News Article

Woman Finds Extremely Rare NES Game At Goodwill Store

Posted by Lee Meyer

A diamond in the rough

File this one under "Wowzer". A woman paid $7.99 for an old NES cartridge at a Goodwill store that — as luck would have it — is one of the rarest video games of all time.

Bandai's Stadium Events — which has sold for more than $40,000 USD in the past — was one of the first titles to use the Family Fun Fitness Mat before Nintendo bought the North American rights and renamed it World Class Track Meet and bundled it with the mat, renamed the Power Pad.

The woman brought the cartridge to Save Point Video Games in Charlotte, N.C., where store owner Wilder Hamm was stunned to see the rare treasure. Hamm told Kotaku that the woman was very aware of the game's value:

She knew exactly what she had. When I asked her what she expected to get, she said she expected $7,000 to $15,000, which is on target.

While Hamm ultimately didn't buy the expensive item, he did agree that the find was remarkable and that the story is one that will put a smile on many gamers' faces:

It's given people a lot of hope. People say that they never find anything at their Goodwill, well, the holy grail has been found there.

Have you ever made an exciting video game discovery? Let us know in the comments section.


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User Comments (50)



Giygas_95 said:

The people in charge of that store a gonna feel like a buncha suckers when they hear about this!

And I agree with the people above me. Lucky!



idork99 said:

Wow! I never knew this game was so rare! I remember seeing it a looong time ago as a child in the 80's at a department store (Sears I believe). Awesome story!



SCAR said:

I got an NES 2 for $10, Power Glove for $15, Power Mat for $5, NES double player wireless Acclaim controllers for $15, NES wireless(single) Acclaim remote for $5, etc.
All of these don't measure up to this great find, but they were still pretty good.



mantez said:

Never found anything that valuable, but I did pick up a Boomer and Ghost roaster skylander for $1 each



SCAR said:

Oh ya, I found an SNES slim for $5, Mario Party 2 for $2... That's all I can remember, but even the game items I found for a decent ammount were worth it, because I liked the games.



duskao said:

No, not really. But I'm just wondering who would actually spend that kind of money on the game? Is it extremely valuable because it's great or just rare? Or both?



Handy_Man said:

Wait, so did she buy it from Goodwill and then traded it in to the Save Point Video Game store or something? That seems like a bad move, but I guess that she just wanted to verify the price or something.

Anyway, I have a couple amazing finds myself. I frequent this vintage video game store called Then and Now. I went in there one time a while ago and found one of the more rare Atari 2600 games, CIB; SwordQuest WaterWorld. Apparently, it was available from a mail order from something called Atari Club, and it was later available to buy in stores in very limited quantities. It usually goes for the price of between $85 just for the cartridge, to $400 for getting it CIB. Not only was the price $70 in the store, it was also CIB. I snagged it! (Also, the last time I visited there, they had another one for sale. Werid.)

On another visit to the same Then and Now store, they had a prototype for the Atari 2600 version of Elevator Action, again CIB. (Elevator Action for the Atari 2600 was never released.) I'm not exactly sure how rare Elevator Action for the Atari 2600 is, but I assuming that it's rare, since it is a prototype of an unreleased game and all. Anyway, it was around $80, so I took their offer!

Finally, in a different vintage video game store called People Play Games, they just so happened to have the Pokémon Colosseum Bonus Disc for only $20. The Pokémon Colosseum Bonus Disc came with the actual Pokémon Colosseum game if you managed to pre-order it before it came out back then, and it includes a trailer for Pokémon Colosseum itself (seems really redundant), a trailer for the 6th Pokémon movie (Jirachi Wish Maker), and a Jirachi you can download to Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire only. (FireRed, LeafGreen, and Emerald don't work, sadly.) I already had one from when I got Pokémon Colosseum back in 2004, but I decided to get a second one just in case, plus it was really cheap.



postyman86 said:

I've got a copy of Uforia on NES which seems to be quite rare, had it since i was a little one.



SCAR said:

Actually, Nintendo bought it from Bandai and renamed it World Class Track Meet, so the game exists more than under just this title. The Nintendo published version can be found for $1-5. If the game is all you care about, then it wouldn't be worth that much. This is for strictly owning a piece of history.



KAHN said:

i once found LttP CIB at my local bookstore. i paid only $10 dollars for it. it's the second CIB LttP i have. unfortunately, they're both the "players' choice" carts/boxes D:



Wilford111 said:

It says "file this one under 'wowzer'", yet it's not in the tags...
File this one under "smart alec"



tanookisuit said:

I was on NintendoAge when the shop owner broke the news of that one. This woman should have gone consignment on it. She'll be into a world of pain with this and all the attention it will get. You'll get the obsessed types all over this. You have your stalkers, your information diggers who will find her name/address, the callers, emailers, backdoor spineless types, arguing and the rest. On top, ebay/pp will take nearly 20%, and they'll submit that sale on a tax form so she'll lose even more next year when filing is due in April 2014. She knows the value, but doesn't get the risks. He could have cleared it, paid it out in cash, kept a smaller cut on consignment, and she'd be moron magnet free.



Chubbo1793 said:

Last July, I went to a Goodwill and found an Atari 2600 with all the controllers and paddles, plus 14 games and the "Video Game Center" case, all in prestine condition. They only wanted $20 for it all. =D



Gorlokk said:

I found some good stuff at my local Goodwill. Nothing like this, of course, but I got a Sega Genesis with the Sega CD attached for $9, a NES in very good condition (with Mario 3 inside) for $6, and a Mumbo Jumbo plush from Banjo Kazooie for 49 cents which I ended up reselling for about $50. Those are only some of my goodwill finds, but it's most of the good ones.



KnightRider666 said:

@Luigifan141: I have the Pokemon Colleseum Jirachi disc. I don't remember where I got it, but I must have pre-ordered the full game to get it. I'm glad I hung onto it, I figured it would be worth something one day:)



XCWarrior said:

Wow that's nuts. And it's in good shape. I'm almost more impressed she knew the value of the game.



SCAR said:

Ya. My dad found it at a garage sale, and I felt inclined to pay him back since I was actually looking for one. He called me and said there was a Nintendo for sale at a garage sale and I told him not to get it, but he did anyways.
As for the other things, I just went to a flea market in my area for some things, and I know a guy there that probably has at least a million in action figures, video games, movies, cds, etc.



Celes_chan29 said:

well, i don't think i made any discoveries like that, but this one guy at my sister's yard sale no doubt made one. he bought her husband's Nintendo and 20 games, including a gold cartridge Zelda for only 20 dollars. if only i had been there to stop her.



NESguy94 said:

These are a FEW of my good finds. These came with games that were either good or rare.

SNES with 20 games for $40
SNES with 15 games for $45
CIB NES with 30 games for $50
CIB N64 with 10 CIB games and 15 loose carts for $20
Captain Commando CIB $1
10 boxed NES games for $5 (Total)
Virtual Boy with 6 games for $60
A GameCube with 15 games, a wavebird and a Nintendo Brand Controller for $30
A lot of over 100 games with 8 systems for $100. (I sold the stuff I already had for $175 and kept about 7/8 of it)
The first 6 Megaman games for $50

And I just bought my Deluxe Wii U for $350 but it came with 6 Wii U games, 3 Wii games. In the end I made $150 off of 5 of the games I sold (I owned 3 and and didn't want Orichi Hyper and I didn't need another version of Monster Hunter) I So if you think about it, I got my Wii U for FREE. (I kept Super Mario Bros U, Nintendo Land, Scribblenauts Unlimited and Sonic Racing). The deal got even better when I went to download Trine 2 and found approximately $100 eshop worth of downloads on it, most of which I was going to buy anyways

Final one. A fellow collector that I trade with found Fire n' Ice for the Nintendo for $1. He got it from a man who found it in the ditch next to his house



Handy_Man said:

@KnightRider666 Cool! I also have the Bonus Disc that came with Mario Kart: Double Dash. It includes demos for then-upcoming games such as Sonic Heroes, Mario Party 5, and F-Zero GX, has trailers for then-upcoming games like Kirby Air Ride and 1080 Avalanche, and even has a download for the GBA Fire Emblem game! Like with Pokemon Colosseum, I pre-ordered Double Dash way back then, so that's how I have it.



mikeyman64 said:

My best GW Finds were: Megaman 1&3, Secret of Mana and Mario RPG all in one visit, then another time I found Secret of Mana in mint condition (everything but the original plastic wrap). I've found other good stuff too. Just takes some dedication and a little faith.



Haxonberik said:

DAYAM! And here I am, complaining that I have to pay at least 90$ for a copy of Xenoblade.



ianmage1 said:

Wow...and I thought I was lucky when I found all of the original gameboy pokemon games for $5 at a goodwill...



Zombie_Barioth said:

Thats quite a find, I wish I had that much luck finding stuff at my local thrift stores. I rarely find more than the usual stack of sports games and that sorta stuff.



Dpullam said:

That is an incredibly lucky find! The best part was that she knew what she had found. Some video game knowledge certainly paid off there.



Tasuki said:

I work at my local Goodwill and I can say that this is a normal case. Stuff worth alot of money comes on all the time. I have had rare coins come in, comics, baseball cards you name it.

Of course this sort of thing wouldn't happen at the Goodwill I work at since I am directly in charge of what video games go out to the sales floor. If something like this came in at my Goodwill we are required to send it too our online store where they auction it off on ebay.



Ralizah said:

Goodwill can be amazing. You wouldn't believe the stuff that ends up there!



Shane904 said:

Nothing that rare I should say. Got EBA + DSL starter kit for $4. Nintendogs + Cats for $10. Wind Waker for $2.



MeWario said:

I found a brand new snes in box with Donkey Kong Country 2 packed in at a closing down sale for a local electrical store in 2003. Cost me 50 bucks NZ



retro_player_22 said:

Good find, too bad nobody will buy it though unless it's AVGN or any of them gaming collectors who crave for rareness.



Hetsumani said:

I got the Link to the Past in the box, never played for $10 Dollars, also a Vanguard copy for the Atari 2600 still in its original shrink wrap for a dollar.



Chunky_Droid said:

rarest things I own are a Virtual Boy (not THAT rare), Zelda Collector's Edition for Gamecube (both of them) and Nintendo World Cup/Super Mario Bros./Tetris 3-in-1 (which I got for $2AUD)



Mario500 said:


"The people in charge of that store a gonna feel like a buncha suckers when they hear about this!"

Were you referring to the people at the Goodwill store where Stadium Events was sold? If so, why did you think they were going to feel like suckers?

If I were to find a game in a store considered valuable or rare by other folks and the price was significantly low, I would never purchase it with the idea of selling it in return for a large amount of money. I would only purchase games with the idea of keeping them for myself and my family to enjoy for many years.

I hope to find a copy of the game EarthBound priced less than $50, $30, or even $10 someday (the prices are based on the currency of the United States). That game is not as rare as some eBay sellers may say based on the numerous copies of the game that were available on eBay recently.

(edit: the last paragraph was typed shortly before the article about Nintendo's plan to release EarthBound through the Wii U Virtual Console. I may still purchase an EarthBound cartridge if the game does not become available through the original Virtual Console since I have no plans to get a Wii U system)



coolvw93 said:

sweet find! i always find some hidden gems at good will. i have picked up many of my nintendo 64 games from there for $1, such as golden eye 007, yoshi's story, starfox 64, banjo kazooie, and perfect dark.

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