Almost fifteen years ago, when Jeremy Klein’s first World Industries pro model came out, it didn’t go anywhere. Jeremy was relatively unknown to most kids, and it wasn’t until six months later when Rubbish Heap was released that his board started to blow off of shop walls. “It’s amazing what a video part could do back then,” says Jeremy, reflecting back to when the hundred-dollar-a-month checks turned into thousands of dollars a month practically overnight.
But the party wouldn’t last long. Nintendo eventually got wind that World was unlawfully using “Mario,” and the cease-and-desist followed less than a year from when the board was originally issued. Under the cease-and-desist, Rocco had to send all product containing the “Mario” image to Nintendo–boards, T-shirts, stickers, everything.
Nearly ten years later, and after building strong ties within the video-game industry, Jeremy was on the phone with a Nintendo representative who admitted, “Yeah, we have a bunch of boards with Mario on ’em that have been sitting here.” Could it be that what was supposed to be destroyed years ago is still out there?
Jeremy never did find out, and it really doesn’t matter because Jeremy hoarded boards back then like he’s always hoarded Starbursts. “Hell yeah, I still got some of those. And the cool thing is I’ve been selling ’em for five-hundred bucks apiece. I made three-grand the other day.” But now thanks to Sean Cliver giving out Jeremy’s e-mail to board collectors, the “Mario” quiver has whittled itself down to a mere three. “If I would’ve known they’d be worth that much, I would’ve taken way more,” says Jeremy. “I thought I took a shitload.”–Eric Stricker