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Retro gaming bubble, and how deep are we in it?

retro console bubble invest

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#101 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Oct 24, 2017 6:21 PM

I stroll into our local retro game shop on the way home from shopping on most weekends, just to see what's up.  I'll tell you, at least in these places: PRICES.  Holy shit.  The stuff is so expensive these days that I don't see who's buying to really OLD stuff anymore.  The only reasonable prices are on the later systems.  Hell, even PS1 games are hard to find under ten bucks!  I did happen to discover a Time Crisis game for PS1 though, that strangely I wasn't aware of (Project Titan)...but wasn't going to pay 20 bucks for the copy they had, in the condition it was in.  So I had to head to ebay.

 

That said, these stores obviously don't rely on income from actual retro titles.  Since everyone and their dog now use ebay sales to determine their pricing (and up it a few ticks, even then) there is no more 'deal' to be found...outside of some of the gaming conventions, where they drop their prices if only to compete with the people who actually price their stuff for what people (normal people) are willing to PAY...not 'what it costs on ebay'. 

 

If you can't find a good NES game for ten bucks, don't pay it.  I realize there's a lot of stinkers out there, but man, very few carts are really worth more than 20 bucks.  And if they are, they better be in nice shape. 

 

It wasn't actually that long ago that the shops who sold retro (in addition to the new stuff) priced their gear to move.  Now, they price it to sit on the shelf until somebody on ebay takes the bait.  Pat the NES Punk did a pretty good video as to why that is, however...and how difficult it is getting for these retro shops to keep any kind of actual retro product on the shelves.  It's very risky to put all your eggs in the retro market...they all have to cater to the new systems, or the recently new-old.  But even those systems aren't dropping in price: look at the Wii U.  It's hard to find a nice unit for less than 200 bucks in my area...and that's a 'dead' system!  You could find fantastic deals on Wii systems day and night a few years back when it was dropped by Nintendo, but the Wii U?  Never such a thing did happen.  If you want one, you're paying damn near close to what you'd have paid for these things new.  And that's the way I guess people are handling it.  I was drooling in anticipation for them blowing out like the Wii's final days, but it just never happened.

 

With the newest systems all going to downloads and such, so goes the physical media, so goes the resale business.  Oh well, I guess.  I like visiting these shops, but when everything basically begins to cost similar to what you'd pay to play modern systems, it takes a lot of the fun out of it.



#102 pacman000 ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:53 AM

The bubble will only pop if someone puts at least three copies of the same cartridge next to each other, and the market will only crash if those are the only carts holding the market to the top of the screen. ;)


Edited by pacman000, Wed Oct 25, 2017 10:53 AM.


#103 adamchevy OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:21 PM

I stroll into our local retro game shop on the way home from shopping on most weekends, just to see what's up.  I'll tell you, at least in these places: PRICES.  Holy shit.  The stuff is so expensive these days that I don't see who's buying to really OLD stuff anymore.  The only reasonable prices are on the later systems.  Hell, even PS1 games are hard to find under ten bucks!  I did happen to discover a Time Crisis game for PS1 though, that strangely I wasn't aware of (Project Titan)...but wasn't going to pay 20 bucks for the copy they had, in the condition it was in.  So I had to head to ebay.
 
That said, these stores obviously don't rely on income from actual retro titles.  Since everyone and their dog now use ebay sales to determine their pricing (and up it a few ticks, even then) there is no more 'deal' to be found...outside of some of the gaming conventions, where they drop their prices if only to compete with the people who actually price their stuff for what people (normal people) are willing to PAY...not 'what it costs on ebay'. 
 
If you can't find a good NES game for ten bucks, don't pay it.  I realize there's a lot of stinkers out there, but man, very few carts are really worth more than 20 bucks.  And if they are, they better be in nice shape. 
 
It wasn't actually that long ago that the shops who sold retro (in addition to the new stuff) priced their gear to move.  Now, they price it to sit on the shelf until somebody on ebay takes the bait.  Pat the NES Punk did a pretty good video as to why that is, however...and how difficult it is getting for these retro shops to keep any kind of actual retro product on the shelves.  It's very risky to put all your eggs in the retro market...they all have to cater to the new systems, or the recently new-old.  But even those systems aren't dropping in price: look at the Wii U.  It's hard to find a nice unit for less than 200 bucks in my area...and that's a 'dead' system!  You could find fantastic deals on Wii systems day and night a few years back when it was dropped by Nintendo, but the Wii U?  Never such a thing did happen.  If you want one, you're paying damn near close to what you'd have paid for these things new.  And that's the way I guess people are handling it.  I was drooling in anticipation for them blowing out like the Wii's final days, but it just never happened.
 
With the newest systems all going to downloads and such, so goes the physical media, so goes the resale business.  Oh well, I guess.  I like visiting these shops, but when everything basically begins to cost similar to what you'd pay to play modern systems, it takes a lot of the fun out of it.


That’s why I collect for the 2600 and recently the Intellivision. I don’t see kids these days deciding to get into collecting for these systems. If so, I hope that I can pile the cib copies of games up in my basement before it gets crazy. I really don’t see this happening.

#104 jhd OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:49 AM

It wasn't actually that long ago that the shops who sold retro (in addition to the new stuff) priced their gear to move.  Now, they price it to sit on the shelf until somebody on ebay takes the bait.  Pat the NES Punk did a pretty good video as to why that is, however...and how difficult it is getting for these retro shops to keep any kind of actual retro product on the shelves.  It's very risky to put all your eggs in the retro market...they all have to cater to the new systems, or the recently new-old.  

 

It may be a new phenomenon where you live, but, in my experience, this has always been the case. I am reminded of one local shop -- now long closed -- that was more like a museum than a store. Prices were always staggeringly high, and the very same games were always on the shelf month after month. I have no idea how they paid rent (or their staff). Even when they had their going-out-of-business sale, prices did not drop significantly. 

 

The corollary is that there are very few dedicated game shops left anymore. Calgary presently has more than 1 million people, but (so far as I am aware) no specialist used game stores anymore. Presumably they could not compete with online sales, and/or they priced themselves out of the market. (By way of comparison, there are at least two model train stores and an annual dealer show, so other niche hobbies are represented.) 



#105 Polybius OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 5:59 PM

Hi all,

 

I believe that retro gaming is now officially an asset bubble. If it was about experiencing original classic Atari games on the original console, adding it to your collection and then sharing information and pictures about the console and/or games - adding something to the community - cool. But these devices are being flipped, like assets. So, again I firmly believe we are deep in a retro gaming bubble. Not a high-end one like houses. As in, the ramifications will not mean that you have to sell your car, or you will loose your house. But in time, there will be people that will have a stack of investments (sorry... games) that they paid insane prices for, and will not be able to recover that ... investment.

All the classic bubble hallmarks are at play here. Lets look at the classic 5 steps of a bubble:-

1) Displacement - This is when investors (as apposed to fans of retro-gaming due nostalgia, preference to the different older-style of gaming experience, the type that will add to the community, not just ask how much is this item worth-types, etc..), become interested in this "new" potential revenue stream.

We are now seeing more and more people "express" an interest in retro-gaming devices and software. More and more people are aware of this, and more opportunities become available for people to invest (take) or fuel (add) to the growing retro-gaming market (like the NES/SNES mini classic for example).

2) Boom - Prices rise very slowly at first, and then BOOM!!! That game you was looking to get, that was only a couple of quid, is now 10's of pounds (and that is just for starters). And then momentum kicks. Like a stone rolling, the prices keep on rising, and at an accelerated rate. This is the boom phase. Those of us that have been playing old consoles for years, will have seen the prices of these consoles fall when they were originally superseded, and then start to rise (gently as wear/tear/damage - just the ever reducing stock of these devices/games happens) over time. But until the last few years, those increases have always been pretty gentle. Also, a key factor of this phase is recognition. Playing old consoles, or retro-gaming, is now "a thing". When you have news media, that is normally total divorced from the subject matter starts giving the "new asset" wide coverage. You seen the articles:- That old console in the attic could be worth 100's!!!!!! Top 10 games what used be worth pennies, but are now worth 100's. These are all indicators.

Remember how many property programs popped up on TV during the housing market boom? This breeds the attitude "fear of missing out on that once in a lifetime investment" (NES classic anyone?). It also breeds the air of competition. Someone proudy shows their recent acquisition of the "rare" blah blah blah game. It's not a good game, but only a small number were produced. This also really drives prices up. But this uniquely gets other previously savvy retro-gaming collectors spending more than they normally would. Before they would have a spending cap of X per game. This cap slowly creeps up to Y, and then Z etc.. This is rocket fuel to the boom phase. This also increases the number of retro-gamers (investors).

3) Euphoria - In this phase, with free flowing credit and a some-what level of economic security, (and the fact that alot of people that grew up with these consoles are at the age where they may have disposable income) caution is thrown to the wind. The mindset moves to "gotta get them all" before someone else does, and miss out an opportunity to flip for a profit. Prices in this phase sky-rocket even further. You then start to get "market experts". They talk up the market. You've seen game X on eBay, been watching, debating if you should get it or not. You then see You-tuber ILUVRETROGAMESCOZTHEYAREKEWL99SAUSAGE talking about game X. Before you have finished watching the video, you check again on eBay, and the price has gone up because this popular You-tuber mentioned it, and maybe used the word rare at some point. These experts fuel the market, fuel desire, competition. This drives down levels of rational thinking. This also breeds and feeds the "greater fool theory". This theory works on the prinicple, that it doesn't really matter how much I spend on X, because there will always be a "greater fool" that will buy it off me .... for more. During this phase, you will see the introduction of new, weird and wonderful valuation measures and metrics (e.g. PlayStation one release model (SCPH-1001) is now known as the Audiophile due to having RCA presentation and a slightly better DAC - a term that has been used to greatly exaggerate the value of the console in the mind of the lesser researched/informed "investor"), all touted to justify the relentless rise in asset prices.

4) Profit taking - At this point, anyone who "is into retro-gaming" as an asset, and have the smart money mentality, will start cashing out. Impressive complete collections start becoming more and more available. This is because the "smart money" is heeding the warning signs. They are "selling out" and taking profits (which is being provided by the "greater fool") while the profits are available. If someone that would normally be completely divorced from gaming suddenly starts showing interest and some level of newly acquired savvy regarding the asset (like grandma suddenly knowing the difference between her sons old heavy sixer and a light sixer that she found in the attic), saturation point has been breached.

You will see record levels of fakes at this time. And even good ones too, as the prices they can potentially sell for, justifies the extra effort from the counterfeiter. We are talking about it gets to the point that near expert levels of appraisement is required.

At this point, I want to talk about the "mythical" scalper. A scalper does not exist per say. What does exist is someone with more contacts, money or savvy than you to get the item you want, or got it sooner, thus cheaper than you. And then having the savvy to know that they can charge an inflated price when they decide to flip that item. Look, if everyone decided they will not spend more that £55 on a NES classic, how long to do think the "scalpers" would try and charge £200? If the "greater fool" exists, then greater prices exist.

At this point, the bubble of choice has hit saturation point, it can then only take even a minor event to prick the bubble. But once pricked, the bubble is not likely to inflate again. That event could come in any shape or form. Unlike the housing, where is it some what clear what elements can cause a down-swing in the market, in retro-gaming, it harder to predict. A general loss of interest? A better more exciting (read - new) "investment" comes along, maybe? The Ataribox proves to be WAY better than anyone thought (100% perfect 2600, 5200, 7800, STe and Jaguar emulation?), thus killing the desire for anything else? Serious down-swing in the general economy (that makes people focus on the essentials, not frivolous). Retro-gaming stops being "hip". Fakes and badly repaired/modded hardware (you know - that "eBay mint" console that looks worst than an out of date dog's dinner)? It could be all of these or just one or two. It's hard to call. But the realty is that we are seeing a bubble grow, and it will pop. And when it does, phase 5 bites down.

5) Panic - If you are collecting retro-gaming equipment for the love of it and not an asset (e.g. you was doing it before it became a thing - you know when it was just called gaming or playing on my old Atari), this is the only stage that doesn't adversely affect you. In fact, this is the phase you will like. If you are in it for the profit, and you are still in it at this point - whoops!! In the panic phase, asset prices reverse, and hard. And often (as history has shown) at a more ferocious pace. Coming down far faster, that when they were on the rise. Investors at this point will flood the market in attempt to find that one last "greater fool" to buy at an apparently more reasonable price. The problem is, at this point there are no more "greater fools", just the "greatest fools" fighting to get as much back as possible, reducing their loses on a cartridge that they bought at the height of the market for £200 for example, and are now not getting any response on trying to sell it for £30.


So that is my take on this subject. I think we are clicking from phase 3 into phase 4. And boy are we going to see some crazy when the SNES mini classic comes out. All the people that "missed out" of the first with the NES, will be on a mission (impossible mission?) to get one. Competition, desire and a complete lack of rational thinking is gonna kick in.

Anyway, just by reading this, you can tell I am NOT even close to being an expert. This probably reads more like the mussing of a mad man. But I'm a fan, and I find things like this interesting and fun to discuss. So please let me know if you agree, disagree. I would really love to read your thoughts/ideas on this? Is this something we what to happen? It would make prices cheaper, but then you will be less likely to get devices like the NES/SNES mini classic and other ideas that can make retro-gaming interesting.

Looking forward to reading your thoughts.

Apparently I am not the only one that has noticed this, I have been noticing this quite a bit in this and others, some are inflating, like this one, or with the old "3-wheeler" Atvs , and others have popped, like dolls, comics, baseball cards, Star Wars figures, and especially Scale model cars/NASCAR stuff  not too long ago, NASCAR scale cars, along with others were trading for 3x or more their list. Action Racing, for example, had 1:18 scale diecast cars that were about $75 new. for a while, they traded at $200-400+ a piece. 

 

I went to an estate sale, the guy recently died, a good friend , and we (Me, my brother, and a family friend) went over there, helped the family get stuff out of the house, and I bought a few things. the man's basement was literally wall-to-wall scale cars, there must have been tens of thousands of them. For what he spent on that collection, my friend remarked, "He could have bought a Rolls Royce!" Of course, that was a bit innaccurate, but still. (More Accurately, He have could bought a big house, AND a Rolls Royce! )  He had hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more in this collection, but now, those $200 a piece cars he bought at the height of the market, are now struggling to bring $25! and that's if you can find buyers (basically, less than half price of new MSRP).

Comics, even nice, silver and gold era ones, may net you $15 in VG+ (Very Good) to NM (Near Mint) condition! some only net $5, and if its after 1970, forget it, its birdcage liner! (about $1.99)  

 

Comics and scale cars are 2 markets that popped, while Video Games and 3 Wheeler ATVs are rising as we speak.  I don't consider myself a pro at this either, just observant, and considering I work in Antiques/Resale, I have to be observant of these things.     

 

#5 won't affect too much either, I do some resale on Retro games, but 90% of my Game stuff is in a personal collection, so to that end at least, I won't really be affected by a crash. Now, It would be a little less fun about getting that rare/valuable game worth booku bucks for a bargain, but I would be buying more for cheap again, and expanding my collection would not be so hard  :D  


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#106 Polybius OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 5:59 PM


It's all the more amazing to me that I can get the bargains I do sometimes, but it's nice that there is still the occasional bargain to be had.  


Edited by Polybius, Wed Nov 1, 2017 6:02 PM.


#107 Polybius OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Nov 1, 2017 6:13 PM

I stroll into our local retro game shop on the way home from shopping on most weekends, just to see what's up.  I'll tell you, at least in these places: PRICES.  Holy shit.  The stuff is so expensive these days that I don't see who's buying to really OLD stuff anymore.  The only reasonable prices are on the later systems.  Hell, even PS1 games are hard to find under ten bucks!  I did happen to discover a Time Crisis game for PS1 though, that strangely I wasn't aware of (Project Titan)...but wasn't going to pay 20 bucks for the copy they had, in the condition it was in.  So I had to head to ebay.

 

That said, these stores obviously don't rely on income from actual retro titles.  Since everyone and their dog now use ebay sales to determine their pricing (and up it a few ticks, even then) there is no more 'deal' to be found...outside of some of the gaming conventions, where they drop their prices if only to compete with the people who actually price their stuff for what people (normal people) are willing to PAY...not 'what it costs on ebay'. 

 

If you can't find a good NES game for ten bucks, don't pay it.  I realize there's a lot of stinkers out there, but man, very few carts are really worth more than 20 bucks.  And if they are, they better be in nice shape. 

 

It wasn't actually that long ago that the shops who sold retro (in addition to the new stuff) priced their gear to move.  Now, they price it to sit on the shelf until somebody on ebay takes the bait.  Pat the NES Punk did a pretty good video as to why that is, however...and how difficult it is getting for these retro shops to keep any kind of actual retro product on the shelves.  It's very risky to put all your eggs in the retro market...they all have to cater to the new systems, or the recently new-old.  But even those systems aren't dropping in price: look at the Wii U.  It's hard to find a nice unit for less than 200 bucks in my area...and that's a 'dead' system!  You could find fantastic deals on Wii systems day and night a few years back when it was dropped by Nintendo, but the Wii U?  Never such a thing did happen.  If you want one, you're paying damn near close to what you'd have paid for these things new.  And that's the way I guess people are handling it.  I was drooling in anticipation for them blowing out like the Wii's final days, but it just never happened.

 

With the newest systems all going to downloads and such, so goes the physical media, so goes the resale business.  Oh well, I guess.  I like visiting these shops, but when everything basically begins to cost similar to what you'd pay to play modern systems, it takes a lot of the fun out of it.

 the WiiU is an odd case when you think about it, considering it is considered to be a commercial failure by Nintendo, sales definitely did not catch fire like the Wii, and Nintendo flopped on the u. However, I wonder if the retro market, and the whole thing about nintendo stopping production, and the list of articles of how the WiiU was a massive flop, even before it officially died, helped bolster some demand, on the premise of future resale, like the Idea of how people bought cars like the 76 Cadillac eldorado at a premium, then mothballed them, for a future sale, at much more. 

 

If the WiiU thing does follow that pattern, they are sure to drop, when they try to flood their products, and it sinks. 

 

My guess the idea that nintendo killed it, and the "Bile Fascination" aspect, all the articles that said it was "bad", and a "Failure", maybe helped to keep the prices up, by creating a demand for it.  



#108 coleco82 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 6:31 AM

I agree with atarilovesyou.

Where I live there are only 2 retro game stores, Pre Played and Video Game Xchange.

I cant get any "decent" ps1 games complete anymore for less than $25 and up

I remember in the late 90s early 2000s you could get complete PS1 games for $10, especially when the PS2 came along and every store was clearing out their PS1 games at dirt cheap prices.

At least at Video Game XChange I can get the common Atari 2600 early picture label games for $1 a piece.

They charge $2 a piece for silver label and activision games.

Atari red or rust label games are 3 to 5 bucks.

They do charge $10 for both Pitfall 2 and Smurf resuce from Gargamels castle.

Generally, the guy charges less than ebay and for that I am grateful.

I just wish I could get say resident evil 1 or metal gear solid for $10 oh well.

Sorry for the rambling but that's how I feel.


Edited by coleco82, Thu Nov 2, 2017 6:34 AM.


#109 Nebulon OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 4:32 PM

I stroll into our local retro game shop on the way home from shopping on most weekends, just to see what's up.  I'll tell you, at least in these places: PRICES.  Holy shit.  The stuff is so expensive these days that I don't see who's buying to really OLD stuff anymore.  The only reasonable prices are on the later systems.  Hell, even PS1 games are hard to find under ten bucks!  I did happen to discover a Time Crisis game for PS1 though, that strangely I wasn't aware of (Project Titan)...but wasn't going to pay 20 bucks for the copy they had, in the condition it was in.  So I had to head to ebay.

 

That said, these stores obviously don't rely on income from actual retro titles.  Since everyone and their dog now use ebay sales to determine their pricing (and up it a few ticks, even then) there is no more 'deal' to be found...outside of some of the gaming conventions, where they drop their prices if only to compete with the people who actually price their stuff for what people (normal people) are willing to PAY...not 'what it costs on ebay'. 

 

If you can't find a good NES game for ten bucks, don't pay it.  I realize there's a lot of stinkers out there, but man, very few carts are really worth more than 20 bucks.  And if they are, they better be in nice shape. 

 

It wasn't actually that long ago that the shops who sold retro (in addition to the new stuff) priced their gear to move.  Now, they price it to sit on the shelf until somebody on ebay takes the bait.  Pat the NES Punk did a pretty good video as to why that is, however...and how difficult it is getting for these retro shops to keep any kind of actual retro product on the shelves.  It's very risky to put all your eggs in the retro market...they all have to cater to the new systems, or the recently new-old.  But even those systems aren't dropping in price: look at the Wii U.  It's hard to find a nice unit for less than 200 bucks in my area...and that's a 'dead' system!  You could find fantastic deals on Wii systems day and night a few years back when it was dropped by Nintendo, but the Wii U?  Never such a thing did happen.  If you want one, you're paying damn near close to what you'd have paid for these things new.  And that's the way I guess people are handling it.  I was drooling in anticipation for them blowing out like the Wii's final days, but it just never happened.

 

With the newest systems all going to downloads and such, so goes the physical media, so goes the resale business.  Oh well, I guess.  I like visiting these shops, but when everything basically begins to cost similar to what you'd pay to play modern systems, it takes a lot of the fun out of it.

 

Agreed.

 

I was dabbling with the idea of picking up a used Wii U when they dropped in price. But as you've mentioned, they really didn't drop in price much at all. I guess my plan backfired. 

 

So yes, things certainly are changing out there in retro bargain world. 

 

I too also wonder how some of these stores manage to pay their bills when stuff is priced too high to really sell in any significant volume. 

 

I think one major difference between us and some of the buyers out there is that a lot of us buy in order to actually play these games and not just to put them under glass. So in our minds, it shouldn't just look good -- it should play well too.


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#110 Keatah OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 7:02 PM

I'm just happy to have detached money and value from the hobby. It's a terrible grind to have to assign a dollar value to each item in a collection. Even the high-dollar Apple material.



#111 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Nov 2, 2017 8:10 PM

There are folks out there, generally not 'us', as in the typical member of AA, where the collectible factor is the HIGHEST reason to possess a rare game.  It's the same types of folks out there who collect coins, or art, or other things that gain (not simply retain) value. 

 

In the stores near me, pretty much all of the titles are relatively expensive...except for games that were so mass produced (sports games, for instance, on PS1, or games like GTA3 on PS2) that you might find them at around 7 or so bucks.  This all took off not too long ago.  But isn't it interesting that, much like any other collectible, retro games need, outright NEED a widespread audience in order to be collectible.  Case in point, just take a look at how much the mini NES and SNES are going for on ebay.  Hundreds of dollars.  More than, in most cases, the systems themselves.  Now this is easy for me to accept, because a) it's not so easy to play those games on those systems unless you have an idea about multicarts and b) because the general PUBLIC has deemed that stuff interesting, creating demand, demand further spurned by a manufacturer who is reluctant to produce said product in the amount to satiate demand.  And like the fellow above said, in the case of the Wii U, it's not completely out of the picture to imagine that Nintendo did that on PURPOSE, so that they could still sell their Wii U titles for full price almost a year after the system was discontinued!  It makes great business sense, actually. 

 

But pisses us off who looked to this retro hobby as generally a cheap way to get some fun (and nostalgia, too). 

 

As far as other bubbles, I can't speak to the NASCAR products...I have no idea about them.  But just about everybody knows about the NES, and that will continue for quite some time.  About the only way it will reverse course is for, as another poster noticed above, those that are collecting this stuff literally die out and the fans who remembered those titles also die out.  Then, and only then, will you see those high prices drop. 

 

I consider NES games (and SNES, even more so) like vintage guitars: only the oldest, best condition instruments command the extreme top dollars from collectors...and it took a few decades to get that way.  But even then, eventually, the majority of those instruments will lose value if not only because nobody cares anymore.  That's already happening and has been happening with rock for quite some time, but that's another conversation.  Your 50s Gibson Les Paul is like the MISB SNES from back in the day, along with a MISB copy of Chrono Trigger.  The demand is just crazy high for that and video games, not Nintendo fans, will ensure that will be the case for future decades.  Only if video games themselves start to lose popularity will the trend reverse (like the modern day erasure of rock music being the most popular form of music for young people), but even then, there will still be those very rare specimens.  The valleys will be followed by peaks, much like vintage guitars, but once it reaches a certain height, it's pretty sure that's where it will stay.  Stradivarius violins, an extreme example, but you get my point.

 

At some point, most of the stuff we see that's high in price will simply drop if only because nobody will give a shit anymore.   Snow Brothers for NES will not always command 400 plus USD because people will not give a shit anymore.  We'll all be old farts, pining about the old days, lol...and there simply won't be enough of us to instill that 'demand' for those kinds of titles.

 

Comics, baseball cards...the top stuff will keep its value, as it always has (and will).  And relatively speaking lots of stuff from the 70s will still keep its value if it was popular and is in good shape.  But you won't be retiring off it, which is what speculators would want to occur. 

 

I'm not sure how long the 'bubble' will last but probably with the demise of retail stores that specialize in retro games...but then again, there's always ebay.  I mean, that's where these stores are getting their ideas about how to price their items in the first place.  Part of me wonders why all this didn't happen sooner!...and I kick myself for not picking up some absolute gems along the way when they were reasonable (30 bucks for CIB Bart vs the Space Mutants, 20 bux for CIB Earthworm Jim on Genesis, likewise for Gunstar Heroes).  I'm a collector, but I want to play this stuff.  There are no sealed games in my collection. 

 

To end my rant, lol, I'll show you that sometimes I'm more foolish than I let on:  about ten years ago, I bought a sealed copy of Micro Machines for the NES.  I loved that game, and at the time I had no interest in emulation (much like today, to some degree).  I paid about 55 USD for it in 2008.  Opened it up, had some annoying problems with the lockout chip (I was using a newer NES console) but still had a lot of fun.  A quick boo at the completed ebay sales show that title recently sold for around 200 USD, so it quadrupled in value for a sealed specimen.  Eight years, quadrupled value.  A complete in box, like what I now have, goes for around the same price I paid for it back then.  My point...this stuff isn't going to really add much to a retirement portfolio (as we all well know).  So I got to enjoy the game, but these days I play it on my powerpak.  So while it retained some value, I wasn't about to hold on to it sealed in order to sell it...in order to do what, buy more games? :D  I dunno.  Will games like Snow Brothers keep holding their value?  I dunno.  Those two games, they're both sleepers but for some reason people want them as collectibles.  I don't know where it ends.

 

Is Chase the Chuckwagon still selling for crazy dollars?  And that stuff is going to take the first hit when the 'bubble' pops, because only we care about that stuff.  I can't see a situation where that game continues to hold value once guys like us are dead and gone.  Or maybe it will?  Shit, my local shop is selling Dukes of Hazzard for the Coleco for 40 dollars!...loose!  Yes, it's in immaculate shape, but still: that game is horrid, and the only reason they're asking that price is because of ebay, because of the IP.  That's it.  Space Fury is 25.  And I'm fighting the urge to pick it up :D  But those games should be no more than ten bucks each...and that's even being generous. 

 

Good PS1 games are holding value, even the PS2 is rising: and this, only two Christmases after a 'take home ten for five bucks!' sale that I picked up a big chuck of my current collection of those nostalgic titles from the system...the stores need floor space, and that got them moving.  Only to be cleaned up and put on ebay for triple the price!...and then what stock remained in those shops?...went UP, of course.  The whole thing is almost comical.

 

Stay retroing, my friends.


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