An original, sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. was just purchased at auction for over $100k. The classic Nintendo Entertainment System game now holds the record for highest-selling video game ever at an auction. The 1985 cartridge is still in the original shrink wrap and went to an anonymous bidder for $114,000 this past Friday. This purchase beats out the previous record holder, which was also a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. That particular cartridge sold for $100,000 back in February 2019.
The Nintendo cartridge was graded in A+ condition and featured "hang tabs," which are a rare and short-lived variant on NES games from the 1980s. Heritage Auctions says that the, "title soared to record heights in part because it was part of one of the short production runs of the game packaged in boxes with a cardboard hang tab underneath the plastic." They continued by noting the hang tab is, "an indication that it was part of one of the first variants produced after Nintendo started using shrink-wrap to seal the games rather than stickers." Heritage Auctions Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie continued and had this to say.
"The demand for this game was extremely high, and if any lot in the sale could hit a number like that, it was going to be this one. We knew this would be a strong live session, but I don't think anybody could have anticipated how much bidding action there was on Heritage Live! and the phones."
Super Mario Bros. wasn't the only Nintendo video game brought in the auction last week. Over $699,000 was spent, which went way past Heritage's $428,000 initial estimate for the auction. A sealed copy of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out sold for $50,000, while a sealed first-pressing of Super Mario Bros. 3 went for $38,000. This particular version of the cartridge had has the "Bros." placed on the left side of the front cover. It's believed there are only 10 known to be in existence.
Collecting rare and classic NES games is a hobby that a lot of people have these days, though not everybody can drop over $100k on a sealed version of an 8-bit video game from the 1980s. Super Mario Bros. is the successor to the arcade classic Mario Bros. It was released in Japan for the Famicom and in North America for the NES. Europe had to wait until 1987 to get their hands on the classic video game.
Super Mario Bros. was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka. It is often hailed as one of the most important console games in history, which people still stand by to this day. It may be a crude, 8-bit side scrolling adventure, but it captured the imagination of millions and kicked off the console wars that are still occurring today. Nintendo isn't the only company to get people spending large amounts of cash on old games. In 2015, a batch of 900 E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Atari games sold for $108,000 at an auction. This news comes to us from Heritage Auctions.