Is Storage Wars' "Huge Game Find" Really Worth $45,000? Probably Not

Is Storage Wars' "Huge Game Find" Really Worth $45,000? Probably Not

Bargain hunter Rene Nezhoda allegedly made a lot of money off old Atari games on Storage Wars. Get ready for an excited phone call from your grandmother.

Growing up, I didn't treat my video games and consoles with care. I cut up my Final Fantasy III SNES box for a school project. I scribbled in my NES instruction booklets. I banished old systems to the bottoms of closets and toy boxes when I received upgrades.

It's because of people like me that the secondary games market is thriving. There's a big demand for old, neatly-boxed games accompanied by instruction booklets that don't feature characters screaming swear words in red crayon. Unfortunately, since most people treated their collection with the same lack of reverence I did (we're #1!!), hale and hearty games are hard to come by – especially games released in limited quantities towards the end of a system's lifespan.

Editor's pick

Double Dragon IV PS4 Review: Retro - to a Fault

In other words, collecting retro games is an expensive and complicated hobby, but too many people believe old games are extraordinarily valuable, period, regardless of what condition they're in, or how common they are.

That's why a recent episode of Storage Wars has some retro game collectors rolling their eyes. A buyer named Rene Nezhoda secures a locker full of what appears to be vintage game stuff for $1500. He brings in notable retro game collector Phillip "Fluffy Gamer" Braden to sort out the trash from the treasure, which is a good move. They paw through the collection, and a few noteworthy finds get a bit of screentime, including Bubble Bobble 2 and S.C.A.T. for the NES (what an unfortunate acronym), and M.U.S.H.A. for the Genesis. Bubble Bobble 2's loose cartridge and S.C.A.T.'s cartridge go for around $150 - $200 on eBay. M.U.S.H.A.'s cartridge goes for about $300.

Not bad. The final haul is estimated at $45,000, though we really don't have a good idea of how the crew reaches that number. We just see boxes of random stuff with numbers ticking up and up – including a box containing an NES and some old VHS tapes. The camera also flashes by some interesting finds, like a Vectrex vector-display console from 1982. An in-box Vectrex can earn you $600+ on eBay, but the Vectrex we see in Storage Wars is loose and dusty. We don't know if it works.

"Why didn't anyone buy our game? It has the coolest name ever!"

There are other brief flashes of "treasure," like a box full of Game & Watch systems. This could be another potentially decent find, but the word here is "potentially." We don't see the names of the Game & Watch handhelds Nezhoda and Braden find (some units are worth more than others), nor do we receive any indication that they're even working. Jumbled boxes of Atari games are valued at thousands of dollars.

You can see footage of the find here, though the sound's been turned way down to avoid a copyright strike.

I don't doubt Nezhoda made back his $1500 without a problem, but I'm skeptical about the final tally of $45,000. Career retro game trader Pat "The NES Punk" Contri is certain Nezhoda's supposed treasure trove isn't worth anything close to $45,000. His friend Ian Ferguson, who helps run a used game store, concurs.

If you feel like putting some numbers together, Nezhoda shifts through some of his finds game-by-game, each one marked with an asking price. As some of the commenters on his videos point out, many of the games are well above eBay prices. Nezhoda has also called out Contri for saying the games aren't nearly as valuable as Nezhoda believes they are.

Retro video games are serious business.

"Metallic Uniframe Super Hybrid Armor." Had to look that one up.

I'm not deeply involved in the collecting community; I just have a passing interest and a general knowledge of how things work. Nezhoda may have scored $45,000 worth of games in a dusty storage room. If he did, good for him! But if I had to guess at a number or forfeit my life, based on the info we're given in the episode, I wouldn't say his find is close to $45,000.

However involved you are (or aren't) with used game collecting, however, there's a lot to take away from all this hot drama. For starters, approach Storage Wars with a pocket full of salt: The show is currently entangled in lawsuits for allegedly rigging "big" finds.

Second, approach all stories about how "thousands of dollars worth of video games might be in your basement!" with a dumptruck full of salt. Your yellowed SNES isn't worth much, nor is your library of childhood NES games – unless you happened to collect the likes of Dragon Warrior II, III, and IV. And if you have a box full of Atari 2600 games, for what they're worth you may as well carry the cartridges into the woods and take pot-shots at them with a BB gun.

If you read this site on a regular basis, this is all probably review. Just be sure to educate well-meaning parents and grandparents who watch programs like Storage Wars, then call you excitedly to say you should sell your "Nintendo tapes" to pay off your student loans.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Nadia Oxford

Staff Writer

Nadia has been writing about games for so long, only the wind and the rain (or the digital facsimiles thereof) remember her true name. She's written for Nerve, About.com, Gamepro, IGN, 1UP, PlayStation Official Magazine, and other sites and magazines that sling words about video games. She co-hosts the Axe of the Blood God podcast, where she mostly screams about Dragon Quest.

Read this next

Phil Spencer Says Remedy's Control Will Come to Xbox Game Pass

Joining Microsoft's subscription service should help the FBC's recruiting efforts.

Remasters for Bayonetta and Vanquish Leak on the Microsoft Store

Looks like both Platinum Games titles are coming to the Xbox One.

Phil Spencer is Apparently Playing the Next-Gen Xbox Scarlett at Home

If he beats you in Killer Instinct this weekend, feel free to blame that.

Life Is Strange 2 Series Review: Brothers, A Tale of Two Wolves

Life Is Strange's sequel has wrapped up, so our journey with Sean and Daniel has come to an end.

The Making of Shovel Knight: Specter of Torment, Part 3: Our Favorite Secrets and More

Yacht Club shares their favorite secret areas; the art of positioning health pickups, and more.

Catching Up With Kawazu: The Legendary RPG Developer Talks SaGa and Why We Shouldn't Call Everything an RPG

SaGa series Director Akitoshi Kawazu and Producer Masanori Ichikawa talk to us about the series' revival in the West, Final Fantasy Legend, and the industry's tendency to call everything an "RPG."

More Opinions

Starting Screen | Why 2019 Is the Year I Decided To Stop Rushing Through Games

Some of us have been playing Death Stranding slowly, and it's far better for it.

Checking in on FIFA 20 for Black Friday: Does It Hold Up?

We enjoyed FIFA 20 during review, but is it worth picking up on Black Friday? We check in on EA's soccer sim.

Red Dead Online After One Year: Has Rockstar Learned From GTA Online's Mistakes?

Red Dead Online has still had a rough year, but it's progressed at a much faster clip than its online predecessor.

Starting Screen | Five Games I Missed That I'm Planning to Play Now That the Holidays Are Here

A look at the games I want to play before 2019 is officially finished.

More on NES

USgamer Holiday Gift Guide 2019: For the Nostalgic Gamer

If you're shopping for someone who still finds beauty in cartridges and pixels, have we got a gift guide for you.

Make a Statement At Your Next LAN with This NES-Inspired Mouse

You'll probably come in last at whichever game you're playing, but you'll look good while losing.

What's Your Favorite Sports Game?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Deadspin forever.

Three Classic Letters That Show How Much Easier It Is to Be a Video Game Fan in 2019

The gaming community knew nothing in the '90s, and frankly, neither did a lot of publishers.

This Weekend's Tetris World Championships Showed Why Classic Tetris is Thriving

As the NES Tetris community grows, newcomers and hyper-tapping players are rising to the top.

Return of the Obra Dinn's Creator Reminisces on Getting Its Iconic Style Just Right

"After working on non-graphical stuff for so long, I took a moment to reflect on what I had with the visuals. It wasn’t great."