Like many old-school players within the mid-2010s, I didn’t suppose a lot of video video games having appreciable collector worth. Positive, I’d go into flea markets and used recreation outlets often, discovering some titles priced greater than others, however I used to be naïve and thought the pricing was primarily based on recognition. In any case, Tremendous Mario Bros. was extremely priced.
Nevertheless, once I started promoting N64 titles by way of Fb teams, I realized about actual collector worth. The actual eye-opener got here once I listed Conker’s Bad Fur Day on the market. I can’t recall what I listed it for, most likely $25 or one thing like that, however I acquired a flurry of direct messages in brief order. Some collectors provided double my value, whereas others stated I priced the cartridge too low.
I ended up promoting my copy for round $60.
After I made the sale, different collectors messaged me, asking if I had the handbook or the field. This response felt bizarre, even to a lifelong collector of sports activities memorabilia. Paying $20 for an empty field appeared a bit excessive.
Because it seems, I had no thought of the goldmine I used to be sitting on. Right this moment, Conker’s Dangerous Fur Day is very thought to be one of the vital useful titles within the Nintendo library, partly as a result of it’s, fairly probably, the dirtiest recreation that ever was plugged into one of many Japanese firm’s consoles.
Historical past of Crude Play
Conker’s Dangerous Fur Day was a rarity at Nintendo. The sport took the boundaries of the clear, harmless enjoyable customers knew the console for and pushed it off a cliff. Only one take a look at the field artwork squirrels—an inebriated hero and a scantily clad feminine—offers you an thought of what to anticipate.
The gameplay goes even deeper into this abyss, opening with a newly appointed King Conker earlier than taking you on a journey the place the hungover hero stumbles by way of numerous enemies and allies. Alongside the best way, you encounter completely different grotesque enemies and sexually charged accomplices. It’s undoubtedly a far cry from the world of Mario saving Princess Peach.
Conker’s Dangerous Fur Day was developed by Uncommon, probably the greatest recreation producers for Nintendo throughout its first three console generations. Avid gamers are doubtless extra accustomed to its different titles, together with the Donkey Kong Nation and Banjo-Kazooie sequence. Conker’s was considered one of two video games that obtained an M (mature) ranking from the ESRB for the N64 in its whole library (the opposite additionally got here from Uncommon—Excellent Darkish—however obtained its ranking for violence as a substitute of vulgarity).
The high-age ranking got here regardless of actions from publishers to melt its content material. In response to Fandom’s Censorship Wiki, Nintendo insisted that Conker’s ought to be toned down earlier than launch. Among the many gadgets censored have been swears and a really visible surgical procedure scene on a still-awake character.
“The sport was censored as a consequence of Nintendo believing these scenes have been too offensive to be included within the recreation,” the web site states.
The censorship didn’t assist. Complaints in opposition to the sport stacked up, and in the end, customers rejected Conker’s, whereas some retailers like Kay Bee Toys refused to hold the title.
One Los Angeles Times story summed up the issues of fogeys:
“‘That is disgusting, sophomoric humor, and I’m disillusioned in Nintendo,’ stated Susan Jeffereys, a mom of two and a part-time elementary faculty instructor in Schererville, Ind. ‘It’s like Disney releasing pornography.’”
Including to the strikes in opposition to the title was poor launch timing. Conker’s Dangerous Fur Day first hit shops on March 5, 2001, lower than ten months earlier than Nintendo launched the GameCube to North American shops and practically six months to the day earlier than the brand new system’s launch in Japan. That’s not a number of shelf life for a recreation when your subsequent large factor is ready within the wings, and client funds comes into consideration.
The variety of gross sales was completely brutal. In response to the gaming website IGN, Nintendo bought solely fifty-five thousand copies within the first month.
Or, that ought to be brutal on the time.
The Emergence of Conker Collectors
For the reason that launch, demand for Conker’s Dangerous Fur Day has skyrocketed. Already a cult basic because of constructive recreation critiques and a faithful following from mature players, Conker’s was the right recreation for the rising collector market to feast on. Auctions in 2015 frequently noticed gross sales within the $60 to $80 vary, whereas CIB copies reached three-figure gross sales. The emergence of grading propelled gross sales even greater. For instance, a 2022 auction that featured an in-box cart with a 90 ranking from VGA garnered greater than $2,300.
The gathering group can be influenced by a return of Conker to consoles. Digital copies of the sport are at the moment accessible for Xbox, whereas Conker: Reside and Reloaded was accessible for the unique Xbox system beginning in 2005. The extra adult-oriented platform is undeniably a greater spot for the vulgar recreation.
Although Conker’s Dangerous Fur Day just isn’t straightforward to search out in prime situation, particularly for the PAL r460 variants, many copies are available on eBay and different on-line shops. Nevertheless, collectors ought to pay attention to reproductions, as forgeries have popped up with the rising collector market.
In the event you do discover a real Conker’s Dangerous Fur Day at public sale, it’s a worthwhile funding to make, and when you nab a free copy, you’ll want to pop it into your N64 console … after the children go to mattress.
Jon Waldman is a Winnipeg-based author. He has written for Beckett, Go GTS, Canadian Sports activities Collector, and a number of other different passion shops over his twenty years within the passion. His expertise additionally consists of two books on sports activities playing cards and memorabilia. Join with Jon on Twitter at @jonwaldman.
WorthPoint—Uncover. Worth. Protect.