There are fans of certain franchises — and then there are fans of certain franchises. One Nintendo fan has just proven his or her love of the Super Mario Bros. series by buying a single game cartridge from 1986 for $660,000.
The cartridge [pictured above] was a mint condition, sealed product. The seller apparently stated the classic video game had been received as a Christmas gift decades ago and forgotten about.
The selling price far exceeded prior video game auction sale records. The Verge pointed out:
This isn’t the first time Super Mario Bros. has held the record: a mint copy of the US version of the game sold for $114,000 in July 2020 (which broke the record of $100,150 set by another copy of Super Mario Bros. in February 2019). In November, however, a different title set a new record: a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 sold for $156,000, making it the most expensive video game ever sold until today.
Heritage Auctions provided these details about the unopened Nintendo Super Mario Bros. cartridge:
Not only is this the finest plastic-sealed copy with a perforated cardboard hangtab we’ve ever offered of any black box title, it is also the oldest sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. we’ve ever had the opportunity to offer. This is only the fourth version of Super Mario Bros. ever produced, and its window of production was remarkably short. Just to paint a better picture of how short this really was — the nationwide release for the console came in mid to late 1986, and black box games distributed for that release did not have the “Game Pak NES-GP” code. It’s worth mentioning that Nintendo managed to add the trademark symbol to the Nintendo Entertainment System on their game boxes by the beginning of 1987. That certainly doesn’t leave much time at all for this variant to be produced in-between the two!
The Mario franchise is one of the most famous series in all of gaming. Mario first appeared in the 1981 Donkey Game and the character — plus his brother, Luigi, and their friends — have gone on to appear in over 200 video games through the years.
The Super Mario series alone has sold over 350 million copies! Currently, Nintendo is preparing for the February 2021 launch of the Super Mario 3D + Bowser’s Fury game, which will be available on the Nintendo Switch platform. Super Mario Bros. has been around for over 35 years, making it a game franchise that spans generations.
Millennials who played Super Mario games on NES and Nintendo 64 gaming systems growing up are now about to introduce their children to the games’ beloved characters (admittedly, today’s graphics are more impressive!)
Fans of the Super Mario Bros. franchise have a lot to look forward to in the real world in the upcoming years, too, as Universal gears up to open their Super Nintendo World lands around the world — Guests will be able to visit Bowser’s Castle, ride Mario Kart in real life, and, perhaps best of all, meet Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and more famous characters!
The video game-themed theme park world has already had its grand opening at Universal Studios Japan and future lands, including Super Nintendo World at Universal Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort are set to open in the next few years.
What do you think about the most expensive video game cartridge ever sold? How much would you pay for a mint Super Mario Bros. game?