Feb 272010
 

eBay seller vals2girlz of Olathe, Kansas is a happy man: a $41,300.00 USD richer man.  In 1987 he made he purchase of a lifetime without even realizing it.  The original 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was in all its glory, and vals2girlz went to the local Richman Gordman’s department store in Overland Park, Kansas to buy the newest game for the NES.  What he didn’t realize was that the game Stadium Events which he was buying needed a power pad.  “What I remember is that we bought it thinking that we could play it by itself and then realized that we needed the pad (?).  Somewhere in there it was recalled so the pads weren’t available when we went to purchase it” (vals2girlz).

Sure enough Nintendo did pull the game from shelves.  Stadium Events was released by Bandai, and when Nintendo realized the fantastic potential of the game and accessory known as the Power Pad, Nintendo bought the rights to it and pulled all of Bandai’s copies of the games off of store shelves.  Then Nintendo repackaged, rebranded, and renamed the Power Pad and game for sale with their systems.  Stadium Events became the popular and ubiquitous World Class Track meet that many of us loved as children.  So, ultimately, most of us have played Stadium Events without realizing it.

As the story goes, vals2girlz made his purchase just on the verge of that recall.  Without knowing of the impending recall he was able to purchase the game; however, the recall meant he missed out on the needed Power Pad.  Without the needed accessory to play it, he put the game in a box in his basement.  For the last 20 years it sat there until he realized its value:  “I am selling because I didn’t think I had anything of value.  Then I saw that one lady sell her system and games for what she did.  Upon checking the boxes that had sat in my basement for nearly 20 years, I hit gold! (vals2girlz)”

What vals2girlz is referring to is February 10, 2010 sale of a complete copy of NES Stadium Events for the shocking price of $13,105.00 USD!  Little did eBay seller lace_thongs35 know that she had a super rare game in her lot of random NES stuff.  Heck, she didn’t even put the game’s name in the title to better advertise it.   Given the buzz surrounding  that surprising sale and the eBay dream story that it inspires, countless people dug into their closets, basements, and attics praying that they had a copy of Stadium Events to throw up on eBay.  Nothing sort of Stadium Events mania followed as countless Stadium Events games and related auctions popped up trying to capitalize on the momentum.

Well vals2girlz  was one of the lucky ones.  He found an absurdly rare new, sealed, complete-in-box copy of the American NTSC version of the game, and the rest has become history.  $41,300.00 USD is now the value of the most expensive video game ever sold!

Whatever the reason was at the time, I have a feeling that vals2girlz is pretty happy that he never returned that game.  Little did he know that his original investment of $29.99 would bring him a 137,716% gross return on investment!

It’ll be interesting to see how eBayers and the media respond to this monumental sale.  More Stadium Events mania?  Some other long lost ultra rare video games surfacing on eBay?  Whatever happens, this past month has been a vintage video game collectors dream as museum worthy items have appeared and changed hands.

Curious to know how much eBay makes off of such auctions?

Sure enough, eBay loves this sort of thing. Not only is the media attention great for them, but since they own PayPal (and assuming the buyer receives payment through PayPal), eBay will be $1549.81 more wealthy. Not a bad business model when you consider the countless things sold on eBay and paid for with PayPal around the world.