A sealed and graded copy of the original Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) video game, Super Mario Bros., sells at auction for $100,150 at Dallas-based auction house Heritage Auctions. The price reportedly is a world record for a graded video game.
“Beyond the artistic and historical significance of this game is its supreme state of preservation,” says Kenneth Thrower, co-founder and chief grader of Wata Games.
Super Mario Bros. was an extremely popular game for the NES and was reprinted numerous times between 1985 to 1994. All-in-all, this resulted in 11 different box variations. The first two variations are known as “sticker sealed” copies. These copies were only sold in New York and Los Angeles as they were considered test markets when the NES launched in the U.S. in 1985 and 1986. The sold copy was a "sticker sealed" copy and Wata Games says it's the only known graded copy. The grading company gave the game a "Near Mint" grade of 9.4 and a “Seal Rating” of A++.
“Not only are all of NES sticker sealed game’ extremely rare, but by their nature of not being sealed in shrink wrap they usually exhibit significant wear after more than 30 years,” comments Thomas. “This game may be the condition census of all sticker sealed NES games known to exist.”
The game was purchased with a group collectors that included Heritage Auctions of Dallas founder Jim Halperin, Just Press Play Video Games owner Zac Gieg, and coin dealer Rich Lecce.
Heritage Auctions a fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and considers itself to be the world's largest collectibles auctioneer.