Dentist Bags a Stack of Rare Retro Games for over $1 Million

A dentist from Florida obtains "one of the foremost collections in the world" after netting 40 rare retro games for a cool $1.02 million.

How far would you go to get your hands on a collection of super rare video games? Most of us would probably put in a few more clicks than we should have on our bid over on eBay for that collectible game we’ve always wanted, but I’m fairly certain most of us couldn’t afford to purchase around 40 factory-sealed Nintendo games in a top-end auction for $1.02 million. Meet Eric Naierman, a dentist from South Florida, who did just that.

Naierman, who is one of the world’s most avid video game collectors, jumped on a plane to Denver to obtain his must-have million-dollar haul which was assembled by three Denver-based collectors over a combined 52 years. Among Naierman’s high-dollar treasure trove of retro goodness, quite a number of the games are the only copies in existence or one of a few copies which, of course, explains its high value.

So what are these games that would see the average person having to sell a kidney and probably other body organs to acquire? The “black box,” “sticker-sealed” games include 1986’s Mario Bros. arcade version and the only known sealed copies of 1985’s Golf, 1986’s Balloon Fight and 1986’s Gumshoe. According to the article in the Washington Post, “some experts consider it to be one of the foremost collections in the world, both in terms of overall value and rarity.”

Valarie McLeckie, who is the video game consignment director at Heritage Auctions states that “It’s a classic case of supply and demand,” she continues  “Demand is increasing. More people are becoming interested, and these games are not easy to find in this condition. That’s what’s driving the market growth at this point. And people get competitive.”

Naierman initially began his collecting habit with baseball cards but realized it cost far too much to obtain one card so he turned his attention to video games and began the dream to “form a collection that could rank as one of the best in the world”. Naierman goes on to discuss how his hobby of collecting retro video-games is just as valid, if not more so than collecting baseball cards or comics “Judging from everything I’ve seen in collecting over the years, there’s no reason that this shouldn’t develop into a hobby like baseball cards or comic books,” Naierman continues. “I mean, comic books, you tell me what they have that a video game doesn’t. They have the box art. They have the same nostalgia. If comic books can sell for $1 million, there’s no reason a video game shouldn’t be able to do the same.”

The high-price of Retro video games is most certainly a topic of conversation, especially in regards to its nostalgic value. A study by Safestore has taken a look at some of the most renowned franchises in the gaming world to see how much you’ve got potentially stored away. Who knows, maybe you’re sitting on a gold mine of your own?

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Rachael Fiddis

Rachael, who is Deputy Editor, has been gaming for many years. Some of her favourite video games include The Witcher 3 and The Last of Us but also loves a good indie title. Gaming Culture is where her heart lies and spends many hours sieving through gaming fan art and cosplay displays. Other than gaming, Rachael is a book nerd and music lover.

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