MANILA, Philippines – A mint condition copy of the landmark NES title Super Mario Bros. sold for a record-setting $100,150 on February 6, in an auction by US-based Heritage Auctions.
The price makes it the most expensive game to have been sold that’s been graded by a professional. There’s a likelihood that an item not professionally graded may have been sold at a higher price.
This copy of the game is especially valuable because it’s from the 1985 to 1986 test run of Nintendo for its NES in the New York and Los Angeles markets. Games released during this period were known for being “sticker-sealed” as opposed to being shrink-wrapped. Sticker-sealed games are said to deteriorate faster in quality than those which are shrink-wrapped.
"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," said Kenneth Thrower, the chief grader at Wata Games.
From 1986 to 1994, there have been 11 box variations for the NES Super Mario Bros. The record-setting copy is the first variant.
The auction was won by a group of buyers who will share ownership.