A sealed, unopened copy of the original NES version of Super Mario Bros. just set a world record when it sold for $100,150 USD at an auction. It is the first video game to break the six-figure mark for a retro game sale.
The reason why this particular copy of Super Mario Bros. sold for so high is because of its certified Near Mint condition. Super Mario Bros. was reprinted several times from 1985 to 1994, but only two versions of the cartridge were sold in "sticker sealed" boxes.
In 1985 and 1986, Nintendo sold NES cartridges in boxes sealed with an official Nintendo sticker as opposed to shrink wrap. These were copies only available in New York and L.A. test market launches, and this copy of Super Mario Bros. is one of those original sticker sealed copies, never opened.
"Not only are all NES sticker sealed games extremely rare, but by their nature of not being sealed in shrink wrap they usually exhibit significant wear after more than 30 years," says Kenneth Thrower, co-founder of video game collector grading organization Wata Games. "This game may be the condition census of all sticker sealed NES games known to exist."
The copy of Super Mario Bros. was purchased by a group of collectors on February 6. The group includes various collectors and auctioneers including Jim Halperin, Zac Gieg, and Rich Leece.
Halperin, who runs Heritage Auctions, began auctioning Wata certified games this January. Classic, certified video games have been auctioning for five-figures regularly, but with the six-figure deal on Super Mario Bros, auctioneers say that prices for classic video games are on the rise. In 2017 a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. sold on eBay for $30,000.
The original Super Mario Bros. on the NES was released in Japan in 1985 and has sold over 40 million physical copies. Developed by Shigeru Miyamoto, Super Mario Bros. is the original standard for side-scrolling Mario platformers. We even named the original Super Mario Bros. the 10th best Mario game in the main series.
Header image provided by HA.