Every retro gamer and collector not living under a rock knows that a complete copy of Stadium Events just popped up on eBay and sold for a glorious sum of $13,105.00 USD! Not only did this give all of us geeks a museum-worthy piece of video game history to drool over, but it seems to have inspired every Tom, Dick, and Jane to dig through their closets (and possibly Google images), to try to find their own Stadium Events to sell on eBay. As I write this, there are no fewer than 7 auctions up on eBay featuring Stadium Events related items. Normally there are zero. (Updated Feb. 14, 10 Today there are a 27 eBay auctions featuring Stadium Events items…some fool is even selling the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org…lol…even funnier is that he has 8 bids and just broke the $100.00 USD mark. I scratch my head.)
A word of caution though before you go into a bidding frenzy trying to grab one for your own collection: be warned that a number of the listings are for PAL and Famicom version of the game. For those unfamiliar with region encoding, NTSC is the region protection that was applied to NES games in the United States, Canada, and the rest of the Americas. PAL games, which look just like NTSC games in shape, size, color, etc., were sold in Europe and Australia. A quick way to tell the difference is that NTSC ones sold in the US will generally say NES-xx-USA in the bottom right hand corner of the label. Japanese gamers received cartridges that were roughly the shape of a Sega Master System cart, so those are petty easy to tell apart. Why do I mention this? Because Stadium events is most rare in its NTSC form. The PAL and Famicom ones may be somewhat rare but are much much more common than the US version. So, sorry to burst anyone’s bubble, but a number of the items listed on eBay are more opportunistic than rare. Here’s a Little Samson cart for example. It’s quite a rare and great game in the US, but as you can see from the corner, it’s not an NTSC version and thus has a lot less value to collectors.
Additionally, I’ve seen at least 3-4 auctions go up and get taken down for Stadium Events games in the last 24 hours. While eBay can be a safe marketplace when you’re buying from a seller with a great feedback record, there are also definitely greedy people searching Google, Yahoo, and Bing for an image to use to make fake listings. It goes without saying to be careful when buying rare video games, but now is the time to use extra caution. And when in doubt, have a fellow collector check out the listing to give you his/her two cents on it.
Best of luck retro gaming, vintage video game collecting, and happy eBaying!