Rare, sealed copy of original ‘Super Mario Bros.’ sells for $114K at auction

Character of Nintendo franchise Mario is seen at a promotional booth for the video game 'Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020' during the Tokyo Game Show in Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture, on Sept. 12, 2019. Charly Triballeau/AFP via Getty Images

Super Mario Bros., the classic 1985 Nintendo video game, has once again broken the world record for being the highest-selling video game ever after a copy was sold for US$114,000 at an auction in the U.S. last Friday, July 10.

The sealed artifact was auctioned off as part of Heritage Auctions‘ online Comics & Comic Art event over the weekend and pulled in $14,000 more than the previous record-holding item — another sealed copy of Super Mario Bros., which sold for $100,150 in February 2019, according to the Associated Press (AP).

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According to Heritage Auctions, the unopened copy of Super Mario Bros. was not only one of the rare first variants of the game which is packaged in a box sealed with a cardboard hangtab under plastic shrink wrap but the highest-graded copy of it, too.

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In terms of its condition, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) console exclusive was officially graded a 9.4 by expert video game graders Wata Games. Its sealing was marked an A+, with A++ being the highest grading.

A sealed copy of the 1985 Nintendo game ‘Super Mario Bros.’ for the Nintendo Entertainment System console. Heritage Auctions /

“The demand for this game was extremely high, and if any lot in the sale could hit a number like that, it was going to be this one,” Valarie McLeckie, video games director of the Dallas, Texas-based auction site, said in a statement.

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The Super Mario Bros. video game was sold to a bidder who wished to remain anonymous, as reported by the AP.

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Nintendo games sold at the Comics & Comic Art event pulled in a total of more than $699,000 for the auction house — more than $200,000 above its initial target.

Other titles sold in the lot of video game relics include NES games such as Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out! (1987), The Legend of Zelda (1987), Contra (1988) and Super Mario Bros. 3 (1990).

The Super Mario Bros. 3 game was a rare, sealed American variant of the classic game, which was graded a 9 by Wata Games and pulled in $38,400 alone.

A sealed copy of a rare variant of the 1990 Nintendo game ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ for the Nintendo Entertainment System console. Heritage Auctions /

Instead of featuring the word “Bros.” above Mario’s head on the packaging, the word was put on the left side of the box, above the fictional Italian plumber’s hand, making it one of the game’s earlier prints.

Because of this obscurity, the rarity is commonly referred to by collectors as a “Left Bros.” print.

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— With files from the Associated Press

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