After gathering dust in a loft for decades, a super-rare N64 controller could be sold for around £1000 (approx $1220) at auction.
Plumber Liam Clousdale was 14 when he was gifted the customised pad in the late '90s. Produced by a company called Foxdata, the pad was one of four designs created by the firm: Desert Storm, Red Rain, Purple Forest, and Chrome Leopard. Foxdata also sold chrome-effect consoles and pads.
Clousdale has the Chrome Leopard variant, which he picked because he wanted the pad to stand out when he was playing with his friends, "to avoid confusion".
It is believed that Foxdata only produced 800 pads in its range, so it could be that only 200 examples of the Chrome Leopard version exist in the entire world.
Speaking to Manchester Evening News, Clousdale, now aged 39, explained how the controller came into his possession:
I got the pad as a birthday gift from my parents in 1998 when I was 14. The ads for it appeared in the official Nintendo magazine, the N64 Magazine as it was known back then. At that time you picked stuff out of the adverts in the back pages instead of via the internet.
All my friends used to go to each other’s houses to play and, to avoid confusion, everyone liked to have their own unique pad. The Foxdata ones were amazing to me at the time as they were official pads but with custom paint jobs.
He explains that, recently, a friend noted that the Foxdata pads were quite rare, and encouraged Clousdale to retrieve it from the loft. He then contacted the auction house Hansons to see how much it might be worth.
David Wilson-Turner, head of Hansons’ Toys and Video Games Auction, said: “Liam’s controller was released in the late 1990s by Foxdata as part of a range of four different designs - Desert Storm, Chrome Leopard, Red Rain and Purple Forest. That range that has become increasingly sought after in the video game market."