Posts Tagged ‘ video game hunting ’

The Grand Gaming Haul of 2017 Part 2

Once I had sorted out the manuals into alphabetical order and by system and had divided up the multitude of SNES controllers, N64 controllers, NES controllers, and the rest of the hardware and such.

My friend and business partner on this find, Phil, came to my place to start going through all the boxes of games so we could get into the meat of the purchase.


We started with NES titles. I’m not going to list everything we got in this purchase as it would result in ridiculously long lists. Instead, I’ll note some worthwhile additions.

For NES, there were 185 games in total.We started going through them setting aside titles we’d want to keep and any titles we both wanted would get set aside for later. In that stack were 12 Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt/World Class Track meet carts plus 4 copies of Mario 2 and a couple copies of Super Mario Bros. 3.

We had a system planned where we’d flip a coin to see who picked first and then take turns pulling from the pile of games we both wanted. Ultimately, it turned out, this was unnecessary as most of the good titles were things I had. Since Phil is just starting his retro collection, he took a good number of quality NES titles to get started on.

From the NES loose games, I only took Maniac Mansion and Empire Strikes Back.

In addition to his NES games, he picked up one of the NES original models and a GameBoy box that was complete with everything minus a Game Boy itself, which he already had. He was pretty big into Game Boy when we were kids, so it made sense for him to take that one to have a true CIB one for his collection. I took a box that had the styrofoam insert, but nothing else, and added some manuals I already had to make mine at least a start.

From the hand held area, Phil picked up Adventure Island II, Pokemon Ruby, and the manuals for Mega Man IV and Gargoyle’s Quest on Game Boy.

Huge Haul - Phil's

Phil’s total picks

Sidenote: We still haven’t determined what the colored circle stickers meant. Controllers had them – some red, some green, and some orange. We thought maybe green worked, red were broken, and orange untested, but when testing N64 controllers they all worked despite all different sticker colors. No idea…


I’m also torn on these being new in their original shipping box – not sure I want to split them up!

SNES didn’t fare as well. Despite having about 300 games, we only had a handful of titles that weren’t sports games and we had two boxes of nothing but sports games, one of which was entirely Madden titles from 93 to 97 as well as 16 copies of Super Scope 6, 21 copies of NHL Stanley Cup, and 32 copies of NCAA Basketball.  However, we did have a copy of Ghoul Patrol, which was valued around $100 when we looked it up. I didn’t find anything I’d want in my collection, though.

N64 had some CIB games – Hey You, Pikachu!, Goldeneye 007, Bassmasters 2000, and some of the WWF & WCW titles, but nothing loose. The majority for N64 were a lot of memory cards, expansion RAMs, transfer packs, and rumble packs.

Rounding out Nintendo’s offerings of hardware and software was GameCube with a couple of Game Boy Players (but sadly, no discs), a couple of Wavebirds, one with a receiver I kept, and 18 Nintendo memory cards plus another 14 memory cards from 3rd party manufacturers. Towards the end of going through everything, Phil picked up a small Mario Kart bubblegum case. We joked that the guys at Freaks & Geeks might be willing to try it, but when he opened it there was actually just the disc for Super Mario Sunshine inside!


Sega Genesis didn’t have much of note, but 19 loose common titles. Sega Dreamcast offered a copy and a half of Shenmue. I did get a CIB copy of Cosmic Carnage on 32X for my collection as well as Quake III Arena.

There was also a CD case with disc games that turned out to be all Sega CD. Night Trap was in there, as well as Final Fight CD (which had a manual in with the other manuals), which I may keep and try to find the remaining parts to make them complete or may sell them and put that money towards buying complete copies. Terminator on Sega CD was a cool find as well.

Overall, there were 64 items between games and a few controllers across the Sega systems.


Playstation served up Final Fantasy VII (3 copies, one missing the 3rd disc) and Final Fantasy IX as well as Dragon Warrior VIII, but that was missing the first disc. Mega Man Legends 2 was a nice find, but had a Blockbuster protective seal sticker over it. We did get Pipe Dreams 3D sealed – not special, but fun to see a sealed game anyway. UnJammer Lammy was in there complete as well.

For PS2, we had Clock Tower 3 and Eye Toy Play with the camera, a Greatest Hits of Shadow of the Colossus without a manual, and Time Splitters. Rez wasn’t a bad disc only find in the bunch.

Microsoft XBox

All we got from the XBox side of things was Knight of the Old Republic’s case and manual, but KotOR II’s disc, Gears of War 2 and 3, Crimson Skies, Project GOtham Racing 2, and a sealed copy of Gun Griffon Allied Strike. There is an XBox console as well, which turns on fine, but the disc tray is stuck, so it will take a little work to see if it can get back to full working condition.

A Box of Boxes

Then we started on the box I was most eager to get to. Boxes. A box of boxes. 242 boxes in all, as we’d eventually count out.  As I previously mentioned, I had already seen Final Fantasy III, Ocarina of Time Collector’s Edition, and not just one but two Chrono Trigger boxes, so I had high hopes of some really cool things in here.

They turned out to mostly be SNES and N64 boxes, but with a decent number of NES boxes. There were multiple Tetris boxes, for instance, Dr. Mario, Baseball. We kept going through the stack and were shocked to find Shadow of the Ninja was a fairly valuable box. Then we came across the box for Mega Man…and Mega Man 2… and Mega Man 3!

We already had found the original Mega Man manual, so this would make the game complete in box, worth about $200. We had our first conundrum. Phil was taking the game, which I had. But I wanted to build a CIB Mega Man collection too. The box wasn’t in great shape. It was fairly beat up and the UPC code had been cut out from the back. We set it aside to decide who would get it later. Mega Man 2’s box was in great shape and Mega Man 3 was in good shape, but had writing on the box in ballpoint pen. Ultimately, Phil decided to let me temporarily keep them all. We agreed it to be temporary because ultimately I’ll want to get better condition boxes and when I do, these will move to Phil’s collection. My game room is larger and better organized, which also helped ensure they’d stay in good shape until they change hands. I think Phil also felt like he had $400 worth of games and I had a little pile of about maybe $30 worth at the time, though I was keeping the NES Deluxe Set and we hadn’t gotten to it yet, so I was reasonably close in equal value of what we were keeping.


I wanted a ROB just to have one, but I never expected to own this.

I was happy to get the box for Metal Gear for NES as well and I kept a few other boxes like Adventures of Lolo for nostalgic reasons more than collection value.

There was a complete in box Star Tropics, including the letter, and Star Tropics II complete in box. This was the third time a boxed copy of Star Tropics had come into my possession and at this point, Phil said I needed to just keep a complete copy of the dang thing since both were right there in my hands. I also kept Contra and Castlevania II’s boxes, along with Double Dragon and Double Dragon III. I always wanted just a few series CIB for my NES collection – the Zelda games, Mario series, Double Dragon, TMNT, Contra, and Mega Man. This was filling in the bulk of all of those in one fell swoop.


NES boxes I kept, plus a couple of SNES and the aforementioned Ocarina box.

Moving on to sorting through the SNES boxes, we found treasure after treasure. The first was multiple Final Fantasy III boxes and the Chrono Trigger boxes (one of which had both poster maps and manual, all in rather worn out condition). The second Chrono Trigger box was immaculate, though. A couple of Secret of Mana boxes, as well as manuals, added to the RPG fest.

Then, to my great delight, I found Lufia II’s box. We had the manual in near perfect condition, so once I get the game and map (which Phil has and I mostly promise not to ninja into his apartment to abscond with), I’ll have a complete Lufia II. I’m leaning towards considering going CIB for RPGs in my library. This helped nudge that idea further.

We came across the box to go with the Ghoul Patrol game, which bumped that value up quite a bit. Between Pricecharting and GameValueNow, we thought the game and box might be worth around $250 to $300, but ultimately realized there was an eBay auction listed with Buy It Now for $180 of the same thing, so we valued it at that price point.

Our next big find in the boxes was Zombies Ate My Neighbors for SNES. The alternate box art! This was a wild one as initial reviews suggested up to $500 for the box by itself. A little more research settled the idea down to $400, but I had the game and manual and debated what a CIB copy would sell for. We listed this in a Facebook group we’re in just to share a rare find in the purchase and one of our good friends in the group, a doctor in Minnesota, messaged us immediately saying he was interested. We’d work out a price later, but he wanted that box.


The rare box in question – near mint condition

Some other notable SNES boxes included Castlevania IV, Tactics Ogre: March of the Black Queen, Final Fight 2, Donkey Kong Country 2, and F-Zero.

We also had two Super Mario World (Player’s Choice) boxes, which we combined with games and manuals so we each had a complete copy for convention trades. I would like to get the non-Player’s Choice box instead, myself.

Moving on to alphabetizing N64 boxes, we found some more exciting titles. Conker’s Bad Fur Day, which we had a manual present, made my game complete. Mario 64 boxes were cool to find, even if they were player’s choice. We were also surprised to find Indiana Jones on N64 was such a valuable box. A few Majora’s Mask boxes, one of which I kept. I also found the box and manual for Tactics Ogre 64, plus two boxes for Harvest Moon 64!

Ultimately, I kept quite a few boxes, even if my luck with games themselves proved rather slim.


I also kept a few hand held game boxes, though that’s not a large area of collecting for me. I am interested in the Mario, Zelda, Metroid titles and I already have quite a few Pokemon, so I decided to keep the box for the first Pokemon game I ever played.


I actually had Super Mario Land complete in box in the past and traded it, then later regretted it, so it was cool to find the box to add to my manual and game. Oracle of Seasons is actually a box I already had as well, but we found the game in everything so we made a complete copy for my collection.

Hand Helds

We had 65 items under hand helds, including 5 Game Boy Advance / SPs, 7 Game Boy Colors, 11 original Game Boys, 3 Game Boy Advance systems, and various common games. It took a while to test all of them, a number having screen issues, one with a bad speaker, and some not powering up at all.


Although I had already alphabetized the manuals, Phil took a chance to go through them just out of curiosity. With only a few exceptions that he took, he wasn’t interested in expanding to manuals and boxes for his collection just yet. Truth be told, I wasn’t intending to collect boxes if this collection hadn’t landed in our hands.


Manuals I kept

And of the 40 Strategy Guides, I kept a number of those as well.


That Nintendo Power Chrono Trigger guide is sweeeet!



This was an insane collection to get our hands on and the money we spent to get it was far more than worth it. We spent $1100 on everything and between the two of us, we added about $3,000 worth of items to our collections.

We made our money back in cash selling to other collectors via Facebook and at local meet ups. Our method has been to take the lower of Pricecharting or GameValueNow and then come down lower than those. We’ve also done a lot of trades, finally putting Metal Storm in my library as a result. We also traded in a good number of games to a local retro store that was running a special and came away with about $600 in store credit split between us, so $300 each.

And yet, we’re four months past our organizing of everything and I still have boxes and boxes of stuff in my house. For that matter, it’s taken four months for me to even get the controllers tested and I still have more than a dozen 3rd party N64 controllers to test!

That’s the trade off taking these deals on. Yes, you can make a profit off what you flip and add things to your own collection, but it’s going to take a long time to move everything at anywhere near full value. You have to be willing to put in the time and effort to clean (and we had to do a lot of cleaning), testing, organizing, sometimes researching, and then seeking out buyers or collectors who want to spend the money or have something you want that they’ll trade.

Ultimately, though, it’s a lot of fun and that’s the real reason for this hobby, of any hobby – to have fun.

Here’s the final break down:

 System Qty of all Items
Pre-NES 3
NES 192
SNES 338
N64 53
GameCube 13
Sega 64
Playstation 31
XBox & 360 8
Hand Held 65
Manuals 464
Boxes 242
Strategy Guides 40
Other (cleaning kits, random items) 23
Other (cleaning kits, random items) 1536

As far as total value, I’m not entirely comfortable saying yet. Suffice to say that the online sites like Pricecharting and GameValueNow indicate we made a ludicrous amount of profitability here, but I don’t believe they’re ultimately accurate. Totaling up everything based on their value gets very high with $4-$8 a piece on sports games for SNES where I expect we’ll be lucky to make 50 cents a piece.

Suffice to say we added a sizeable value to our own libraries, and we’re looking at making about double our money back in cash. Beyond that I can’t say, but it’s going to take many more months, if not a year, to move everything. That’s a long time to have to deal with boxes of games cluttering your house.

Still, I couldn’t be happier with this purchase. The largest game find since I started collecting and the most expensive I’ve purchased. I’ve probably depleted all my luck for quite a while in snagging this, but despite that, here’s hoping for more good finds in 2018, where I’m hoping to do more game hunting road trips!


Just really super happy.

The Grand Gaming Haul of 2017

I screwed up with Justice League.

I had bought tickets for everyone going, as I typically do. I have the AMC Stubs membership, so buying everyone’s tickets avoids the online “convenience fee” and everyone then pays me back for their tickets. We always catch the opening night 7PM showing for these sorts of things.

Only Warner Bros and AMC flipped it on me.

The normal showing was at 6PM and the 3D showing was at 7PM, reverse of standard opening night times. I had forgotten this and didn’t check my tickets, so we wound up at the theater an hour into the movie. We got passes for later use and went to Wendy’s for a Frosty and hung out a bit before everyone headed home.

I was a bit disappointed, but figured I might see the first showing the next day. I had Friday off and had planned on getting a pizza and watching Marvel’s Punisher on Netflix that day. But Thursday night the thought nagged at me – I’m never off on Friday, so what if a garage sale has some retro games?

It’s the haunting voice for retro game hunters:
“What if I don’t look and this is where I miss out on a $5 copy of Mega Man X3 or Earthbound?”
“Was that garage sale I just passed the one with a copy of Stadium Events or Little Samson for a few bucks?”

Such as it was that Thursday night. I hopped on Craigslist to see if any garage sales were posted for the next day that had video games mentioned, hopefully with pictures to make it worth going.

There weren’t any.

Awesome, I won’t spend money I don’t have and I can get a delicious pizza and binge watch Punisher. Maybe I will go see Justice League after all as well.

Not So Fast

But then, I saw a post. A huge retro game collection for $1,000 was listed. These sort of posts are things I never think I’d go for, but would like looking at. So I looked. And it was impressive. I saw an NES with ROB the Robot complete in box, everything included. I saw Final Fantasy III’s box. A Super Nintendo. A table lined with Gameboys, Gameboy SPs, Gameboy Colors. By my estimates, only a couple dozen things in the picture were worth the $1,000 and I could see some more boxes peeking out in one of the pictures. This seemed like a treasure trove.

I hopped on Google Hangouts and messaged my friend Phil, who was now fully getting into retro game collecting as well:

Me: Got $500 you want to spend? I’m thinking about taking $800 out of savings for a game purchase >.>
Phil: What? Explain now.
Me: (Link to craigslist ad) I want to see if they’ll take 800.
Complete ROB Deluxe in box, 2 NES, a top loader, An SNES, Games CIB. Boxes and boxes of stuff. I was calculating and got down to about $350 with just some of the boxed stuff I can see + consoles
Phil: Wait… where did the $500 come from? If it’s $1k And you were thinking $800….
Me: Randomly asking if you wanted to take 500 to split 50/50 But then I thought “Wait, wonder if I can get it for 800”
Phil: There are bound to be things in there that I’d super want. I already see Mega Man. And one of the toaster NES’s.
Me: Alright, let’s look at it this way…. Are you up for going in at $500 and we split 50/50? And if I can get it lower, great?
Phil: Yeah
Me: We’re insane. You know that, right?
Phil: This is insane. ….I was just typing that.

So I emailed the guy about the ad. Phil and I waited anxiously as the night wore on, occasionally messaging each other with joke comments like “Answer the email dang it!” on Hangouts, but there was no reply. Any time there’s a too good to be true post, it’s possible it’s a prank…. Or someone’s looking to mug you for $1,000! In this case, it looked to be a prank post or someone beat us to it.

Letting Go and Moving On….But Wait

That weekend there was a Facebook group meetup, but again I had no money, so I needed to move some extra stuff I still had. Trades or selling would have been great, but I only sold Berserk Guts Rage for Dreamcast. $25 more than I started with, but not a lot to be excited about.

Sunday and Monday came and it seemed like the post was indeed a joke as it was still up and we still had no response.

Then on Monday night, I got an email back. The seller had been busy and had updated a new post with better images showing more stuff and had increased the price to $1100. I confirmed with Phil he was still good with going in 50/50 and we agreed to the price and arranged a time to pick up. I checked the seller’s address on Google Maps and it seemed like a nice neighborhood, so I was less concerned of getting mugged, or killed and fed to crocodiles (there are no crocodiles in these non-aquatic regions of Texas, but what if someone had a full pit of them in their back yard for this very purpose!?).


“Vidya gaemz? HA HA HA, You fool! It was WE, CROCODILES, ALL ALONG!” (Note: these are alligators, but they are standing in for the fictitious crocodiles. Thank you.)

Picking Up The Pickup

Phil met me at the seller’s house Tuesday morning. I had taken an early lunch to get everything loaded up and take it to my house so we could unload, then I’d go back to work. Phil was off the following day so we’d start going through it then.

The seller was a nice guy, a bit younger than us I’d say, who welcomed us into his home to look over everything and figure out how we were going to haul it all out. He started putting boxes on a table and told us to start loading up.

As we took boxes out to load Phil’s vehicle, the seller explained to us that it was all in a storage locker his mother owned and he thought it belonged to her ex originally. He knew it was worth more than $1100, but video games weren’t his thing, so he was happy putting the money in his pocket, recovering his living room, and someone else taking the time to individually sort everything, clean it, test it, photo it, and spend time selling it individually to flip it for profit.

He asked us if we were sellers or collectors and we were honest that we’d surely do both. We’d be keeping a lot of what we saw just based on the photos, we’d trade with other collectors in a group we were in online to get more things we’re after, and we’d sell some or trade for store credit at various game stores, but we’d be definitely focusing on keeping it or trading with collectors. He was happy to hear a good chunk of it would be going to collectors who would enjoy an appreciate it.

It turned out I was one of the first people to email him the day the original post went up, or at the very least the first one who was reasonable. He had emails offering him $600 for all of it and he knew he was already pricing fair and likely rather low at $1100. For everything there, we were more than happy to pay that $1100.

He also showed us his garage, which was essentially consumed by stock from a comic book shop. For the right price, that was all available as well and part of me wished I had more money to invest in that purchase too (as if my house could hold much more inventory for sorting and selling…or room for more collectibles for that matter).

Unloading & Fighting Temptation

It took every bit of space in Phil’s vehicle plus every free seat and the trunk in mine, but we were able to load everything.

Driving it to my house was a weird sensation. I had just taken $550 out of my savings account, which wasn’t quite where I wanted it to be in the first place, to buy a ton of video games. There were a lot of sports titles on SNES, though even at 50 cents each they’d add up. I told myself that the NES with ROB was worth almost $300 and I’d surely find more I wanted to keep. I’d get my $550 worth and Phil would surely find that much in value. I was sure, and reminded myself, we would at least get value equal to what we spent, if not more.

Still, this was the first purchase I’d made of this size since I started game hunting, so it was a bit surreal and exciting to think of what could be in all those boxes while also a bit guilty feeling to take money from savings at a time I was flat broke on the game hunting budget.

We saw some exciting things as we unloaded. I spotted a Chrono Trigger box in good condition. A Final Fantasy III box (in addition to the one in the photos), and an Ocarina of Time collector’s edition box which I’d been looking for! Phil saw a number of NES carts he was interested in. We wanted to take that afternoon and just start looking through everything, but we had to wait. Though Phil said I could start going through some of it that night if I wanted.

I went back to work for what seemed like the longest half day I’ve ever experienced.

That night, I decided I’d go through organizing a bit and start with the manuals, paperwork, and hardware like controllers. The boxes and games would wait for a team effort.

First Night Results

I started off going through the boxes of controllers and sorting them out. Totals were:
10 NES controllers
33 SNES controllers – some original, some 3rd party variants like asciiPad or wireless + receiver
17 N64 controllers
2 GameBoy Players for GameCube (no discs, sadly)
2 Wavebird controllers – 1 platinum, 1 gray and 1 receiver for them
3 Dreamcast controllers
Sega Genesis Model 2 with hook ups and 1 controller
1 PS1 dualshock controller
PSone system
X-Box system with 2 controllers and hook ups
NES Top Loader
3 NES systems (“toaster” models)
1 SNES system

Note: It has now going on 3 months since we made this purchase and I still haven’t found time to test all the controllers.

40 Strategy Guides from Nintendo Power, Prima, Brady Games, and Versus Books – including various Pokemon, Secret of Evermore, Nintendo Power’s Chrono Trigger guide, and more. The coolest one in terms of most unique was the Vanguard Bandits strategy guide as it is a hardcover book.

I also alphabetized the manuals, of which there were over 500 total.


Some notable manuals, some of which I eventually kept, included:
Ghosts n Goblins
Mega Man 1, 2, 3
Zelda II

Chrono Trigger
Donkey Kong Country 2 & 3
Final Fantasy III
Legend of the Mystical Ninja
Lost Vikings
Lufia II
Secret of Evermore
Secret of Mana
Super Adventure Island
Super Bomberman
Super Castlevania IV
Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts
Super Mario RPG

Bomberman 64
Bomberman Hero
Conker’s Bad Fur Day
Ogre Battle 64
Mega Man 64
Mario Kart 64

Mega Man II
Metroid II: Return of Samus
Metal Gear Solid (GB Color)

The most notable manual, however, was probably Soldier Blade for Turbo Grafx 16, valued around $100 by itself.

The fruits of this purchase were already looking exciting, but we wouldn’t really dive into it until the next day when Phil could join me in going through this. Since we were 50/50 business partners on this, I had to resist going through more, though it was tempting. It was really tempting.