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If you’re a diehard Nintendo collector or purveyor of rare video games in general, you’ve probably got a special “Holy Grail” item you’ve lusted after for some time. A game that’s so rare you could never see yourself coming into the possession of one. For many, the grail is similar: a copy of 1987’s special edition Stadium Events for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The game was originally recalled shortly after its release in 1987 because the Family Fun Fitness series was being rebranded. It was later re-released as World Class Track Meet with what we’d later come to know as the Power Pad peripheral. Because the game was recalled, the original North American copies were so few and far between and are now considered by many to be some of the rarest NES games of all time.
There were only 10,000 copies of the game created for its initial release, in fact. However, it seems that the exact reasons for why the game is so rare aren’t exactly known. Former spokesman for Nintendo of America Howard Phillips had previously denied allegations that the cartridges had been destroyed. Copies of Stadium Events have been documented selling for up to $35,000, though some listings have been wear
ESPN recently investigated the cartridge itself, or one of several copies at that, and how it ended up changing the lives of a down-on-their-luck North Carolina couple. Jennifer Thompson originally stumbled upon a copy of the game at a Goodwill, of all places, having spent only $8 on a game that would later go for $25,000. It’s a pretty amazing story from humble beginnings to a fresh start in life for a couple who happened to stumble onto something amazing.
If you want a taste of what the game’s like but don’t quite have that kind of pocket cash, you can spend a few bucks for World Class Track Meet on eBay and get the same experience, sans the disastrous havoc its previous iteration would wreak on your bank account. Easy!