Hardcore video game collectors want the games in their collection to be complete — original case, cover artwork, instruction manual, hell, some even insist on saving the registration and precautions cards that come with certain games. Today some truly hardcore collectors showed just how dedicated they are to completing their collections, as an eBay auction for the ultra rare Clay Fighter Sculptor’s Cut instruction manual ended with a final bid of $1,377.
Why would anyone pay that much for an instructional manual, you ask? Well, this particular instruction manual is incredibly rare: Clay Fighter Sculptor’s Cut was exclusive to the now defunct American rental chain Blockbuster, and it’s estimated that less than five thousand copies of the game were produced. The cartridge alone usually sells for a hundred dollars, and copies of the game sold with its original box have sold for upwards of $500. Instruction manuals for the game are even rarer, as most Blockbusters either tossed or lost their manuals before the game could be re-sold.
Now before you try to track down a copy of the game yourself, let me remind you that Clay Fighter Sculptor’s Cut isn’t a particularly good game: it’s just a slightly upgraded version of Clay Fighter 63 1/3, which is widely considered to be one of the worst fighting games for the N64 (and that’s saying a lot, considering how terrible some of the fighters on N64 were.) This isn’t some forgotten gem; the game itself is frankly a turd, and its value comes solely from its rarity, not its quality.
With that said, I can’t help but admire whoever the final bidder was: it takes a lot of dedication to even consider forking over that kind of money for an instruction manual from a shitty game. For that price, the bidder probably could have bought dozens of other games (or consoles,) bought an old used car, or paid my rent for the month.