Mr. Nutz
Image: Light in the Attic

We all know that retro games are worth big money these days, but it's rarer than you might think to hear of someone targeting classic titles when it comes to theft – but that's precisely what has happened in Japan this week (thanks, Alex Kraus).

It is reported that early on the morning of April 3rd, 2023, a 21-year-old university student broke into a used video game store in Sanjo City, Niigata, using a hammer to break the glass window.

According to local police, the suspect was caught with five games worth a total of ¥548,600 (around $4091 USD).

The games in question were:

  • The Last Blade 2 (Neo Geo) (¥98,000)
  • Savage Reign (new) (Neo Geo) (¥69,800)
  • Far East of Eden: Kabuki Klash (new) (Neo Geo) (¥64,800)
  • Chinhai (Super Famicom) (¥44,800)
  • Mr. Nutz (Super Famicom) (¥74,800)

While some of those titles will be familiar to many people as possessing a high resale value, it's the inclusion of Mr. Nutz which is perhaps the most surprising; the copy in question is worth a cool $558 in US dollars. The low print run of the game in Japan is presumably the reason for its high value.

As a result of the break-in, the store lost several hours of business and had to undertake a stocktake to check if anything else was missing.

Released in Europe in 1993 on the SNES, Mr. Nutz was developed by Ocean and was an attempt by the UK-based company to create a mascot to compete with the likes of Sonic and Mario.

It would launch in North America and Japan in 1994. A Sega Mega Drive / Genesis version would launch in the same year, alongside a Game Boy port. It would later come to the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance.