Ah, the world of Earthbound collectors and enthusiasts. They can quite possibly lay claim to being the most absolutely fanatic and obsessed group of fan boys that any series has ever seen – and I mean that with respect.
That statement will be proved as absolutely truthful, when we see the final price on this auction.
The seller (which happens to be our very own Limbofunk) sates:
Up for auction is a very rare promotional ruler that was made to promote the release of the Super Nintendo game EarthBound. Not much information is known about this ruler, but judging from some posts on Earth Bound Central and Starmen.net this is only the third ruler known to surface in the past ten years. The ruler is based off of one of the more humorous items in the game and was likely either part of a press pack that was given away to journalists and Nintendo employees or it may have been a giveaway at E3 or CES for some interesting and unique swag.
Either way, this is a spectacular item for the hardcore EarthBound collector, and one’s merchandise collection won’t be complete without it!
As far as condition is concerned, someone decided to use this as an actual ruler and there are some light pencil marks and possibly one pen mark…it’s a bit hard to tell. There are also some light surface scratches, but the majority of this damage isn’t noticeable unless you take a scrutinizing look at the ruler. I haven’t tried to restore the ruler in any way since it came into my possession, so it will be sold as I received it.
Some digging on a few Earthbound sites gives more detail on the origin and rarity.
From a 2009 post:
Hereâ€™s a piece of EarthBound merchandise almost no one knows about, and only two have been confirmed to exist in the past 10+ years that Starmen.Net has been around. This is the taleâ€¦ of the EarthBound Ruler!
About 10 years ago, Iâ€™m gonna say sometime in early 2000 though for some reason my mind says 1999, a visitor to EarthBound.Net/Starmen.Net sent me and reid an e-mail with two pictures attached. Hereâ€™s the contents of the e-mail:
â€œOkay, got your E-mail, the scans are attached to this message. Now how I got this piece of merchandise is kinda a long story and may be a bit hard to believe, but its the truth, so I hope youâ€™re listening. Anyway, a friend of mine knew someone who worked for Nintendo, so my friend took me to his office to meet him. Me and the Nintendo worker kinda formed a friendship. Due to this he was able to send me all kinds of Nintendo games before they were released to the public. Among the games he sent me were Donkey Kong Country, and of course EarthBound. When he sent me EarthBound, he sent more then just the game and Playerâ€™s Guide. The game box was inside this large Mach Pizza box that had the Mach Pizza man on it, and it included some EarthBound newspaper clippings like the ones in the Playerâ€™s Guide, and it also came with (guess what?) the EarthBound ruler. Iâ€™m unsure if Nintendo ever got around to selling these rulers to the pubilc, so I canâ€™t give you a price or a place where site visitors can obtain one. Still I think that the SM.net community deserves to see this piece of rare EarthBound merchandise.â€
I forget what happened after that, but my very vague memory says that people either didnâ€™t believe him or the person eventually admitted it to being fake or something. So word about it didnâ€™t really spread much and most fans today have never heard of it.
10 years later, earlier this week, Starman 99 posted a topic about finding an EarthBound Ruler and asking if anyone knew anything about it. It looks like this item really exists after all!
It appears that Nintendo sent out special EarthBound â€œpress packsâ€ to magazines and other people around the time the game was released, possibly even giving them out at things like CES or E3 (was E3 even around in 1995?). Anyway, these press packs are obviously extremely rare, and the fact that only PARTS of them turn up once every 10 years goes to show how hard it is to find them nowadays. Itâ€™d be so awesome to see that Mach Pizza box and the other stuff that came along with it.
Iâ€™m not sure how much these EarthBound Rulers would go for, but given the current rarity, Iâ€™d say theyâ€™d go for quite a lot. In the meantime, if you know anyone who went to game events or worked at game magazines back in the day, try to see if they know anything about this stuff. My thirst for knowledge about this stuff knows no bounds.
Bottom line is that it’s a rare and unique item, from a series with borderline insane fans. Should be interesting to watch.