Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Fukuoka Famicom Shops VIII: The Cheapest Famicom Carts in Town

This is a relatively brief post about a store called Book Eco, which is out in the eastern part of town and, despite its name, probably sells more video games than books. They have a decent selection of Famicom games in the lot so I thought they were worth a blog post in this series.

Unfortunately, its not much of an interesting store, everything is just organized on orderly shelves without much effort made at displaying them in an attractive way and they don't have anything particularly unusual or rare. Most of the games are kept in these big plastic anti-theft devices as pictured above, which really robs the Famicom carts of their charm.

This store's main claim to fame is that it has the cheapest Famicom carts in town. I don't mean that they have the best prices in town, just that the prices they sell their cheapest games at is the lowest in town. Check out this copy of Harakiri Stadium for example:
18 yen. That is about 20 cents US. This was the cheapest one they had on my recent visit, but I know for a fact that they sell them for as little as 10 yen each, as that is how much I bought my copy of "Soccer" for from them way back when.

The interesting thing about this isn't so much the price per se as it is the lengths to which they went to prepare such a cheap item for sale. I mean, they wrapped it in plastic, printed out a price tag that, in addition to the price, has the game's name, date of original release and genre on it, and then put it on the shelf in order. When you buy it, they put it in another bag and give you a receipt. When you calculate the labor and material cost to the store of doing all that, it must be way more than 18 yen. You really have to wonder why they bother. Pretty much any other shop and they would just dump anything selling for less than 100 yen or so into a junk bin or something. Not at Book Eco though!

It is interesting the way they toss these things into the plastic anti-theft cases too, here we have two carts, the bottom of which is selling for more than 100 times more than the upper one:
Super Mario Bros. is really slumming it there.

Related Posts:
- Fukuoka Famicom Shops 1: 007
- Fukuoka Famicom Shops 2: The Decline and Fall of the Famicom Empire
- Fukuoka Famicom Shops 3: Mandarake
- Fukuoka Famicom Shops 4: Flea Markets Brought to you by the God of War
- Fukuoka Famicom Shops 5: Don Quixote and Village Vanguard
- Fukuoka Famicom Shops 6: The New 007 and Hakozaki Flea Market
- Fukuoka Famicom Shops 7: The Other Omocha Souko


  1. DO they take off the little bag on the cartridge when you buy it or do they keep it on? Is it also re-usable, like by having a thin strip of adhesive or something?

    I can really see those bags being useful in storing the games actually. The fact that the original release date and genre printed on the bag would be interesting enough just for the purpose of archiving your games. And it keeps dust off. Seems pretty practical actually.

  2. Gotta agree, if I could find bags like that, it'd be really easy to not only organize the games, but keep them safe from dust as well! A double whammy!

    Also, 20 cents. Whoa. I mean, granted, the games that cheap would probably be run-of-the-mill stuff you'd find almost anywhere, but imagine if you found a really rare game for that price! You'd better keep your eyes open, ha ha. ;-D

  3. Well, consider me jealous once again. Famicom games, even crappy ones, for just 10 or 20 cents? Ahhhhhhhhh!

    I really need to hop on a plane to Japan :)

  4. Actually, you can find NES games and other rare games at Mexican swap meets or even in the streets in Los Angeles for ridiculous prices. Unopened games go for only five bucks because the people who sell them have no clue what they have. Old NES games will sell for a quarter each.

  5. Yeah, a lot of stores here use that kind of bag. Unfortunately they are a pain to re-use due to the tape, but they are a good way to sell the games.

    The 10 to 20 yen games at this shop are, unfortunately, all common genres like baseball or soccer. At other shops like Omocha Souko it is possible to score valuable games out of their occasional junk bins, but at shops like this they know exactly what to charge for each game so you won't get any "steals"!

  6. I wish we had shops like this that sold cheap Master System and MegaDrive games :(

  7. So do I! :) They have Famicom and Super Famicom games, but not a single Sega one!