“We’re Going to Disney World!” Says Man Who Sold 30-Year-Old Video Game for $9,000
Scott Amos is living every '80s kid's dream.
Has your mother ever called and asked you to finally get rid of all that junk in her attic? You know, the boxes full of childhood toys and mementos that’ve been gathering dust for years? Well, you might want to think about actually doing it sometime soon. Because one of those boxes might just contain your ticket to $9,000. That’s what happened to Scott Amos, a 40-year old mechanical engineer from Reno, Nevada.
When he agreed to go through some of those mystery boxes in his mother’s attic recently, he stumbled upon an old copy of Kid Icarus, a Nintendo video game from 1987, nestled in a J.C. Penney bag and still in its original shrink wrap. There was also a receipt, showing that the game was purchased for $38.45 (after taxes) in December 1988.
Since the game had never been played and was still in its original packaging, Amos thought it might be worth a few hundred bucks on eBay, if he was lucky. To figure out what his starting price should be, Amos decided to send an email to Wata Games, a company in Denver, Colorado, that grades vintage video games for collectors. Less than an hour after hitting send, Amos received a response from Wata. If what he claimed to have was real, the experts said, “You have an Easter egg”… a potential $10,000 Easter egg, to be precise.
“My initial reaction was disbelief that an old video game could be worth so much, excitement that I might have found an item of value, and fear as I realized I had left the game in easy reach of my small children,” Amos said when reached. “Were they currently opening the plastic seal and coloring on the box?” Luckily, the answer was no.
Amos’ mom, who assumes the game was a Christmas gift that she had forgotten to wrap and put under the tree, “couldn’t believe it was worth any money at all,” Amos said. “She said she couldn’t believe she paid $34.99 for it.” (By today’s standard’s, that’s just shy of $82, including the tax.)
Shortly after receiving the email from Wata, Amos carefully sent it to their Denver offices to be authenticated and weeks alter, he learned that he had indeed struck gold. Wata rated the box’s condition as an 8 out of 10, and the wrapper as an A (the highest grade is an A++).
They connected Amos with Heritage Auctions, a Dallas-based auction house with decades of experience. Amos’s Kid Icarus game went on the auction block on August 1st, listed as “one of the hardest titles to find for the NES in a sealed condition,” with only 10 other sealed copies known to be in existence. For true classic Nintendo collectors, this was a proverbial white whale.
If you aren’t familiar with Kid Icarus—i.e. you weren’t a Nintendo-obsessed kid in the late ’80s who dreamed in pixels—the premise of it was pretty simple. The main character is an angel named Pit who has to find three sacred treasures and elude monsters so he can destroy Medusa and free the princess of Angel Land, Palutena. And it turns out, plenty of people were eager to get their hands on a copy. It took just three days for a winning bidder to claim Amos’ Kid Icarus for their own, paying $9,000 for the video game that hasn’t seen oxygen since Ronald Reagan was president.
Since Amos, his mom, and his sister couldn’t reach a consensus as to who exactly the game was originally intended for, Amos agreed to split the profits 50/50 with his sister.
“Initially we were going to be responsible and pay some bills,” Amos said of his winnings. “This journey has turned out to be so much fun though, so we decided to do something fun with the money. We’re going on a family vacation to Disney World.”
We can only imagine Amos’ 1980s younger self wouldn’t want it any other way. And for more on the childhood toys that could earn you big bucks, here are 27 Silly Things from Childhood Worth Tons of Money Today.
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