Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Moonwalker Prices Rise To Heaven With Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson Moonwalker Prices Rise To Heaven
Michael Jackson died on June 25th 2009 at the age of 50. Within minutes of his death, prices for Michael Jackson's Moonwalker increased almost 600%. The prices stayed high for the next couple of days but have since started coming back down.

Moonwalker Prices On Ebay: June 25th 2009

Michael Jackson Moonwalker Prices On Day of His Death
Click For Bigger Chart

On the morning of June 25th there was an ebay sale of $14.99 for Moonwalker. Michael Jackson's death became public knowledge around 2:20 PM PST. Within an hour and 30 minutes all the low priced store listings for Moonwalker had sold for less than $30. By 3:56 PM, less than 2 hours after the initial announcement, Moonwalker sold for $100 on ebay. At the end of the day the highest price for the game was $199.99.

Moonwalker Prices On Ebay: Before & After His Death

Michael Jackson Moonwalker Prices Before and After His Death
Click For Bigger Chart

Before MJ's death, the prices for Moonwalker were consistently in the $20-30 range. The average sale price peaked on June 26th at $131. It has steadily dropped back down to the $60 range, which is still more than double the average price before Michael's passing.

Volume of Sales Picks Up Too

During the 4 days before Jackson's death (June 21st to June 24th), there were five sales of Moonwalker on Ebay. On the 25th there were 16 sales and during the next four days (June 26th to June 29th) 101 copies of Moonwalker sold.

Will Moonwalker prices go back to their pre-death prices or will they settle at a new, higher price because of all the attention paid to collectibles related to the King of Pop? Only time will tell.

Thanks to our loyal reader James T. for suggesting this article.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How I Got Nintendo World Championships Gold

Nintendo World Championships Gold and Gray Together
I recently bought Nintendo World Championships Gold and was able to reunite the Gold and Gray cartridges together. I'm sure they missed each other. The process of getting the Gold cartridge was actually pretty interesting and full of emotional highs and lows so I thought I would share it with the VGPC readers.

The NWC Gold I bought was the one recently listed on ebay. I contacted him about the condition and the history of it. I wanted to know where he got it and call those people to see if they could verify that it was authentic. After some due diligence and talking to two other people who owned this cartridge, I was confident it was real. I gave him an offer of $17,500, which was quite a bit lower than his asking price of $25,000.

He said he would think about it but wanted more for the game so he was going to wait for some more offers. Over the course of 3 weeks I called or emailed him once a week to see where we stood. A few offers emerged that were higher than mine, but they were bogus (probably just kids using their Mom's email accounts). On May 24th he emails and tells me he is going to sell it to someone else who is going to pay $18.5K in cash and pick it up locally. At this point I figured I would never hear about the game again and had lost my one chance of getting the Gold Nintendo World Championship.

Seven days later on May 31st, the seller emails me again saying the $18.5K offer fell through. It was a scammer trying to pay with Western Union and then have a "friend" pickup the item. My offer was now the best one and the seller decided to accept for $17.5K. I had just come to grips with the fact I wouldn't get the game and then everything changes in an instant. This definitely wouldn't be the last of the emotional highs and lows.

On June 1st we agree to complete the transaction via escrow.com. I wire my money to the escrow service on Monday June 8th (I was at E3 the week before so couldn't send the money any sooner).

The next day I expect shipment, but hear nothing from the seller. I give him a one day grace period and tell myself "maybe he had to work late, don't worry about it".

June 10th rolls around, still nothing. I call him. He says "I will mail it tonight". A FedEx tracking number is emailed to me that night. I get really excited, "I'm finally going to get the game". About 10 minutes later an email comes from FedEx - "Shipment Cancelled".

The next day the seller tells me it finally shipped and gives me the address he sent it to. THE ADDRESS IS WRONG. It is my neighbors place. I call him to see about changing the address and he tells me "Sorry, I've decided not to sell it. I love the game too much."

I tell him I feel cheated because we agreed to the terms, I sent payment, and he's been dragging his feet for more than a month since I first spoke with him. Plus I'm down a couple hundred dollars in escrow fees. We end the call and I am really upset the rest of the night.

The next day, June 12th, I email him saying we have a contract and I will not accept his cancellation. He calls me 15 minutes later apologizing repeatedly saying he felt really bad the rest of the night because he felt like he had cheated me too. He says he will ship it that night via FedEx overnight with guaranteed 8AM delivery. I'm a bit skeptical but double check he has the correct address and pray for the best.

That night FedEx emails with a tracking number again. 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours go by with no cancellation email. I refresh the tracking page on FedEx about 100 hundred times and finally it shows it was actually picked-up. I might finally get the game!

The next morning at 7:30AM the FedEx man comes to the door. I'm holding my 7 week old baby, probably have a ridiculously big smile on my face, and sign for the package. I quickly open everything up half expecting some other problem.

Nintendo World Championships Gold is neatly packaged inside with a custom built display case and looks just as good as I imagined it would. I have the "Holy Grail of Gaming" and the emotional ride is finally over.

Nintendo World Championship 1990 Gold

Creative Common Nintendo World Championships Images

Some readers asked for large images of the cartridges I own with a creative commons license. The images are below and are listed with a Creative Commons license Attribution-Share Alike 3.0. This means anyone can use the images if they want to but you must attribute the source. Please link back to this article as your source if you post these images online.

1990 Nintendo World Championships Gold Large Image
Nintendo World Championships Gold
Click for Large Image

1990 Nintendo World Championships Gray Large Image
Nintendo World Championships Gray
Click for Large Image

Earthbound NES Promo Cartridge

Earthbound NES Promo Cartridge
A seller on ebay is listing a ton of rare promotional items and samples. The one that caught my eye was a promo cartridge for Earthbound NES. That's right, NES.

Nintendo made a few of these Earthbound NES cartridges to show a shows like E3. Earthbound NES was never released because Nintendo decided to focus on the Super Nintendo. Most of these promo cartridges were destroyed but this one lives on.

It is definitely rare and a great collectors item. The ebay seller says the last one sold for $1,000. I can't verify that, but that price sounds about right for an item like this.

See Earthbound NES Auction

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Scribblenauts Review E3 2009

My favorite game at E3 2009 so far has been Scribblenauts. Its a puzzle game or sorts created by 5th Cell (makers of Drawn to Life and Lock's Quest) and published by Warner Bros. There are multiple stages you have to solve by writing something down and using that object to solve the puzzle. For example, you have a whale stuck on the beach. You need to get it back in the water to complete the level. You then write down "train" and a train appears in the level, you get inside and push the whale into the water.

What makes the game so great is you can write down any noun and it will appear in the game and behave the way it should in real life. If you write down Vampire it will show up and attack any human. Zombies will attack people too and turn them into other Zombies. Trampolines make you jump. Wings make you fly. And meteorites destroy the whole level and kill you.

My first time playing I solved some of the puzzles. They were very simple and only took one or two items to solve, but you can solve them anyway you want. The advanced difficulty level requires you to beat each level three times in a row without using the same item twice so you have to get much more creative.

The 2nd and 3rd time I played Scribblenauts I just created stuff on the title screen to see how they interacted. Here is my test to see who is stronger a vampire, a unicorn, or a werewolf.

We also found two things that either weren't in the game or broke it. Laryngoscope, which is a medical device used to look insides someones throat, was not there. The developer was really surprised because 130 other medical devices are in the game. We also tried to attach wings to a motorcycle with some glue and then ride it off a jump. We jumped on the motorcycle the game froze. The developer actually thanked us for breaking it though.

Scribblenauts is one of the most creative and entertaining games I have played in years.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Tatsunoko vs Capcom Wii Video and Images

This article was written during E3 but I accidentally saved it as a draft instead of publishing it. Here it is for those readers who asked about Tatsunoko vs Capcom.

Tatsunoko vs Capcom for the Wii was shown at the Capcom booth at E3. The game looked like a very solid 2D fighter and was almost as popular as Marvel vs Capcom 2 if the line to play the game is any indication. I don't know any of the Tatsunoko characters but the all the main Capcom characters are there, Mega Man, Ryu, Chun-Li, and Viewtiful Joe.

The game is a bit jaggy in the background but the action is very fluid. The damage scoring in the game seems a bit ludicrous though. As this picture shows, there was a 4 Hit combo and it dealt 3.5 Billion in damage. Why not make it 3.5 Quadrillion Billion Million?

Below is a video of the game in action.

Muramasa Demon Blade Pictures

I found a way to get the pictures from my camera for Muramasa Demon Blade. Below are a couple pictures of the game and the signage at E3.

Muramasa Sign at E3 2009
Muramasa Demon Blade Sign

Muramasa Boss Battle
Muramasa Boss Battle

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

E3 After the First Day

The first day at E3 is now done and I am back at the hotel relaxing a bit. I will start off with some bad news for our readers and some of the publishers they were interested in. UFO Interactive doesn't have a booth at the show, Xseed and D3 have small meeting rooms but no games on display. Unfortunately I won't be able to give any impressions on these games because they aren't at the show.

I did get to play Muramasa: Demon Blade and was very impressed with it. The art style is beautiful. Each sword has different strengths and unique special attacks. There is also some strategy involved in changing swords. Every time you change swords you automatically attack every enemy on screen with a super attack. You can only change swords at certain times though so you need to use it wisely. I took some pictures of the game in action, but forgot my camera-to-PC so the images will have to wait until I get back.

I didn't get a chance to play the other Ignition games yet, but will leave my impressions as soon get a chance to try them.

On a positive note for VGPC readers. I will have around 4 or 5 extra Muramasa: Demon Blade tote bags. They are all black with the Muramas logo on the back. If anyone wants one, email me with your address. I will ship them to the first people to send me the info.



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