The Nintendo World Championship was a competition held in 1990, which toured thirty cities to see who was the best NES player at that time. Competitors would have to play through custom builds of Mario Bros., Rad Racer and Tetris with the goal of getting the highest score they could within six minutes and twenty seconds. Two variants of this specially modified cart was used, the elusive Prize NWC Gold Cart and the standard NWC Gray Cart. In a shocking bit of retro video game new, two previously undocumented, and after their main use, uncirculated NES World Championship carts have surfaced within Seattle and now are in the hands of collectors.
The first cart to surface was a week ago, No. 0287 by Tim, made infamous by Jason (better known as Metal Jesus) and Kelsey who runs the retro video game store, Pink Gorilla in Seattle. Tim found this cart in his brothers storage while cleaning it out for him to help cover a few unfortunate bills that came up. Though Tim’s brother competed in the NWC, he was not a winner, so shouldn’t have received a cart as a prize, though Tim said that a Nintendo Official gave him the cart, assumingly due to extra copies at the time. Tim contacted Jason, who soon realized that this cart (No. 0287) hasn’t be documented up to that point. Tim met Jason at Kelsey’s store, Pink Gorilla to properly asses the cart, and she has since confirmed that the board and chips are in fact genuine. Tim’s copy was soon after sold to an anonymous collector, with help from Kelsey and her connections with big collectors in the area for $23,000 USD (approx $32,450 AUD.)
The second cart to show up, only this afternoon, was No. 0208, purchased by Archon, a hardcore collector in L.A. who tries to seek as many sought after items as he can. Archon recently acquired a rare unreleased wrestling game, UWC cart, an astonishing feat by itself, but the same seller happened to gave a copy of a NWC Gray Cart to co-worker, which he soon contacted and was happy to pass on the cart. The price and seller have been kept private for a sale of this caliber, but at least the information of the transaction and cart’s existence have been documented. Archon met up with the seller in Seattle and confirmed the cart to be authentic before making the purchase.
This is such a big discovery for the retro community, and is big news that two previously undocumented carts have surfaced into the public eye, further preserving the history and legacy of Nintendo. A big thank you to Tim, Jason, Kelsey and Archon for sharing their stories online for public documentation. I can’t wait to see what comes up next in the long lost history of video games.