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February 26th, 2010 | Auctions, Merchandise, MOTHER 1

Update: It’s been confirmed that this is the MOTHER 3 Franklin Badge and not the MOTHER 1 Franklin Badge. While the M1 badges are unbelievably rare, the M3 ones are pretty hard to come by too, especially by themselves.

When MOTHER was released in Japan, a bunch of strategy guides flooded the market. Possibly as a way to stand out from the crowd, the official strategy guides had a contest you could participate in, and 200 lucky winners would win a Franklin Badge from the game. Naturally, these badges are very rare nowadays and tend to go for high prices. A few years back, someone in Japan tried to sell one with a starting bid of $9000. Obviously it didn’t sell, but yikes.

Anyway, it looks like one of these rare badges was just listed on eBay:

Now, it’s important to note that the MOTHER 3 Deluxe Boxes also came with Franklin Badges. These are somewhat rare too, but were much easier to get (you could actually buy them as part of the MOTHER 3 Deluxe Box set) and were much greater in quantity. The biggest obvious difference between the two badges is that the original version has a gold background while the MOTHER 3 one has a white background:

Judging from the picture on the auction page, this one up for sale looks to be one of the MOTHER 1 badges. If so, it definitely belongs in a future EarthBound Museum (to be built when I’m a jillionaire) 😯


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66 Comments to Original Franklin Badge for Sale?

Onion said on Feb. 27, 2010

She’s a beauty.

Dynamitekyle said on Feb. 27, 2010

Keepin’ my eye on this.

Mister Crosser said on Feb. 27, 2010

*seagulls pop out of nowhere* MINE MINE MINE MINE!!!!

I’ll probably bid a bit on this,

neonix said on Feb. 27, 2010

Well, don’t even bother getting attached. Lucas Tizma has his heart set on this EXACT item more than any other piece of MOTHER merch. And you all know well enough, he’ll bid heavily for it.

Predicting a final price for this is going to be difficult though. I’m sure a lot of people will pass it up since the difference between it and the M3 badge is so subtle and minor. Only a very serious collector will need to bid on it.

It’s too bad this one doesn’t come attached to the original letter they were mailed with. If it did then it would fetch a much higher price for sure, and I’d actually be a bit more interested.

I also have a question for some experts. The SM.net page for the Franklin Badge has pictures for the badge in this auction, and this picture as well: http://starmen.net/merchandise/images/fbadge_white.jpg That is clearly a different badge (you see how the lines don’t overlap the continents and its white like the M3 one). So where did that one come from?

Ninji said on Feb. 27, 2010


BroBuzz said on Feb. 27, 2010

Ninji just took the words right out of my mouth.

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 27, 2010

So, it seems the time has finally come at last.

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 27, 2010

Alright, hang on just one second. I’ve got a few things to note here.

1. The MOTHER3 Badge pic Tomato posted has some issues. The FB in the M3 Deluxe Box was not shaped like that, it’s flat, just like a button, it’s not deep like the picture shows.

2. The MOTHER FB (the rare one) seems to have (in every pic of it that’s available) lighter red text (almost orange) than the MOTHER3 badge.

3. Looking at the MOTHER FB compared to the MOTHER3 FB, the color difference inside is very distinct. However, I don’t see as extreme a color difference in the auction badge. I took my official M3 FB and set it down like I was going to take a picture, and when it’s tilted it can seem darker on the inside, even though it’s white.

I’m not saying the one in the auction couldn’t be the MOTHER FB, I’m just saying that the dark red “MOTHER” text and “off-white” inside color of the one in the auction sure is similar to the M3 FB.

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 27, 2010

OK, last post, but here’s a few pics to back up my color and text argument



I think that’s some obvious gold in them there backgrounds. And now I’m completely/100% sure this auction is for a M3 badge.

Chrissii said on Feb. 27, 2010

I have to wonder, why’s all this rare stuff showing up all of a sudden? Is it the recession? >_>

Ice Sage said on Feb. 27, 2010




Ice Sage said on Feb. 27, 2010

@Neonix – I asked Mato the same question about that particular image as well. That image is of a Franklin Badge someone made on Zazzle – that’s why it looks so weird. Do a Google image search and you’ll find it.

@Pigmask Private – those two images of the M1 Franklin Badge are the only ones I’ve ever seen with such a vibrant background color to them. The two images of it in this post, however, look very similar. I see what you mean about the text color, but everything else looks right. I wonder what Mato thinks.

@Chrissii – 😛

Sorry for double posting.

Mato said on Feb. 27, 2010

Yeah, that one picture of the M3 FB on SM.Net (and the one I used here for about half an hour) was a Zazzle one. That pic really should be taken down due to the confusion it can cause.

There aren’t a whole lot of M1 FB pics out there, and it’d be nice if this seller had more pics of the one being sold. Like I mentioned in the post, it looks like an M1 FB. It’s a small pic though (and there’s only one), so hopefully interested buyers will ask for more info/more detailed pics.

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 27, 2010

More detailed pics could seal the deal, I’m just going by my gut instinct. It just looks a bit too much like a M3 badge, and not enough like a M1 badge to me.

I’m sure if LucasTizma or some other site member wins, we’ll get more detailed pics from them. Sure would suck if somebody bought this and it ended up being the M3 one. Like Neonix said, having the included letter would help both to authenticate it and raise the price.

Hawf said on Feb. 27, 2010

Is only going for $13?!

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 27, 2010


What is this? Chrissii’s right, must be the recession

LucasTizma said on Feb. 27, 2010

Hm. I’ll pull out my M3 Franklin Badge right now and try to put in some REAL scrutiny to see if there is any non-color-based “sure fire” way to tell the difference…one moment…

SmaMan said on Feb. 27, 2010

I don’t care if it’s the M1 or M3 badge, I don’t have either one!

LucasTizma said on Feb. 27, 2010

@neonix: Yes, what is this badge? http://starmen.net/merchandise/images/fbadge_white.jpg

I wonder if it’s a replica someone made. That badge has two distinct differences: 1) the “quadrant” lines don’t overlap the MOTHER text like it does on the M3 FB, and 2) the upper right of the badge is missing the lines near the continent.

Other than that, I can’t find any conclusive way to distinguish the M1 FB from the M3 FB… We need an authoritative source on just how many official FB versions there are. I’m especially perplexed about this one: http://starmen.net/merchandise/images/fbadge_white.jpg

LucasTizma said on Feb. 27, 2010
Mato said on Feb. 27, 2010

LucasTizma: I pointed it out already, but that one you linked to is a Zazzle badge made by a fan. It shouldn’t be on that page, it only causes confusion 🙁

EDIT: And this says there were 200 winners. Though it’s unclear if it’s 200 per book. I kind of doubt it though.

LucasTizma said on Feb. 27, 2010

@Mato: Oh sorry. I didn’t see this page before you changed the image. Glad to know that was a fake. Well in any case, I’m willing to lay down a good deal of $$ on it, so hopefully we’ll know soon enough.

Ice Sage said on Feb. 27, 2010

@LucasTizma: I pointed out the Zazzle thing already…:(

Also, Pigmask Private might be correct – I’ve been looking at my M3 Franklin Badge, and I can get it to look like it has the same color background as the pic the seller posted. Now I’m wondering why the pic Mato used in the comparison shot looks like the auction pic, yet yokomako29’s Franklin Badges are so brightly colored. Knowing how high this will go for, I agree that we need more information about this FB.

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 27, 2010

Well, for your sake, LT… I hope it’s a M1 badge. Talk about horrible to spend several hundreds on a common (term used loosely here) badge.

P Philosophy said on Feb. 27, 2010

Attention all! Just sent a message through ebay asking the seller if this was won by the contest and for additional photos. He told me he would supply extra pictures but also that it’s the Mother 3 Deluxe Box version. I would say to message the seller yourself to hear it for yourself since I’m not expecting others to believe me.

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 27, 2010


Y’know, even though I was certain it was a M3 badge, this was the VERY FIRST time I wished that I was wrong.

P Philosophy said on Feb. 27, 2010

I wish it was the real thing too. Asked the seller for additional pictures and to change the description to not confuse people thinking it’s the real thing. Don’t want others to pay tons for the deluxe box one when here they could be bidding on the ruler or pogs.

LucasTizma said on Feb. 27, 2010

Lame. Well I guess there’s an extra $400 that can go toward the pogs. Thanks for clearing it up guys! 🙂 Although I too wish you were wrong. :-\

Ice Sage said on Feb. 27, 2010

And my hopes come crashing down.

Oh well. 🙁

Mato said on Feb. 27, 2010

Ah, it’s a Mother 3 one, Darn. M3 ones are still hard to come by though, so it’s not all bad.

This is making me wonder though – as far as I know, no one in the EB community has ever acquired a Mother 1 Franklin Badge, so all we’ve had to go on are old pictures from possibly bad phones in possibly bad lighting. Is it possible that the M1 badge and M3 badge are actually identical-looking, with the same background color? This auction makes me wonder if that’s the case…

P Philosophy said on Feb. 27, 2010

That would really stink if they were identical. Then we would have to watch for the official letters to be included in order to know if it’s authentic.

Wonder if that guy who asked for $9000 sold it or is planning to in the future? Can always dream I suppose!

Ice Sage said on Feb. 27, 2010

I’ve wondered about that too, Mato. For one thing, the pic of the Franklin Badge on the back of the M1 guides detailing the 200 winners is pure white: http://starmen.net/merchandise/images/fbadge_yoko3.jpg

On the other hand, the pics of yokomako29’s badges look very yellow, even with the clearly white paper underneath them, as seen in the pics Pigmask Private posted earlier.

This is kind of getting annoying, especially considering how long I’ve been looking for one of these. 😛

Mato said on Feb. 28, 2010

It’s hard to say that it’s white from that pic. It’s frustrating, because I used to have that guide and I remember reading that part in it. If I had it still I could get a better scan.

It’s also made more confusing because the Franklin Badge T-shirt (released in 2006) has a gold background: http://www.1101.com/store/T/2006/design/m3wh.html

P Philosophy said on Feb. 28, 2010

Maybe the background is gold? Can see a tiny bit of it by the Jeff figure in the middle. Unless that’s the deluxe box one too, maybe: http://mother.holy.jp/event/event.html

Wish I could help out more.

Ice Sage said on Feb. 28, 2010

I forgot about that shirt. I set my M3 FB on top of a piece of paper, and now I’m even more confused – it’s not as white as the image in this post, but it’s not as gold as the FB on the shirt, and the M1 FBs from that 2006 auction appear to be much more vibrant than all of those examples.

The other thing I noticed is the back of the M1 FB in this image: http://starmen.net/merchandise/images/fbadge_yoko2.jpg

The pin appears to be set higher on the back of the badge than on the M3 FBs. I set my M3 FB at the same angle, and the pins’ positions don’t look the same. So even if both versions have identical backgrounds, the back of the badge should be able to differentiate between the two (assuming there isn’t a letter to authenticate it).

Ice Sage said on Feb. 28, 2010

Sorry for double posting again, but P Philosophy’s post pretty much proves the backgrounds are different for 2 reasons. First, I’m pretty sure this was the MOTHER 1+2 event, meaning the M3 FBs would not have been made yet. Secondly, this “newspaper” displayed at said event (see http://earthboundcentral.com/2010/01/saturn-valley-express/ ) talks about how some M1 FBs were found in storage, and it’s very likely they would have displayed one of them along with the clay models they found.

Plus the fact that the FB is quite clearly the same color of gold as yokomako29’s, and judging from the clay models’ appearances, there isn’t any weird lighting that could contribute to making the FB look that way.

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 28, 2010

Looking at that badge next to the Jeff figurine, it looks to have the same (very obvious) background color in Yokomako’s pics. I just feel that the odds of an authentic MOTHER Franklin Badge showing up on Ebay are about the same as the odds of EarthBound being put on Virtual Console.

But I agree about the pin placement, my M3 badge is lower than the M1 FB’s pin.

Ice Sage said on Feb. 28, 2010

Apparently my post didn’t get through, so I’m just going to agree with Pigmask Private on the color.

@P Philosophy: M3 FBs would not have been made at this point in time anyway. But don’t worry, you helped a lot by posting that image. 🙂

neonix said on Feb. 28, 2010

It seems the case is closed, but I just want to point out that I would not use the picture on the guidebook for ANY means of comparison.


If you look closely at the badge in that picture, the lines don’t overlap the continents and it’s missing lines in that upper right section that LT pointed out, just like in the fake Zazzle badge:


Mato said on Feb. 28, 2010

Would someone be able to take a pic of the back of their M3 FB? I don’t have a camera or else I’d do it myself.

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 28, 2010

Comin’ right up, Mato.

Ice Sage said on Feb. 28, 2010

Oops, looks like my post did get through. 😛 Anyway – Mato, do you mean a pic of the back of the M3 FB at the same angle as yokomako29’s FB, or just a straight-on pic of it? Because the FB section at Starmen.net already has a pretty good pic of it (it matches up perfectly with my M3 FB): http://starmen.net/merchandise/images/m3dlx_fb_badge2.jpg

If that’s not what you mean, then I can charge my camera and take a pic, assuming Pigmask Private hasn’t already done so.

Also, neonix’s observation is pretty intriguing. That image on the guidebook is official, yet the Zazzle badge does look like that. I would say the reason lies in the process of “printing” all the lines on the FB. The black contour lines show through the MOTHER logo, but I don’t think they’re really meant to, as SSBB demonstrates : http://www.smashbros.com/en_us/items/images/item08/item08_070810a.jpg

I would tend to say the same thing about the continents, but the above pic disproves this. All I’m trying to say is that the guidebook image is official, so I don’t know why it looks like that (or why the Zazzle badge looks exactly like it).

Sorry for posting these huge walls of text. 😛

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 28, 2010

Does anybody have a high-res scan or picture of the Badge on the back of that guidebook? It’s kind of interesting.

Pigmask Private said on Feb. 28, 2010

Bah, sorry for the double post, but look at this now:


Knock-Off badges now come complete with photoshop packaging.

Ice Sage said on Feb. 28, 2010

Yeah, I saw that “M2 Franklin Badge” a while ago. You’ve got to admit that it does look pretty good (from the pic anyway), but there’s the small issue of it being fake. 😛

I’m not 100% sure, but I think LucasTizma has that guidebook, so he might be able to scan it. He’s already scanned the whole interior of it/another book anyway.

Mato said on Feb. 28, 2010

That fake one isn’t really trying to be a counterfeit – it’s made by Japanese fans and are available at the Japanese Mother conventions and stuff like that.

LucasTizma said on Feb. 28, 2010

I do indeed have that guide book. One moment, please…

LucasTizma said on Feb. 28, 2010

Darn it. The guide is the one that just has the blank, yellow circle where the FB should be…

LucasTizma said on Feb. 28, 2010

My first edition MOTHER Encyclopedia is sitting in Celga’s warehouse. Maybe I’ll have them EMS ship everything they’ve collected for me thus far and get a scan of the FB badge.

neonix said on Feb. 28, 2010

Whoever made the Zazzle badge probably had a hi-res scan of that image guide book page and used it. It’s the only explanation I can come up with. As to why the lines got messed up: They might have accidentally messed up some layers in whatever vector program they used to make the image.

neonix said on Feb. 28, 2010

^I have to clarify what I meant by messed up layers. I mean the upper-right part. Obviously the continents don’t have lines on purpose. Maybe that was he original design idea and they changed it after printing the books.

starstormer said on Mar. 1, 2010

What does the seller mean when they say not for sale. It is the M3 version. Were they originally going to sell the M1 version but changed their mind or did they never have the M1 version in the first place?

Poe said on Mar. 1, 2010

starstormer – the seller answered that question on the auction page. The badge was not for sale by itself originally because it came in the M3 Deluxe Box bundle. The seller is from Japan, so their English is pretty unreliable.

Ice Sage said on Mar. 3, 2010

Wow, only $84. I thought it’d go for more than that.

neonix said on Mar. 4, 2010

More? I’m surprised it went for so much! You can still get a complete M3 Deluxe Box for around $250!
I’m pretty sure if it had been listed as “Franklin badge from MOTHER 3 Deluxe Box,” it wouldn’t have sold for as much.

Ness said on Mar. 20, 2010

There worth it TRUST ME!!

Lionpikmin said on Mar. 23, 2010

Heey what do my eagle eyes see there?? Its the franklin badge from the auction a time ago. You know where it is now?? On the baseball cap of my Ness doll x3

clausman said on Mar. 23, 2010

that”s cool, even if it is fake…

Lionpikmin said on Mar. 24, 2010

@ clausman
it’s not fake, it’s the original mother 3 deluxe box Franklin badge

PKSTAMAN said on Mar. 25, 2010

Weird… I haven’t commented by this but Holy… Sh…! An Original MOTHER 1 Franklin badge! I thought MOTHER 3 ones were rare but this?!

PKSTAMAN said on Mar. 25, 2010

Damn… I didn’t read the update… So, it’s a MOTHER 3 badge? Awww…

CaliforniaRollzz said on Aug. 21, 2010

Dont really care if its a mother 3 badge… i just gotta get me one of those!

Ninten said on Mar. 2, 2012

I need one of those. i hopefuly will get the mother 3 one. And the original one: IT’S OVER 9000!!!!!

Clockwork64 said on May. 13, 2012

The mother 3 Franklin badge is Thicker

Fans of e bound what is the Better Badge
Mother 3/Earthbound 2 or Mother/Earthbound Zero

Pigmask Private said on May. 14, 2012

The MOTHER3 badge is NOT thicker than the original. The only differences are color, therefor the MOTHER3 one is better since it’s more recognizable.

TyBlood13 said on Jul. 24, 2012

The icon icluding North America mocks me every time I look at those badges…


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