An extremely uncommon plastic-sealed copy of Tremendous Mario Bros. for the NES has bought at public sale for a world record-breaking $660,000. That hefty price ticket makes it the costliest value ever paid for a online game collectible.
The copy of Tremendous Mario Bros., bought this week by Heritage Auctions, is a duplicate from the sport’s fourth printing run. Which means that it didn’t have the “Game-Pak NES-GP” code and is lacking the “™” trademark image usually seen to the fitting of “Nintendo Entertainment System,” which was formally added to all black containers in early 1987.
“For Nintendo, it was just stuff they had to do internally, but collectors are using this information now,” Chris Kohler, editorial director at Digital Eclipse, tells IGN. “It’s not like a collector cares if there’s a “™” on their field or not, however it’s the flexibility to make use of that data to determine what the earliest printings are.”
The copy of Tremendous Mario Bros. ranks at a 9.6 on the WATA scale, a rubric generally used to charge comedian e book worth.
“So if you’re an expert in comics, you know a 9.6 is very hard to get on the WATA scale, especially for black box NES games because those are so old,” Kohler mentioned. “They really narrowed it down to when was this copy on sale, when did Nintendo start tweaking parts of the box?”
Kohler notes that most of the gamers who grew up with traditional online game franchises like Tremendous Mario, Zelda, or Punch-Out are actually comfortably of their 40s and 50s, and certain possess far more disposable earnings they’ll spend on collector’s gadgets.
“The constraint of video game collection 20 or 30 years ago was that there just wasn’t a lot of money being thrown around. Stadium event copies would sell for $30,000 but because there would only be a small number who could pay that much. The fact that this [copy of Super Mario Bros.] sold for $660,000 means that there’s at least two people who would have paid over half a million dollars for it, probably more.”
Kohler added that this specific copy of Tremendous Mario Bros. bought so excessive is partly as a result of sealed copies have confirmed extremely tough to seek out.
“The fact that you just can’t find nice sealed copies of this kind of indicates that when something like this does come up you should probably jump on it,” Kohler mentioned, noting that there are at the moment no identified sealed copies of Tremendous Mario Bros.’ first printing. “So I think there’s people who are jumping on it now thinking that it may go up and it probably will go up in the future and also just that they may never have an opportunity to buy one.”
The earlier report value for a online game collectible was $360,000 for the unreleased Nintendo PlayStation prototype, which bought in February 2020. The best value for a single copy of a recreation was $156,000 for a sealed copy of Tremendous Mario Bros. 3 in late 2020.
Joseph Knoop is a author/producer/auctioneer for IGN.