Collectors and fans of nostalgia alike clamor for unique pieces of memorabilia and rare consoles to fill their shelves and their hearts. I mean, there’s a reason that collectibles exist – we simply cannot get enough of the things we love.
The Super Mario franchise is one of many that has not only withstood the test of time but grown exponentially throughout the years. Though the franchise is undoubtedly excellent, a big part of what makes Super Mario so great is the nostalgia that comes with it. It reminds us of simpler times, and of the games, we fell in love with as kids. The people at Nintendo know just how much nostalgia plays into the love of the game, and even re-released a celebratory Super Mario Game & Watch for the franchise’s 35th anniversary.
On November 20th, the price of nostalgia was steep – so steep, in fact, that it set a world record. A sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 went up for auction and sold for a staggering $156,000. Prior to the sale of this spectacular piece of history, the record price of a video game sold at an auction was $114,000. Surprisingly, the previous record was set earlier this year. Somewhat unsurprisingly, given the popularity of the franchise, the record-setting game was yet another of the Super Mario variety.
#heritageLive: WORLD RECORD!! Super Mario Bros. 3 – Wata 9.2 A+ Sealed [“Bros.” Left, First Production], NES Nintendo 1990 USA brings $156,000 – more than five times its estimate and the highest price ever paid for a video game. #AuctionUpdate #VideoGames #SuperMarioBros pic.twitter.com/7v3wykH63u
— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) November 20, 2020
It’s fitting, really, that the same record was broken multiple times with games from the Super Mario franchise. Over 330 million copies of Super Mario games have been sold over the years, making it one of the top three best-selling video game franchises in history. The characters are iconic, and even 35 years after the original Super Mario hit shelves, new versions are still being released.
In the sale orchestrated by Heritage Auctions, multiple records were broken. With the bidding starting at $62,500 and 20 bidders duking it out for a chance to take home the prize, not only did this pristine copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 sell for a record-breaking price, but the bidding war led to the first-ever million-dollar video game auction.
“While the condition of the game is remarkable, what makes this copy even more singular is the layout of the packaging itself: Exceedingly rare are sealed copies with the word ‘Bros.’ formatted to the left, covering one of Mario’s signature white gloves,” A press release from Heritage Auctions stated. “Collectors have spent years looking for such a version — the earliest in the Super Mario Bros. 3 production history – and usually come up empty-handed.”