How Much A Rare Nintendo Demo Kit Was Really Worth On Pawn Stars

When it comes to video games, Nintendo ranks as one of the all-time greatest companies in the world. The Japanese gaming giant has been designing essential video game consoles and games since the 1970's, starting with their Color TV Game series (via Kotaku). However, the company did not become widely renowned until the 1980's when they released the Famicom (or Family Computer), known in the West as the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES. The NES was a massive success, but it was released during a time when Western consumers weren't too keen on buying or playing home video games — hence, its branding as an "Entertainment System" despite blatantly being a video game console. As a result, Nintendo took on several other measures to encourage Western markets to consume their products. One such way was by releasing demo consoles for customers to use before deciding to buy a game.

These days, demo consoles do still exist, but the NES is part of a bygone era. Thus, NES demo consoles have become a dying breed sought after by video game collectors. This makes it exactly the kind of thing that the boys from "Pawn Stars" would want in their shop. And, to their pleasant surprise, this exact thing happens in one Season 18 Episode.

How Rick Harrison lost out on a game-winning deal

In the episode entitled "The Need For Speed," a potential seller comes into Rick's pawn shop with a rare M82 Nintendo System. Unlike a regular NES, M82s were never meant to leave the store. They held multiple games and were available for customers to try out games before buying them. It looks quite different from a retail NES, but it ostensibly works the same way. As Chumlee quickly proves, the machine is easily hooked up to a standard TV set. Since he's no gaming expert, Rick calls in a more knowledgeable person to come and help appraise the item. They verify that the machine is still in working order, and actually discover that it actually contains some unique "homebrew" games made by independent designers not licensed by Nintendo. However, Rick is more concerned with price than playability. Accounting for everything, the expert estimates that the demo console could sell for $3,000, a whole $1,000 shy of what the seller was asking. Unfortunately for Rick, the seller wasn't looking to go any lower than $3,500 on the machine, meaning that this is one deal that Rick could not close. 

On the bright side, however, Chumlee found a new hobby in creating his own homebrew game. Much to Rick and Corey's chagrin, Chumlee set about contracting his own "Pawn Stars" themed game starring himself as the playable character. Chumlee and the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop's security guard, Antwuan, manage to spend a few work hours playing the new game before Rick and Corey come to shut it down.