These rare SEGA Game Gears, are a love hate relationship. Released in Japan in 1990 and throughout North America and Europe in 1991, it was SEGA’s jab at the oh so popular Gameboy.
But what many don’t know is that SEGA actually beat Nintendo to the “coloured handheld” finish line, and it was one of SEGA’s sneakiest tactics which paid off because they sold over 10,000,000 units.
Like many of the most popular 90s toys, gamers wanted exclusivity and demanded limited edition variants which SEGA agreed too. Now, many years on, some of the rarest SEGA Game Gears sell for tens of thousands of dollars.
So, let’s jump right in and we’ll take you through the top 5 rare SEGA Game Gears!
1. Gold & Diamond Encrusted SEGA Game Gear
Let’s start off this article with THE rarest SEGA Game Gear known to man, and what better way to make it rare, than by adding real gold, and real diamonds to the console?
If El Chapo had a game gear, this would probably be it, just like the gold Gameboy Advance SP in our rare Gameboys article.
This SEGA Game gear was released exclusively in the UK and is covered with 800grams of gold and 46 carats of diamond, making the console worth over £55,000, and that’s retail. If this every game to fruition, it could sell for far more.
David Morris International is the company that created these handhelds at their marketing line was simple “The ultimate present for the children of the super rich”…. No shit.
Apparently only 1 to 50 of these were ever made and they weren’t exactly hard to get hold of, there was no competition, no lottery it came down to whether or not your parents were absolutely minted.
The 18K covered case adds a fair bit of weight to it, and the diamonds even overlap onto the DPAD let’s hope these kids don’t button bash like we do or they’ll be dropping diamonds around the school playground.
The gold Game Gear featured in a 1994 magazine called EGM and states a lot of the information that we mentioned, and it states that these 50 grand rare SEGA Game Gears didn’t even come with games… at first we thought it was a sick joke, but hey… gotta save your pennies right?
These are so rare that one hasn’t been seen in years, let alone listed for sale. Rumours are even spread that these don’t actually exist which doesn’t surprise us because if you take inflation into consideration, it would be like paying $100,000 for a rare SEGA Game Gear today.
2. The White Sega Game Gear
You know the moment Gandalf comes back as the White Wizard in Lord of The Rings? That’s exactly what happened to this Game Gear. It somehow got even cooler. It can’t deflect arrows or burn swords but it can impress your friends at school, and that’s just as awesome, right?
This SEGA Game Gear was released at the same time as the original and was given to developers and workers who directly associated with SEGA during the creation of the handheld.
Only 10,000 we’re made and they came bundled with a custom white TV Tuner too because, I guess SEGA thought that was the best accessory? Not a chance SEGA, have you not seen our Pimp My episode?
What made this variant so wanted is simply the coloured shell being opposite of the normal variants, adding that “wow” factor.
These have recently been sold on eBay for over $600, so not super expensive, but enough for you to live off beans for a couple of weeks.
This game gear also has different coloured buttons, SEGA has gone for light teal action buttons, and a grey DPAD which is different to the original black ones. Each white Game Gear came in a protective brief case that houses the game gear, the tv tuner and a couple of games.
Yes, that’s right, this one comes with games, unlike the bloomin Gold one! SEGA recently revealed their new Game Gear Micro in this variant too, to celebrate these rare SEGA Game gears.
3. Coca-Cola Sega Game Gear
This is one rare Game Gear that you may have seen floating about on Instagram and eBay, because it’s highly wanted and somewhat easy to get hold of if you have the cash.
This is the Coca-Cola Sega Game Gear, that launched exclusively to Japan in 1994 alongside the video game Coca-Cola Kid. This kid was Coca-Cola’s Japanese mascot in the 90’s, and they even made a whole game about the lad.
It is estimated that only 5,0000 to 10,000 of these were ever made, and because it was a Japanese exclusive, us western folk struggled to get hold of it. Now, they can be find almost anywhere because they’ve been exported all over the world.
The Coca Cola Game Gear has a bright red shell with coca cola branding across the base, the retail packaging is bright, vibrant and features the coca cola kid across the box. This limited edition console also comes with the Coca Cola Kid game, which is fairly rare in itself.
It also features the normal coloured buttons, DPAD and screen cover, giving it that red and black feel just like the Coca Cola branding.
Overall, it’s a very wanted handheld and one that stands out from the crowd. It’s one of the only times Coca Cola has created a “limited edition console” with their next being in 2005 almost 10 years later.
4. Samsung Game Gear
Number four on our list is a special one, a Game Gear not entirely made by SEGA, instead this was one made by Samsung. That’s right, meet the Samsung Game Gear or also known as the Samsung Handy Gam*Boy.
During the 80s and 90s, it was very difficult for foreigners to market video games consoles in South Korea, especially if they were Japanese (thanks to the long history of tension between Korea and Japan).
This meant that Sega could not easily market their own products to a South Korean audience on their own, so they struck a deal with Samsung to distribute consoles in that region.
One of them, being the oh so popular Game Gear. Because of these laws, they changed the SEGA logo, so famously near the top right of the screen, to a Samsung logo.
It looked like the traditional game gear, just with some minor changes to text and language. It is estimated that only 1,000 to 5,000 were ever made, making them very rare and wanted by SEGA enthusiasts.
They retailed for around about 198,000 wan, which is equal to 180 USD at the time of release in 1991.
This partnership between them went on for some time and Samsung even distributed the Mega Drive, but again, for legal reasons SEGA had to call it the Gam*Boy instead of its original name the Mega Drive, or also known as the SEGA Genesis in North America.
The Samsung Game Gear is hard to find being sold anywhere, because as you can imagine, most of the owners are in South Korea and selling anything outside of the country is hard. But we can imagine they’d go for over $1,000 should they ever find their way out of the country.
5. Sega Game Gear Ninku Console
Another new color to the SEGA Game Gear family is the limited edition Ninku console that was released in 1995 for handheld RPG enthusiasts.
It was exclusive to Japan and officially released by SEGA themselves, all while being bundled with the new Ninku game. Ninku is a Japanese manga series that was incredibly popular in the mid to late 90’s. It was eventually turned into a tv series which aired on TV in 1995 and 1996 which helped back the new game.
What was different about this console was predominantly the light blue shell, which just like the Coca Cola variant, stood out like a sore thumb. Not only was the box custom to the console but so was the actual cartridge that came with the console.
This version of the Ninku game had a light blue shell, identical to that of the console, making it look even cooler when you played on it.
It was estimated that 5,000 to 10,000 were made, still making them rare, but certainly attainable still to this day. As of now, these limited edition SEGA Game Gears sell from anywhere between $500 and $800 depending on the condition of the console and box.
So there you have it, a quick look at 5 of the rarest SEGA Game Gears in the world. If you had to pick one which would it be? Let us know on twitter @retro_dodo and don’t forget to let us know what console, game or accessories you’d like us to feature next!
A 29 year old fella that’s had a Gameboy addiction ever since he was a child. Brandon is the founder of RetroDodo and created a YouTube channel with 240,000 subscribers dedicated to retro gaming products. He now wants to create the No.1 site to showcase the latest retro products from around the globe.