Somebody paid $114,000 for a 'Super Mario Bros.' cartridge still in its original packaging

July 13, 2020

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A copy of Super Mario Bros. still in its original plastic sealing became the highest-selling video game ever when it was sold to an anonymous bidder last Friday at a Heritage Auctions' event with a winning bid of $114,000. The cartridge was graded in A+ condition and fetched so much because the box featured a short-lived hangtab variant of the original packaging. According to Rolling Stone:

"This unopened copy of this [Nintendo] launch title soared to record heights in part because it was part of one of the short production runs of the game packaged in boxes with a cardboard hangtab underneath the plastic, an indication that it was part of one of the first variants produced after Nintendo started using shrink-wrap to seal the games rather than stickers," Heritage Auctions said of the packaging.

In total, Friday's auction of sealed Nintendo games brought in over $699,000, well exceeding its $428,000 pre-estimate auction. Other notable items included a sealed copy of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out that sold for $50,000 and a first-pressing, ultra-rare copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 that had the "Bros." placed on the left side of the front cover; that item, one of only 10 known to exist, sold for $38,000.

I personally prefer to buy my games on Steam, but some people still like having hard copies and I don't blame them. And for what this person paid, I bet they went straight home without even stopping for lunch so they could tear the box open and give it a try. Look, I get it. We're all socially distancing and there's nothing to do but stay home and play video games. Some people wait for Steam sales, others go to an auction and pay the price of a Porsche. At the end of the day, we're all really just the same.

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