Remember being a kid and and wanting a new video game? But your parents said it was too expensive? You should definitely send them this story. It will show them that, relatively speaking, literally any game you ever wanted was. And it will also let them know they might have missed out on the investment of a lifetime. Because mamma mia! A sealed, nearly flawless copy of Nintendo‘s original Super Mario Bros. just sold for a record-shattering $660,000.
Heritage Auctions recently put the “finest known copy of the oldest sealed hangtab Super Mario Bros.” cartridge up for bid. (Which we first heard about at Gizmodo.) The game, originally purchased in December 1986 as a Christmas present, sat untouched in a drawer for 35 years before it was recently discovered. (The rare case of a forgotten gift working out for the best.) That timeframe is partly why this copy is so special.
“This particular copy was produced in late 1986, and it was one of the earliest copies produced that had plastic shrink wrap, rather than sticker seal.” said Heritage Auctions Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie in a statement. “By early 1987, Nintendo was producing a version that had another new variation to their original packaging (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 single drop of water in an ocean. Never say never, but there’s a good chance it can’t be done.”
What also made this sealed game so much more valuable was its impeccable condition. Wata scored it a 9.6 A+. That’s the highest rating for any copy ever put up for auction. It’s rarity and unparalleled condition combined for a big final price tag. That $660,000 winning bid destroyed the previous record for a video game. That title belonged to another copy of Super Mario Bros. It sold in 2020 for the comparably affordable price of “just” $114,000.
By this measure, the games you wanted were peanuts. So why did parents refuse our requests? Unless they didn’t… Maybe they did buy games as a surprise, but then forgot to give them to us. That’s the best reason to send them this story. Hidden video game treasure might be sitting in an old drawer right now.