Rare sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. sold for record $114,000 at auction

Shawn Knight

Posts: 12,388   +121
Staff member
History: Super Mario Bros. was created by legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto and released on the original NES console in 1985. It is often considered as one of the best video games ever made and is even credited with helping revive the video game industry following a crash in the early 80s that could have derailed gaming for good. The title holds the record as the best-selling NES game ever at over 40 million copies sold.

An extremely rare and highly graded copy of Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System just set a new record for a video game sold at public auction.

The copy of the game in question carries a Wata rating of 9.4 with an A+ rating for the seal. Notably, this particular copy is highly coveted because it features a cardboard hangtab built into the back of the box. Nintendo used these hangtabs on early US test market copies of black box games. Eventually, Nintendo started using shrink wrap to seal games but didn’t immediately change the box design to phase out the hangtab.

Of the four sub-variants of plastic sealed cardboard hangtab boxes, this one is a “3 Code” type that had a production run of just a few months.

Those interested in going down the rabbit hole that is NES black box variants should check out Wata’s excellent guide on the subject.

All of this added up to a record-setting auction that closed with the game changing hands for a record $114,000. According to Heritage Auctions, that’s the most ever paid for a single video game on record (who knows what sort of deals have happened behind closed doors among private collectors).

A similar copy of SMB brought in just over $100,000 in early 2019, albeit with a few differences.

Masthead credit: Ripitya

Permalink to story.

 

Uncle Al

Posts: 7,213   +5,600
Ah hell, I've got three pack of jock straps never worn or played with ..... what's your bid!?!?!
 

MasterMace

Posts: 130   +86
This dude spent $30k on Star Citizen totalled back in 2015 and 5 years later it still isn't out. Which is more?
 

amghwk

Posts: 736   +511
Who knows....if someone took care of the box and cartridge very well, and hardly played it, it's easy to get them re-sealed nowadays. Who knows if it's actually still factory sealed from the 80's?

Anyway, suckers are ready to pay for them. Original or not.

Unless someone buys these "collectibles" as an investment - to re-sell at even higher prices later on, I don't see the wisdom of spending so much for something that is doubt to be useful to oneself. (Same goes to those who collect so-called vintage porcelains and paintings).

What can I say. Wasters will be wasters.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,221   +2,106
That would only be correct if your copy was identical to the one above.
No... the only reason this copy is worth so much is that the VAST majority of people who had a copy, opened it, played it... then... most likely... discarded it once their console became obsolete.

If everyone still had their copy, it would be worth $20 or something...

This is true for all collectibles... what makes them valuable is that they are RARE.

If everyone kept that Babe Ruth rookie card from 1914 - then it wouldn't be worth the crazy amount of money it sells for today...
 

Lionvibez

Posts: 1,877   +1,103
No... the only reason this copy is worth so much is that the VAST majority of people who had a copy, opened it, played it... then... most likely... discarded it once their console became obsolete.

If everyone still had their copy, it would be worth $20 or something...

This is true for all collectibles... what makes them valuable is that they are RARE.

If everyone kept that Babe Ruth rookie card from 1914 - then it wouldn't be worth the crazy amount of money it sells for today...
I'm aware of how collectables gain value. However this guy just keeping the copy he bought isn't technically the same thing.

Read the arstechnica article about why this specific version is so valuable.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/07/why-is-this-copy-of-super-mario-bros-worth-a-record-114000/
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 3,221   +2,106
I'm aware of how collectables gain value. However this guy just keeping the copy he bought isn't technically the same thing.

Read the arstechnica article about why this specific version is so valuable.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/07/why-is-this-copy-of-super-mario-bros-worth-a-record-114000/
Even that specific version wouldn't be nearly as valuable if people who bought it hadn't opened and played it....

I was mostly responding to the other guy - your post just happened to already be replying...

I always hear people saying, after a rare item gets sold for a ton of money "If only I hadn't lost mine"... alas, that's the reason it's worth so much - because everyone else who had one doesn't have it any more!