Signed MMO Poster Sells for More than Nintendo World Championships Gold Game Cart

Can you guess which of these is more valuable?

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As a collector, it’s hard to believe these final auction prices!  However, a signed poster just sold for more than the ultra rare and highly sought after Nintendo World Chapionships gold cart!

MMO Poster $14,999.44 > NWC Gold Cart $13,600.00

Trying to figure out this mystery, I’d like to take a look at the rarity of each and the fact that both were charity auctions.

“AE Signed Xan Poster (one-of-a-kind)”

Sold: Dec. 28, 2009 on eBay for $14,999.44 USD

Rarity: The seller of the poster explains to AdventureQuest, Mechquest, Dragonfable, AdventureQuest Worlds and EpicDuel players that “This is a one-of-a-kind Xan poster (24 inches wide x 30 3/4 inches tall) signed by several members of the Artix Entertainment development team (Artix, Cysero, Zhoom, Safiria, Warlic, Thyton, Beleen, Tomix, Ghost, J6, Llussion, Ai No Miko, Jemini, Korin, Geopetal, Aisha, Faith, Alac, Rolith, Nythera, Zazul & Yergen Von Shmergenbergen)! It is a beautiful, high-gloss print on high quality foam core and signed in lusterous silver Sharpie marker!”

Charity:  100% of the final sale price was being donated to a non-profit named Child’s Play.  “Child’s Play enables the gamer community to make a positive difference in the lives of children and young adults, primarily through donations of toys and games to childrens’ hospitals around the world as well as funding pediatric health research.”

Bids:  Most of the bids on this auction were from 0 Feedback bidders.  While this isn’t necessarily an indication of shill bidding (fake bids), it does give me less confidence in the bids.  Perhaps most of the bidders were new to eBay and thus had 0 feedback.  Being an eBay seller myself, most of the bidders who get carried away and never end up paying for an auction are people with less than 10 feedback.  For whatever reason, they often bid most wildly and never pay thus creating a falsely high value for the item.

My Final Thoughts: It goes without saying that MMOs are hugely popular.  Given the number of hours people play MMOs and the community created within them, it makes sense to me that a person can get quite attached to a video game.  Since so many free-to-play MMO games are dying, that puts a lot of former players into nastalgia mode…thus, perhaps a keepsake like this poster make sense and is appropriately quite valuable.  At the same time, all those 0 bids say to me that there’s a good chance that the price was inflated by wild bids that will never receive payment.  I’ll bet we’ll see the same poster up again within a few weeks due to a non-paying bidder.

“NINTENDO WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS Gold NWC 1990 Cartridge”

Sold: Dec. 21, 2009 on eBay for $13,600.00 USD

Rarity: Most collectors know about the rarity of this cartridge.  It’s legendary and is accepted by most that the closest they’ll every come to one is to settle for a reproduction or emulated version.  JJ Hendricks, the seller of the cart, explains that “Nintendo made fewer than 26 of these gold Nintendo World Championship cartridges and only 12 are known to exist today.”

Charity:  100% of the final sale price was being donated to a non-profit named World Vision.  “World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. We serve the worlds poor, regardless of a persons religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.”

Bids:  Most of the bids on this auction were from bidders with established feedback.  That means they’re eBay regulars and gives me more confidence in their bids.

My Final Thoughts: In June 2009 JJ tracked down this game and paid $17,500 for it.  The story of his acquiring the game is facinating if you haven’t already read it.  Bummer for JJ that it sold for about $4,000 less than he paid for it, but I’m sure he’ll get a nice tax deduction and has certainly given a great donation to a cause he believes in.

For whatever reason, the Nintendo World Championship 1990 Gold Cart sold for a bit less than I expected.  Given our current economic downturn, I’ve noticed that rare & collectible video game auctions have been going for quite a bit less than BIN (Buy-It-Now) listings.  I’ve gotten some great deals this way buy just grabbing some items for my retro gaming collection at absurdly low auction prices.  Thus, if we look at JJ’s $17.5k price as a Buy-It-Now on eBay, it makes sense that the cart would sell for less at auction.

I’m not sure how to explain the price of that poster other than how I already have above.  Like I said before, I’ll be that the price is inflated by an overzealous new bidder who probably won’t pay.  If that’s the case, then the NWC 1990 Gold Cartridge probably is still the more valuable item.  Yet, as we know from rare video game collecting, people do pay absurdly high prices for one of a kind super rare items.

Your Thoughts? If you have insight into any of this, I’d love to hear it in the comments.