Introducing The Most Expensive Video Game Barcode Sticker Ever (Sonic The Hedgehog - Master System)

Introducing-The-Most-Expensive-Video-Game-Barcode-Sticker-Ever-Sonic-The-Hedgehog-Master-SystemIf you thought collecting European Sega Master System games was a tough feat, you're about to be thankful that you're not tracking down American releases. The US version of Sonic The Hedgehog 1 has recently surfaced on eBay attracting a flurry a of bids for what appears to be nothing other than the European release in disguise.

Any assumption that the US version of the game is identical to the European counterpart is a more than valid initial response. It is assumed that once the Sega Genesis was introduced to America to take over the failing Master System, Sega stopped creating unique region releases for the US audience and began importing left over European stock.

So if this copy of Sonic is none other than an European import, then why is it so highly sought after amongst the die-hard Master System collectors? It all comes down to one tiny detail...

On the back of the outer box lies a small UPC barcode sticker which US shops used to sell the game with (as opposed to using the European one on the box inlay). This disposable and hard to locate sticker is the only feature differentiating the two region releases apart. Given this sticker could have easily been removed (even on the copy sat in your collection!) or lost once the game was rehoused in a different outer case, it's safe to say so few of these complete sets remain and only those in the know tend to be aware they own them.

Knowing that the European version of Sonic The Hedgehog for the Master System tends to sell for no more than a couple of pounds, the current value of that UPC barcode sticker is hovering in the three digit range. Don't believe us? Then take a look at the copy currently on battling its way to being the most expensive American Sega Master System release.

Link: US Sonic The Hedgehog 1 (Sega Master System) with UPC Barcode Sticker
Source: Gamesniped 

Last Updated ( 07 December 2011 )  


Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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(Link to this comment) Tyron 2011-12-07 21:15
Lol I can see a stream of people buying European versions and printing out stickers.

I had heard of this but am have never seen one!
+1 (Link to this comment) Playgeneration 2011-12-07 23:23
I'm currently collecting the US set of Master System games. I printed off a list of all the games released there, and the first thing I did was cross out Sonic, Spiderman and Strider, as they literally are just Euro games with a barcode sticker. As far as I'm concerned they don't count as proper US games. It makes little sense to spend big on some barcode stickers when you can buy the games from Europe for a fraction of the price, not when there's so much other cool SMS stuff you could buy instead.
+1 (Link to this comment) orkney 2011-12-08 03:26
It's a shame the seller didn't stick it in a $2 vgtrader plastic box, and slap another cheap label on top of that. We'd probably be watching some poor bugger pay 4 figures instead of 3 :D

Oh and UPC barcodes are easily faked. You can make them online for free: - Happy scamming!
(Link to this comment) hydr0x 2011-12-08 09:48
I think we need a rule for our database that a UPC sticker alone does not qualify as an official import to a region ;) As you guys are saying, they are too easy to forge.
(Link to this comment) Private Joker 2011-12-08 12:00
It's a bit ridiculous, but I do get that people would want to collect it to get to that full set of US releases.
Otherwise, I think the set of US releases should be very easy to get besides James Buster Douglas and even then...
(Link to this comment) hydr0x 2011-12-08 19:04
Well, the problem isn't whether it's ridiculous or not. It's just impossible to tell now if a game was actually sold in the US back then if all the proof you have is a UPC sticker which someone could easily have forged nowadays. Unless of course you can verify (official UPC registry?) somehow that it was definitely sold that way back then.
(Link to this comment) MegaDrive20XX 2011-12-09 04:08
HyDrox! IS THAT YOU!? Holy cow! I haven't seen your name in AGES!
(Link to this comment) hydr0x 2011-12-09 10:52
Huh? How is that possible? I run 50% of the site lol :D
(Link to this comment) MegaDrive20XX 2011-12-09 23:56
I remember your name from a long long time ago, probably on Neo or Digitpress forums...
(Link to this comment) Private Joker 2011-12-11 10:00
So, it reached 981,33 $ in the end. I guess some people really wanted it for their collection or see it as an investment to start forging the sticker and selling them off from time to time :s
Crazy that the winner actually put in another bid even higher than his winning bid...
(Link to this comment) Jones 2012-11-10 11:52
one has just gone up on ebay

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