Slightly rare titles like a Pokemon Limited Edition game are going for absolutely silly money on eBay.
The used market for retro games is a fluid, ever-changing landscape where our childhood memories can be worth anything from pennies to thousands of pounds.
The latter certainly holds true for an eBay listing of Pokemon Crystal for the Game Boy Color. You can usually snag an unboxed Pokemon Crystal cartridge for anywhere between £30 and £60. As this one is boxed and graded, it’s up for sale for an eye-watering £15,000!
Game grading is an ugly can of worms I daren’t open here, but this gargantuan value certainly raises some eyebrows, especially as the Seller notes, “This will easily be a WATA 9.6 – 9.8” in the description
The Seller in question has many other titles up for sale for thousands of pounds, including another Pokemon limited edition, Pokemon Snap for the Nintendo 64. The big standout with this listing is the grading. Game Boy Color games come in a thin cardboard box, as you can see. Inside, the manual is loose, and the game cartridge is secured in a cardboard tray.
Thanks to how flimsy the cardboard is, it’s very rare to find these boxes in the wild, let alone as well preserved as this. These boxes weren’t designed to survive the test of time, and many quickly found their way into the bin. Is the packaging worth the extra £14,970?
Well, I’ll just say this game is not for me.
Why is a Pokemon limited edition so expensive?
It’s no secret that retro game prices have skyrocketed, and many noticed their collections explode in value during the lockdown. I collect PlayStation games and have seen many items in my collection suddenly demand obscene amounts of money. The issue is, that’s never what it was about for me.
I collect PlayStation games because I enjoy them, and many collectors are the same. These titles remind me of a simpler time, and I have memories of playing them with my parents. From a technical standpoint, I appreciate the rawness of old games and love seeing ideas that are commonplace nowadays in their infancy.
For many collectors, the hobby isn’t about money; it was never an investment opportunity. The thought that old games command outrageous sums of cash will elate some and infuriate others. One thing is for sure, collecting games like this has become a costly hobby. It’s worth mentioning that this listing is exactly that, a listing. Just because the Seller demands a price on eBay doesn’t mean it’ll go for that much or sell at all.
If it sells, the next question should be what Starter Pokemon the buyer chose or whether the game will live in a rigid plastic box until the end of time.
Anthony is a freelance writer and has worked in the industry for three years. He’s furiously competitive and is always looking for the next big multiplayer hit. Anthony is a passionate PS1 collector and firmly believes in playing games in his collection rather than letting them collect dust on a shelf. He is also passionate about speedrunning and always looks forward to the next GDQ and ESA events.