Update: The buyer has apparently backed out of the purchase, claiming the bid was a "mistake". Here's what the seller had to say:
The unfortunate reality is the second I approached the winning buyer with payment options, they retracted their bid claiming it was a “mistake.” I’m not offering the item to other bidders in the auction to see if any of them are honorable individuals. It may take me a while but that’s about all I can do for now. It would be nice if eBay were more seller-friendly, rather than 100% buyer protection focused.
Original Story: Earlier this week we pointed your attention towards a super-rare Nintendo World Championships cartridge up for sale on eBay, one of just 90 of its design. It includes shortened, target-driven versions of Super Mario Bros., Tetris and Rad Racer, and these were used for the Championships around the U.S. in 1990, before becoming prizes for the winners.
These aren't even the rarest of these kinds of cartridges, as there are 26 gold-coloured equivalents that were contest giveaways at the time. Nevertheless, these grey cartridges can easily fetch over $10,000, even when in condition as lousy as this example; it functions, but its label is long gone, with "Mario" written crudely in pen.
Its shoddy condition hasn't prevented an enthusiastic bidding war on its eBay listing, however, and it has now been sold for $99,902 after 328 bids. That easily surpasses — almost doubles — the amount eventually fetched for this Legend of Zelda prototype cartridge, for example.
Despite the absence of its label, which includes the limited edition number, it's clear that the stars and market forces aligned to take this item to extraordinary heights. The new owner can presumably take the seller's suggestion to "investigate a forensics lab's involvement" to determine the number, as they clearly have plenty of cash to throw around.
It's amazing what value rarity and nostalgia can command. Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments below.
Thanks to Riley for the tip.