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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