those for Christmas around 1990. It was a Great game for the time.
Great game,one of the last i completed. Not 110k great, but great..
Nostalgia is expensive.
Amazing ! Threw a copy in the trash years ago.
$110,000 but still have to blow the bottom to make it work
Does anyone remember star fox? My boyfriend at the time and most of my multiple siblings decried what great graphics.
I remember being about 6 or 7 and seeing this in the shop for around £60. I thought "That's a lot of money for a game, I'll never afford that"...35 years later, I still say the same
Loose copies go for $20
Looking forward to seeing this on Mizkif's shelf
the real question for video game collectors. how does one determine the value when trying to figure out internal damage such as battery corrosion or capacitor damage?
It’ll never be opened to play, so who cares?
Well this is an odd item to be graded in some aspects. I’m sure at the time corrosiveness was not taken into account when grading game carts. Most items that get graded normally don’t risk deteriorating. Hence you know if you where to ever open or it would be as good as that grade.
Examples, Pokémon cards are air tight sealed in packs. For the most part if you get a gem mint 10 1st Ed base set pack or box, you know what’s in side won’t be damaged. So paying the 100k gamble to open it has high rewards down the road.
So this PSA9 for the box? The game? The entirety? And not that this would happen but what if in the next 50 years corrosion makes it out of that cart and starts seeping into the cardboard? Should I except the game to work if I open it? Is a psa 9 worthy of something brand new in this case?
Just seems interesting to me is all
I've recently gotten into game collecting, and I really have no idea.
My understanding is that you'd never actually open this thing and it would just be a conversation piece that you keep in a sealed case.
But me personally, I'd see absolutely no value in buying this. I want to collect old games to be able to play a piece of gaming history.
I would see no point in buying a wildly expensive game that's factory sealed that I would just look at on my shelf and never dare touch.
This isn't even the most interesting item right now. Super Mario 64 in 9.8 condition is $100,000 at the moment. There's a lot of money flowing into graded video games.
I've got a sealed Diddy Kong Racing squished in a box somewhere in a closet at my parent's house
at $330,000 as of this comment. auction ending today... unreal!
What would the difference be between a 9.8 and a 10?
There generally aren't any 10's, 9.8 is the highest grade.
Ok why don't you just make 10 the highest you can go to.
This game goes to 9.8
So if you need a little less, where do you go? See?
In comics, a CGC 9.9 or 10 is frequently a comic that was uncirculated. It was never put in a shipping carton and sent to a newsstand/comic shop to get corner dings or any minor imperfection that comes from handling a book.
Just guessing, but maybe thats the case for video games as well?
Now you listen here you little shit…
No fingerprint oils on it? Just a wild guess. These prices are insane.
A believe the jump from 9.5-9.8 is when there is no apparent sign the box was ever mailed outside it's protective case.
I don’t care how cherished this game is, it is NOT worth 110,000 dollars
Grading companies can go to hell.
Rich people really do spend their money on stupid shit.
Mizkif get on this dude
Um, I inherited a sealed copy after my grandparents passed away… I played my own copy as a kid and still have it (and my NES, love it) but I had NO idea there was a market on this scale for these games… just, wow
That’s just about the stupidest purchase I read about today and it’s only 9am
I wonder if the battery works.
Weird... This is both way more and at the same time way less than I anticipated...
I really don't get this collector's market but here's hoping they are happy with their purchase
Huh, I wonder what my open copy is worth lol
I have my old (open and used) gold cartridge as a fun keepsake