At first glance, this torn-up video game cartridge with the name “Mario” written on it in pen doesn’t look like much.
But for those in the video game world, this cartridge is worth thousands of dollars.
It’s a super-rare Nintendo World Championships cartridge, and you can buy it on eBay for a paltry $US5,500 (at the time of this writing). That’s quite a bargain, considering people sometimes pay twice that. In 2011, someone bought a copy at a charity auction for $US11,500.
In 1990, the Nintendo World Championships toured the country with a custom game. They asked players to beat levels in Super Mario Bros., Rad Racer, and Tetris in less than 7 minutes. Remember the movie “The Wizard”? It was based loosely on that.
The finalists and winners each got one of these cartridges — 116 in all. Nintendo also put 26 cartridges with a gold Legend of Zelda-style shell in its Nintendo Magazine and gave them away as prizes.
If you want to own a piece of rare history, you’d better hurry, though. The auction ends Saturday.