Ben Kuchera

Capcom made 150 golden NES copies of DuckTales for the press: Here’s how they did it

Capcom made 150 golden NES copies of DuckTales for the press: Here’s how they did it

Publishers and developers send the press some interesting items to help promote their games, and Capcom is banking on nostalgia when it comes to promoting their updated version of the classic NES game DuckTales. The game was released in 1989, and the show ended in 1990. People are passionate about the game, but those people grew up in a very specific time in pop culture.

Capcom created a sort of DuckTales gift set for the press, including a gold-colored working copy of the NES game, a DuckTales lunch box, and retro-style marketing materials for past Capcom games. The cartridge itself came in the lunchbox, nestled in a pile of what seems to be shredded currency. Because Scrooge is rich, of course. And swims in gold coins.

The package was put together with the help of iam8bit Productions, who went to some surprising lengths to make sure the message was driven home.

DuckTales was programmed onto brand-new circuit boards and chips, ensuring each game's longevity. They're housed in vintage NES cartridge shells, which have been carefully refurbished and hand-painted with a golden sheen,” a company representative told the Report.

“Special attention was also paid to the cartridge labels. The PAL and NTSC versions have each been updated with the new DuckTales: Remastered key art. And YES, the cartridge is totally playable on an original or top-loading NES,” they continued.

So these aren’t vintage copies of the game, although that’s a good thing for collectors. It’s fairly easy to find a working copy of the original, but only 150 of these golden cartridges were made, and each one comes with a numbered certificate. The following text is printed on the caution label on the rear of the cartridge:

  • DO NOT STORE IN EXTREME TEMPERATURES
  • DO NOT IMMERSE IN WATER
  • LIFE IS LIKE A HURRICANE

So are these things actually worth anything? I rang up Wired’s Chris Kohler, who collects rare games and has a great panel at PAX where he gives an estimated value to rare and unique gaming items.

“The Mega Man 9 press kit that Capcom did goes for a few hundred bucks or so,” Kohler told me. “I imagine DuckTales would easily get to the $300 point and beyond right now, and who knows what might happen in the future.”

Pretty cool stuff. This is definitely a unique way to get some attention, and it was done with obvious care, at what may have been considerable cost. The limited nature of the item guarantees the collectability, and the fact the game was burned onto new chips means that this is likely the most convenient way to legally play the original game.

So what’s going to happen to our copy? I have a feeling someone at Child’s Play may have some ideas.