Update [Tue 12th Sep, 2023 16:15 BST]: The auctions have all ended, and have raised around $20,000.
Thanks to Time Extension contributor John Szczepaniak for itemising the following sales:
|Item||Final sale value|
|Control Pad (sealed)||$97.00|
|Journey to the Laughter||$922.00|
|Monopoly: Adventure in Africa||$601.06|
|Son of Evil||$335.00|
|Super A'Can Console||$2,735.00|
|Super Taiwanese Baseball League||$811.06|
Original Story [Mon 4th Sep, 2023 09:30 BST]: Remember when we reported last year on the eBay auction of a prototype of the Tiger Game.com version of Castlevania: Symphony of the Night? Well, the guy who sold that – Super Fighter Team's Brandon Cobb – is back with another interesting listing, this time for the Taiwan-made Super A'Can console.
If you've never heard of the Super A'Can, don't be too worried – most people haven't. Released in 1995 – just as the PlayStation and Saturn were finding their feet – the Super A'Can was such a commercial dud that it apparently left its maker, Funtech, in dire financial straits. (Funtech, coincidentally, was a subsidy of UMC, the company that took over production of the equally ill-fated Game Boy rival Gamate from original creator Bit Corp. in 1992.)
Based on the Motorola 68000 chip (found in the Genesis / Mega Drive and Neo Geo), the Super A'Can only has twelve confirmed games in its library and is incredibly rare today – so the sheer fact that one is now on eBay (alongside several games) is noteworthy. It also looks a lot like the European / Japanese version of the SNES, as you can see from the photo above.
"What can be said about the Super A'can?" reads Cobb's rather amusing auction listing. "Released in Taiwan in 1995 by UMC's Funtech division, there sadly wasn't much fun to be had for those who bought it, as only 12 games were released before the system embarrassingly crashed & burned. A true case of "too little, too late," the A'can was instantly overshadowed by Sony's st00pid PSX and Sega's passable Saturn. If you ask me (which you didn't), a 2D system like the A'can was WAAAAAY more exciting than the poorly rendered 3D nonsense spat up by those two other machines, but 3D somehow slimed its way into people's hearts back in the mid-'90s, much to my chagrin, but c'est la vie and all that rot."
We got in touch with Cobb directly for a bit more information on this obscure console. "The Super A'can is notable in that it was a valiant effort to produce a homegrown 16-bit console in Taiwan, but various factors such as a delayed launch and super-rushed game development cycles made it absolutely unappealing upon release," he says. "Why pay full price for a downgraded console port of Sango Fighter that's a buggy, unplayable mess, when you can pirate the DOS version for free? O_o Not to mention no 3D. And 3D was, sadly, what people wanted. It's a damn shame the system never took off, but it's 110% understandable why it didn't."
While it doesn't come with the original AV leads or power supply, this particular Super A'Can is desirable because it has had its capacitors replaced. According to Cobb, the original caps used in this system are prone to failure, so the fact that they've been swapped out here is cause for celebration.
Oh, and if you fancy seeing this system in action, you could check out Cobb's YouTube channel, which has footage of Super A'Can games running on an S-Video modded Super A'can system:
Out of the games Cobb has for sale, REBEL is the most rare. "Only one other collector has ever shown proof of owning a legit copy," he says. "We're not even sure the game was officially released; some collectors in Taiwan speculate a short supply just "leaked out" somehow... but I'm not one for speculation."
But that's not all! Cobb also has for sale an even rarer Super A'Can devkit. "The curious thing about the devkit is that it's the only one that's ever surfaced," he tells us. "Companies that signed on to develop A'can games were obligated to return all development materials to UMC after the system was discontinued, so they could be scrapped for a write-off. So this one technically shouldn't exist. And yet somehow it does. *wink* I don't think the public will see the likes of this majestic — if unusable — beast ever again."
If you fancy throwing some coin at this oddity, then head over to eBay and pledge your interest.