If you've got a few thousand dollars just sitting in your bank account doing nothing and you fancy owning a piece of (somewhat grubby) Nintendo history, then point your browser at this eBay auction for a NES Nintendo World Championship cartridge.
These cartridges were produced for the 1990 Nintendo World Championship event, and only 90 are believed to exist. On the cart are specially modified versions of the three titles used in the tournament: Super Mario Bros., Tetris and Rad Racer. Those taking part in the contest were each given six minutes to rack up a high score in each title. Each semi-finalist received one of these carts after the competition had concluded.
At the time of writing the cart is going for a cool $5,801.00 USD, and you can expect to see that value rise as the auction comes to a close — previously, one of these cartridges was sold for $11,500 USD during the 2011 Child's Play Charity Auction. However, while this is one of the rarest Nintendo-related items on the planet, it's not as desirable as the gold-coloured edition of the exact same cartridge, of which only 26 were ever produced. Copies of that edition have been known to fetch as much as $18,000 USD.
Here's the description taken from the auction:
Obviously, you'll immediately notice the ripped label. This is quite unfortunate but happened many decades ago by this point in time. No one knows the exact number of this cart (as each NWC cart was individually labeled upon production) as it appears in the upper left-hand corner of the cart label. This is known as the infamous "Mario" NWC cart that someone probably wrote on there long ago not having a clue what they actually had. Still, case in point, this is an authentic, original NWC cart from the championship back in the early 90s. The cart plays just fine and may some day be worth much more if someone decides to investigate a forensics lab's involvement to see if they can determine the official number by running tests on the cart.
Are you tempted to make a bid, or can you not see the point of spending such a massive amount of cash on something which looks like it was found in a dustbin? As ever, you can post your thoughts below.