Stadium Events, NTSC version for the NES
|Developer(s)||Bandai Co., Ltd.|
|Publisher(s)||Bandai America, Inc.|
|Series||Family Trainer - Series 2|
Stadium Events, known in Japan as Running Stadium (ランニングスタジアム Ranningu Sutajiamu?), is an exergaming video game developed by Bandai for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The game was released in Japan in 1986, North America in 1987, and West Germany and Sweden in 1988. It is part of the Family Trainer series in Japan, and one of two games released in North America under the Family Fun Fitness series banner, the other being Athletic World. The games were designed and branded for the Family Fun Fitness mat, a short-lived running pad accessory for the NES.
Athletic World's label is marked with a green "Series 1"; Stadium Events has an orange "Series 2" badge. This numbering system was abandoned when Nintendo took over further Bandai releases for use with its Power Pad instead. Although there were 10 total games in the Family Trainer series, only these two games were released in North America under the Family Fun Fitness banner.
Stadium Events is widely accepted as being the rarest NTSC licensed release for the Nintendo Entertainment System. It was recalled shortly after release due the Family Fun Fitness re-branding, with only an estimated 200 copies sold to consumers.
The game featured an Olympic-style Track and Field competition, with events such as the 100m dash, 110m hurdles, long jump, and triple jump. Modes of play include "Tournament" and "The Olympics". Race opponents are named after animals, the slowest being Turtle and the fastest being Cheetah. Players utilized the Family Fun Fitness mat (Side B) instead of a standard controller in order to run and jump. A controller, connected to Port A, is used to navigate the game's menu.
The North American, or NTSC, version of Stadium Events is universally accepted as the rarest licensed NES game available for purchase in North America. The reason for its rarity and subsequent high market price is its limited production and sales. At the time of its launch during the holiday season of 1987, Stadium Events was only available from limited stores. In 1988, Nintendo purchased the North American rights to the FFF mat technology and re-released it as the Power Pad.
The two Family Fun Fitness-branded games that had already been released, as well as Bandai's version of the running pad accessory, were pulled from shelves and presumed destroyed. Because of this odd sequence of events, only 2000 copies are believed to have been produced, of which it is estimated that 200 copies reached consumers before being recalled. Today, collectors who follow the online sale of rare video games believe that fewer than 20 complete copies of the game exist, only three of which are known to be factory sealed. The game is worth up to $38,000 according to the NES Rarity Guide. An eBay auction of a new, factory-sealed version of the game was sold on February 26, 2010 with a winning bid of $41,300, but the winning bidder never paid for the auction won. However, on January 22, 2011, another factory-sealed version of the game sold on eBay. The transaction was completed, and both parties exchanged positive feedback. The copy sold for $22,800.00, the highest confirmed price paid for the game at that time. In 2013, it is reported that a woman purchased a rare copy of the game for $7.99 at a Goodwill store in North Carolina and eventually listed it for an online auction. An eBay Auction in January 2015 yielded the third known factory-sealed Stadium Events with a sale price of $35,100.00. The transaction was completed, and both parties exchanged positive feedback. This copy of Stadium Events game was given a grade of 85 the highest known grade for this game by the VGA. It was sold by a previous Nintendo employee who received it while working at Nintendo for over 22 years and held on to it for decades then decided to sell after he left Nintendo.
The European, or PAL, version of Stadium Events is not as rare as its American counterpart, but is still an expensive NES game. The PAL version was released in West Germany and Sweden. The value of this game varies depending on the condition of the game, and supply and demand. Prices have been anywhere from $200 to $1,000.
Both of the games available in the US for the Family Fun Fitness mat were retooled and relabeled to reflect compatibility with the Power Pad instead. Athletic World's label and manual were changed slightly, replacing Family Fun Fitness verbiage with Power Pad wording. The box for Athletic World was changed completely, making the original box and manual a collector's item. A complete copy of the original Bandai Athletic World game rarely surfaces. Some collectors believe there are less than 500 complete copies of the game. Stadium Events, however, was not similarly modified and re-released, but was instead recalled and distributed under an entirely different title, World Class Track Meet, in late 1988. The games are identical in gameplay and content, except for title changes within the game to reflect the new name.
The re-released World Class Track Meet was produced and sold in large numbers, as it was a pack-in game for Nintendo's Power Set bundle, which included (among other items) the NES console, Power Pad, and World Class Track Meet. The Family Computer version of Running Stadium was not recalled or otherwise limited, and survives in greater numbers than the North American version.
The Family Fun Fitness pad with the Athletic World pack-in saw a PAL-B release in the Benelux region, Scandinavian region, France, West Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, as well as a PAL-A release in Italy and Australia. Furthermore, the title of the pad was altered to Fitness Center in West Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. There was no official release outside of these countries. Stadium Events was never released in PAL-A format and seems to have only had a small PAL-B release in both West Germany and Sweden. The German and Swedish PAL-B releases, while sharing the same software, varied slightly in packaging. While the box for both releases is identical, each region received a unique manual and cartridge back-label. The German release can be identified by its FRG-coded blue manual and DAS code on the cartridge back-label, whereas the Swedish release can be identified by its SCN-coded yellow manual and SCN code on the cartridge back-label.
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- "Woman Picks Up Rare $15,000 Nintendo Game For $7.99 At Goodwill". 2013-04-18.
- "The woman who bought NES’ Stadium Event for $7.99 is selling it". http://thatdamnpixel.wordpress.com/. April 22, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013.