Skip to main content
Go to accessibility options

Search Press Release Archive

Press Release - January 16, 2019

Certified Vintage Video Games Make Big Debut at Heritage Auctions

Competitive bidding drives Legend of Zelda to $3,360

The Legend of Zelda (NES, Nintendo, 1987) Wata 9.4 B+ (Seal Rating)
DALLAS, Texas (January 16, 2019) — Heritage Auctions took the first step into a new area of collectibles when the first offering of 25 certified and graded collectible video games were made a bid debut Jan. 13 in its Sunday Internet Comics, Animation & Art Auction.

"A lot of collectors are just as passionate about their childhood games as their childhood cards or comics," Heritage Auctions Vice President Barry Sandoval said. "We thought these certified games would do well, and we weren't disappointed."

The games are graded, certified and housed in protective cases by Denver-based Wata Games, offering consistency and objectivity that can be achieved only through an independent, third-party grader.

More than 30 collectors pursued The Legend of Zelda (NES, Nintendo, 1987) Wata 9.4 B+ (Seal Rating) until it ultimately sold for $3,360 to claim top-lot honors. The Classic Series version marked the last release of the game on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The copy offered here includes the grey, three-screw version of the cartridge. Sealed versions of this NES title are exceptionally difficult to locate, especially in such a high grade.

Excitebike (NES, Nintendo, 1985) Wata 8.5 A (Seal Rating) also sparked a flurry of bids from nearly two dozen collectors before drawing $1,140. One of the launch titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System, this copy is a Revision-A game with a round Seal of Quality (SOQ), which indicates it is a later revision of the title. Excitebike was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, who is known best for creating iconic Nintendo titles like Mario, Donkey Kong and Starfox.

A copy of the first game in the longstanding Dragon Quest series, Dragon Warrior (NES, Nintendo, 1989) Wata 8.5 A (Seal Rating) brought $660 from the most eager among 17 bidders. Originally released in Japan as Dragon Quest, it was renamed by Nintendo for release to Western markets. To promote the game, Nintendo of America offered the game for free to new and renewing subscribers to their Nintendo Power magazine. While not initially a huge success, the Nintendo Power giveaway ensured success for the franchise. This game inspired 10 direct sequels and multiple spinoffs.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES, Nintendo, 1989), Wata 8.5 CIB (Complete in Box): $312

Super Mario Bros. (NES, Nintendo 1985), Wata 8.0 CIB (Complete in Box): $312

Wario's Woods (NES, Nintendo, 1994), Wata 9.4 A+ (Seal Rating): $228

Mega Man 5 (NES, Capcom, 1992), Wata 6.0 CIB (Complete in Box): $216

Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES, Nintendo, 1990), Wata 6.5 CIB (Complete in Box): $210

Double Dragon (SMS, Sega, 1988), Wata 9.6 CIB (Complete in Box): $204

"These were just the tip of the iceberg," Sandoval said. "We're going to auction more every week, and we have some real rarities on tap for our February signature auction."

Heritage Auctions is the largest fine art and collectibles auction house founded in the United States, and the world's largest collectibles auctioneer. Heritage maintains offices in New York, Dallas, Beverly Hills, San Francisco, Chicago, Palm Beach, London, Paris, Geneva, Amsterdam and Hong Kong.

The Internet's most popular auction-house website,, has over one million registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of four million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit. For breaking stories, follow us: and Link to this release or view prior press releases.

Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist