Online auctions game for EliteBy Martin Hansen. Published: 4th Dec 2003, 23:42:39 | Permalink | Printable
Martin Hansen spies some expensive stocking fillersComment A pre-Christmas surge of interest in the nostalgic good-old days of the Acorn-era is pushing up the prices of aging 6502 powered kit on the online auction site, eBay. Particularly desirable items include the Electron, Beeb and Master models, but with an all important disc drive included; the fondness for times past does not, so it would seem, extend to the long time wait associated with loading cassette tapes.
Last Friday, an Electron with plus 3 disc drive, ROM-box and a collection of 50 games topped out at 103 quid. This is an incredible price for a piece of electronics that is around twenty years old, and presumably well past its design lifespan - even if it is Acorn built.
A recent article in the Observer Magazine, reminiscing the legendary space game, Elite, is perhaps partially responsible for a package going through on Tuesday night for a jaw-dropping 255 quid. This included a BBC Master with only partially working keyboard, a trusty BBC B microcomputer and twin five and a half inch disc drives. However, the Master included a built in 'Tube' co-processor and an Elite package optimised to work with this.
Extra smooth plus extra colour equals extra cash
The prices are all the more bizarre when one notes that an A4 laptop last week was sold at ebay auction for only 41 quid and RiscPC 600s are routinely available for under 40 quid. Already, the eBay stage is set for the next showdown. A similar version of Elite is up for grabs, this time mint and unopened, from an ex-Acorn employee.
Drobe readers can effortlessly access RISC OS and Acorn related eBay action by clicking on Auctions link in the left-hand sidebar. To locate this particular item do a search on "Elite for BBC micro".
eBay not yet exciting enough for you? Time to apply some Hollywood-worthy spin. Pull up a chair and grab some popcorn for an action replay of the closing moments of Tuesday night's deal: Camera zoom on eBay page showing two minutes to go with 105 quid on screen for Master with Tube, BBC B, Elite. Flashback to still slides of previous half hour of punter eating chocolate, in shower, hunched over computer.
Close ups of face with stage school perfected worried expression. Enlightenment scene as the frantic enthusiast becomes finally convinced that Elite really was at its best on the original BBC Model B, that there's more chance of Internet Explorer 6 being ported to RISC OS than Frontier Developments releasing Elite 4 this century, and that 156 quid is a clinching bid that borders on the insane.
Close up of distraught face as bid figures on screen blur. Ebay's digital hammer falls. Final figure in dripping red; 255 quid. Cut to scene of missile heading straight for Cobra craft.
Elite Wikipedia entry
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