For the second time in 2020, the Super Mario Bros. have set a world's record for the highest price paid for a video game at auction.
Friday morning, Heritage Auctions
sold a sealed copy of 1990's Super Mario Bros. 3 for $156,000, shattering the previous record set in July when its 1985 predecessor Super Mario Bros. sold for $114,000.
The lot opened bidding at $62,500 already an impressive sum for the game graded Wata 9.2 A+. But 20 bidders got in the game, sending the final price soaring toward the world record during what would become the world's first-ever million-dollar video-game auction.
"We couldn't be more pleased about breaking the world record for the second time in the same year," says Valarie McLeckie, Heritage Auctions' Director of Video Games. "That said, it's no surprise that another Mario game, which so many of us grew up with, would set the new bar."
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. 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.
Until Friday. Until the world's first-ever million-dollar video-game auction.
The Dallas-based auction house did sell one sealed Wata 9.0 A copy of this variant in July for the all-in price of $38,400. What a difference a slightly better grade, and four months, can make.
Super Mario Bros. 3 wasn't the only record-setter in Friday's video-game auction, the largest such sale ever held.
A sealed copy of the "Red Version" of 1998's Pokémon for Nintendo's GameBoy, graded Wata 9.8 A++, sold for $84,000 the highest price ever paid for a Pokémon title. That final price was more than four times its pre-sale estimate.
More rare video games will be available Sunday at 1 p.m., during the seventh session of Heritage's Nov. 19-22 Comics & Comic Art event. Gotta catch 'em all.