Retro games pricing: When did it tip over to jaw-dropping?

Sometimes, I see retro games bargains. All too often, I see retro games priced to stay exactly on the shelf where they are.

That’s a picture I snapped today in Sydney from a major games retailer of a copy of Paper Mario for the N64. Sure, it’s boxed, and it’s been graded (and yes, I do know that’s not exactly a free service), but it made my brain boggle, simply on that price level.

Surely, somebody’s taking the mickey, or in this case Mario, right?

Chorus: No, and don’t call me Shirley!

Ah, the old gags are still the best.

But still, as good a game as Paper Mario is, it’s in no way worth $1,100. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

See also:
The Dark Side Of Retro Gaming
Retro Gaming: It’s Getting Worse

I still resolutely stand as someone who, while I have a reasonable quantity of retro games in my possession, wants them to play, not to collect. Are these really selling at this kind of price?

A quick check of eBay certainly suggests that some sellers are asking for that kind of money for this particular game complete in box. But are they getting paid that?

Checking against completed results, it would appear that this is the north end of a “collecting” problem. I can find a few results that suggest in the $700+ territory it’s entirely possible to sell a copy of Paper Mario for the N64. Even that’s enough to make my head wobble, and more to the point, make my wallet stay firmly in my pocket while I ponder the insurance implications.

I like playing on original hardware quite a bit, but not to that extent, and I’d be pretty sure most of the folks blowing cash at that level probably aren’t actually allowing those games to be played any time soon.

As someone who loves playing retro games, this makes me sad. Just me?

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