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Dragster cartridge signed by banned record-holder sells for $830

A strange, but very profitable coincidence brings a collector a nice payday

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Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

The timely sale of a classic Atari 2600 game involved in a recent controversy netted its now-former owner more than $800.

Dragster, signed by Todd Rogers — whose 35-year-old record was stricken from Twin Galaxies and Guinness World Records last week — fetched $830 for Brett Weiss, a video game book author and collector.

Weiss told Polygon that the two met at a 2015 video gaming expo in Austin. He found Rogers to always be friendly, but something strange happened at that show. Weiss left his booth, returned, and was told by his son that while he was away, Rogers had autographed two cartridges, without being asked.

Dragster, collector, collectible, Todd Rogers, Brett Weiss
This cartridge, autographed by Todd Rogers — whose 35-year-old record in the game was invalidated Jan. 30 — just fetched $830 on eBay
Brett Weiss via eBay

“Todd had come back while I was gone and signed and dated them with a sharpie,” he told Polygon. “I was stunned and a little irritated. Who does such a thing?”

Weiss thought about confronting Rogers but given how cordial he had been in the past, decided against it. “He meant well and thought he was doing me a favor as he seemed to think his autograph would make the games more valuable,” Weiss said.

Indeed they did. It just took the dispute that went down Jan. 30 to deliver the big payday for it as a collectible. Rogers’ time of 5.51 in the primitive drag racing game by Activision, which the company had vouched for in its official newsletter in 1982, was challenged under a new dispute and resolution system Twin Galaxies introduced over the summer.

Tool-assisted speedrun software was used to pry apart the code of the game and show that even with optimum shifting at pinpoint moments, the 5.51 time would be impossible. Twin Galaxies’ ruling went further than to strip Rogers of that record; it stripped him of all his marks and banned him from further participation. Guinness followed with its sanction later.

Weiss said the cartridge was sold Feb. 6 and he included a certificate explaining the cartridge’s provenance.