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Collecting Can be Intense: Part 2

One thing I forgot to mention last time, is that 2600 collectors do have an alternative that isn’t usually available to collectors of other systems: Reproductions.

The 2600 homebrew scene is quite alive and flourishing. This makes finding passable copies of those $1000 game quite an easy task. However, this comes with a downside. If you’re one of those people who do own an exclusive cart, those reproductions serve to make your cart less special, less unique. Also, it can potentially reduce the resale value, something you never want to see happen to such a high priced purchase. Lastly, you have to be much more cautious when you’re looking to purchase the real thing, as there will always be people wanting to pass reproductions off to unsuspecting buyers.

But anyways, back to part two, Neo Geo collectors.

Neo Geo collectors have a mindset I just can’t seem to comprehend. However, I do respect them for it.

Case in point: Metal Slug

Metal Slug AES

Here we have a game that will probably fetch an easy $1000 or more. Not only because it’s extremely rare, but it’s highly in demand due to the popularity of the series. Why though?
Normally, when a rare game is available as a new release on second system, you see the price of the original drop. Case in point, how the prices of Mega Man x2 and X3 plummeted once the MM Anthology collection was released.

It’s for this reason I recommend selling rare SNES RPGs at the moment. Once Chrono Trigger or Earthbound is released on the Wii’s virtual console, you can say goodbye to their high value. This is a whole differnt subject however, and something you’ll see me ranting about in the near future.

This concept however, has no merit when it comes to Neo Geo. How many systems is this game available on? I’m sure there is a copy for just about every next gen system, including the new anthology for the Wii. Heck, for under $300 you can get the conversion which will still play on an American Neo Geo system. The original Japanese verson usually goes for half the price of the USA one. Take it a step further and you can even buy a full Metal Slug Arcade Standup for less than the US AES version, and quite possibly have a significant chunk of change to spare.
So what are they paying for? The game is the same, but you get extremely rare and slightly differnt stickers. This leads me to a theory:

Neo Geo collectors really want to collect stickers.

Huh? Wait, hear me out. People usually associate sticker collecting with little girls, and even the adult equivalent of Scrapbooking isn’t near manly enough. This forces the collectors to take things to a higher level.

Just think about it. If dropping $1000.00 on a sticker doesn’t show one massive set of balls, than I don’t know what does.

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  1. I just checked Ebay for Mega Man X3 for SNES and there isnt a single cart (what i can see atleast) thats been sold for less than $30. One is even as high as $50. So i wouldnt say the price have gone anything down because of the Mega Man Anniversary release.

    Even if Chrono Trigger and Eearthbound gets released for VC im sure the price would still hold its value. People buy it for the collection and nostalgic feeling. If they want to play it now they can just download the ROM, no need to wait for the VC release. Maybe the average joe will get it for VC instead, but i dont think thats the kinda person who pays ~$100 for a complete Chrono Trigger anyway 🙂

    I agree that its crazy with collecting like Neo Geo, but that goes for most system doesnt it? Like Stadium Events for NES is like $800 – $900 for the NTSC version, but the PAL version hardly hits $100. Neo Geo games can sometimes be extreme tho. Like Kizuna Encounter, thousands and thousands of dollars for the euro version just because of different box, manual and inlay O_o

  2. Remember: one thing is value, another is rarity.

    I’m seeking for rarites.
    That’s why you don’t see Radiant Silverguns.

  3. I can not disagree with your more. I think the release of RPG’s on the Wii. Will only bring a new generation into classic video game collecting not Download collecting. I deal with really rare coins on a daily basis. I sold one for more than $1,000,000 and anyone could make an exact copy of it for $100. The point is someone will always want the original. Look at the Beatles Butcher Album with the butcher lable. It could bring $50,000 the one with the revised lable could bring $100. But all that is different is a lable. Plus you could get the album on a CD for $12. But someone will still pay big bucks for the outdated vinal copy.

    Oh, the other thing is that you can not Figure out the NEO GEO collectors. I have tried and failed many times. They are a different breed. I have may Neo Geo Game. Many NEW never opened. But I still do not consider myself a Neo Geo collector.

    PS. If you want to really stand buy your statement. I would buy all of your SNES RPG games please feel free to email me.

    What you are not selling why not?

    OH I love your site please do not take this personal. I just repectfully disagree!!

  4. First off, If you think I’m an ass and everything I wrote is garbage, than feel free to say so.

    Secondly, my Mega Man analogy is apparently incorrect. Last I had checked, there were complete copies of X3 selling for the $50-$60 range. However, this was some time ago, so I should have checked before making that statement. My only conclusion is that this was a medium term effect, as it stabilized over time. I incorrectly assumed it stabilized after a year or so. A quick check of eBay right now shows that there at the same level.

    Maybe a better example would be the Dragon Ball game that was released as a greatest hit on the Playstation. Granted, there are problems with this analogy too as the circumstances were different.

    Rich, you hit the nail on the head. *Someone* will always want the original. I just think Neo Geo collectors are unique in the amount of people that fall into that category.

  5. tl;dr version (at the top where it’s supposed to be): Play more, buy less. Don’t buy things on a whim, and know the value of something when you’re looking around. eBay’s “completed auctions” search is highly useful, but usually if something looks like a great deal it’s not.

    Here’s a classic argument. “Too expensive!” Actually, the thing that most impresses the people I’ve met about NG games is their size. I’ve always been embarassed to mention that I have a large number of games, and showing them off makes you feel like a bit of an outcast. I sought the Japanese releases – mostly fighters – because the artwork aspect was appealing and I didn’t like the US style (black borders, argh). Some titles are also slightly cheaper, and if you can get them from a domestic seller then shipping won’t be a killer.

    At the end of the day, I very rarely take out my Neo – it’s got terrible mono A/V, I’m scared of messing up the minty cartridges, and I don’t like fighters that much anyway. At some point a few years ago I did an about-face when I realized how much money was being sunk into games when I played very little started getting more vocal about playing instead of collecting, but I would prefer to guide people instead of being obnoxious about it (I’ve known some people who deride all collecting, and I have to admit that it seems like a sound enough investment).

    Since that time my buying habits have changed a good bit, partly because I don’t have so much free cash – although I still end up buying classic games more often than the current titles I enjoy as much.

    If I had to define my spending habits, it’s towards buying games I actually play only, and not buying things simply because they exist in a series I like (the exception to this is anything Contra related, for reasons of overhauling the Contra HQ). I also don’t buy all the chintzy bullsh1t that I used to (like joystick game controllers, game memorabilia created for the western market), and that saves a lot of cash (I still get as much as I can; I reguarly raid the local game stores of free catalogs). I even find myself passing up cartridges I don’t own these days – this recently led to my embarassment when I let a loose Super Mario Kart cartridge get grabbed for $4 at a local thrift while I went home to check out the price (eBay survey said $15 at the time). For gaming habits, I go from Half-Life 2 to Morrowind; from Scramble and Juno First to Uru: Ages Beyond Myst – never much cared for strategy/RTS games, though. Some stuff can be found cheaply, but I end up paying the price of a newly-released PC game ($60+, and often shipping from Asia as well) as a lot of the games I want are in high demand.

    For the moment, for admittedly profiteering reasons, I try to encourage people to buy games at lower prices. I am thinking about writing a sort of buyer’s guide for eBay and elsewhere, and I don’t care if it ends up causing more people to snipe my auctions if we can somehow get a downward trend going. It’s pretty disappointing to watch an item not be bought for months, receive a price drop, and then get bought a day after a price hike.

    I also once saw some folks fight over a ‘rare’ Castlevania-related soundtrack that had been listed before with a less obvious name (compilation thing). Went from $99 (if memory serves) with no bids, to over $300.

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