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  1. #1
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    The price of retro games

    Has anyone noticed the price of many retro games is getting a bit silly now?

    ST and Amiga games

    I was looking up some info on the Atari ST version of Dungeon Master and noticed a boxed copy is selling for 100. And the third party level editor is selling for 249. That's just mad.

    And a lot of Amiga games are starting to command some more serious money now. Many are now often selling for over 30 each compared to a couple of pounds a few years ago. But quite a few must be getting harder to find and sort after because they are creaping up towards or into triple figures. But most at around 30 isn't out of reach for a collector, but a nice bit of money for anyone selling.

    Grading - the evil has arrived

    But that's nothing. The horrible collector grading first seen on trading cards, then action figures, has finally come to video games. Anyone unfamiliar with this.. Individuals suddenly setup a grading business and proclaim themselves the authority on the graded condition of items in a certain market. Owners send their items to these graders, who pass judgement on the item, seal it in a protective plastic case and attach a label with their grading rating on it, then post it back. This of course isn't free, and the graders charge a lot for the privilege. Sometimes over 100. So it's a big win for the graders because they get paid to basically just look at other people's items, but they also get to directly influence and drive the value of items and selectively boost values of certain items. This isn't good for any hobby as its blatent price driving and it splits a market in 2. Those with a lot of disposable income jumping on the bandwagon, and the real collectors just looking to add to their collections or just wanting to collect. They are being pushed out of the market by these greedy grading companies and their customers.

    A great example is a sale I saw posted the other day. It was for 2 Gameboy games. One was Zelda and the other Super Mario Bros. If you look at these 2 games on ebay, a boxed copy in good condition sells for any 30-40. Nice bit of money for selling your old game, and not too expensive for anyone collecting. But the sale I saw was for factory sealed wrapped versions of both games, graded and sealed in perspex display cases with the grading stickers on them. I think the gradings were high 80s. Anyway the price of these games was $10,000 and $10,500 respectively. And yes that is 10 thousand dollars. I kid you not. That's just stupid.

    I've been involved in traditional antiques and trading, auctions etc over time and this just doesn't Geithner in the traditional markets. Valuations are normally free because auction houses or experts are hopeful of finding a bargain themselves or looking to find items to put into their auctions or shops. If they started doing these grading systems it wouldn't be good. About the only traditional comparison I can think of is the art world were paintings and other artworks need provenance, and if by a well known artists sometimes need to be sent to one of 2 specialist "expert" artwork authentication houses. A board pf experts examine the artwork and pass judgement upon its authenticity. If they deem it real their word can elevate its value into the 100s of thousands, but if they declare is a forgery or not buy the artist thought it can instantly render the artwork worthless. Quite often it's a very subjective euling just because a paper trail isn't present to directly link thr with to the artist, or a signiture is missing. So very similar to item grading.

    To me this collector item grading turns our hobby into ornaments. Display pieces. You can kind of get the point when it's simmering like Star Wars items because they are display pieces anyway, but video games. They are meant to be played. The boxes opened and the contents looked at. Very sad to think they will be sealed away forever just as an investment. To me such collectors are not gamers.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  2. #2
    RetroSteve! My location

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    I've never heard of sending something to someone to have it 'graded' in exchange for payment. Sounds silly to me.

    But the sale I saw was for factory sealed wrapped versions of both games, graded and sealed in perspex display cases with the grading stickers on them. I think the gradings were high 80s. Anyway the price of these games was $10,000 and $10,500 respectively. And yes that is 10 thousand dollars. I kid you not. That's just stupid.
    Did they actually sell at that price, or was that just an asking price? If so, its probably just someone trying to artificially inflate the market, or taking a chance and hoping someone who wants it is very well off. I think the chances of a $30 game actually selling for $10000 is very low.

  3. #3
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    I have known of some that sell for more than that.

    The best known example was a sealed copy of the NES Mario Bros selling for over $50k.

    One is for sale at the moment:

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/294420502994

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  4. #4
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    I might hold off telling mum to bin all the stuff I left up in her loft, then (assuming she hasn't already)

  5. #5
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    That would be wise. So much stuff from the 70s and 80s is starting to climb in value more at the moment. Quite a way for you to travel to look though!

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


  6. #6
    Burn! Hot Blooded Rhythm Soul! Staff Moderator
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    ha, indeed it is - it'll have to wait until next time we visit.

    I think the Amiga games are still boxed, but the gameboy stuff was heavily used and I think the boxes got chucked - I used to flatten them and keep them but eventually stopped doing it.

  7. #7
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    A lot of boxed Amiga games now sell for around 30, or more for certain ones. Definitely risen in price.

    If you haven't played a classic game in years, it's never too late to start!


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