Ah, yes, The Queen’s* Golden Wii. A perfectly cromulent sixth-generation console publicity stunt, born of a time when marketers couldn’t avail themselves of a cheeky Twitter feed to get instant attention, is up for sale on eBay.
* — Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has likely never heard of, much less ever played, this electroplated contraption.
THQ, masters of marketing taste that it once was, cooked up the gilded scheme 12 years ago to hype Big Family Games, a piece of party-game shovelware exclusive to the console. THQ said it delivered the golden Wii (its Wiimote was also golden) to Buckingham Palace in May 2009. But this 2019 investigation, from Chris Bratt’s People Make Games YouTube series, tracks down the Wii and finds it in possession of collector Donny Fillerup, a board member of Consolevariations.com.
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.
“My family was never very healthy financially, so money was always needed,” Fillerup said. “I never wanted to sell it; however, I was always curious how much someone could give for it.”
The Golden Wii’s listing says the machine works. “The username is ‘THQ’ and it’s on the 3.2E Firmware,” Fillerup notes. “The Wii-mote has some wear on the bottom. My guess is that it was actually used at one point.”