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Rare Nintendo e-Reader card found 19 years later

Rare Kirby e-Reader Card

All the way back at E3 2002, Nintendo launched its new e-Reader platform by handing out prize cards in the show floor. The winning cards were thought to have been lost or destroyed, but one has just (allegedly) come out of the void and is for sale on eBay.

As this story from 2007 recalls, Nintendo representatives at E3 2002 released packages of e-Reader cards to the participants, and among them were certain Kirby cards whose sole purpose was to serve as part of a competition. There were three different results you could get from these otherwise identical cards; a “no prize” result on the most common cards, 100 “second prize” cards and only ten “first place” cards.

If you ever got a “first place” card, you had to hand it over to Nintendo to claim your prize, and those cards were then broken, which led to the “first place” Kirby card becoming the rarest E-Reader card out there, both because of the number, but also because the E3 attendance in 2002 was so limited.

A word of caution before we move on: while the seller has a long-term account that goes all the way back to 2005, with a seller ranking of 100%, this card has not been verified independently or the condition has been rated.

That said, they claim the card was hovered in an e-reader to confirm it was a winner, and have provided photos of a Game Boy Advance and e-Reader setshows the congratulatory message. There is even a video of the card being swept:

As such, if it is proven genuine, it will not be mint, but given the card’s origin and the need to be tested for verification purposes that can be expected a bit much.

The card is at the moment sitting at USD $ 1,500 at auction, but if you feel both lucky and loose with cash, there is an unopened package of e-Reader cards from E3 2002 (which may also include a Kirby winner) for $ 4,400.

Update: 08.52, 19.7.21: The bidding, just a few hours later, is now at $ 6,500.

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