A factory-sealed copy of Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. game bought 35 years ago has fetched an incredible $660,000 at auction.
The sale was handled by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions and took place on Friday, April 3. The identities of the seller and buyer have not been revealed.
The classic game was purchased in 1986 as a Christmas gift, but was placed in a desk drawer and forgotten about until it was discovered earlier this year.
“As soon as this copy of Super Mario Bros. arrived at Heritage, we knew the market would find it just as sensational as we did,” Valarie McLeckie, Heritage Auctions Video Games Director, said in a release, adding, “Though, I suppose we can’t be too shocked; who doesn’t love Mario?”
Commenting on the condition of the auctioned Super Mario Bros. game, McLeckie said it was “one of the earliest copies produced that had plastic shrink wrap, rather than sticker seal. By early 1987, Nintendo was producing a version that had another new variation to their original packaging [in the form of] an additional ‘code.’ Since the production window for this copy and others like it was so short, finding another copy from this same production run in similar condition would be akin to looking for a single drop of water in an ocean. Never say never, but there’s a good chance it can’t be done.”
The previous record sale for a Super Mario Bros. game was $114,000 at an auction in July 2020.
This isn’t the first time a Nintendo-made item has sold at auction for way more than its original price. In 2019, for example, a sealed copy of a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) Kid Icarus game found in an attic by a Nevada man during a clear out fetched $9,000 when it went under the hammer. Not bad for something bought for $38 in 1988.
And then last year a working prototype of the Nintendo PlayStation sold for $360,000 at auction, setting a new record for a single video game lot.
Finally, dentist and avid video game collector Eric Naierman snapped up a collection of around 40 factory-sealed NES titles for just over $1 million from three Denver-based collectors in 2019.
Right, it’s clearly time to check your attic and desk drawers for any long-lost video games that might be worth a few bucks.