If you're a collector of anything vintage, you know how hard it can be to complete your collection. There always seems to be that ONE item that escapes your grasp, or is just TOO expensive to grasp. The hobby of video game collecting is no stranger to this. A collector of vintage gaming carts and consoles is likely to have more than one story about "the one that got away".
And then there are those items that are so rare, that the idea of their very existence is a bit questionable. Here are but a few examples of those "Holy Grail" items.
1. Stadium Events by Bandai - NES
Originally released in 1987 for use with the Nintendo Power Pad (you know, that mat that you stepped on to control the action on screen), Nintendo decided to re-release the game under the the title World Class Track Meet. But not before a couple hundred carts had already made it into the hands of gamers. With such a small amount of the game being sold as Stadium Events, the rarity factor for this game is about as high as can be imagined. Some people estimate that fewer than 10 copies of the game still exist.
Prices on the aftermarket have reached as high as $13,000 for the game and box. The box alone is highly valuable, as most kids tended to throw away the boxes after opening their games. One gentleman sold his sealed copy of the game for over $40,000.
2. Air Raid by Men-A-Vision - Atari 2600
Apparently released sometime around 1984, this mysterious game has many collectors puzzled. The cartridge itself had no title applied to it, and only goes by the moniker Air Raid based on the art of the image on the box itself. The Atari 2600 has its share of myth and legend when it comes to games released for it, but this little game is the most befuddling of all. No person has yet claimed to have been an original owner of the game. One complete copy, including the game and box, sold online for over $30,000.
The cart is unusually shaped for it's time. It sports a design much like some sold overseas, with a "T-handle" design that allowed the user to pull the cart out easier. Normally, Atari carts were sold as a square black box. It is believed that fewer than 15 copies of the game are known to exist, and Atari fans consider it a rare gem for any collection.
3. Kizuna Encounter by SNK - Neo Geo
This game was produced as a sequel to a game titlled Savage Reign, and fell in the Fighting Game genre. There it competed with titles like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter II. The European PAL version is actually the rare one, whereas the Japanese AES version is not. The Neo Geo was already a system released in limited numbers, so the limited number of of Kizuna Encounter games is not surprising.
It is estimated that fewer than 15 copies exist of this Neo Geo title, and that aftermarket values have exceeded $13,000.
These are just a few of the rare titles on the aftermarket that can fetch large sums of money for those lucky enough to stumble upon them in their collections. Have you sold any games that padded your wallet nicely? Let us know in the comments.