Rare ‘Air Raid’ video game earns more than $10K for Goodwill center in Texas

FORT WORTH, Texas — Thrift shops can yield some treasures, and a worker at a Goodwill center in Texas found a doozy.

>> Read more trending news

Alex Juarez, an e-commerce item processor at Fort Worth-based Goodwill North Central Texas found a rare copy of “Air Raid,” a game published for the Atari 2600 game system in 1982 by Men-A-Vision, Fort Worth Magazine reported.

The game was distributed on a limited scale, and only 13 copies are known to exist, the magazine reported.

“I was just doing my job and pulled a bin out, and it was full of old Atari games,” Juarez said in a video produced by Goodwill. “When I was younger, me and my dad used to watch these ‘Top 10 most expensive video games’ and stuff like that, and this would pop up all the time.”

On June 10, Goodwill North Central Texas placed its copy of the game for auction on shopgoodwill.com/nct and it sold for $10,590.79.

The concept behind “Air Raid” is simple by today’s standards but was an exciting game for the 1980s. The fixed shooter game is noted for its blue, T-shaped cartridge design. Players control an airship and fire at aliens attacking the earth, a game concept similar to “Space Invaders” and “Galaga.”

Because of its scarcity, the game has fetched some big prices. One complete edition sold for $33,433.30 in 2012 and a previous cartridge-only copy sold for $3,575 on eBay in 2011, according to Fort Worth Magazine.

The game is now Goodwill’s highest-selling single-piece item, Rosemary Cruz, the organization’s vice president of donated goods and retail, said in the video. According to Goodwill North Central Texas, the sum is enough to provide day habilitation services for a year for one adult with disabilities, provide 20 homeless people with job placement services and community resources, or help 10 at-risk youth earn their GED and a paycheck at the same time.

“It’s kind of surreal. It’s more of a piece of history rather than an expensive game to me,” Juarez said in the video. “It’s weird, knowing this will be the only time you get to hold something like this.

“If it were me buying it, I would probably put it in a case and not do anything with it, and just look at it. But I think it would be cool just to see it be played or something like that.”