Rare NES Cartridge Sells for $21,400

After a month of bidding, an incredibly rare copy of the NES cartridge Nintendo World Championship 1990 has sold for a price of $21,400, plus $10 for shipping. Listed on online auction site myebid.com (screen capture hosted locally for posterity) in a lot of 24 NES games with an unassuming starting price of $24, the game was sold by a man apparently unaware of its status as the most valuable NES cartridge in existence.

According to the auction description, the 24 games belonged to the seller's son, who died during military service in Iraq. "All the games should work fine, I would keep them for my 8 year old daughter but the Nintendo system itself doesn't work any more and I threw it out," wrote the seller, Caseys_dad. "I think a dollar for each game is a fare [sic] price so I'm starting the bidding at $24. I hope whoever buys the games will enjoy them as much as my son did!"

Nintendo World Championship 1990 is a special edition cartridge containing versions of Nintendo's Super Mario Bros., Square's Rad Racer, and Alexey Pajitnov's Tetris, the three NES games used in the Nintendo World Championship. Ninety gray cartridges were manufactured for semi-finalists, while 26 gold cartridges--similar to the well known gold Legend of Zelda cartridges--were manufactured for the winners of a Nintendo Power contest. The cartridge sold in this week's auction is one of the incredibly rare gold units. Gray copies of the game have previously sold for several thousands of dollars.

It is not known whether the seller of the item has yet received payment. If the auction winner defaults on the bid, however, the seller should have little problem fetching an attractive sum now that the rabid collector's market is aware that a NWC 1990 cartridge has surfaced.