Growing up, I was hooked on clay-mation. Even at a young age, I appreciated the hard work that went in to sculpting your sets and models, then stop-motion filming every tiny movement of your characters. It’s what made me love The Nightmare Before Christmas, and what fascinated me about the Clayfighter games. I had a Nintendo 64 from early on, but by the time ClayFighter 63 1/3rd was released, I was getting more and more into PC games. I played it once or twice, but had pretty much moved on.
More recently, I thought I would maybe give the game another shot. Add it to my collection. All of my friends thought the ClayFighter games were lame and boring when we were young. I figured I’d get the games on the cheap. So shopping around, I could get the SuperNES games (ClayFighter, ClayFighter Tournament Edition, and C2: Judgment Clay) for pretty good deals each. Even ClayFighter 63 1/3rd wasn’t too high of a price. But I always heard there was an updated release that I had never played… much like how ClayFighter later saw ClayFighter T.E. – not quite a sequel, but an “upgrade.” This so called ClayFighter 63 1/3rd “Sculptor’s Cut” should be pretty easy to track down, right?
Boy was I wrong. Prices for this rare Nintendo 64 collectible are $100 and up, just for the cartridge. Have a manual? Or a box? Some buy it now prices on eBay are listed at over $1,000.
Now, I like to think I know my rare games pretty well. The SD Gundam Dimension War game for Virtual Boy, for instance. This title fetches from $1,500 to nearly $4,000 in some cases. But this is to be expected, the Virtual Boy was a short lived console with a limited number of games, and one of the games that didn’t cross international line’s was the Gundam game from Japan, released near the end of the Virtual Boy’s release. Fine, that makes sense. But I never knew what made this specific ClayFighter release so rare.
Evidently, it turns out, that ClayFighter 63 1/3rd Sculptor’s Cut was somehow released as a Blockbuster Exclusive. I had no idea such a thing existed. It only made its way out to rental chains – one of which never existed in my home town. We only had local and regional video rentals… no nationwide company like Blockbuster ever came to my home town. So I had no idea what I was missing out on. The fact that this game was so narrowly released, and later only found into the hands of gamers when stores were going out of business, is what makes it such a hot collector’s item. Don’t doubt for a second: I want it. My addictive personality makes me want it, my love of the ClayFighter games makes me want it, my love for all things Nintendo makes me want it… but holy crap, that’s a lot of money. I won’t be getting it any time soon.
I have a couple of sealed copies of Metroid Prime Trilogy Collector’s Edition for the Wii if anybody wants to trade? I hear that’s already going for hundreds of dollars. When I heard they were going to stop making it for the Wii, I figured it would be re-released as an even bigger collector’s pack, which might include the original trilogy for play on the same disc… but no such release ever showed up. Nintendo just stopped producing the Metroid Prime Trilogy discs. So when I stumbled across the last 3 in my local target a few years ago, I snagged them up and have been holding on to them.
Sometimes you need to invest in rare collectables. Sometimes you collect for collecting’s sake. Like the $75 price tag on a boxed Super Metroid game… it’s not the most valuable or rare game, but there’s just something about having it on your shelf that’s rewarding. Or take Custer’s Revenge, an Atari 2600 game that often goes for over $100 on eBay. The game is practically unplayable and there isn’t much to it, but it’s extremely controversial and historic past make it one of the items I’m quite happy to have in my collection (boxed and sealed, no less). It’s always interesting to see the values attached to things I remember from my childhood. Something that you could buy for $50 brand new, or for $1 at a yard sale… might now be worth a small fortune. Keep your eyes peeled, a yard sale find could be a treasure chest waiting to be sold on eBay!