Saturday, September 28, 2013

Warehouse Find? An Unopened Case of Famicom Choujin Ultra Baseball!

Just a couple of weeks after complaining about how Yahoo Auctions no longer has any deals I find myself in the awkward position of having a deal that I scored on Yahoo Auctions to report.

My score was the following box, full of the above pictured copies of Choujin Ultra Baseball!!

This is a fully intact factory case of Choujin Ultra baseball containing 20 brand new copies of the game.  Back in 1989 when this game came out this is what the clerks at Japan`s department stores pulled the games out of when they put them on the shelf.

It is exceedingly rare to find intact cases of Famicom games like this, I suspect that someone must have found a few gathering dust in a back corner of some store`s warehouse because cases of a few games have popped up on both Yahoo Auctions and even Ebay recently.  Anybody fancy a case of Super Chinese 2?  300$ on Ebay right now!

Anyway, open that case up and presto!  20 beauties all lined up in a row.

It is cool to have these because you can line the individual boxes up to recreate a 1980s store display atmosphere in the comfort of your own living room, like so:

The seller I got this off of actually had cases of 3 or 4 other titles, like Super Chinese 3 and Fighting Wars which I could have chosen from.  I zeroed in on Choujin Ultra Baseball though.  If it had been any other baseball title - or sports title for that matter - I probably would have gone for Super Chinese 3 instead.  But as I wrote about in a post a couple of years ago I absolutely love the cover art on Choujin Ultra Baseball.  I think it is far and away the best cover art on any sports game ever made - the colors are fantastic and it has a kind of pop art look to it which just really appeals to me.  10 Yard Fight is the only sports game I can think of which gives this one a run for its money.  Also just look how determined that batter looks

The case itself is also pretty neat.  It is of course just a cardboard box, but in addition to the cool FF Famicom Family logo on the top it also has the game logo on the side.

I am really curious about how this (and the other games which have unopened cases showing up on auction sites) survived so long intact.  There are a couple of things that puzzle me.  I would have expected that any dead stock Famicom cases would have been either: 1) games which there are a ton of (like Family Stadium or something) which they may have produced too many of, or 2) games released late in the Famicom`s lifetime when the system`s popularity was plummeting as the next generation Super Famicom took over the market.

Choujin Ultra Baseball doesn`t really fit into either of these categories though.  It wasn`t an overproduced game - loose carts pop up in game shops here and there but I`ve never seen them in bulk like with other Famicom baseball games.  Also it was released in 1989, a year before the Super Famicom came out and when the Famicom was still the king of the consoles in Japan.  It is a bit of a mystery.  I assume, as the title of this post suggests, that it was part of a warehouse find that somebody stumbled across.

Anyway, it is kind of a neat thing and I`m not exactly sure what I will do with it.  I definitely will NOT be breaking it up.  This sort of thing just demands that it be kept together - the whole is worth more than the sum of its parts.  Still, what do you do with 20 copies of the same game?  I mean, other than playing 1980s Japanese department store with them.


  1. That is so cool! What an awesome find.

  2. Thanks Dylan, it is pretty cool isn`t it?

  3. That's really cool! I don't know what I'd do with 20 of the same game, though...

  4. Yeah, there isn`t much you can do with them. Fortunately I have lots of back ups in case anything goes wrong with one of them.

  5. Hi, can you open plastic cartrige case and make photo of PCB?

  6. Oh, are you the guy selling it on ebay? I got one of them some months ago

    1. No, I'm not selling them (still have the whole case), but I'm not surprised to hear they are on Ebay, there were a few cases available on Yahoo Auctions 4 years ago when I bought this one and probably some others got snapped up and re-sold. I don't think they are as easy to find now, but there are probably quite a few out there nonetheless.