A 1985 sealed copy of a Super Mario Bros. video game sold for $660,000 in an auction by Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, breaking the record for highest price paid for a video game.
The game was sold on April 1, part of a Comics & Comic Art Auction that took place all weekend, from April 1-3.
According to a release, Super Mario Bros. - Wata 9.6 A+ Sealed [Hangtab, 1 Code, Mid-Production], NES Nintendo 1985 USA is the finest copy to ever have been graded for auction. The previous world record for a copy of Super Mario Bros. was $114,000, earned in another Heritage Auctions sale in July 2020.
Frustratingly as usual, the identity of the seller and buyer are not revealed, but the release says that the video game was purchased as a Christmas gift in 1986, but ended up being placed inside a desk drawer, where it remained untouched for 35 years, until it was discovered early this year. Despite what those A&E shows say, hoarding pays off.
"It stayed in the bottom of my office desk this whole time since the day I bought it," says the seller, who asked not to be identified. "I never thought anything about it."
Heritage Auctions Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie says in a statement they knew it would be a big ticket item, although maybe not $660,000 big.
"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," McLeckie says. "Even so, the degree to which this game was embraced outside the market has been nothing short of exceptional, and that aspect of this sale has certainly exceeded our expectations."
Heritage describes the game as a pristine example of a variant for this title that was produced for a short period of time.
It was produced in late 1986, and was one of the earliest copies produced that had plastic shrink wrap. But by early 1987, Nintendo changed the packaging again, making the production window for this copy short.
It was desirable both because it was rare and also perfectly preserved. "Not only is it the finest sealed copy with a perforated cardboard of any black box title ever offered by Heritage Auctions, it is also the oldest factory sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. ever offered by Heritage," the release says.