Gadget flops from bygone eras now raking in big money as collectibles

Long-forgotten consumer gadgets, including Betamax Players, early Apple desktop computers and niche games consoles like the Neo Geo are making a killing on eBay for those people that have hung on to them, according to

Defunct gear such as the Sega Saturn - Sega’s answer to Sony's Playstation - which barely managed to shift nine million units in its lifetime - compared to Playstation’s 102 million - has risen in value considerably since its release in 1995.

Originally costing £399, the Saturn can now fetch as much as £722, with collectors of out-of-date tech starting bidding wars on what are now becoming increasingly rare and valuable gadgets.

Although it may seem strange that products which didn’t sell well at the time are now considered valuable, it is precisely this which has made them so rare.

Other examples include the Betamax video player, an alternative to rival format VHS players, which cost a fairly significant £1,617 when it was launched in 1975. Approximately two million units were sold during the Betamax format's lifetime, despite the machines offering better quality images than its rival format, which sold over 200 million. A Betamax player can now sell for upwards of £880.

Fewer than one million Neo Geo units were sold in Japan during the 90’s. This 24-bit games console was renowned for being one of the most expensive ever made and retailed for a fairly pricey £471, but was rapidly overshadowed by the Sega Mega Drive, which sold over 31 million units, and the SNES, which sold over 49 million.

However, the Neo Geo now fetches a respectable £704 - almost a 50 per cent mark up from its original retail price.

“Cutting-edge tech that stuttered and failed to deliver on its promise is now proving to be a nice little earner for those early adopters who stuck to their guns and decided to keep hold of these goods,” says Joe Gardiner from

“So have a rummage around in your loft this weekend - you never know what you might find, or what it could make you and then maybe you can invest the money in some more tech!”

Even Nintendo has taken notice of this trend embracing older tech. The company released a miniaturised version of its NES console (pictured above) that comes bundled with 30 games.



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