As you’ll know from having read last week’s “Yahoo! Auctions watch”, Japan’s not about eBay: it’s about ヤフオク. This is where Japanese collectors, otaku and gamers alike search for cheap games, rare games and random game-related junk. Last week I introduced some coin-ops for sale at decent prices – this week I’ll go in the opposite direction: tremendously expensive Japanese game books and magazines!
Lot 1: Complete collection of Gamest magazine
This complete collection of 200-odd issues of Gamest magazine – a specialist arcade games title that ran from 1986 through to 1999 – has an opening price of, wait for it, 399,000 yen! That’s £2,650/$4,400. Delivery anywhere within Japan costs another 10,000 yen or so, and if some maniac is anxious that he might be outbid, he can of course choose to cough up the slightly higher Buy It Now price of 447,000 yen (£3,000/$5,000).
Lot 2: Vast collection of PS/PS2, DC, SFC and PCE magazines
This is a slightly more reasonably-priced auction than the Gamest one: it’s starting at 200,000 yen (£1,330/$2,200), but the seller is offering to lower his asking price. For that outlay you get loads of copies of Dengeki PlayStation, Dorimaga, Marukatsu Super Famicom, Marukatsu PC Engine, etc. A couple of potential bidders have asked whether the seller is willing to break the auction up into smaller lots. He says it’s all or nothing. Hardball!
Lot 3: Denshi Game Daisakusen – a very old Game & Watch book
And finally a book: this rare volume catalogues the first wave of battery-powered electronic games (Game & Watch, etc.). It’s called Denshi Game Daisakusen, which means “Epic Electronic Game Battle”, and it cost 650 yen when it was published in 1982. Now someone wants 7,500 yen (£50/$82) for it…