The Game Boy Color was Nintendo’s successor to the original Game Boy, released in 1998. While not as iconic or groundbreaking as the original Game Boy, the Game Boy Color introduced color graphics and helped bridge the gap between the Game Boy and Game Boy Advance eras. Over its lifetime, Nintendo released many different limited edition Game Boy Color models, some of which are now incredibly rare and valuable to collectors.
Pokémon Edition Game Boy Colors
Some of the rarest and most sought after Game Boy Color models are the Pokémon editions that were released in conjunction with the popular Pokémon video games. These models featured colorful Pokémon-themed designs and are highly prized by collectors today.
Pokémon Gold and Silver Edition
To celebrate the release of the Pokémon Gold and Silver games in 2000, Nintendo released a limited edition Gold and Silver Game Boy Color. The Metalic Gold edition featured a sparkling gold color scheme, while the Metalic Silver edition was a shiny silver. Both models featured decorative Poké Ball and Pokémon logo designs.
These limited edition Game Boy Colors were only available in stores for a short time around the Gold and Silver launch. As a result, they are fairly rare today. Working, good condition Metalic Gold and Silver Game Boy Colors can sell for $200-$300 each.
Pokémon Yellow Special Pikachu Edition
Arguably the rarest mainstream Pokémon Game Boy Color is the Yellow Special Pikachu Edition that was released alongside Pokémon Yellow in 1998. This model featured bright Pikachu iconography and a bold black and yellow color scheme. Only a limited number were produced, making working units extremely rare and valuable today.
Mint condition Pikachu Game Boy Colors can fetch $500 or more. Even used models in good condition can easily sell for $300-$400. The vintage Pokémon hype and nostalgia make this one of the most coveted Game Boy Colors for collectors.
Other Rare Special Edition Models
In addition to the Pokémon models, Nintendo released many other limited edition Game Boy Colors that are now rare collector’s items:
Toys R Us Limited Edition
To celebrate the launch of the Game Boy Color in 1998, Toys R Us stores released an exclusive lime green colored model. This Game Boy Color included the Toys R Us logo and complex circuit board-inspired designs. It was limited to stores in North America, the UK, Australia, and other select regions. Working Toys R Us Game Boy Colors can sell for $200-$300+ today.
Jusco 30th Anniversary Edition
This special model was released exclusively at Jusco department stores in Japan to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the chain in 1998. It has an intricate white, green, and gold color scheme. As a Japan-only release, it is quite rare, especially in North America and Europe. Mint condition models can easily fetch $500+.
Hello Kitty Edition
Nintendo partnered with the famous Sanrio Hello Kitty brand to release this cute special edition Game Boy Color in 2000. It featured Hello Kitty iconography and came in either pink or white. Originally releasing only in Japan and Asia, authentic Hello Kitty Game Boy Colors can sell for $300 or more in good condition.
Donkey Kong Land III Edition
Bundled with Donkey Kong Land III in 2000 was this jungle-themed Game Boy Color. It has a camouflage green shell and screen cover along with Donkey Kong logos. As a European exclusive, North American collectors will pay a premium of $150-$200 for an authentic unit.
|Game Boy Color Edition||Release Year||Estimated Value|
|Pokémon Gold and Silver||2000||$200-$300|
|Pokémon Yellow Special Pikachu||1998||$300-$500|
|Toys R Us Limited Edition||1998||$200-$300|
|Jusco 30th Anniversary||1998||$500+|
|Hello Kitty Edition||2000||$300+|
|Donkey Kong Land III||2000||$150-$200|
Extremely Rare Prototypes and Unreleased Models
In addition to the rare models that saw public release, there are also a handful of Game Boy Color prototypes and unreleased editions that are even more valuable to collectors due to their extreme rarity.
Pokémon Demo Game Boy
Before the release of Pokémon Red and Blue, Nintendo created special demo Game Boy models to showcase the games. These featured unique Pokémon sticker artwork and are virtually unseen today. If one were ever to surface, it would likely fetch $10,000+ from the right collector.
This mysterious translucent blue Game Boy Color prototype has appeared in photos but there is little verifiable information about its origin. Rumored to be a demo unit for an unreleased game, it could be worth $10,000-$15,000 due to its possible uniqueness.
A gold colored Game Boy Color prototype has appeared in photos under the name “Champagne Edition.” The origin and purpose of this model is unknown but its striking color makes it incredibly valuable as a possible one-of-a-kind prototype.
The Game Boy Color marked a major evolution for Nintendo’s handheld devices. While the original Game Boy is more iconic, Game Boy Color models like the Special Pikachu Edition demonstrate the system’s cultural impact and remain highly sought after by collectors years later. Prototypes like the mythical Project Atlantis give the Game Boy Color an air of mystery as well.
For gaming history devotees, Game Boy Color collecting provides a treasure trove of rare, special editions to hunt down. Models bundled with classic Pokémon games are always popular, but even mass market releases like the Toys R Us Edition carry significant value today. As retro gaming enthusiasm continues, these rare handhelds will only become more prized over time.