Rare games heisted

Originally published at: Rare games heisted | Boing Boing


I really don’t know what I’d do if i had a collection of really rare stuff. Build a secret treasure room? :eyes:

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OH man - that is the dream. Walk in safe with an eclectic collection in a museum like presentation…

Right now its just stacks of boxes and bins at least labeled… and a few shelves for display…

> they got their man and he received 17 years, but all of it deferred on probation.

What in the actual fuck?


I’d prefer to see them as I went about my daily routine at home and share them with guests. That’s just me, though. I limit my collectibles mostly to things I find personally meaningful and have the space and time to keep in good shape.

As with most stories about obsessive collectors who invest too much in their possessions, I just find most of this one sad and pathetic. In their mania to hoard things they always lose sight of something critical. In this case, it was failing to get a proper insurance appraisal for things that actually have a market value. Sometimes it’s worse, like creating a retirement nest egg that can all be easily carted off by thieves/destroyed in a fire or (as I’ve seen with several people I’ve known) prioritising their precious collections over family and friends.

At least this story has a positive ending, where the protagonist still enjoys his hobby but also gains a sense of perspective about what’s really valuable in life.

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People are treating these as “investments” but that “market” is gonna crash as soon as all the nostalgic 40-somethings-with-money age out. Younger folks might have a little curiosity about these old games and maybe play them a bit in an emulator. You might even get the occasional retro enthusiast who still comes along who insists on real hardware. However the crazy prices these games currently get? That’s a bubble, friends. Get out while you can.

The insurance money the guy got might be the most he was ever gonna get for these games. He might have held on until the bubble burst and been left with a bunch of old games nobody wants in fancy plastic cases with grading stickers on them.


The article includes this sentence:

The Atari 2600 game Boing! (bubble versus squares, 1983), complete in box, was now flattened, the cardboard furrowed.

And five years later in 1988 there was a publication called Boing Boing!

Every now and then I fantasize about what my old ZX80 computer (with 16k RAM pack!) might be worth today. I just looked it up and the answer is: less than the inflation adjusted purchase price.

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Oh yes. Being a retro computing enthusiast myself, I can say that almost none of this stuff is worth anything money-wise. There are a few flash-in-the-pan exceptions, like the Apple I which shot up to stratospheric prices briefly when Jobs died and rich non-computer people suddenly wondered what the first Apple was and where can they get one to put on a pedestal in their foyer for the season. Even on those, the prices are coming back down again. Before Jobs died, you couldn’t give away an Apple I. Nobody even knew what they were. Beyond that, nothing is worth anything. There’s plenty of interesting rare artifacts out there, like the Commodore 65, the Transwarp GS, or the Rev 0 Apple II (full of bugs and in a painted case). But of course rarity is not value, and there aren’t enough well-to-do people who know enough to care about these things to drive prices up.


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