Recently I’ve noticed certain SNES games going for high prices online. One of the current hot titles is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles IV: Turtles In Time, a scrolling fighter released in 1992. I first purchased this game (loose) on eBay around 8 years ago for about £10, and it’s been one of my most-played games ever since. It’s probably my favourite SNES game (I even wrote a review of it), and as such, I wouldn’t consider parting with it. Lately however, eBay listings for this game have gone a bit nuts. Like £80 for just the cart nuts. If you want it boxed, double it.
What’s causing this? A quick check on Pricecharting.com reveals the game’s prices spiked in 2007 (when the TMNT animated film was released), and then began to rise again from 2012 to present. It’s quite possible that the popularity of the recent movies have caused sellers to up their prices, but who is paying these prices for a game that was cheaper when first released, and can easily be emulated for free? I’m not getting into the debate about emulation vs original hardware/software, but I’m just saying it’s an option, and one that becomes more attractive when a game’s price gets pushed sky high like this.
The other question I have is why are prices in the UK so much higher? Pricecharting.com shows an average price for a loose TMNT IV cart being around $46 (£32) in the USA. You won’t find the PAL version over here for less than double that. What’s going on, have traders managed to buy up all the copies of the game, pushing demand – and therefore prices – up? I had a look through the first 3 pages of Google search results for “UK retro game online stores”, and not one of them had the game in stock. Maybe the game finally deserves the “RARE” description eBay sellers like to slap on every retro game listing. Lucky for me I bought the game while it was relatively cheap, I guess.
It’s not just online stores that seem to have hiked up SNES prices recently. I noticed one dealer at the Leeds fair this weekend was selling a boxed Street Fighter II for £35. The box wasn’t in great condition, and the game wasn’t even one of the Hyper/Super/Amazinglyincredible variants, it was just plain old Street Fighter II. This game was available (in the same condition) on a few online stores, each time for between £20 and £25. Buyers in the SNES game market need to be switched on in order to not get stung, it seems.
One SNES game I have been looking to purchase lately is Batman Returns. Another great scrolling fighter, this is one I’ve only played on an emulator, but would like to be able to play on my actual SNES. Prices for this one aren’t as bad as TMNT IV, but they are still rising.
Looking on eBay (apparently the only place to find it online in this country), a loose cart tends to go for at least £20. Again, more expensive than in America. Having come irritatingly close to getting one for £15 (see previous blog), I’ve become a bit obsessed with not overpaying for it. I want the game, but I’m not desperate enough to pay more than I think it’s worth. Stay tuned, I’ll let you know how it goes!
My name is Iain and my addiction is making pixel bead art. My main inspirations are comics, video games and movies.