A factory-sealed copy of the 1985 game smashes previous records for auctioned video games.
In Dallas, Texas, at the Heritage Auctions Comics and Comic Art event on July 10, a single video game cartridge sold for over $100,000. A bidder who wished to remain anonymous went home with an early version of the ultra-famous Super Mario Bros. game released in 1985 for Nintendo’s NES console.
The $114,000 price tag set a record at Heritage Auctions, whose previous highwater bid was $100,150 from last year for an unopened copy of the same game.
“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. These results only verify Heritage Auctions’ position in this rapidly growing market," said Heritage Auctions Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie in a statement to Dallas Morning News.
Good-condition, vintage games
If you're wondering if you might own some high-value, collector's-item games—you might. The record-breaking Super Mario Bros. cartridge was part of a collection of video games from the 1980s and 1990s that sold to various buyers for nearly $700,000. Other big-ticket items included Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!, a 1987 boxing game that sold for $50,400.
But the Super Mario Bros. was special. It was in pristine condition, graded at a 9.4 out of 10 (the highest ever seen at auction) and even included its original cardboard hang-tab from when Nintendo started shrink-wrapping their products.
So while you probably aren't sitting on $100,000 Mario, if you have vintage or well-preserved games from the golden age of retro-gaming, it's clear that there's an interested market.
Do you own any classic games? Think you might own some rare ones? Comment below!