Hi folks – I’ve been a Nintendo fan for decades – one of my first jobs out of high school was working for Nintendo as a representative at a Lionel Playworld. Lionel Playworld was a toy store similar to Toys’r’Us, but it went out of business in the 90s. This would have been for xmas season, either 1992 or 1993, I remember the Super Nintendo was the thing.
Forward to 1995-1996 timeframe or so, there used to be a electronics big box retailer, Incredible Universe (also defunct), that I would visit frequently. This was my only exposure to a Nintendo Virtual Boy – I thought it was a cool idea but didn’t have the $ at the time.
I did get a N64 xmas 1996 or so, and have had pretty much every Nintendo console since (GC, Wii, WiiU, Switch, and GB, GBC, DS, 3DS).
My other retro hobby is restoring old arcade machines (Tempest, Centipede, Arkanoid, Donkey Kong, PacMac, Tetris, Marble Madness, SHMUPs and more) and Pinball (Star Trek: TNG, and some electromechanicals too).
I’ve read a little bit of the forum the past few days, looking at the homebrew and translation work the dedicated folks have put in. I’m truly amazed.
A VB came up for sale relatively local to me, and I’m debating if I should get it or not. Blockbuster case, working console, and 5 games.
Talk me off my fence as to why I should or shouldn’t.
Happy New Year, welcome to 2020! Thanks!
Jump in both feet first! Virtual boy is a great little oddity. Iv had mine now for 10 years and it still comes out of the box regularly. I have noticed that prices are rising, 50% more than what I paid all them years ago, so I would say do it now before prices go even higher.
To top it off, plant virtual boy is a great community with some very talented individuals.
Best of luck
They are a neat system that got no love… and that’s why they are expensive now. Most of them will have video issues, but it’s a easy fix. Honestly… just depends on the price. I paid $70 in good shape, with 2 games… but has the vid issues. Took me all of 15 min to get her up and running. That same system in “Working” condition would be +$200 on the market today.
Be aware… most games are $20’ish dollars. Nester’s bowling is around $45/$50 and Waterworld, Jack Bros, 3D Tetris can run you upward of $500 !!!!!! (USA Versions)
Oh,,, and the blockbuster case can get +$200 alone. Don’t know why… there are a bunch out there.
So… look at the condition and the games… and go from there.
Heh, we’re not exactly going to tell you “no, you shouldn’t get it, VB isn’t that great”
VB is awesome and you should get one.
A Virtual Boy isn’t any less “Nintendo” then any other Nintendo product. If you like Nintendo stuff I’d say go for it. I’ve enjoyed mine since, well whenever my join date to this site is, lol. While there’s not a huge array of games available for it, there’s definitely some fun times to be had with a lot of the games, enough to keep one occupied over the years, anyway.
yes. but you get it solder fixed. all virtual boys are going to fail due to cut corners nintendo took
Hi folks – I
I bought it because Im a fan of Wario. Then I felt in love of the hardware.
VB is a lot of fun, but it sort of punishes you for loving it. I own three systems, and all have needed repairs to their displays. The games are hard to find and increasingly expensive — and a lot of them aren’t great (although a few of them are really cool and worth playing).
If you’re a collector who’s looking for a challenge, VB can be a great hobby. But it’s not for everybody.
Thanks for the push 🙂 I’ll be shopping around, fixing and tinkering w/ games is something I enjoy. Seems like ebay is the usual market place for VB stuff, any other suggestions as to where to look?
Is there a thread with current fair market pricing for console, controls, adapters and games?
There’s pricecharting, which is how I base all my average prices for games. It has almost every game on the VB on a trend, but some prices might be slightly off from their actual average I’ve noticed. Keeping an eye on what you want and what it generally sells for over time on ebay will ensure you always get the most bang for your buck for these games, and it’s advised since some of these games can get pretty pricey
If you’re looking to buy virtual boy games/accessories, there’s a few items not on pricecharting, but after checking current market prices every day for about half a year, I can give you a rough estimate guide on things not listed as price-charting. If you’re spending more than this for these though, you’re definitely spending too much!
Virtual boy headpiece, eye issues: 50-65$ (would need oven method or soldering, this is only for vb’s still working with eye problems only, broken ones should be 50 or less for just the head unit)
Virtual boy Headpiece, working: 70-85$
Virtual boy headpiece, solder-fixed around 100 (usually don’t come up too often, and usually come as full set, so estimate)(most recommended to buy like this, or do yourself, as the VB cable will inevitably fail over time. Here’s a link to a post I made explaining the VB ribbon cable issue in more detail:
buying one like this or doing it yourself is best, as sending one in to a repair shop costs around 40-50, buying with the fix already is the cheapest option.)
Battery pack (batteries): 20-25$
AC adaptor tap: 15-25$ (like with all older “handheld consoles” make sure you look/ask for corrosion, you don’t want a controller filled with corrosion as it will inevitably fail or have issues.)
AC wall-plug: 10-14$
Eyepiece bracket: 10$ or less
Eyeshade: 10$ or less
VB Stand: 20-30$ (note that the nintendo jewel is usually broken in the middle, which is normal. I’d highly, highly recommend buying a new one if you want one to last from hyperkin, I’ve gotten one when they were on sale for 20$ along with an eyeshade and bracket from them for 18, and they are of very high quality, which I actually prefer over the original, but both original and replacement work great)
VB Box: 20-30$
VB Manual: 15-20$
Virtual boy complete working package everything included for the console: headpiece, stand, shade and bracket, controller and battery pack) 165-185$ (soldered would be around 200$)
You can also check this website for prior ebay listings of up to 90 days, which gives a decent estimate on how much you should be spending on items as well if you wanted to track an average yourself:
If you want some more info on other accessories, like the headphones or CIB versions, I can make another list with averages for just about everything, but that should hopefully help you in getting the best deals on everything VB-related so you still have enough to buy some games! (Wario, galatic pinball, teleroboxer, mario tennis, and red alarm being the best for the most affordable prices, all being 25 and under) Good luck on your search, and hope you enjoy this spectacular console! 🙂
Ethan, Protoman, thanks for the very useful suggestions. Watching the reviews protoman shared got me all excited. I’ve got a lead on a full working setup for a fair price (based on Ethan’s post), wish me luck!
That’s great! I just got one recently that I plan on fixing for a rediculously good deal, so with some patience, you can definitely find some great undervalued listings on ebay. Happy hunting!
Got a working one! Left eyepiece has a glitch occasionally, but worked well for 15 minutes. 5 games (Mario Tennis, Wario Land, Teleroboxer, Vertical Force, Galactic Pin), AC adapter, stand that has a crack and mild lean but is working for now, and the Blockbuster suit case in nice shape.
The foam in the case should probably be replaced, maybe order a new stand/ eye shade…
Thanks for the help!
That’s a good start! Looks like it’s all in good condition. As for the eye piece, no big deal, you’ll want to get them solder fixed anyway.
Welcome to the club =D