Many gamers go to garage sales hoping to find a few cheap games for their collection and maybe get lucky and get a really good deal. Rob Walters found games worth more than $50,000 dollars at a garage sale! Including games like 1990 Nintendo World Championships, 1991 Campus Challenge, 1992 Campus Challenge, and 1994 Powerfest. Below is the story of Rob's legendary garage sale find and the games and memorabilia he found.
In August 2006 Rob was driving by a garage sale in New York and decided to stop to see what they had. He spots a table with some video games on it and walks over to see what he can find. The table is full of sealed NES games, new SNES games, and a bunch of other gaming stuff. Rob quickly asks "Who's garage sale is this? And how much for all these games?" The seller says "I will sell everything for $40." Rob quickly pays the $40, grabs all the games on the table and even grabs a few games from the hands of other garage sale shoppers.
As he is leaving and chatting with the seller, the man casually says "I have tons more stuff inside that I'm not going to sell." Rob doesn't think much of it and goes back home to see what he had bought and what it is all worth. This table had five copies of Starfox Super Weekend which Rob knew were special but didn't know much about them. He looks up the prices on ebay and sees that they sell for $200-300 each. That's $1,500 for just those five games! Some of the other sealed games in the collection are easily worth $40 by themselves.
Rob decides he needs to go back to the seller's house and see what other "stuff" he has.
Rob knocks on his door and says he needs a Super Nintendo to play some of the games he bought and was wondering if he had one to sell (Rob really did need an SNES). The seller says he does and invites Rob inside. They start talking and the seller says he has boxes and boxes of Nintendo games and memorabilia in his attic and would love to show Rob some of the stuff.
First he shows a pristine condition 1990 Nintendo World Championships Gray cartridge. Rob said he "has never seen a better condition copy, it was perfect." Then the seller grabs some other games and throws them on the couch. He just threw the only known copies of 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge and 1994 Powerfest on his couch!
Rob decides to be honest with the seller, "This stuff is really valuable. I can help you sell it and we can split the money." The seller says he doesn't want to sell it publicly because he used to work for Nintendo and isn't supposed to have these items. Rob says "I will give you $1,000 cash for everything you have and I won't ever tell anyone who I bought this stuff from." (Rob brought a bunch $1,000 with him just in case he had the chance to buy something) The seller agrees and Rob takes his new fought collection home.
The collection of items Rob purchased is worth well over $50,000 in today's market. 1991 Campus Challenge recently sold for $14,000. Powerfest 1994 sold for $10,000 about four months after the garage sale and the NWC Gray cartridge sells for $5,000. Rob basically paid $1,040 for stuff that is worth 48 times that!
Below are pictures of the games and other collector's items Rob purchased at the garage sale.
1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge System
One of two 1992 Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridges ever found. The game is hooked up to a Japanese Super Famicom and as you can tell is much bigger than a regular SNES game.
1994 Nintendo Powerfest System
The only copy of the 1994 Nintendo Powerfest ever found. This cartridge is attached to a Super Nintendo console and is also much bigger than traditional cartridges. The 1994 Powerfest was sometimes referred to as "Nintendo World Championships II". The person who sold this cartridge said only 12 were made and 11 were sent back to Nintendo to be destroyed.
1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge Cartridge
The only 1991 Nintendo Campus Challenge cartridge know to exist. This was used in Nintendo's 1991 campus tournament which travelled to about 60 college's and spring break destinations. The cartridge looks like an original NES with part of the top missing and an extra long circuit board.
Five Starfox Super Weekend Cartridges
These are rare cartridges that Nintendo used in a video game competitions hosted by Nintendo Power. The magazine briefly sold them to the public in very limited quantities.
Earthbound NES Cartridge
This is similar to the Earthbound game that sold on ebay about a month ago for $1,415. It might be the same cartridge but I couldn't verify this. The NES promo game was made for trade shows like E3 and was never released as a Nintendo NES game.
1992 Campus Challenge Jacket
The seller of all these items said this jacket was one of twelve ever made. They were given to some Nintendo staff. The "Campus Challenge" logo was on all 12, but the seller had the "Super Power 92" added himself.
Nintendo Powerfest Promo VHS Tapes
VHS Tapes giving a run down of various Nintendo events. In Rob's own words they are "1990's lame but still interesting"
More Nintendo Powerfest Promo VHS Tapes
More VHS tapes of Powerfest events.
Nintendo Vase - 1992 Campus Challenge Award
A vase that was made to be an award for a 1992 Nintendo event. The winner never claimed the prize. A vase seems like a strange prize for a game tournament. I don't think gamers are the type to keep fresh flowers, but maybe I'm stereotyping gamers too much.
All images came from Jollerancher's Pixelpipeline Gallery. Thank you Rob Walters for answering some of my questions. Additional information comes from a digitpress post by Rob after buying the games.