Super Mario Bros. breaks records three and a half decades after its release. A new copy of a 1985 US version of the game just sold for $ 114,000 at Heritage Auctions breaking the previous record with a copy of Super Mario Bros. in a similar condition, sold last year at an auction for $ 100,150.
This makes it the most expensive game ever sold, according to game collector and journalist Chris Kohler.
A sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. has just been auctioned for $ 114,000. This is a new record for single game sales. I bet the owners of the $ 100,000 copy, which is a previous print, feel great today. pic.twitter.com/lVdcla8d19
– Chris Kohler (@kobunheat) July 10, 2020
What makes this special version so popular? Well, it is rated 9.4 out of 10, which means that it is in almost perfect condition and everything is sealed in the original packaging. It is also a specific version of the U.S. retail edition that has gone through some iterations over time. Here is Heritage with a clear explanation of the so-called cardboard hang tab, which makes this device so rare:
What's up with cardboard hangtabs? one can understandably ask oneself. Cardboard hangtabs were originally used in the U.S. test market for copies of black box games before plastic was used to seal each game. When Nintendo began to further establish its company in the United States, the packaging was updated almost continuously. Oddly enough, the plastic wrap was added before changing the box cutting shape to remove the cardboard hang tab. This made the functionality of the cardboard hangtab completely useless since it was under the plastic seal.
There are four sub-variants of the plastic sealed cardboard hangtab box (this special copy of Super Mario Bros. is the "3 Code" variant) that were produced within one year. Each sub-variant of the cardboard hangtab black box produced within this period had a production period of only a few months. a drop in the bucket compared to the entire production run of the title.
In short, a cardboard hangtab copy of an early Nintendo Entertainment System game gives its successors a touch of “vintage” that is second to none.
Heritage also outlines the overall picture in terms of the value and nostalgia factor of the game: it is the best-selling game on the original NES console of all time and the first entry in the Super Mario Bros. Series and marks the first appearance of serial villain Bowser.
But why is it worth $ 114,000? We cannot be completely sure because the auction winner remains anonymous. Typically, these often very wealthy buyers stay that way. Still, it's certainly credible that someone with the money and dedication to build the rarest Nintendo or video game collections would want something like that on the shelf (or maybe sealed in glass or in a safe).