Way back in 1990, Thor Aackerlund saw off all challengers to secure the Nintendo World Championships in the 12-17 category. Now, over twenty years later, he's selling his one of a kind trophy on eBay for an eye-watering $300,000.
Just in case you're thinking that figure is a little high, it should also be noted that included in the auction is the actual controller Aackerlund used to win the contest.
Still not convinced? Well allow the man himself to explain why these items are so darn collectable:
The NWC (Nintendo World Championship) contest stands easily as the largest video game contest in history, filling the largest convention halls in cities from coast to coast. It went on for 9 long months traveling the country before culminating at Universal Studios in Hollywood, California. At the finals the grand prize was a car, a TV, a savings bond, and the golden Mario statue itself. The various Nintendo World Championship memorabilia has attracted a lot of attention over the years, continually becoming more sought after as the pinnacle not just of NES collecting, but in the entire game collecting and media communities.
The gold Mario itself is the rarest and highest-profile of the NWC collectibles. There were a little over two dozen Gold NWC carts given away through the random Nintendo Power drawing. Perhaps half of the NWC grey carts, of which 90 were given away, have surfaced over the years. Of the Mario statues, there are three second-place silver ones for the runner-ups in three age categories, and three gold, one for each of the three age categories. I won the final run-off with the 11-and-under and 18-and-up winners and can hold the 12-17 gold overall trophy as the highest award in any organized game contest. None of the other Mario trophies have surfaced, and the grand prize trophy itself is definitely one of a kind.
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