As far as rare game cartridges go, those from the 1990 Nintendo World Championships are among the most eminent. A few weeks ago, I did report on a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. from Nintendo’s American retail test run of the mid-80’s that sold for a blistering $100K – but while the World Championship cartridge sells for nowhere near that, you’re still entering brand-new Mazda territory if you would like to own one.

It’s for that reason, it’s unquestionably newsworthy if an unknown cartridge pops up. They originate from a tournament that Nintendo held in 1990 across 30 American cities (in this case, Seattle). Competitors would duke it over three mini-games based on Super Mario. Bros, Rad Racer and Tetris. The prizes at the time included $250 and a trip to Universal Studios Hollywood (while second place would net you a Game Boy and the Nintendo Power Pad) but the value of the actual cartridge has since dwarfed all that combined.

Repin’ the serial number 0287, this copy is brand new to the fold of around 90 cartridges that are already believed to exist. The news of this find comes courtesy of Jason from the YouTube channel, MetalJesusRocks. A viewer named Tim had contacted him asking for advice on what to do with the aforementioned cartridge that he found in his parent’s loft. The story goes that his brother was a finalist in the famed competition but was sadly going through hard financial times, so brother Tim was tasked with rummaging through his possessions looking for items to sell. Luckily for Tim’s brother, he found an unassuming NES cartridge that sells for five digits.

Throughout MetalJesusRock’s video, he takes Tim to Pink Gorilla Games in the Seattle area. This retro gaming store is run by fellow YouTuber, Kelsey Lewin (who also runs a fantastic channel, by the way) who confirms that the cartridge is the real deal. She opens the cartridge up as there is quite a distinctive set of IC’s within, and also confirms that the cartridge plays on an NES.


Well, fortunately for Tim’s brother, MetalJesusRock himself confirmed in the comments section for the YouTube video that the cartridge did indeed sell for $23,000. The comment was posted three hours ago as of the publishing of this article, so no further details are known except that it was sold to a private collector who wishes to remain anonymous.

Check out the video below, and keep an eye on MetalJesusRock’s channel for (hopefully) more updates soon:

Brendan Meharry Brendan Meharry (112 Posts)

Growing up while the fifth generation of consoles reigned supreme meant that Brendan missed out on much of the 80’s and early 90’s of gaming the first time around. He either lacked the cognitive ability to play them, as naturally, he was a baby - or he simply didn’t exist yet. Undeterred, Brendan started a blog called Retro Game On in 2011. This followed his exploits as he collected and played everything he could get his hands on no matter what the release date. While RGO is mainly YouTube focused these days concentrating on video reviews and historical features, the itch to do some old fashion writing never went away. More recently, Brendan has been a staff writer for the gaming website, GameCloud, mostly focusing on the indie gaming scene in his locale of Perth, Australia.