Why this super-rare NDA cartridge from Super Mario Bros. sold for over $ 100,000

By Samuel Claiborn

This week, a copy of Super Mario Bros., at first glance, does not stand out from the one that sprouted in your parents' attic, sold for $ 100,100. According to Heritage Auctions, this "sets a world record for a ranked game", which means there may not have been a lot of dust, according to Wata Games, who ranked it at 9.4, or Near Mint. But you may be wondering by rushing into your parents' attic: Why is this simple cartridge, this box and this manual worth more than a hundred thousand dollars?

02_Super Mario Bros sold for $ 100 + K CREDIT WATA GAMES

This is the Super Mario Bros. classified and sealed which has sold for more than $ 100,000. Image reproduced with the kind permission of Heritage Auctions.

To answer this question, we turned to one of the largest collection experts and co-owner of Seattle's Pink Gorilla Games, Kelsey Lewin, who explained:

In 1985, during a portion of 1986, Nintendo began publishing the NES as part of a market launch test, testing the waters of some cities before launching all over the country. in New York, followed by LA, then Chicago, San Francisco, etc. …, before reaching the whole country.This first impression of NES systems and games was very small and the games were not packed in a shrink wrap, but sealed with one of the two plain black stickers bearing the indication "Nintendo": a matte in 1985 and a brilliant in 1986. "

Super Mario Bros. sold for $ 100 + K CREDIT WATA GAMES

Another view of the cartridge provided by Heritage Auctions.

So, this is the historical significance of this sticker and the way the game is packed. There simply was not much of it before the heat-shrinkable film became mainstream – the NDA was not really a hit at launch.

Lewin continues:

"The $ 100,000 Super Mario Bros is sealed with a brilliant sticker from the launch of the expanded testing market of 1986. It is the only one that exists to date.Its shape is amazing because there is no shrink film for protect it from wear, there are 11 total BOX variants of the original Super Mario Bros on NES, not to mention the cartridge / manual variants or the combo cartridges with Duck Hunt or Duck Hunt and World Class Track Meet). "

Check out the brilliant sticker on this bad boy!

So who would buy Super Mario Bros. for more than $ 100,000? According to Heritage Auctions, a group of collectors "is united" to buy this particular cartridge. Lewin explains, "Buyers of this game (which includes Heritage Auction Co-President Jim Halperin) probably see it as an investment." The best of these collectors is that this cartridge could even be worth it more money one day.

But this copy of Super Mario Bros. will it retain its value? To answer this question, we met the historian Frank Cifaldi, founder of the Video Game History Foundation, who, like others, compared this copy of Super Mario Bros. to the "Holy Grail" of comic book collectors, Action Comics No. 1. Cifaldi says:

"Super Mario Bros. for NES is the equivalent of the Action Comics # 1 video game, which is Superman's first appearance, the birth of the superhero and the most expensive comic book, like Action # 1, Super Mario Bros. This is not the first video game by far, and it's not particularly rare either.God's blood, it's not even Mario's first appearance! But I think we We came to recognize collectively that at least in the United States, it was the beginning of modern video games, the model that inspired countless designers and, in many ways, the game. who has revitalized the entire video game industry of this country and brought it back from the edge of the chasm. "

The Wata games showed Max Scoville of IGN this exact cartridge. Watch the video above and go to the 3:20 mark.

Not only is this game rare, but it's in great shape, and Frank adds, "There's really no other example of the game that's close to that for now, so for the moment, with respect to collectors, it's the best copy of the game in the world. "

Kelsey Lewin is co-owner of Pink Gorilla Games in Seattle, Washington, and shares his rare game discoveries and numerous testimonials on his youtube.com/kelseylewin channel. Check it out!

Frank Cifaldi is the founder of the Video Game History Foundation and the director of SNK's 40th Anniversary Collection, recently published. Check those too!

Samuel Claiborn is the editor of IGN. He repairs and breaks arcade machines in his garage. TCELES B HSUP to follow him @Samuel_IGN on Twitter.

Correction: We previously wrote that this copy of Super Mario Bros. was sold at auction. This was not auctioned but simply sold. We apologize and regret the mistake.

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