Your Old Nintendo Game Boy Could Be Worth More Than You Realize

In 1989, Nintendo introduced the Game Boy, an 8-bit handheld game console with removable Game Pak cartridges, a dot-matrix green screen, and the same button layout found on the Nintendo Entertainment System, making its games easy to pick up and play. The Game Boy's success was instantaneous, and while other companies created more advanced systems, none could compete with its impressive library of games.

This made the Game Boy the handheld system to beat, and while Sega, Atari, and other companies certainly tried, none could defeat Nintendo's first portable console. The Game Boy thrived, and by the time Nintendo stopped manufacturing them in 2003, the company produced over 100 million original Game Boys and its successor, the Game Boy Color. The system sold worldwide, and Nintendo made millions of them, so unlike some obscure Nintendo accessories, they're not incredibly valuable.

You can cruise sites like eBay and purchase Game Boy systems that are in reasonably good working condition for around $50. Of course, that's the standard, run-of-the-mill model. There are several rare Game Boys out there, and some of them are worth considerably more. It may be time to head into your attic or basement and dust off your old Game Boy because there's a chance you're sitting on a small, handheld gold mine.

CoroCoro Game Boy Color

Pokémon is one of the biggest multimedia franchises in the world, and it got its start on the Game Boy. Because of this, the franchise and system have always been linked in a way that drives collectors wild. When Nintendo releases a new console or accessory with Pokémon branding, the collectors take notice, but it's even more desirable if said item includes anything related to Pikachu.

To celebrate the publication of its 250th issue, CoroCoro magazine teamed up with Nintendo to release a unique, limited-edition Game Boy Color. Nintendo only made 30 systems for the giveaway, and each one came encased in Pikachu yellow. "The 250th memorial" is emblazoned above the screen, and eight Pikachu silhouettes are spread around each side of the screen.

Between the D-pad and buttons, Nintendo slapped an adorable Pikachu, saying "Thanks" in English and "Pika" in Japanese. These Game Boys are incredibly rare and highly sought after by collectors. The detailing is impressive, and it's the kind of design collectors covet. These systems are hard to find, but when they do show up, they can sell for up to £5,000 for an open, used console.

Golden Sun Game Boy Advance

When Nintendo released "Golden Sun" on the Game Boy Advance in 2001, it did so alongside a specially designed limited edition variant. It was so limited Nintendo only bothered to make 20 of them, so it's one of the rarest Game Boy consoles out there. The system's limited availability meant that you couldn't simply luckily stumble into one in a store; the only way you could have gotten one in 2001 was to win a contest.

The Japanese magazine's notice of the competition is the only public information confirming the console's existence, as they're incredibly difficult to find in the wild, with only one known owner confirmed on ConsoleVariations. These unique systems had a golden painted cover with "Golden Sun" emblazoned atop the screen, with character sprites featured beneath it alongside the system name.

Other than those distinctions, there isn't anything that sets the system apart from its contemporary counterparts. This one is so highly collectible because its rarity means only an exclusive club can own one, though finding one for sale isn't easy. Unfortunately, the system's rarity makes it challenging to determine a value, as no record of any being sold is available online. On top of that, it's unconfirmed if the magazine followed through with the contest, so some collectors remain dubious of its existence, arguably making the system more desirable.

Pink Heart Game Boy DMG

Of all the rare Game Boy models Nintendo built throughout the system's lifetime, the rarest is likely the Pink Heart Game Boy DMG. That's not what the system is officially called, but it's earned that name, though only one is known to exist. The Pink Heart Game Boy popped up online in recent years, and it has an interesting backstory. A woman won it on a U.K. call-in game show after ringing in and answering some questions.

She got the Game Boy, probably played it, and stashed it somewhere. Decades later, a Reddit user found it in their mom's random items and posted about it. The system is pink and colored with a large heart at the center below the screen — and if you look closely, it can be spotted in the corner of a tiny image on Nintendo's website. Other than that, it appears to be a standard Game Boy without any changes beyond the exterior finish. It's a model DMG-01, which is the same model as the original Game Boy.

Found this in a box of stuff. Mom says she won it on a gameshow in the 90s.

It's doubtful you have one of these stored somewhere, but you never know. Since the Reddit post, no other Pink Heart Game Boys have surfaced online, and the Redditor didn't sell it publically. Since it's so rare, it's likely worth a lot of money, but determining that amount for something as unique as this one Game Boy isn't easy. That said, the right collector would probably spend a few thousand to get their hands on it.

Pokémon Charizard Game Boy Advance SP

Nintendo released a limited edition Pokémon Game Boy Advance SP, and while there have been other Pokémon-related special editions, the Charizard edition is the one you want. Nintendo only made between 10,000 and 50,000 of these, making them much rarer than most models — though not so rare that you can't find unboxing videos of them, such as the one below from Pokeboy14. You can find these occasionally on sites like eBay for as much as $2,500, but if you stumble across an unopened one, the price skyrockets. Sealed versions with high grades from PSA and other companies can bring in considerably more cash.

$2,500 is significantly more than they cost when Nintendo released them, but there are a couple of reasons for this. For one, the Charizard Game Boy Advance SP features a brighter screen than the previous model, giving it a sharper appearance. Add to that the fact that it's branded with Pokémon and, specifically, Charizard, and there's a preexisting market of collectors hoping to add one of these to their collection.

Odds are, if you have one of these buried somewhere in your collection, you already know its worth, as it's highly collectible. Still, if you haven't played your Game Boy Advance SP in a while, it's worth checking out. If you've got one, make sure it's the AGS-101 model and not the AGS-001, as that's the correct model number, and there are fakes out there. You can find the model number at the top of the sticker on the back, between the serial number and the system name.

Golden Game Boy Advance SP

In 2004, Nintendo released 25,000 "Zelda Limited Edition Pak" bundles to sell and promote "The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap." The original "Zelda" game on the Nintendo Entertainment System came on a golden cartridge, and this new system rekindled that nostalgia with a golden console. The limited edition console came in gold with a Tri-Force logo stamped on the case and a Hyrule Crest on the inside, so it had a lot going for it.

Only seven of the 25,000 systems included a golden ticket redeemable for an even rarer system plated in real, 24-karat gold. The standard console had gold-colored plastic, but Nintendo made seven wrapped in real gold, making them rare in the Game Boy market and intrinsically valuable, thanks to the precious metal. However, exactly how much gold went into the console's case is unclear.

Regardless, collectors worldwide desire this console, and if you're one of the lucky winners who has one stashed somewhere, it's worth more than its weight in gold, literally. One of the 25,000 plastic consoles goes for about $600, while the real gold ones can sell for as much as $80,000 to $95,000. It's important to note, however, that neither of those eBay auctions resulted in a sale. That said, beware of fakes — these are incredibly rare, so check them out before buying or selling what may turn out to be made of plastic.