I’ve mentioned before that I’m rebuilding my game collection a tiny piece at a time, mostly by acquiring complete box-manual-cart sets when I’m in Japan. The logic here: buying bare carts is cheap and easy and turns games into meaningless commodities, but complete they cost more and are harder to come by, and they take up more space. The result: I buy fewer selections, think harder about which ones I really want to own, and value the choices I make more. And unlike Americans, Japanese gamers actually take good care of their possessions, so it’s not impossible at all to find just about every 8- or 16-bit game you can think of in great shape. And complete Japanese games are (with a few notable exceptions) a whole lot cheaper than their American counterparts in similar condition.
The only problem is that Japanese game prices are very volatile. Sometimes that means they come down rapidly in price, but in many cases they can skyrocket at the slightest provocation. Case in point: the Rockman series. While I was in Tokyo in August, I picked up the entire Rockman World series (aka the Game Boy Mega Man titles) for a grand total of about $100. Not bad considering that Mega Man V sells for more than fifty bucks on eBay for just a bare-ass cart; in Nakano it was ¥2100. I didn’t have the money to pick up the Famicom Rockman games, which were selling for roughly the same price, so I decided to take care of that at TGS.
What I didn’t count on was a massive burst of Rockman obsession due to the release of Rockman 9, which resulted in a huge bump in the price of the games I intended to pick up. The price on the Game Boy games was a good 50% higher than two months prior, and I couldn’t even find the entire Famicom series. I found 3, 4 and 5 easily enough, and for decent prices, but the sole, sad, disintegrating boxed copies of 1 and 6 commanded prices upwards of $60, and Rockman 2 was nowhere to be found. So, uh, I bought a ridiculous amount of other Rockman merchandise instead. I’m pretty sure Capcom’s booth was designed as a trap for me: Shirts! Posters! E-Tanks! Dolls! Notepaper! The R20 artbook! And they even released a Rockman 9 arranged album while I was over there to make matters worse. What a bunch of jerks.
Let this be a lesson to you: when you want to buy nerd stuff overseas, best to check for upcoming exercises in nostalgia-flogging. Apparently there’s a genuine market price attached to these things.
11 thoughts on “The Mega Man 9 effect”
Damn them and their smart capitalizing…
Where does a man in Japan buy those E-tanks? I feel like I’ll regret it if I don’t drink at least one before this promotion ends.
Are you ever going to get around to drinking one of those E-Tanks? The curiosity is killing me, although it’s probably just plain old Red Bull inside.
feitclub: I got mine at Capcom’s TGS shop, but outside of that, I’m reliably informed that the only place to get them is at Animate.
If it’s any consolation, the Rockman 9 arrange album isn’t very good.
I’m in Japan right now, but I can’t find the E-tank drink. Where’d you find it?
I used similar purchase logic for awhile, until I found it cheaper to assemble packages piecemeal (cart from seller X, manual from seller Y) and that the only ones who’d care whether I got it all at once in a bubble of purity were collectors I’d likely never meet in person. That said, if you’re just looking for a method to curb spending, it’s an effective one.
On a separate note, the Splashwoman mix on that album is the best thing ever.
You should have found a way to get in on Tomm and Nich’s E-tank tasting party — though they probably would have insisted on pictures of you with suitably comical reactions.
Famicom collecting is a pain in the ass, mostly because the games are older and harder to find complete. Still, I’d take it over MSX collecting any day, where complete copies of games run five times the cost of their (superior) FC equivalents.
Not bothered on the R20 front, I’m waiting for the English version to come out.
I’d love to see some of the other stuff, however.
Megaman V for gameboy is one of the games i still get my SP out for. I found mine on ebay for $35, but it was a battle hard fought. I highly recommend tracking it down if you have the gut determination to do. I also own MMIV.
I wonder if the gameboy Megaman series will ever hit the DSi’s possible download service…
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