A rare copy of Super Mario Bros 3. just sold at auction for $US156,000, or $215,000 in Aussie dollars. This makes it the most expensive copy of a game ever sold worldwide.
Super Mario Bros 3. breaks records
The game was sold by Heritage Auctions last week, with the bidding opening at $US62,000. A total of twenty bidders got involved before it finally hit its record-breaking sale price.
This particular copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 is particularly special. It has a rare box design where ‘Bros.’ is right justified, slightly obscuring one of Mario’s hands. Later copies of the game moved the lettering closer to the centre:
But while this is cool, it has been seen recently. A copy with the same right-hand justification was sold in July for just $US38,400, or $52,700.
What really made this copy of Super Mario Bros. 3 stand out (and pay out) is the condition it’s in. The game, which originally released in 1990 for the NES, was sealed and earned itself a Wata 9.2 A+ rating. Comparatively, the July copy only received a Wata 9.0 A.
Wata is a team of industry experts that provides independent grading of retro video games.
“This started as a hobby for us. Now video game collecting has evolved into a business with significant investment value. There are professional, independent services to grade baseball cards, comic books, coins and other collectibles. The business of video game collecting needs and deserves a similar professional, independent grading service,” the Wata website states.
Rare Pokemon game also sold
The same auction also ushered in the sale of the most expensive Pokemon game in the world. It was a sealed copy of Pokemon Red for GaneBoy from 1998. It had a Wata 9.8++ rating and sold for $US84,000, or $115,300.
According to Heritage auctions, this was four times the game’s predicted pre-sale estimate.