Remember THQ’s 24-Karat Gold Nintendo Wii From 2009 Made for the Queen of England? You Don’t? Well, It’s up for Sale Now
It was originally a marketing stunt for THQ's "Big Family Games."
Filed under things I’d completely forgotten about, a 24-karat gold Nintendo Wii is now up for auction. What’s fascinating about this is the fact that the console was originally released back in 2009 and was meant to be given to Queen Elizabeth II. Why? Well … I’ll try to explain, but I’m not sure if it’s going to make any more sense when I do.
What was the gold-plated Wii?
According to Kotaku, the gold-plated Wii was created by THQ in an attempt to promote BIG Family Games, which was released during that era of casual Wii minigames that, honestly, kinda blend in with one another. THQ decided to send a copy of the game and that shiny gold console to the Queen herself. Again… why? Partially because, according to The Sunday People (a tabloid in the UK), the Queen… really liked Wii bowling. I will admit that was my favorite game on Wii Sports, but … why this marketing attempt toward the Queen? And why gold?
Here’s a quote with the answer.
“BIG Family Games is the ultimate Wii game to get all family members, from grandparents to young children, playing together. The Royal Family is arguably the most important family in the country so we felt that they had to have a copy of the new game. But we thought that Her Majesty the Queen wouldn’t want to play on any old console, so an extra-special gold one was commissioned. We hope that she and the rest of the Royal Family enjoy the game!”
Did the Queen ever get to use the, um… Royal Wii? Probably not, which this video from People Makes Games points out since, you know, palace security is pretty tight.
Apparently, it took a lot of work to be able to auction it
So what happened to the Golden Wii? Well, that same video reveals that it ended up in the hands of collector Donny Fillerup, a board member of Consolevariations.com. Last year, Fillerup decided to put the Wii up on eBay. Polygon writes, “Fillerup is still the owner, responsible for listing it on eBay. He’s looking at buying a home for the first time and figures the Wii could finance that. An interview at Consolevariations.com says unnamed ‘top-end gaming industry people’ estimated, at Gamescom 2019, that the golden Wii could be worth $1 million; Fillerup says just $300,000 (actually €250,000) should cover his house-hunting needs, so he’s hoping to land that. Asked if he ever offered to sell it ‘back’ to the Queen, Fillerup says no.”
That was a year ago. Did the console not sell? Quite the opposite, actually. According to Kotaku, the console had over 700 bids in October 2021. “However, a recent change in eBay’s auction policies—which compared the value of an item to the user’s selling history, which in this case was “very expensive console” vs “some guy’s regular eBay account”—saw the auction removed before it could be completed.”
So it’s not that there wasn’t any interest, it’s that the console couldn’t be sold on eBay. Fillerup has managed to find another way and now the console is up for auction over at Goldin—and yes, the game is included, you can breathe a sigh of relief. “When THQ went bankrupt in 2012, ‘The Royal Wii’ fell off of the radar, and nobody really knew what became of it. However, five years later, it resurfaced, having been acquired by a collector specializing in developer hardware, who had obtained it from a contact he had at THQ. He ultimately sold the console, and it has been held quietly in our consignor’s hands since then.”
Currently, the bids are well below the original eBay listing ($2200 is the highest so far) but there are still 15 days left before the auction ends.
(Image: WPA Pool/Getty Images/THQ/Nintendo/editing by Briana Lawrence)
—The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—
Have a tip we should know? [email protected]