Mind-blowing prices and risk abound in the latest collectibles boom – the athletic


First, these were old collectible cards that sold for hundreds of thousands and then millions of dollars.

Then it was the sporting paraphernalia, especially the jerseys, sneakers and equipment used for the game. Autographs, game tickets, and then the dazzling and disconcerting arrival of non-fungible tokens attracted the crowd. attention (and wallets) of sports collectors and speculators.

Spending huge sums of money on so-called alternative assets has become a pandemic pastime for the rich and those who hope to get rich (or richer) by flipping things.

Retro video game collectors have been around for a long time, and while rare games have quietly sold for Ivy League tuition prices over the past couple of years, it was this summer that vintage video games sealed and factory-classified have been more widely noticed as a craze for deep-pocketed investors. It is not known how many buyers are true collectors versus speculators.

Video games are a niche market for collectibles that are only a fraction of the size of collectible cards, but headlines grabbed the front pages of the New York Times and elsewhere when a video game Super Mario Bros. 1985 unopened and still sealed in its box for the original Nintendo console sold for a record $ 2 million on August 3 via the fractional investment site Rally Collectibles. The most expensive collectible card sold earlier this year for $ 6.6 million.

The games that make the most money in this young market are rare, popular, still sealed in their original packaging, and authenticated and categorized by a third-party company such as Wata or VGA, as collectible cards have long been purchased. and sold. , often through online auction houses specializing in these products.

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