Despite a thriving gaming market today, during the early 90's the market what on the cusp of climbing out of the gaming crash of the 80's in the US. As part of its rebirth, the gaming industry started to boom in the mid to late 90's with hugely platforms such as Nintendo's Super NES and GameBoy, along with SEGA's Genesis coming to market.
Today many of these 'retro' platforms are seeing a huge market build as many of take a nostalgic walk down memory lane and relive the gaming moments of our childhood, especially now that many classic games and consoles are much cheaper than they would have been to our younger selves.
Many classic games from the 90's saw huge sales and sold hundreds of thousands, if not millions of copies. Despite this the industry was still in its infancy and a little like the wild west. Disputes between developers, publishers and licensers lead to some legendary tales of games being released and pulled from shelves and destroyed before huge numbers of consumers managed to claim a copy from their local retailer. There were also many exclusive game cartridges created for certain events such as the exclusive The Flintstones: Surprise at Dinosaur Peak game for the Nintendo Entertainment System that was released exclusively as a Blockbuster rental stores.
One such instance of an exclusive cartridge release that is today worth more than you would expect is the 1990 Nintendo World Championships for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Why is this cartridge worth so much and how much?
Well, the main reason is due to its rarity. In 1990 Nintendo of America held a 30 city wide gaming tournament to find the 'best player in the world'. Players were invited to events held across 30 cities competing in a timed, score based competition. Each player had six minutes per game to rack up points on demo versions of 3 games; Super Mario Bros, Rad Racer and Tetris.
At the end of each cities tournament the top scorers of three age groups received a special 'gray' game cartridge as used in the competition, meaning that 90 were in existence, obviously making this a very rare and collectable item for any game collector. Due to this the sale price's over the decades have been between: $8,500 - $20,200.
Now we mentioned a 'gold' variation of this game cartridge earlier, well the gold version was a prize for entrants of a contest that ran alongside the Nintendo World Championships in the pages of the Nintendo Power Magazine. Only 26 of the gold cartridges were produced so they’re even rarer, but fetch a pretty penny on the occasions that one comes up for sale. The last one's that sold on eBay went for $21,400 (2007), $15,000 (2008), $18,000 (2009) and $100,088 (2014).