EZ Racer's Blog

Posted on Jul 17th 2021 at 08:00:00 AM by (EZ Racer)
Posted under video games, retro gaming, price, market, N64


I love racing games.

[Pause for readers to double-check the avatar and realize the obvious]

Being a collector, you always want those special titles. I tend to gravitate to the harder-to-find games that usually come with at least a good recommendation. Part of the thinking behind the Top 20 lists was to get others talking about games that would be highly rated, even if some of them were obvious.

The other side is that for many games, especially the harder-to-find titles, it's become a harder and harder decision as to whether to try and pick up a physical copy or just find another way to play the title. For example, as of this writing, authentic copies of Final Fantasy III are selling on eBay in the $85-$95 range. I bring this title in particular up because not only is it a very highly rated game, it's available on a multitude of platforms.



It's obviously become a seller's market for retro video games, which begs the question: Will the market eventually flood?

But the other question that has to creep into even an avid collector's mind: Do I really want to pass up the money I could be selling my rare titles for right now?

In some cases, the answer will be a resounding 'no'. In my own case, I've had Ninja Gaiden Trilogy since I was a teenager. I can remember sitting playing it for hours in my college dormitory. And the Ninja Gaiden games in general are incredible experiences. With the nostalgia attached to it, not to mention how hard it would be to replace, it would be one of the last games I would give a thought to getting rid of.


Mega Man Legacy Collection in its original form

But as much as I want to say that most of my games are definite keepers, there's so much more complexity than there was even ten years ago. Take the Mega Man games on NES for instance. Together as a set, they command a solid price, and when I completed the NES set several years back, I bought 4, 5, and 6 off of a friend who decided it wasn't worth keeping all his NES copies when he could easily play them on the Mega Man Anniversary Collection. Since then, we've seen the Mega Man Legacy Collection released on all major consoles. I can't blame the guy for wanting to cash in when he has other facets for playing the game. The reality is, for many games, there are multiple ways to experience them, and that's not even considering everyone that uses third-party emulation that is continually becoming safer and more accurate.

I opened at the top with the statement that I love racing games. I know, duh. The idea for this article came from the personal decision I'm contemplating. A few years ago, I acquired Stunt Racer 64 for just over $100. And while there's a cool backstory as to how I came to own it, I don't know how much I'll actually revisit it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good game with a one-of-a-kind vibe, it's just not something that I see myself constantly returning to. I originally purchased it while trying to add as many racing games as I could to the retro collection and knew it would be my only opportunity to own this unique title.


A good experience, but hundreds of dollars good?...

It was worth it, and if I get rid of it, I know I'll never get one again short of crazy dumb luck. But I can't ignore the way its price has increased, not just what people are asking, but what people are getting. At some point, everyone has their price. Having it come down to money takes some of the fun and joy out of collecting, at least to me, but it's not something to turn a blind eye to either.

At some point, the market is bound to crash, if only from the fact we'll be so far removed from the large cartridge generation not very many people will care anymore, and the reality is most of us will be dead or dying by then (just because it's cryptic doesn't mean it's not true).

How many others have given serious thought to this choice? Are there games in your collection that at one point seemed untouchable, and now you're giving pause to? There's an old skit that's applying more and more-

One person asks their friend, who is afraid of heights, "Would you go bungee jumping?"

The friend replies, "Heck no".

"Well what if I offered you $10 million, would you try it then?"

The reply, "Well..."

The moral- It goes back to what I said earlier. Everyone has their price, and with the post-COVID market continuing to rise, it's getting harder and harder not to let it come into, or in between, play.




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Comments
 
Personally, I've always adopted a strategy for patience for purchasing games, which has only gotten easier since I stopped collecting.  My thoughts have always been, "Well I always have games to play, so I can afford to wait for a price drop."  Of course in the age of COVID this has backfired on me (that being with Yo-Kai Watch 3) but to this day I've still followed the course.  In the case of Yo-Kai Watch 3 the $160 price made it easier to choke down the $40 digital price, and recently with the announcement of a pixely remake of 2D Final Fantasy III in English (the first time legally available, and on Steam no less) I'm just going to double down on that philosophy and keep on keeping.
 
Yeah it's even tempting me lately. When I'm done my NES challenge I plan to take a very hard look at my overall game collection and do a significant downsize.
 
I've struggled with this a lot over the years, and the recent boom in prices is making it more tempting than ever to just liquidate the majority of my collection. Some of you may have noticed that I listed a ton of stuff in my sale thread a month or two ago and then recently removed everything. I go back and forth so much on whether I want to get rid of things or just hold on to it all. I'm thinking going forward I may just sell off 1 or 2 things here and there that I really don't think are worth keeping considering the prices they command and see how that goes. I just always have this dilemma of not wanting to regret getting rid of certain things in the future, but also not wanting to miss the window to make a few bucks if the market does eventually crash as you said.

Not to mention, I really need to buy a new car right now, is it really worth keeping some plastic on my shelves when selling some of it could cover a significant amount of a new car price? Probably not...
 
I've had some of these same thoughts recently. There aren't many games I'd let go, but certainly there are a handful I may never get around to playing, so while we're in this seller's market, before the bottom falls out, it may be worth liquidating a few items to get the cash flow which will help me buy a few of the things I otherwise wouldn't want to pony up the cash for. Robbing Peter to pay Paul, in a manner of speaking. For me, it makes more sense to let go of a few things I'll never play that could help me acquire a pricier Game Boy game or shmup, for example, versus just letting stuff languish on my shelves, forever untouched and un-played. I definitely feel as though I should strongly consider some shuffling, at least to help me better curate my collection toward stuff I'm legitimately going to play, versus just having a room full of stuff.
 
I sold 2 mint Stunt Racer 64 manuals I got for $3 each for around $450 each years ago.  I couldn't even imagine what they would go for now.

I'll be keeping my cart though.  I know I could sell a lot of my stuff for stupid money right now but I may never get it back if I wanted it back.  I spent $20 on the cart again years ago before it was really worth much and there is no way I could replace it for that at this point.
 
I don't find myself tempted for a few reasons.

Firstly, I don't have that many particularly valuable games. I have a good few that float around the 60-70 price mark but not many that would sell for more - which might be partly because...

Secondly, here in the UK the market isn't going as cuckoo bananas as it is in the states. I've even been encouraging friends in America to import the european versions of Dreamcast games and save themselves a fortune.

Thirdly, I don't keep games that I don't have some kind of love for. And that brings us to your point; what would be my price?

It think up and around 200 would be very tempting because I think this is the sort of money I feel I can get something significant for.

I recently discovered that people were paying about that money for 'Michigan: Report from Hell' on PS2. I still owned this game from back when I was fascinated by Grasshopper Manufacture, but I had only kept it as a curio because it is an utterly appalling game.

Needless to say it went straight on eBay and I got 180 for it. I used to proceeds to buy a Virtual Boy and a flashcart for it. Were I to sell something for a similar amount now it would pay for my PlayDate pre-order in a week.

So in short - everyone has their price, mine is 200!

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