One of the Atari 2600’s rarest games — a third-party titled called Air Raid, known for the distinctive T-shaped handle on its cartridge — recently brought more than $10,000 at auction to Goodwill stores for Dallas and the North Texas region.
Alex Juarez, a Goodwill e-commerce processor, found the game in a bin of unsorted, donated games and toys. Juarez, in the video above, explains that he recognized the unusual cartridge but consulted his father to be sure it was a valuable find. Sure enough, it was.
“He sent me back a really exciting text [saying,] ‘You found Air Raid!’” Juarez says.
After researching what they found, Juarez and his supervisor listed the cartridge for auction on Goodwill’s website. After a week of bidding, it fetched $10,590.79.
That is almost triple the most recent cartridge-only sale of the collector’s item — a $3,575 sale of Air Raid on eBay in 2011. In 2012, a sealed copy of Air Raid (including cartridge, box, and instruction manual) brought $33,433.30 for its owner.
GameRant, in a list updated last month, says only five sales of Air Raid (as a collector’s item) are known, making it an incredibly rare find and offer. Goodwill said in a news release that “only 12 copies of the game have previously been found and sold.”
Goodwill said the money from Air Raid’s June 17 sale “can provide day habilitation services for a year for one adult with disabilities; or provide 20 homeless individuals with job placement services and community resources; or help 10 at-risk youth earn their GED and a paycheck at the same time.” Goodwill, a nationwide nonprofit founded more than 110 years ago, uses the sale of donated items at its thrift stores to provide job training and employment services to those in need.
In 2013, a North Carolina woman found a copy of the ultra-rare NES game Stadium Events at a Goodwill in Charlotte. After trying to sell it to a local game store (which couldn’t afford to pay her what it was worth) it was listed for auction at $12,000. A sealed copy of that game sold in 2015 for $35,100.