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Rare ‘Super Mario Bros.’ game cart breaks world record for most expensive game ever sold at $2 million

By Kara Santos Published Aug 09, 2021 5:07 pm

Have you gone through your old collections at home lately? Who knows, you could be the next millionnaire.

An unopened copy of Super Mario Bros has sold for an astounding $2 million to an anonymous buyer, a record-breaking price for a single video game. 

The announcement was made by collectibles website Rally on Friday, August 6.

The highly-prized sealed game was produced in 1985 and was created specifically for Nintendo’s original console. One of Rally’s founders, Rob Petrozzo, told The New York Times that the game had never been open, which is considered a rarity for old video games.

According to Rally's website, the factory-sealed #85MARIO, bears a 9.8 A+ grade by professional grading service Wata. This makes it the highest-graded example in existence.

"Lauded as the “Holy Grail” of vintage video game collectibles, #85MARIO is also one of only 14 cardboard “Hangtab” box variants, the earliest mass-produced version of the asset. In July 2020, a Wata 9.4 A++ copy of #MARIO85 achieved a record-breaking sale of $114,000."

The game’s record-breaking sale follows a demand in video game collectibles, with the staggering price tag beating the previous record held by a Super Mario 64 game that sold for $1.56 million in July on Heritage Auctions. A few days prior, a copy of The Legend of Zelda was purchased for $780,000.

The collectibles site Rally operates differently from the usual online bidding platforms. The site is mainly a platform for buying and selling equity shares in collectible assets.

The company purchases physical collectibles, including vintage comic books, baseball trading cards, sports memorabilia, and even vintage cars, and sells shares of the items to investors. Shareholders must agree to the sale before it is made and can make net profits on the sale.

In April 2020, Rally bought the 1985 Super Mario video game for $140,000. In 2020, an offer of $300,000 was turned down by investors, according to The New York Times. When the offer of $2 million arrived, three-quarters of the game’s investors approved of the bid.

When it comes to vintage video games, it is rarer to find ones that have been unopened and unplayed, making their value higher.

Released in 1985, the Super Mario Bros. game was developed by Nintendo as a successor to the 1983 arcade game Mario Bros. The game, which involves the character Mario—and sometimes his brother Luigi—tasked players with saving a princess from the antagonist Bowser, was played on the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

It remains one of the best-selling games of all time, having sold 50 million copies worldwide.

The most recent sale of the game marks the highest price ever paid for a video game of any title and is nearly three times the price of what a similar, but slightly lower-graded copy of Super Mario Bros. went for in April 2021. 

Heritage Auctions previously sold a sealed box copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES for $660,000 (roughly P32,055,000 in local currency).

The huge price tag could pave the way for more gaming related investors in the future.

(Images by Rally)