Tuesday, April 22, 2014

eBay Sniper Desktop Notifications Now Show Photos

The eBay Sniper has an option to enable desktop notifications when a new listing matches you qualifications. We have made a few improvements to these notifications based on your requests.

Photo of the Listing
The photo is the quickest way to see what the seller has available and a great way to see if the case and instructions are included even if the title doesn't mention it.

The photo will appear in all notifications where the seller provides one. Stock images are not shown.

Safari does NOT support this feature.

Clicking Notification Focuses Screen on Sniper
The notifications are designed to let you keep the sniper open in the background while you do other work. Clicking the notification now brings you back to the browser tab that has the sniper in it.

Firefox does NOT support this feature.

Notifications Disappear After 7 Seconds
If you don't want to act on the notification, you can ignore it and it will disappear on its own after 7 seconds.

Chrome is Recommended Browser
Chrome is the best browser for using the full range of notification features. Internet Explorer does NOT support any notifications and Firefox and Safari don't fully support it.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Rarest/Only Easter Game

Ah, Easter, a time of rebirth, hope, and candy. I love the holiday. I love the spring air, the green grass, the rabbits in my yard, and my dog going insane at the sight of them. What better way to spend this day then to turtle up inside and shut out family, the outdoors, and life itself. Want to experience all the razzle-dazzle of the big day without the mess (and human interaction), then you should stay indoors and play Easter Bunny's Big Day on the PlayStation 1. Developed by Seven Computerized Generations (their only game) and published by Mastiff, LLC. (not their only game) on March 17th, 2003, EBBD takes us to the nadir of gaming experiences.

You don't even play as the Easter Bunny in this game.
You play as the Easter Bunny's robotic friend, Robo-Rabbit, on the primal quest to reclaim eggs for all the good boys and girls because according to legend, on Easter day, if you've been good since Christmas, a rabbit will give you eggs. This is how Easter works, right? The in-game way of helping the Easter Bunny acquire said eggs is to put together simple puzzles, catch falling eggs, play matching minigames, and put together more simple puzzles. This game is so mundane it is art. The beautiful MIDI quality music, the top-notch 3D renders ala 1995, the pastel colors; they all work together in discordant harmony to bring you a game experience that can only be compared to a cacophonous masterpiece. It is the beginning and the end.

What this game actually has going for it is that it is an extremely uncommon game and is rumored to be released in a quantity numbered only in the hundreds. The small San Francisco-based publisher ensured that only a few stores actually received copies for retail release, the most notable being Toys'R'Us. What really makes this game stand out among other PS1 titles is the unique purple spine color. This is the only game in the entire PS1 catalog that have a purple spine. Also it is important to note the late release date of 2003, this is incredibly late in the lifespan of the PS1. Late life games usually turn into collectibles later on since so much of the market is focused on the next gen. The game also sold so poorly that Mastiff doesn't even list it on their website nor does the game have a dedicated Wikipedia page [go ahead and make one, quote me, make my day].

Right now this game is dirt cheap, usually selling for around $5. I'd suggest that if you have an extra fiver lying around, you might as well buy a copy and torture yourself and your friends while embracing the true meaning of Easter.

Whatever that may be.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Two Rare EarthBound Keychains Located

EarthBound is one of the biggest cult classic video games in existence. Originally released in 1995, the game is a sequel to a Japanese-only game, MOTHER, but localization of MOTHER never made it past the prototype stage meaning that Nintendo was forced to launch a series in the middle of the story. They hoped a unique and unorthodox marketing strategy would help promote the game and so they came up with the "This Game Stinks" ad campaign targeted at grossing out and enticing boys and teens. They took a lot of inspiration from what was popular and on the air during the time like much of Nickelodeon's lineup (Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, Ren & Stimpy, and Rocko's Modern Life). Their ads often employed scratch-n-sniff cards and some even included some pretty gross smells, like mushroom.
Someone was paid to design this.
Even the strategy guide smelled.
They pushed this game hard and even sent out special press releases in the form of pizza boxes based off the in-game pizzeria, Mach Pizza, because nothing is more radical and mid-90's than pizza. Inside these pizza releases were a few items: a copy of the game, the strategy guide, a fact sheet, an actual press release, a fake newspaper clipping, a ruler (this is an obscure reference to a rare in-game item), and a tiny keychain. You can read more about this at the EarthBound Central article on it but I'm more focused on one piece, the keychain.

The box itself has never been photographed or sold at auction but some of the items in it have been. The keychains were rumored to be included in the box but also just plain given away by Nintendo representatives to game store employees. Back in 2012, the first keychain went up for sale on eBay and sold for $535. The crazy thing was that the keychain itself was scratch-n-sniff and smelled like pizza.
Earthbound Pizza Scratch and Sniff Keychain Promo
It is also tiny.
More recently two other keychains have turned up in the hands of a private collector. The story behind them is that the original owner's mother owned a video game retail outlet and a Nintendo representative came by and gave her two keychains as promotional material. What is special about this is that only one of the keychains is scratch-n-sniff while the other one isn't. The owner claims that it came like that despite the back still stating "A Scratch & Sniff Game Take a Big Whiff".

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Very interesting stuff and very rare memorabilia. Collectors have already shown that they are willing to shell out $500+ and I'm interested to see if any more of these keychains will come out the woodwork anytime soon. However, the keychains are just small fry compared to the pizza box. Lots of speculation takes place on that item and I have no idea what it would fetch on an open market but I'd assume it'd be upward of a grand. EarthBound is a good game with a rich and neglected history and I can't wait for these collectors to add more to it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Foxdata N64 Controllers

I don't know what was with the 90's and bright colors but looking back on it all now, I can see that nobody had any sense of color and yet I'm gripped with so much nostalgia for the era. Another hallmark of this decade was Nintendo's N64, which also got on the neon bandwagon with all of it's "Funtastic" colors.
Beautiful, isn't it all just so beautiful? No? Well, forget you. I'm here to talk about some of the rarest N64 controllers out there, the Foxdata Ltd. controllers. The British-based company started taking out full-page ads in the summer '97 offering chrome N64 consoles and controllers. They even offered to chrome your system if you mailed it in. The colors offered for these controllers were Chrome, Copper, Gold, and Electric Blue.
I have never in my entire life seen either the chromed N64 or any of these painted controllers come up for sale on eBay or anywhere else. I have never even seen any pictures of these items except for in these advertisements. If you have any more data, please leave a message in the comments. 

What I have seen are Foxdata's second round of radical paint jobs. Released for the following Christmas season, Foxdata offered up for sale four of the gnarliest custom N64 controllers to date. Moving from the top-right clockwise we have: Red Rain, Chrome Leopard, Purple Rain, and Desert Storm. All were sweet paint jobs applied to stock blue N64 controllers, except Desert Storm which was made from yellow controllers.
Their controllers were even sold in some stores but to say they are "official" would be misleading. They are just really mondo items of extremely high quality and are still sought after by N64 collectors even today. They usually sell for around $300 a piece but I have seen them sell for as little as $150. There are rumored to have only been around 500 of each type made.

In recent years, I have seen N64 controller collecting boom and for good reason. There are so many different colors and a lot have a really unique and interesting story behind them. A lot of the special ones come from Japan but the US has it's fair share of exclusives. I personally think they are really beautiful and I know a few collectors who wall mount them as art but I, personally, find it hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars on controllers but I can still see the appeal.  
It's like a rainbow had babies.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Disney 3DS XL and 2DS

Disney has recently partnered with Nintendo to release special, limited edition 3DS XL's and 2DS's to coincide with the launch of their 3DS title, Disney Magical World.

The game itself is a life simulator similar to Animal Crossing but with a Disney flair. You can farm, collect, accessorize, decorate, and interact with a bunch of Disney characters. There is no main plot, which drew a lot of criticism but despite that, the game still managed to garner scores of good reviews. But you guys aren't here for Disney reviews, you guys are here to learn about video games collectibles so let's talk about the Peach Pink 2DS.
The important things to note about this console are that this is a limited-run GameStop exclusive. Exclusives like this usually garner higher values later on, like Xenoblade. It also comes with a Disney Magical World-branded carrying case but sadly lacks the game. The major drawbacks are that the console itself is not branded with anything Disney related. This is bad for resale and collectibility since Disney is such a strong brand. While at the selling point of $129.99, it rivals normal 2DS's at the same price, it still lacks that Disney branding and will probably not be highly sought-after. This is a skip in my book but the other console is another story.
Whoa, look at this. Bold white color with gold and cream mouse ears designs and a big logo representing that strong Disney brand. This is the definition of a collectible. We have the perfect storm of store exclusivity (Walmart), limited run, and strong Disney branding all wrapped up in a Nintendo console. This is a good piece. Disney effectively defined the modern collectible market and still continues to do so to this day and I see this item as just another good piece of Disney memorabilia. As a Nintendo collectible this is just another limited 3DS XL (the 8th one) and at this point they are becoming ubiquitous but with that Disney branding I am urged to reconsider my stance. I think this is will become a rather desirable piece.

One problem I have with this is that it doesn't come with the game, it isn't even preinstalled. I have a problem with this, especially since the Japanese release did come with the full game. What's up with that!?



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