The video game collector who is in possession of a Sega Pluto, the never-released second model of the Sega Saturn, didn't know what he had on his hands until very recently. Once he became aware of the uniqueness of the console — and accordingly, of the high price it could fetch — he put it up for bidding on video game auction site GameGavel, and later on eBay. But according to the seller, who goes by Kidvid666 online, he's not looking to reap a profit from the extremely rare item.
Kidvid666 bought the console five or six years ago at a flea market in Stockton, Calif., for $1. "The guy I bought it from thought it was a VCR and I haggled him down to $1 from $5," he told Polygon over email. The system bears the Sega Saturn logo on the lid for its disc receptacle — the lid won't stay closed — but the unit is distinguished from the consumer model of Sega's mid-'90s console by its built-in NetLink modem.
"I just thought it was a huge Sega Saturn," he said.
Someone purporting to be a Sega employee revealed in April that he owned a 14-year-old Pluto prototype, and once Kidvid666 saw a news story about it, he realized that he had one, too.
In a GameGavel listing, he said he started the bidding at $1 and set a hidden, high reserve price because he was unsure of the Pluto's value. "Bid what you think the value is and that way we can all get a more accurate picture of the demand and value for this nearly one-of-a-kind item," he wrote.
The GameGavel auction ended at $7,600, and the eBay auction afterward ended at $15,500, neither of which met the listings' respective reserve prices. That's when Kidvid666 began to receive "backlash" on the internet, with commenters characterizing him as a guy who's just out to make a buck. But he said that he ran into problems on eBay: The sale didn't go through because the high bidder backed out, and none of the other bidders responded to second-chance offers.
Kidvid666 also explained that he doesn't have any particular attachment to the Pluto — "it's not like we hang out at family gatherings or anything," he said — but while he feels that it's "super rad to own a piece of Sega history," he's willing to part with it for the right price in order to help out his family.
"I just thought it was a huge Sega Saturn"
"I am looking to sell it so I can give the cash to my folks, plain and simple," he said. "I know I've been marked as 'a greedy unrealistic hipster' but I'd do anything for my parents. If it wasn't for them I wouldn't be in the situation I am today or collecting at all."
He's currently storing the Pluto in a safe deposit box while he explores other sale opportunities, although he's feeling "just a bit jaded by all the backlash [he] got via the internet over it."