The Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES) is an ideal place to start your video game collection. The most popular console of the 1980s, the NES really put gaming on the map. Capitalize on that popularity by starting your classic game collection now, while many of the games are still cheap.
Collecting video games is more than just an eccentric hobby. Think of it as a way of preserving a little slice of history. The history of video gaming is of particular interest to gamers themselves, which makes them more likely to be collectors. Don’t let that discourage you if you’re not a gamer yourself – you don’t need to be a dj to collect old records, do you? In some cases it may actually be better if you aren’t a gamer; you won’t have the same urge to play a rare game when you get your hands on it.
The NES is arguably the best place to start collecting video games. Seemingly everyone had a NES in the mid-to-late ’80s, and there were a large number of games released for play on the NES. Many of these games went on to sell over a million copies each, such as the monster hit Super Mario Bros.. This is a great starting point for a new collector, since the most common games can be snapped up for very little.
On the other side of the coin, there were some games for the NES that are very valuable collectors’ items today. Due to limited production or special release, there aren’t too many copies of certain games floating around. A good example of this is the cartridge presented to finalists at 1990’s Nintendo World Championships. Games which were not officially licensed by Nintendo for play on the NES, such as Bubble Bath Babes, may also have an increased value or be considered especially rare.
Like anything else you might collect, the condition of NES games and accessories affects their value. Games came boxed and with included manuals – but since video games were most often given to children, only a small percentage of these accessories have survived. Whether a game is still working is a factor, as is the condition of the game cartridge itself. Variables in game condition and accompanying accessories can make a huge difference in what a game is worth. A game that is only worth $5 for a well-used copy could be worth hundreds if the original box and/or manual is included and intact.
New collectors shouldn’t just run out and start looking for games to purchase. Researching values for NES games and accessories can save you from overpaying for a common game that only seems special because you’ve never heard of it before. Get familiar with the NES by doing some research – find out what years it was in production, what its most popular games were, and what it looks like for example. Find out what related items are worth collecting, such as in-store displays, magazines like Nintendo Power, and add-ons like the NES Advantage. Spend most of your time researching the games themselves through price lists such as at VideoGamePriceCharts.com . New collectors might want to pay special attention to obscure games that had a decent production size. They’ll stand out as gems in your collection, but will come at a low price.
Be that as it may, it should not act as a detriment for you to add something new to the NES games collection where you can have a variety of genres and Domino99 will only be another feather in the crown jewel.
Speaking of price, avoid the urge to spend a lot of money on your new hobby right away. Be smart and grow your collection slowly. If you find something truly special, go ahead and snap it up. But be sensible – don’t “invest” in a video game collection. Though vintage game collecting will inevitably gain popularity as a hobby over time, your collection is only worth what you can get for it right now – and the truth is that not too many people are serious enough collectors to buy up your investment if your rent is late.
Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the values of NES collectibles, it’s time to start your collection! Make sure you have a storage solution figured out; how well you take care of your collectibles once they’re in your possession will affect their future value. Large plastic storage tubs may be an ideal place to house your collection – you’ll be able to see the contents of each tub, but your items will be protected from spills and other incidental damage.
The best places to start your video game collection may be right in your own backyard. Thrift stores are treasure troves for collectibles of all kinds, and video games are no exception. Old video games are regarded as basically worthless by many people, so this might be the place you’ll find that rare gem at a low price. Garage sales and flea markets are great places to hunt for games too. The people selling the games usually aren’t into them – usually it’s a box of dusty old cartridges their son left behind when he went to college or something similar. These sellers are often uninformed about the values of various games, which could equal a great score for you. Vintage or consignment stores may also have an offering of NES games, but proprietors of these shops are more likely to research the value of their stock in hopes of driving up the price. These types of stores will generally charge rates much closer to actual value.
The biggest market for buying and selling video games is online, however. Popular auction site eBay always has a selection of NES games being offered up. You might be able to get away with a good deal by watching an auction as it ends, but expect to pay exactly what a game is worth and to see some competitive bidding for rarer items. Recently a rare copy of Stadium Events in its original box went for $13,000 on eBay, just as an example. It may be a good idea to resell cheap games you find locally on eBay – you may already have them in your collection, but others who don’t will pay market value for them. Assuming that price is higher than you paid, selling off redundant games may help you finance rarer collectibles without dipping into your pocket.
If you’re interested in making video game collecting a hobby, I suggest you start as soon as possible. The popularity of the NES has kept its games available well beyond their true shelf life already, so as time goes by they’ll start to disappear – and surviving relics will be more valuable. It’s like the saying goes about land – buy it now, they’re not making any more.