Ultra-rare Nintendo game enters bidding war on eBay (update)

24 Jan 2014

Muresan's copy for sale

A beaten-up copy of Nintendo’s World Championships 1990, one of the rarest and most collectible games in the world, is involved in a bidding war on eBAy starting at nearly US$5,000.

The game is legendary among die-hard Nintendo collectors as one of the rarest games of all time with only 116 copies ever released.

As part of a marketing event, the game was created as part of the company’s American tour across 29 cities asking children of all ages to compete against each other in a series of challenges comprising three Nintendo games of the time, Super Mario Bros, Rad Racer and Tetris.  

When the competition was over, 90 of the standard grey cartridges were given to the highest-placed finalists while a further 26 golden cartridges as part of a competition held by Nintendo Power Magazine.

Now an eBay user going under the name muresan is selling a considerably beaten copy with a torn-off label for (at the time of writing) US$6,101.50 despite this being a copy of the more numerous grey copies.

Bidding frenzy

This is not the first time that an online bidding frenzy has come from the sale of World Championships 1990. In 2008 a man paid US$15,000 for the game purely because of its collectable status.

In an interview with Edge, he told the magazine why he would pay so much for one video game: “Well, I don’t really look at it as purely a videogame; it’s more like the Honus Wagner of videogame collecting – or like Action Comics number one.”

Edited 27/1/14: After a bidding frenzy, the game went for a staggering US$99,902 making it the highest paid copy of the game so far.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic