A rare sealed Super Mario Bros. NES cartridge broke auction records this week, selling for $660,000 at auction.The record-breaking price was the highest amount a video game related product has ever sold for.
Organised by Heritage Auctions, the rare Super Mario Bros. cartridge outsold a similar sale of the game last year, which went for $114,000.
Originally reported by Polygon, the auction even doubled the amount paid for the very rare PlayStation and Nintendo prototype which sold for $360,000 last year.
So what is it that makes this copy of Super Mario Bros. so special? After all, it’s a 36-year-old game.
Super Mario Bros.
The huge sale is a result of the NES cartridge’s rarity. Not only is it sealed and in excellent condition, but it is also part of a rare print that came between 1967 and 1968. Nintendo didn’t start printing boxes with its trademark until 1968, so boxes before then are difficult to come by.
Heritage Auctions described the cartridge as “the finest plastic-sealed copy we’ve ever offered”. The organisation also labelled it as “the fourth version of Super Mario Bros. ever produced”.
Professional video game grading company, Wata rated the cartridge a 9.8, only 0.2 of its highest available grade. The seal itself was given an A+ rating as a result of the immaculate condition the item was graded in. The cartridge even still had the original retail hang tag attached, which is another rarity in the world of video game collection.
The ongoing global coronavirus pandemic has seen a record number of auctions and sales in the Pokemon Trading Card Game community.
Due to production shortages and an increased demand for Pokemon TCG, there were several high-profile card auctions throughout 2020 and into 2021 so far. A rare shiny first-edition Charizard sold for $311,000 at auction on Ebay last year.