In retro video game collector circles, it is among the true Holy Grail items: The 1990 Nintendo World Championship 8-bit NES cartridge, used in an official gaming tournament series, and of which only 90 copies were ever produced. Although a rarer, gold variant exists, the more "common" gray edition is still quite a find.
In fact, it apparently demands a price of nearly $100,000: At 3:55:10 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, an auction page on Ebay ended, culminating in a winning bid of $99,902. Ebay's own blog commemorated the momentous occasion with an article providing additional historical details on the uncommon artifact.
What makes this auction especially notable is not only the astounding final sale amount, which is about 11 times greater than the previous sold copy fetched, but the fact that the cart was able to command such a total despite having a badly torn label and writing on the face as well.
Although some collectors may quibble over the rising prices of their sought-after goods, the retro gaming community as a whole should at least feel secure in the value of their collectibles for the foreseeable future. The popularity of such finds is not a trend with an end in sight. Many are saying, however, that the astronomical bids on this item must be the work of fakers and trolls. Those seeking more information on this story can read the related discussion thread on NintendoAge.com.
Eric Bailey blogs at NintendoLegend.com, where he is reviewing every American-released NES video game. He also serves as Editor-In-Chief of retro gaming features site 1MoreCastle.com, and can be followed on Twitter @Nintendo_Legend.