We were on the road again this past weekend and, while wandering a mall, my girlfriend and I came across another local used video game store. This one was smaller than last week's find, but it was stuffed with cartridges and discs spanning the late 1970s to present. It didn't take long for my attention to drift to the lit glass case at the front of the store which contained boxed copies of Super NES games and loose Nintendo 64 and Virtual Boy cartridges, but what really leapt out at me were the price tags. I'm accustomed to seeing high prices for the Super NES games of my youth, but this place wanted $400 for Mega Man 7 which is, last I checked, available for $8 on Nintendo's Virtual Console service across three different consoles. Now yes, that is like comparing dollars to downloads, but c'mon — four hundred damned dollars for Mega Man 7? Seriously?
I had to ask, so I dug down deep and channeled my late father who had a habit of asking shopkeepers if they were serious about this kind of thing. "I have to ask," I said to the clerk, "Do people actually pay this kind of price for Mega Man 7?"
"Collectors," he replied with a smile, as if that said it all. Other games in the case included Mega Man X for $100, Waterworld (Virtual Boy) for $100, and Clayfighter: Sculptor's Cut also for $400. I asked him about that one too, and he explained that as Blockbuster Video-exclusive game, it was extremely hard to find and thus commanded that high price. I believed him about that one because I too have heard the legend of the rental-exclusive Clayfighter. "And because they're all from Blockbuster," he went on, taking the game from the case to show it to me, "They all have a Blockbuster sticker on the back." He flipped it over. No sticker. For $400 I would at least expect a Blockbuster sticker and, possibly, the word MARCUS scrawled on it in black Sharpie.
"It seems to me," I said, "That you're not running a store here, but a museum." And while I enjoyed my time looking at the expensive exhibits, ultimately we didn't buy anything and moved on.
@PressTheButtons Those motherfu... why the hell are they placing a STICKER directly on the box?— ReyVGM (@VGMuseum1) May 13, 2017