First-production copy of 'Super Mario World' leads Heritage's $2.14 million Video Games Auction
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First-production copy of 'Super Mario World' leads Heritage's $2.14 million Video Games Auction
Super Mario World - Wata 9.4 A Sealed [4 Line Warranty, First Production], SNES Nintendo 1991 USA.

DALLAS, TX.- Over the past weekend, Heritage once again claimed its leading position in the category of Video Games when it sold all 314 lots in its May 24 - 25 Video Games Signature ® Auction totaling $2,143,969. Among the top lots were pristine copies of Super Mario World, Mega Man, Castlevania and first-production copies of Japan’s originating debut of the Pokémon franchise, Pocket Monsters Aka, which brought a new auction record to internationally released video games. Also on tap were two of the world’s first integrated desktop computers, the Q1 Desktop Micro Computer with an internal printer, from 1972, along with its slightly later sibling the Q1 Lite.

“The event presented two days of offerings where history met rarity in a celebration of vintage and collectible games and technology,” says Valarie Spiegel, Heritage's Managing Director of Video Games. “The auction featured an eclectic and amazing assortment of treasures that span gaming’s history, from the earliest days of computers to the iconic console games of the ’90s and beyond.”

The top lot in Friday’s live auction was the second highest graded copy of a first-production Super Mario World from 1991 for Nintendo. With its Wata 9.4 A grade, it sold for $125,000. May 24 at Heritage was the first time in five years that a copy of a sealed, first-production Mega Man has been offered to the public, and the Wata 9.4 A+ graded example sold for $106,250. 1987’s Mega Man is a pillar in the pantheon of video games — the title spawned numerous sequels and set a standard for action-platformers with its unique non-linear level selection that has influenced countless titles ever since.

The third highest-selling lot over the weekend and making its public auction debut was this first-production, sealed, graded hangtab Castlevania from 1987. The Wata-graded example came in at 9.2A+ and brought $100,000.

“When Castlevania debuted on the NES in 1987, following its 1986 release in Japan on the Famicom Disk System, it set a new standard for video games,” says Spiegel. “This first-production copy, as confirmed by the box’s perforated cardboard hangtab, is an exceptionally rare piece of video game history and well-deserving of its result.”

Also among the top five lots was this stunning copy of the high-graded Super Smash Bros., listed on Wata's March 2024 at 9.8 A++, which sold for $93,750. The 1999 game revolutionized the fighting genre by assembling an unprecedented roster of Nintendo's most beloved characters. The auction also saw the auction debut of the world’s first true microcomputer: The Q1 Desktop Micro Computer with an internal printer, from 1972, surfaced last year as a U.K. cleaning crew discovered it in some boxes while on the job (along with the slightly later Q1 Lite and a Q1 desktop companion printer); it was curated into an exhibition of early computers and gaming machines at Kingston University in London. The Q1 Desktop model sold for $47,500. “There are very few surviving examples of these historic items,” says Spiegel. “The shift to a microprocessor-based architecture allowed the Q1 to punch well above its weight. This early machine marked a pivotal moment in technology history and demonstrated the vast potential of microcomputers to transform both professional and personal computing landscapes.”

An auction record-breaker in this event came from another Heritage first: The auction house offered all four iterations of the first generation of Nintendo’s Pocket Monsters Game Boy series from 1996. Released 31 months before its USA counterpart, Pokémon Red Version, the Japanese title, Pocket Monsters Aka, along with Pocket Monsters Midori, marked the genesis of the Pokémon phenomenon and made it an integral part of gaming lore. The box art for Aka marked the first appearance of the beloved Charizard and predated the creation of the trading card game by six months. With its VGA grade of VGA 90+ NM+/MT NS Unopened, the copy of Pocket Monsters Aka sold for $45,000.

“This marked the first-ever offering of this incredibly significant series of Pokémon and Pocket Monster history at Heritage, adding to the prestige of this landmark signature auction,” says Spiegel. “It provided a rare chance for knowing collectors to add the first artistic rendering of the final starter evolutions to their collections, along with many other significant and rare titles that make up the cornerstones of both video games, and our longstanding relationship with the technology that allows us to enjoy them.”

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