“Nintendo World Championships,” a 1990 competition game created for the Nintendo Entertainment system, recently sold for $99,902 on eBay. The auction ended on Jan. 25 after a 328-bid war and an impressive 172,850 user views. However, following the listing’s close, the unnamed buyer redacted his bid, calling it a “mistake.”
"The unfortunate reality is the second I approached the winning buyer with payment options, they retracted their bid claiming it was a 'mistake,'” Muresan, the eBay seller who listed the title, told gaming site Destructoid. "I'm now 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 percent buyer protection focused." In the auction, Muresan stated that he was a 25-year video game-collecting veteran who was choosing to part with his library of games.
The second-highest bid was $99,802 and it was submitted three minutes before the winning bid.
The eBay auction showed the game as a plain gray NES cartridge with a worn label. "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 it appears in the upper left-hand corner of the cart label," Muresan stated about the game's flawed condition. "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." Though the auctioned classic title doesn't look as impressive as today's next-gen titles, “Nintendo World Championships” is still a rare specimen. Only 116 special game cartridges were created and 90 of them exist as official gray cartridges. The other 26 games are gold -- similar to the original NES “Legend of Zelda” cartridge. A gold version of the title is on sale on eBay -- and bidding is currently at $100,088.
“Nintendo World Championships” was designed for a Nintendo-promoted video game competition that toured 29 cities across the U.S. in 1990. The cartridges were handed out to finalists after the competition ended. Scoring was based on points accumulated in three classic NES titles -- “Super Mario Bros.,” “Rad Racer” and “Tetris” -- within a time limit of six minutes and 21 seconds. Finalists competed in a world championship at Universal Studios Hollywood in what is formerly known as the Star Trek Theater. Competitors were divided into three ages groups -- 11 and under, 12-17, 18 and over. The top winner in each category took home a $10,000 U.S. savings bond, a new 1990 Geo Metro convertible and a 40-inch rear projection TV, along with a gold-painted Mario trophy.
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