Over the last few days I've been trolling eBay and Craigslist and I've been taking notes. I'm at a point where I want to start looking for truly unique video game items. Things that most gamers either don't remember or didn't know they could buy for themselves. I figured I'd list a few things I've been looking for and if you find one you can let me know about it.
Nintendo M 82 Store Display Unit - In the early days of the Nintendo Entertainment System, this was how new games were previewed, the unit housed 12 games, was set on a timer, and allowed gamers to actually select which game they wanted to play. When they show up on eBay, they usually sell for around $800.00, with a still unopened unit going for $9,000.00.
FM Towns Marty - Fujitsu made great computers, and that success carried over to the Marty, which, released in 1993, beat the Amiga CD32 to market by a few months, making it the first stand alone CD based console on the market. they didn't sell well, which makes them major collector's items now.
Apple Pippin - The Apple Pippin was ahead of it's time when it released in the mid 90s. it Sported Mac OS, online support, and an extremely innovative controller. The problem was that it was way too expensive for the average gamer to afford and it really didn't have any must have titles available for it. It came in two versions "AtMark" and "AtWorld", there seem to be more AtMark systems in circulation right now.
Magnavox Odyssey - The first console sold at retail was unlike anything folks saw at the time, Ralph Baer's "brown box" evolved into the Odyssey, which gave birth to what we know now as the home video game industry.
Atari 2600 "Heavy Sixer" - Of the nearly one dozen derivatives of the Atari 2600, this is the rarest. The "Heavy Sixer" gets it's name from its rather heavy body, and the six control switches on the front of the unit. they also have the distinction of being the only version of the 2600 to be built in the US. If a reseller knows what they have, the unit can sell for quite a large amount, much more than other versions of the classic console.
Panasonic Q - When the Gamecube released, Nintendo became concerned with the impending release of Sony's Playstation 2, so they stuck a deal with Matsushita, the parent company of Panasonic, to develop a derivative of the Gamecube that could compete feature wise with the PS2. This brought us the Panasonic Q, which was a Gamecube with a DVD player, and several other stylistic and functional enhancements, as is the case with most very rare systems, the Q didn't sell well in Japan, which killed hopes of a US release, and made the Q a very sought after console.
Nintendo 64DD - The ill fated expansion unit for the last Cartridge based home console was a great idea which hearkened back to the days of the Famicom disk drive, but for some reason this didn't catch on and Nintendo cancelled the unit before it could reach American shores. The 64DD is still one of those things that fans of the Nintendo 64 talk about like it's a unicorn.