Friday, July 20, 2012

Crisis Force for the Famicom: Somebody got a Bargain

As I have alluded to in previous posts, I have been doing a lot of shopping on Yahoo Auctions recently. I`ve been buying mainly stuff in larger lots since the per-cart cost is pretty cheap when you do that. The only downside being that you end up with a lot of mahjong games.

Usually the lots I bid on will have a crown jewel or two that is what I am mainly after. One lot I got recently had the above CIB copy of Crisis Force as its piece de resistance.

Crisis Force is a shoot-em up developed by Konami. It is a massively popular game among Famicom collectors for three reasons. First, it was only released in Japan. Second, it is awesome. Third, since it came out towards the end of the Famicom`s lifetime they didn`t sell too many, making it, if not super-rare, at least hard to come by.

I already had a loose copy, but I thought a CIB one for a good price would make a nice addition to my collection so I got it. I did get a pretty good deal on it, but when I received it I discovered that someone else at one point had gotten an even better deal on it:
Its a little annoying when good games have price tags right on their precious cardboard boxes like that. What makes this most interesting though is the price, 380 yen is only about 5$.

Just for comparison, I did a quick Ebay search. The cheapest CIB copy of Crisis Force I could find had a BIN price of $128.88. The cheapest loose copy I could find had a starting bid of $49. It is, in other words, one of the more expensive Famicom games out there. Not quite gold Punch Out expensive but getting close.

Unfortunately the price tag doesn`t have the store`s name on it as I would love to go there for some browsing if this is what they price things at. In all likelihood though this price tag is probably 15 years old and predates the development of a collector market for this game. Mandarake in town for example has a CIB copy going for about 80$, so it is usually an expensive game in Japan too (though not quite as expensive as Ebay).


  1. I was in Tokyo last week and bought around 30 Famicom games in famous shops like Super Potatoe, Mandarake and Trader. Prices are really high, especially in Super Potatoe... I paid 1680 Yen for a loose copy of Crisis Force - not as much as on ebay but still... I was hoping for some bargains but I guess Tokyo is not the right place for that...

  2. Yeah, I have never been game shopping in Tokyo but I have heard the prices in the famous shops can be quite high, though 1680 yen for Crisis Force is a good deal. We have a Mandarake here and their prices I would describe as reasonable, but they almost never have any great bargains. Definitely not going to find Crisis Force CIB for 380 yen there.

    The best bargains are to be found in out of the way places like the big recycling stores and Hard Offs, which unfortunately are massively difficult to find and even when you do find them you probably have a 1 in 4 chance of finding some retro game stuff worth buying. Most of these places are not near any convenient public transport options either.

    It took me about 2 years before I finally got a good feel of this city`s best places to score games for a decent price.

  3. Wow, someone else has heard of this game too? I love this game, and have it on my cracked psp. I was lucky to find a copy "ahem".

  4. Great score!! Could you actually see that from the auction picture, or was it one of those pleasant surprises?

  5. Commander - yup, its got a bit of a following among the Famicom community:)

    Hollo - actually I couldn`t see the price tag in the auction photo, but I got such a good deal on it that I don`t mind.

    I`ve been having some hit and miss luck with the Yahoo Auction CIB stuff. Some of it has been amazing, but I`ve also gotten a couple of lots full of stinkers that had serious damage or defects not disclosed in the photos.

    1. You'll get used to the auctions Sean. I've had my fair share of misses, but at the moment the misses seem to hurt more - mainly due to how much action there is on YHJP, which in turn is driving the prices up. :(

      Hey not related, but I am wondering if you might be able to shed some light on a strange Famicom Karaoke unit I saw at a place recently. I posted about it on the blog, and you might be the guy to ask. :)

  6. I guess the cheapest bargain I ever managed to get on a game was on a loose copy of Bionic Commando, for only 7 bucks.

    The seller had absolutely no idea it was even rare. How much does it usually go for?

  7. Sounds like a good deal. The Famicom version (Hitler no Fukkatsu) usually goes for around 2000-2500 yen (25$-30$) or so loose.

  8. Quick question, Have you ever seen a Sharp Famicom Station on your travels?

    Here's a youtube vid on it

    Looks awesome!

  9. I`ve never actually seen one of those Famicom boxes in person, but I see them on Yahoo Auctions from time to time, they always sell for way more than I can afford though, with the price varying depending on which games it comes with. A cool Famicom thing to own though!

  10. Hey Sean! Awesome blog ^_^ I've been following for some time :)
    I didn't know about the Yahoo auctions, perhaps I should check that out. I've been looking for Crisis Force for some time, but it's always too pricey >_<
    Btw, thanks for linking to my blog! I would love to return the favor but I'm wondering if you have some kind of picture or logo you would prefer me to use?

  11. Yeah, its always an expensive one!

    No prob, I don`t have any official logo, feel free to use any image on this blog for that purpose if you want!

  12. Great, I've added it now ^_^ I used one of your forts as a background ;D

  13. In a situation like this I think it adds a degree of charm to the whole package. It's interesting, from a historical perspective, to see how low the price was at one point. That's some good evidence. I'd be quite happy for an original low-price tag to adorn something rare/expensive that I own.

  14. one of the best famicom/NES shooters ever!!!
    but why wasnt it released in america? it would have been konamis swan song for the NES, instead of the medioocre contra force(witch was known in japan as arc hound even though it was cancelled)

  15. Its a good question, the standard answer is that it was so late in the NES life cycle, but actually 1991 was about 3 years before the end so they probably could have sold some if they had released it. Bit of a mystery!