Vintage home video games continue to break auction house records, as a never-opened copy of 1985’s Super Mario Bros just sold for $2 million.
The buyer of the Nintendo console game is being kept anonymous, according to The New York Times.
The video game had a 9.8 A+ rating on the Wata scale, meaning it was in ‘exceptional’ condition.
‘A seal that is in near mint condition, but has a few small flaws that are not very distracting, according to Wata games. ‘Can have light scuffs or other small detracting marks, but no holes.’
The combination of pandemic lockdown and Gen X and Y-ers with discretionary income has made video games a lucrative market of late: In July 2020 an unopened copy of Super Mario Bros. set a record sale at $114,000 at auction.
By November, a copy of Super Mario 3 beat that by $42,000, hitting $156,000, followed by the sale of another copy of Super Mario Bros for $660,000 in April 2021.
Then the market really started heating up: This most recent sale comes less than a month after an unopened version of The Legend of Zelda went under the gavel for $870,000 and a mint copy of Super Mario 64 went for $1.56 million at Heritage Auctions.
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A never-opened copy of 1985’s Super Mario Bros (pictured) just sold for $2 million to an anonymous buyer
In the case of this multimillion Mario Bros sale, announced Friday, the physical game had previously been purchased by Rally, a company that snaps up valuable collectibles and sells shares in them, like a traditional stock—with investors earning a portion of profits from a resale.
Rally bought Super Mario Bros. for a relative steal, $140,000, in April 2020.
When the company was approached with a buyer offering $ 2 million, the investors were invited to vote on whether or not to sell.
A previous offer of $300,000 for the near-mint edition game was rejected last year, the Times reports.
The console game was bought by Rally in April 2020, with shares sold to investors who could decide whether or not to accept bids. Pictured: Screenplay from Super Mario Bros
Rally’s investments span the gamut of collectibles, from a broadside copy of The Declaration of Independence, available for $25 a share, to a rare 1909 Honus Wagner baseball card, going for $52 share.
Law student Ed Converse, who initially invested $100 in ‘stock’ in the unopened Super Mario Bros, is netting nearly $1,000 from the seven-figure sale.
‘It’s pretty crazy to think that I made an investment in it because of the nostalgia of playing the video game when I was a kid and now it’s selling for $2 million,’ he told the Times.
An unopened copy of Nintendo’s Super Mario 64 (above) sold at auction for $1.56 million on July 11, 2021
The $1.56 million Super Mario 64 was listed at a grade of 9.8 A by Wata Games, the highest possible rating for a game’s condition.
‘This is Mario’s debut appearance in a 3D world, and it was the most popular – best-selling video game for the N64, Heritage video game specialist Valarie McLeckie said in a statement at the time.
‘Considering this, and the fact that there are fewer than five sealed in this grade according to Wata, this copy is a true prize for any serious collector.’
Rally co-founder Rob Petrozzo says demand for well-preserved vintage games is just warming up.
‘You’ll start to see a lot more people paying attention and doing research,’ he told the Times.
‘I think that we’re starting to see the natural progression of ‘What else? What are the things that have appreciated in value from my childhood that have that nostalgia?’.