Nintendo Collecting Tips

Being a big Nintendo fan, I decided to compile a list of collecting tips for the Nintendo.  This system is quite different from the classic systems when it comes to collecting.  So I felt it needed its own section.

1) The Nintendo rarity list that I have on the site was done by someone else and I disagree with much of it.  I do think it is a very good list and alot of hard work went into it, but there are some questionable ratings.  First and foremost, I believe the only games that deserve an A+ rating are the Panesian adult games.   The Camerica games should be an A- rating, some even as low as a B+.  These were games that were sold in very large quantities on Home Shopping Club!

2. Unlike classic systems, the quality of the game is much more reflective in the price of the game.  Some very rare games will not command as much as a not so rare, but very good playing game.  Final Fantasy, a fairly common game, will sell easily for $20-$30 complete and in nice shape, while many games that are much rarer will have more trouble trying to get the same price.  Where Atari games are rated more on scarcity, the Nintendo is based more on quality.

3. While Nintendo games may seem plentiful now, boxed ones are getting harder and harder to find.  This is probably the last game system where people discarded the boxes so frequently.  From my estimation, there are about one boxed Nintendo game for every 15 loose games.  This was based on a study I did over a two month period going to garage sales, flea markets, used game and thrift stores. 

4. Certain genres garner more interest and others less.   Here are some types of games that are more highly sought and will command a higher price.

        1. Role Playing Games (Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, etc...)
        2. Koei simulation games (Gengis Khan, etc...)
        3. Classic arcade games (Donkey Kong Classics, Qix)
        4. Continuing series (Castlevania, Megaman, etc...)
        5. Games based on popular properties (Star Wars, Disney)

   Here are some genres that are not very popular.

        1. Sports Games (except Baseball Stars and Tecmo Football)
        2. Games based on fad properties (Ninja Turtles)
        3. Card and gambling games.

5. While there are no super expensive games for the Nintendo (highest non prototype being about $150.00 boxed), there are also almost no real cheap games either.  Besides Super Mario, Super Mario/Duck Hunt, Duck Hunt, all Nintendo games go for at least $2.00-$3.00 each loose.  Unlike Atari, where there are quite a few games that are worth a $1.00 or less (aka:Combat, Pacman, ET, Asteroids, etc...).

6. Unlike Atari games, you can still find about 40-60% of the Nintendo games at used game stores and flea markets.  Prices are dropping with the average price now being around $3.00.  They may or may not drop next year as Nintendo games are starting to bottom out.  I would use the next couple years to build up your collection because the surplus of games now will be evaporating soon!  I can remember when Atari games were everywhere and now they are much harder to find.  It will happen to Nintendo too!

7. If you are a serious Nintendo game player, you must get a top loading Nintendo.  It will set you back about $50.00, but it is worth every penny!

8. A good way to break down the Nintendo rarity list to match the classic game lists is as follows:

    A+ to A rating would be equal to an ER classic game.
    A- to B+ rating would be equal to a Rare or lower level ER.
    B to B- rating would be equal to a Uncommon or lower level Rare.
    C+ to C rating would be equal to a lower level Uncommon.
    C- to F rating would be equal to a common.

9. Multicarts do not have any real collector value.  They were made in abundance overseas and as one collector who frequently visits Japan told me "They are as plentiful over there as Super Mario 3 is over here (for anyone who doesn't know, Super Mario 3 is the biggest selling game of all time, over 8 million copies sold in the USA alone).

While they aren't a worthwhile investment (not that games should ever be considered an investment), they are great additions to a collection.   It gives you an opportunity to play some games that were never released in the states.  Great classics like Space Invaders, Pooyan and Arabian, lots of shooters and other odd games.  When purchasing a multicart, you could pay about a $1.00-$2.00 per game for the games you actually want on the cart.  If you get a 76-in1 cart, there may only be 20 games on the cart you actually want.  So you should pay about $20.00-$40.00 for it. 

Also keep in mind that many multicarts are made up of only a few games.  It may say 1000 games, but it is actually 10 games with 100 versions of each game.  Most are nothing more than the character being a different color or the game being a little faster.  Try to get an accurate list of the games on the cart.

One last thing to keep in mind is some multicarts need a converter to play them.  Some have it built in and others don't.  The converter is called a Honey Bee converter and you may want to see if you need one before buying it.   If it does need one, check to see if it comes with one.  Without it, you cannot play the games and the cart will be useless to you.

10. Some good sources for finding Nintendo games are:

    -Flea Markets (prices range from as low as $0.50 to as high as  $10.00 a cart.  Shop around and make sure another dealer isn't  selling the cart for less.
    -Garage Sales-People are dumping them like crazy as the kids have  moved on to N64 or Playstation.
    -Used Game Stores-Places like Funcoland and Video Game Exchange still carry them and many times you can find them cheap!
    -Video Stores-While the Blockbusters have dumped their games, many of the smaller video stores still have them in stock.   I have found quite a few this way. 

11. Interest is growing in the non-cart collectibles.  Things like the Nintendo Power Magazines and especially the earlier, Nintendo Fun Club are rising in price (a first issue of Nintendo Fun Club recently sold for $85.00).  Also, some of the accessories are gaining in interest, especially the ROB the Robot and the Miracle Piano.  

One of the best places to find Nintendo games is ebay.  Click below to begin searching!

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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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