Sunday, January 25, 2015

Famicom Price Information Part 2


Last week I presented a list of sale prices from a massive auction that is taking place on Yahoo Auctions of CIB Famicom games.  The seller is putting up over 1000 CIB Famicom games (which would be almost all of them, possibly all) at a rate of 300 per week.  In the first sale, 88 of the games fetched prices over 5000 yen and I listed alll of those.  The highlights were Recca Summer Carnival and Battle Formula, which both sold for a little over 100,000 yen each.

Yesterday round 2 of the auction finished and here I present the same thing - a list of the prices of all the games that went for over 5000 yen.

This week the results weren't as spectacular as last, in part because there were fewer big ticket items in this one. Only 57 games went for over 5000 yen, and most of those went for under 10000 yen.  Not a single game went for over 50,000 yen in this week's group, but there were a few interesting highlights.

First off, the number one game was probably one you have never heard of - Karaoke Studio Top Hit 20 Vol. 2 - which went for 46,000 yen.  That is a game made for the Karaoke Studio microphone accessory and is extremely hard to find CIB (or loose for that matter).  One interesting aspect of that game landing at number 1 is that it is a game that is probably of no interest to people outside of Japan.  One question people have been asking is the degree to which Famicom game prices are driven mainly by foreigners buying stuff up.  A karaoke game like that, which is more or less unknown outside of Japan and of little interest (its all in Japanese) almost undoubtedly went to a Japanese collector, so the domestic market seems to be driving the prices too.

Number 2 on the list was the much more familiar Battletoads, which went for 30,000 yen (A few years ago I sold a CIB copy of that game for just $35, albeit with a rougher box.  I could kill my previous self for that act of stupidity).

There were a few games whose prices went for higher than I would have thought.  Prisoner of War is a bit hard to find, but it surprised me to find it in the top 10 selling for more than Over Horizon.

A few games actually sold for prices which might be considered quite cheap.  Barely making hte 5000 yen cut this week was Uchu Keibitai SDF at exactly 5,000 yen.  That is a pretty popular and, while not rare, it isn't particularly easy to find.  It must have slipped under the radar. 2010 Street Fighter and Abadox also went for lower than I thought they would.

Its also evident that new stuff was selling for a premium as most of the new games sold for prices higher, relative to the popularity/rarity of the game, than I would have thought.

The seller hasn't started round 3 yet but when he does, I'll post the results here.



Karaoke Studio Top Hit 20 Vol 2 46000
Battletoads 30000
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 29000
Solbrain 27500
Metal Storm 23200
Prisoner of War 22600
Over Horizon 21000
Goal! 20500
Eight Eyes 18300 New
Metal Fighter My 16500
Reigendoushi 16000
Yancha Maru 3 15550 New
Robocco Wars 14500 New
Samurai Pizza Cats 14500
Crisis Force 14500
Ninja Crusaders 12600
Kyouryuu Sentai Juu Ranger 12500
Guardic Gaiden 12100
Terminator 2 11700 New
Yancha Maru  11500 (with stickers)
Millipede 11100
Donkey Kong (Silver box) 10001
Saiyuki World 9851
Holy Diver 9850
Gun Nac 9850
RAF 9750
Akumajou Densetsu 9750
Wanpaku Kokun no Gourmet World 9038
Dragon Fighter 8750
Cosmo Police Caravan 8590
Duck Tales 2 8250
Layla 8020
Donkey Kong Jr (Silver box) 8000
Juju Densetsu 7800
Eggerland 7780
Magic Candle 7350 New
StarGate 7250
Duck Tales  7100
Gundam Wars (Datach) 7000 New
Western Kids 6950
Double Dragon 2 6851
Door Door 6750
Abadox 6500
Kamen no Ninja 6250 New
Yancha Maru 2 6080 New
Akumajo Special Boku Dracula Kun 6050
Chigoku Kyokuraku Maru 5800
Ice Climber  5750
2010 Street Fighter 5730
Sweet Home 5500
Tiny Toon Adventures 2 5251
Flying Hero 5250
Ultraman Club Kaijuu Daikessen 5250
Saizou 5220
Zombie Hunter 5100
Uchuu Keibitai SDF 5000
Ultraman Club (Datach) 5000 New















































































































































































Saturday, January 24, 2015

Yasuda Fire & Marine Safety Rally: Oh God, What Have I Done?


 Last night the two massive cardboard boxes pictured above arrived at my home.  They were heavy, I had to lug them in one by one from the doorway after the deliveryman, who had used a push cart to get them to my place, dropped them off.

I left them in our spare room until this morning when I cut them open and out poured:

Obviously, Famicom carts.

These two boxes between them contained 440 Famicom carts, which is by far the most I have ever acquired at one time. 

Why would I, a person who already has a gigantic mountain of Famicom carts, buy 440 more of them?  This is where the ridiculous calculations of the serious (but woefully underfunded) collector come in.  As it says in the blog description, I am actively trying to put together an entire set of Famicom carts. That is an expensive proposition since a few of the games are seriously rare and expensive to find.

Out of the 440 carts in these two box, 438 of them were ones that I already had.  Of the remaining 2 that I needed, one was relatively easy to find on its own, but the other was one of the rarest and most expensive Famicom carts out there and basically it was the sole objective I had in mind when bidding on this lot.

Meet the newest addition to my Famicom collection.  Yasuda Fire & Marine Safety Rally. 
 This game probably has a bit of an interesting story to it but I have to admit to having some trouble tracking down what exactly that is.  It was not sold in stores but rather it was distributed by the Yasuda insurance company in 1989.  It seems there were probably only a few hundred distributed.  Beyond that, the Japanese language internet isn`t telling me much - particularly I am interested in finding out how it was distributed.  Looks like something that might have been given out at a company event a la Pepsi Invaders for the Atari 2600 but I`m not sure.

Originally the game came with a plastic case and a map.  Finding one complete, particularly with the map, is extremely difficult and there may only be a handful in existence.  Loose copies like mine are a bit easier to come by but still command top dollar on their own - consensus seems to be in the $300-$500 range.  Mandarake has a copy with the box, but no map, for 84,000 yen while Super Potato wants 170,640 Yen for a copy with both box and map.

So these prices were way more than I could possibly justify spending on one game.  On 440 games though I could sort of justify dropping a somewhat sizeable load of cash, in the hope that by selling the 438 that I don`t need I could get back most of what I spent.

So I can cross one of the big ticket items off of my list of needed games.  Oh and if anyone is in the market for Famicom games, uh (cough cough) , I`ll probably be updating my sales thread over on Famicom World with about 438 or so carts sometime soon.





Monday, January 19, 2015

Interesting find: Atari 2800 Discovery?

I just picked the above Atari 2600 game up off of Yahoo Auctions.  Gangster Alley is the name, shooting is the game.  I am always on the prowl for Atari 2600 games to feed to my (admittedly difficult to use but nonetheless much beloved) Atari 2800 system.

This random Atari 2600 game though I think might be a really interesting discovery, a piece of video game history that I haven't been able to track any information down on the internet.  It therefore intrigues me and I want to write a bit about it here.

First to rewind a bit.  The Atari 2800 was Atari's disastrous attempt to introduce the 2600 to the Japanese market.  They chose 1983 to do so, the same year the Famicom came out.  You can guess who won that battle.  So few Atari 2800s were sold that it is quite a rare console to find today.

The 2800's lifespan was so short that only 30 titles were officially released for it.  These were all Atari 2600 carts that had Japan-specific boxes and manuals made for them, which are pretty cool and, like the console, very hard to find.  Well, the loose carts are indistinguishable from 2600 carts, so really its just the boxes and manuals for the games that are rare.

This brings me to my new copy of Gangster Alley.  Take a look at this list of Atari 2800 games.  Note that Gangster Alley is not on it.

Now take a look at that box.  Note that everything about it is the same as the Atari 2600 box for that game.  Except the lower right hand corner, which has a label which says:

アタリ2800用
ビデオゲーム カートリジ

("Video Game Cartridge for use with the Atari 2800")

This seems to have been an Atari 2600 game that did not get a re-make for its box art but nonetheless was released in Japan for the 2800 with just a sticker applied to the box.  I have looked around the internet, both English and Japanese (incidentally Japanese people almost never write or blog about the Atari 2800, it was that unpopular here) but haven't been able to come up with any information about this.  It makes me wonder what other Atari 2600 games in addition to the standard 30 might have been released here.

Any Atari experts out there know anything about this?






Sunday, January 18, 2015

Some Interesting Famicom Price Information: 88 Games Worth More than 5000 Yen


 As I mentioned in my last post, a seller on Yahoo Auctions has been putting up an amazing collection of CIB Famicom games with low starting bids.  In fact he seems to be putting an almost complete set (over 1,000 games according to him and he has put up 600 different ones so far) - all CIB and all in nice condition.

Since an opportunity like this only comes once in a while, I thought this would provide a useful bit of information to record - just how much are all of these games, being auctioned at (almost) the same time in almost the same condition by the same guy going for?

While one sale isn`t enough information to form the basis for a price guide, at least this will give us a hint of what these games are roughly worth - virtually all the games got a fair amount of bidding so we know there weren`t any expensive ones going for unrealistically low prices, while at the same time the low starting bids meant no unrealistically high prices set by the seller (though of course that doesn`t mean everyone was bidding rationally).

The seller hasn`t quite been selling them all at once, in the first round he auctioned off 300 (and has a second round of 300 which will finish next week).  The first round finished last night and these are the games which sold for over 5000 yen, which accounted for 88 out of the 300.  I cut them off at 5000 yen partly to save myself some time and partly because the more expensive ones, having gotten the most bids and most attention from buyers, probably went for prices closer to their actual value.

I have listed these below, in order from most to least expensive.  The values are in Yen and do not include shipping (which would have added 164 or 510 yen depending on the method of shipping chosen).  To get a rough idea of the value in US $, the exchange rate at the time of the auction was about 115 Yen to the Dollar.

All games are CIB and, while I didn`t closely look at all the pictures, the ones I did inspect were all in very good condition.  Some of them were sold as new or never used, these are marked with `New` after the price.

There are a few interesting things.  The most expensive game was Summer Carnival Recca at 104800 yen, almost one thousand dollars.  Battle Formula, another rarity, was a close second and the only other one to breach the 100,000 Yen barrier.  Taking third place was a game I had never heard of for the Datach called Battle Rush, which apparently is also quite hard to find CIB.  Kung Fu (the scarce variant of Spartan X), Snow Bros and Lickle all got over 50,000, which isn`t surprising as they are all quite hard to find.

One game that did surprise me was #10, Double Dragon which sold for a whopping 36100 Yen.  That is a great game but by no means is it rare (though CIB copies in nice shape are a bit hard to come by).  It seems totally out of place wedged in between Adventure Island 4 and Moon Crystal, both of which are extremely hard to find.  I have seen slightly worn copies selling at Mandarake for about 1/10th that price.

There are a few other super common games that made the list - Dragon Ball Shinryuu no Nazo, Kakefu Kun and Saint Seya Goukin Densetsu seem completely out of place on a valuable game list but they were all new which might explain it (though I still think they went for too much). Mitsume ga Toru, a hard to find and very popular game, also seems out of place right next to Milon no Daibouken, which is a good game but extremely common.

There don`t seem to have been any steals among the games on this list (the ones that went under 5,000 yen were mostly unsurprising too).  Kage and Taiku no Gen San seem a bit lower on the list than I think they deserve, but the prices paid for them aren`t much different from what they go for in shops.

I`ll update this again next week when round 2 of the sale finishes.


Summer Carnival 92 Recca 104800
Battle Formula 101100
Battle Rush (Datach) 81550
Kung Fu 61000
Snow Bros 55300
Lickle 50111
Guevara 45100
Gimmick! 44100
Adventure Island 4 39000 New
Double Dragon 36100
Moon Crystal 34700
Chip and Dale's Adventure 32700
Banana Oushi Daibouken 32100 New
Bubble Bobble 2 30200
Contra 29100
Gold Punch Out 28500
Yu Yu Hakusho (Datach) 25500
Magical Doropie 22500
Doki Doki Yuenchi 21500
AnpanMan no Hiragana Daisuki 20500
Chip and Dale's Adventure 2 20100
Rockman 18600
Donald Land 18500
Nekketsu Street Baseketball 18060
Spartan X 2 16015
Kyoro Chan Land 15700
Taiku no Gen San 2 15200
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2 14700 New
Spelunker (with POP) 14500
The Empire Strikes Back 14300
Kakefu Kun 13600 New
Final Mission 13200
Sword Master 13111 New
Star Wars (Victor) 13060
Bucky O'Hare 13001
Family School 12600
Mike Tyson Punch Out 12200
Super Contra 12100
Choujin Sentai Jetman 12050 New
Bazolda 11600
Fushigi no Umi no Nadia 11200
Dragon Ball Shinryuu no Nazo 11166 New
Adventures of Lolo 2 11100
Gekitotsu Macho Man 11015 New
Rockman 2 10600
Bomber Man 10600 New
Idol Hakkenden 10550
Nakayoshi to Isshou 10500
Chaos World 10000
Mitsume ga Toru 10000
Milon no Daibouken 9649 New
Joust 9500
Mighty Final Fight 9050 New
Kage 8851
Kawa no Nushu Tsuri 8450 New
Hoshi wo Miru Hito 8000
Kamen no Ninja Hanamaru 7850
Bikkuriman World 7750 New
Popeye (silver box) 7501
Rockboard 7250 New
Sqoon 7150 New
Tatakai no Banka 7150
Mother 7150
Donkey Kong Jr Math 7050
Rokdenashi Blues 6850
Saint Seya Goukin Densetsu 6511
Moai Kun 6449 New
Taiku no Gen San 6350
Chiki Chiki Machine 6265
Ninja Ryukenden 6252
Moeru Onisan 6250
Robocop 2 6150
Max Warrior 6150 New
Mickey Mouse 3 Yume Fusen 6100 New
Dragon Slayer 6099
Balloon Fight 6050
Zelda no Densetsu 6050
Tom and Jerry 5761
Space Hunter 5750
Rockman 6 5750
Ninja Ryukenden 3 5600 New
Mario Bros (silver box) 5510
Robocop 5350
Bio Senshi Dan 5250 New
Red Arima 2 5250 New
Tashiro Masashi Princess ga Ippai 5000
Ushi Ototora 5000

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Yahoo Auctions: Somebody auctioning off an entire CIB collection of Famicom carts?

I was browsing through the Famicom listings on Yahoo Auctions yesterday when I noticed one seller, mad-masax, was without much fanfare putting up what looks like it may be one of the most impressive Famicom sales ever.

Currently he has 280 listings, each of them a different CIB Famicom game with a starting bid of 300 yen (about $3). The selection he has so far is crazy, including some of the most sought after, hard to find titles out there - Battle Formula, Lickle, Moon Crystal, Gimmick, Recca, Snow Bros, Adventure Island 4, Kung Fu, Magical Doropie, etc etc.  All CIB and all look like they are in (or near) top condition.

The thing that really teases me is that in the description he says he is planning to auction off a little over 1000 different games.  Given that there are only 1051 (give or take) official Famicom carts out there, and also given the insane quantity of rarities he already has listed, this may mean that this seller is breaking up an entire, complete set of Famicom carts - all CIB!  I should note that the seller doesn`t actually claim to be selling a complete set, but it looks like he might have one (or something very close to it).

A couple of years ago somebody did something similar on Ebay, where they received 1 million Euros for the whole collection (albeit that collection included some other consoles as well so it was quite a bit bigger and must go down as the most impressive Famicom sale ever). Other than that though, I`ve never seen a collection as impressive of this being sold off all at once.  Definitely something worth watching if you are curious about what CIB Famicom rarities will go for, Battle Formula is currently the leader in the bidding at a little over 50,000 yen.

(note - the photo at the top of this post isn`t from the auction, but from my own meagre CIB collection! To see what he has, click on the link above, its way more impressive).




Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More Famicom Rarities: Amada Puzzles and Menko


In the mid-1980s a company called Amada had a contract with Nintendo and a number of game producers like Jaleco and Konami to produce novelty items related to Famicom games. I first got interested in their stuff a few years ago when I stumbled upon a box of Famicom mini cards they put out in 1985.  They made a number of other things, including the ever popular series of erasers shaped like Famicom carts, complete with their boxes and a series of stickers that I have a few of but haven`t posted about yet.

Amada`s relationship with Nintendo was very brief, they seem to have only had a 1 year contract as all of the merchandise they made was limited to games released in or before 1985.  So for games from 1986 onwards there is none of this stuff, which is kind of an interesting divide in Famicom game history.

Last week I picked up a couple of other Amada Famicom goodies released in that one year.  The first are a pair of Famicom jigsaw puzzles of Star Force and Yie Ar Kung Fu pictured at the top of this post.  These were relatively tiny puzzles with only a dozen or so pieces

Though the boxes are almost the same size as the regular Famicom game boxes:

Judging from this blog here (in Japanese, but there are some pretty cool photos of Amada Famicom stuff so its worth a look) these puzzles sold for just 20 yen each back in the day, though most of them were sold in little envelopes rather than boxes like this. The boxed ones were given out as prizes to lucky winners of a game (if your puzzle had winner written on the back you could trade it for one of the boxed ones I think).

Another thing that I picked up were a couple of boxes of Famicom Menko.  Menko are like trading cards, but they are made of very thick cardboard and intended to be throw at the ground in a game (the goal of which is to flip over other cards). 

So these are different from the mini cards Amada also issued for the Famicom, though the fronts are largely the same, featuring images from games that look like they were created just by somebody pointing a camera at a TV (something which a number of Japanese trading card makers were known to do back in the 80s).
 Like the puzzles, these Menko came in pretty cool boxes that replicate the look of Famicom cart boxes, mine featuring Star Force and Wrecking Crew on the fronts:


 The backs of the cards look like this:
These things are pretty hard to find unfortunately.  Loose mini cards and some erasers turn up on Yahoo Auctions regularly but the puzzles and CIB stuff only shows up every once in a while.  I think they are a pretty cool side-collection type thing to compliment an actual Famicom.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Rarities: Nintendo in Store Display from the early 1970s


The above is one of the most interesting things in my vintage Nintendo collection.  It is a 1950s store display used to advertise Nintendo playing cards.  The big white characters 任天堂 spell out the company name Nin-ten-do.

Nintendo started out as a playing card maker and as late as the 1950s that was still its main line of business (somebody correct me if I am wrong about that).  They made a variety of cards, including regular playing cards and Japanese style hanafuda cards.  This display advertised both, with their landmark Napoleon cards featured on the top panel.

These things are literally museum pieces, one having been featured prominently in the Nintendo museum event held in Osaka back in 2007.  That is about the only reference to them I could find online.

About 2 years ago one of these popped up on Yahoo Auctions and I joined in the bidding, which ended up going through the roof (I dropped out at about 10,000 yen, it went a bit higher than that but I can`t remember the total).  So when I stumbled across this one a couple weeks ago with a starting bid of 1,000 yen I was the first bidder.  I put in a max bid of 10,000 just to see what would happen.

And guess what?  Well, obviously I won it but the best part was that I ended up being the only bidder this time so I got it for a bargain.  The good thing about bidding on stuff which only shows up in auctions once every 2 years is that unless the auction gets well promoted the people who would bid it up might not even notice it is there, which I think is what happened this time.


The thing that I really love about this is that it makes for a great piece of easy to display interior decoration.  These were designed to be hung from the ceiling as mobiles.  Pardon the mess in the background of this photo, I will be finding a more suitable location to hang this in good time.
 The artwork on them is very vintage and cool looking.  They slowly turn, revealing the other side of each card:

I am really getting into collecting vintage pre-Famicom stuff from Nintendo, partly inspired by Erik`s Before Mario blog, so I`m pretty happy to add this to my still modest collection.

EDIT: I originally thought this was from the 1950s owing to what the seller had been talking about.  As Erik points out in the comments however it actually dates from the early 70s.