As I have been inching ever closer to my goal of collecting all of the Famicom carts ever released I have been slowly coming to terms with the fact that I have picked almost all of the low hanging fruit in the console's catalogue. F1 Race? Got it. Baseball? Got it. Mahjong? Got, like, 12 of it.
The sad fact is that a lot of the remaining games on my "need it" list are the expensive ones. This has forced me to move out of my "comfort zone" of buying mostly games that cost less than 1000 yen each and start getting some of the "glass case" games from my local shops.
The good news is that unlike the Atari 2600 and some other consoles, the Famicom collection doesn't include many impossible to find holy grails. Well, there are a few. In the above photo for example among those Famicom carts (bottom row, 3rd from the right) is a gold copy of Hot Scramble for 44,000 yen (over 500$). There are a lot of rare variants of some carts like that (Rockman 4, Kinnikuman Muscle Tag Match and Obake QTaro Wan Wan Panic are others) that they only made a few copies of for some promotion and thus sell for obscene amounts, but they don't count towards the basic set.
Anyway, having broken down and started to spend some real money I have put together a modest but respectable little pile of "semi-expensive" Famicom carts:
None of these are particularly expensive, but they are all games that usually sell in the 2000-6000 yen (25-80$) range, which is about as high as I can go right now.
The best cart I have is probably this one here:
Good old Gimmick. Ironically it is the one I got for the cheapest out of all of these and the only one I have CIB.
One of my most recent acquisitions was this baby:
Guevara!!! I got this at Manga Souko last week for 2500 yen, one of the highest prices I've ever paid for a Famicom cart. I've wanted it for a long time though. They have one at Mandarake for 3000 yen and I have been eyeing it for years. Seeing it for slightly cheaper at another shop was enough to push me over the edge and take the leap.
My second most valuable game (according to the Japanese market at least) is probably this one:
Idol Hakkenden. You have probably never heard of it. It is an obscure little RPG about a teen pop idol. I don't know why it is expensive (007 has a loose copy in their glass case for 5800 yen, Manga Souko has one for about 4000), perhaps because it is pretty hard to find. I never play it but I like it a lot, the cover art just looks really cool.
Anyway, those are my good ones. Oh except for Magical Doropie which I forgot to include in the photos. To end, please make note of the fact that the copy of Spartan X 2 in these photos looks quite nice. Last month I bought a brutally sun-faded copy of it at Omocha Souko. I wasn't overly happy with that so when I saw a nice copy of the game at Manga Souko last week for almost the same price I decided to pick up a replacement copy!