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Buyer of $300,000 ‘Nintendo PlayStation’ is Pets.com founder

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Greg McLemore has been collecting rare video games for 20 years

Pets.com Put To Sleep Photo by Bob Riha/Liaison/Getty Images

The buyer of the prototype “Nintendo PlayStation” is Greg McLemore, an entrepreneur best known for starting the turn-of-the-century tech-bubble bust Pets.com.

Forbes reported the buyer’s identity on Saturday. McLemore, 51, has spent 20 years assembling a collection of rare and vintage video games and arcade amusement machines. A 2015 profile in Robb Report noted that he made his first purchase shortly after selling 50 percent of Pets.com to Amazon and turning the company over to a new CEO.

Pets.com went bust in November 2000, following a marketing campaign that made its sock puppet mascot a minor pop-culture celebrity.

McLemore, to Forbes, called the $300,000 (plus a $60,000 buyer’s premium) that he paid for the Nintendo PlayStation “inexpensive” when compared to recent auctions, like a mint-condition copy of Super Mario Bros. that sold for $100,000; McLemore said he reached out to seller Terry Diebold and made a $100,000 offer for the machine a few years ago.

McLemore told Forbes he intends to loan the Nintendo PlayStation to the University of Southern California’s Pacific Asia Museum, for an exhibit next spring and summer showcasing Asian influence on the video games industry.