Video Game Promotional Items — Sometimes, There’s Gold!

by Lauren Sisselman

072522E-2-1024x536 Video Game Promotional Items -- Sometimes, There's Gold!The video game aftermarket is currently in a profitable boom. Graded video games of all eras are selling for hundreds and sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. Sealed in box games are the “it” item. Even vintage consoles are seeing a considerable price increase! But what about promotional or marketing items? You know, like McDonald’s toys, posters, and even clothing. Is there a market for that?

The short answer is yes. Promotional items are more of a niche market and can include bookmarks, trading cards, cups, bags, watches, and more. These items are usually limited to a certain amount, and in some cases, people will line up for hours just to get the item as well as the game.

Let’s take a look at what has sold on eBay over the last few months.

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Remember walking into your local game store and seeing those larger-than-life 3-D game signs? What I would have given to take one of those homes! Used as marketing materials, these items are still popular with collectors. Posters — especially cloth ones — are also hot items for collectors. In May of 2022, a Super Mario Brothers 2 sign featuring Mario heroically jumping while holding a radish, sold for $1,200. A flat, 2D cloth banner for Mario Party 64 sold for $820 in April of 2022.

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A cloth Pokemon Legends display sold for $200 in June of 2022, so both old and new games can still fetch a pretty penny. In June of 2022, a SquareSoft Final Fantasy VII staff letterman jacket sold for $1,999 — an impressive price tag for a free employee jacket.

Of course, items like those are harder to find.

Most marketing materials were for stores only, and unless you were keen on dumpster diving, knew someone who worked in said store, or you yourself worked in a store that had video games — chances were low you would get one of these items. They’re a unique piece of fandom, and I’m lucky to have some signage from comic books I’m a fan of.

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But there are always items to entice consumers. In the past, I’ve received promotional drinking glasses, figures, and even posters, with pre-orders or day one releases. In July 2022, a Splatoon Wii U Target-exclusive water gun sold for $25.

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On the more expensive side of things, in May of 2022, a Sly Cooper blue promotional beanie sold for $1,000. Grand Theft Auto IV baseball bats are not uncommon, but are still fun to come across. Two sold in May 2022 for $248.50 and $185, respectively.

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Remember when Burger King released those 23K Gold-Plated Pokemon cards in 1999? A complete set of six, still in the box, sold for $399.99 in June of 2022. In July of 2022 a set of complete cards sold for $355. Prior to this, similar sets ended at around $250, so don’t be surprised if prices cool for these cards for the time being.

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When McDonald’s released a Happy Meal for Pokemon’s 25th anniversary, the legendary Happy Meal box was given the Pikachu treatment. These cute yellow boxes were everywhere for a while — I might have one in my parent’s house somewhere. Recently a case of unused Pikachu Happy Meal boxes ended at $120 in June of 2022. The box contained 280 flat, unused boxes. Would you buy 280 unused Happy Meal boxes for $120?

These are just a few examples of the many unique promotional video game items you may find while on your travels. You never know what’s going to pique a collector’s interest. If you see something in the wild and your gut tells you to grab it, you may want to listen to it!

Want more collectibles coverage?

Do you have any cool promotional video game items in your collection? Let us know in the comments below!

00080221C_Green-Footer Video Game Promotional Items -- Sometimes, There's Gold!*Any perceived investment advice is that of the freelance blogger and does not represent advice on behalf of GoCollect.

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