Skip to main content

Dentist purchases collection of nearly 40 NES games for just over $1 million

Eric Naierman, a dentist who also happens to be one of the world’s prime video game collectors, purchased a collection of nearly 40 rare titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System for $1.02 million.

The NES Classic Edition, which featured 30 pre-installed games, evoked nostalgia for fans of retro gamers. Naierman’s acquisition, however, was leagues above and beyond in capturing critical pieces of video game history.

Related Videos

The sale, according to experts, was one of the largest ever in the history of video game collections, The Washington Post reported. All the games in the collection were factory-sealed, and most were first-edition releases that were either one-of-a-kind or one of a few that remain in such conditions.

Among the titles in the $1 million collection are sticker-sealed, black-box copies of the 1986 arcade edition of Mario Bros., the two known copies of 1985’s Golf, and the only known copies of 1986’s Balloon Fight and Gumshoe. The treasure chest was assembled by three collectors, who took 52 combined years amassing the rare titles.

The record for the highest price for a single game was $100,150, for a first-edition copy of 1985’s Super Mario Bros., also for the NES. Several of the pieces in the collection that Naierman bought may fetch similar prices if sold at an auction.

Deniz Khan, the president and CEO of Wata Games, which evaluates and grades vintage video games, referred to some of the pieces in the collection as “holy grails” and the “cream of the crop” in terms of historic value. Khan also told The Washington Post that video game collections have transformed from just being relics of nostalgia into an appreciation for the art and history behind the titles.

“People aren’t just buying them to look at it and remember playing that game. They’re buying them to commemorate the history and the impact they had on pop culture,” Khan said.

Wata Games also recently helped Scott Amos, from Reno, Nevada, sell a sealed copy of Kid Icarus for the NES that was found in the attic of his childhood home. The game sold for $9,000 —  a far cry from what Naierman paid for his collection, but it still shows the value of the growing video game collecting industry.

Editors' Recommendations

The best Final Fantasy games, ranked from best to worst
Final Fantasy X

While the role-playing game (RPG) has become a catch-all genre, now encompassing an almost silly range of games that don't share much in common, there was one video game franchise in the 1980s that was the quintessential RPG. Yes, we're talking about Final Fantasy from Square Enix.

The fantasy Japanese RPGs debuted on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1987, but they became cultural touchstones in the '90s as Super Nintendo games. From there, the series made an incredibly successful jump to 3D on the PlayStation 1 before the mainline series started to take more risks, including the elimination of turn-based battles and massively multiplayer online game (MMO) entries, and the latest game, Final Fantasy XVI, becoming a full-on character-action game.

Read more
The best Xbox Series X games for 2023
Two Spartans side by side in Halo Infinite.

After an uneven console cycle with the Xbox One, Microsoft's latest consoles are aimed at getting the ship back on course. The Xbox Series X is a next-generation powerhouse that rivals gaming PCs, while the Xbox Series S is an affordable stopgap for those who are curious about trying new games.

There's no shortage of games to play on either console thanks to Xbox Game Pass, which gives players immediate access to a library of titles old and new. That built-in catalog is an extra value on top of all the new games available on the system that take advantage of its impressive technical specs. When it comes to first-party exclusives, the Series X is still growing. Halo Infinite and Forza Horizon 5 gave a good boost to the console's library following a somewhat sparse first year. More games are also on the way. Microsoft's Bethesda acquisition will bring exclusives like Starfield and Redfall, and the potential addition of all Activision Blizzard games would further bolster that list, but the console's real strength lies in third-party support.

Read more
You need to get this oddball Zelda game for free before the 3DS eShop closes
legend of zelda twilight princess nintendo wii grandma grandmother reddit 755 hours

The day of reckoning is fast approaching: The Nintendo 3DS and Wii U eShop isclosing down on March 27. When that happens, you’ll no longer be able to make any digital purchases on those systems. Considering that several games on each platform only ever got digital releases, it’s creating a bit of a preservation nightmare. Hidden gems that never came to another platform, like Affordable Space Adventures, will be totally lost to time.

But it isn’t just obscure indies that are impacted by that change: One of Nintendo’s biggest franchises is about to lose a piece of its storied history. You’ve only got just over a week to grab a certain Legend of Zelda game before it disappears forever -- though it’s probably not one you’re expecting.

Read more