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Press Release - April 18, 2019

Early Games, Rare Wata-Certified Prototypes Offered in Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction

Game prototypes expanding range of video game collectibles

Donkey Kong 3 Platinum video game
DALLAS, Texas (April 18, 2019) — Continuing a trend of rapidly growing demand among collectors, rare video games and Wata-certified video game prototypes are being offered in Heritage Auctions' Comics & Comic Art Auction May 16-18 in Chicago, Illinois.

Among the rare Wata-certified video games are Donkey Kong 3 (NES, Nintendo, 1986) Wata 9.2 A (Seal Rating) Variant: Sealed Hangtab, 4th Revision, 2 Codes and Nintendo World Championships 1990 Gray (NES, Nintendo, 1990) Wata 5.5 Loose (Cartridge), each of which carries a pre-auction estimate of $20,000 and up.

"This Donkey Kong 3 is the fourth revision of this black box game, indicated in part by the presence of the hangtab under the shrink wrap," Heritage Auctions Consignment Director Valarie McLeckie said. "This particular variant had a very small print window, and there are fewer than five of this variant confirmed in sealed condition. We anticipate this will be a very popular item with collectors."

The Gray Nintendo World Championships 1990 cartridge is one of fewer than 100 left from the 1990 Nintendo World Championships US Tour. Some competitors' parents expressed concerns that it was unfair that there was a Nintendo Power giveaway for the Gold version of these cartridges, but their kids who participated in the competition would not get one to keep. The offered copy is one of those given to satisfy those concerns, and it is believed that only 50-60 remain in existence. Many have torn labels, some with writing on them, meaning very few can be considered to be in true mint condition. Ironically, the cheaper glue that allowed some labels to lift up from the cartridges, and subsequently were glued back down, now are considered a measure of authenticity. So rare are these cartridges that they have become the centerpiece of many collections.

Nintendo World Championships 1990 Platinum video game
Prototypes offered in the auction include Adventure Island Prototype (NES, Hudson Soft, 1988) Wata Certified and Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos Prototype (NES, Tecmo, 1990) Wata Certified.

"Until now, prototype collecting was not as accessible to collectors because authenticating these handmade cartridges requires a great deal of specialized knowledge," McLeckie said. "Each prototype is completely unique as there were no standardized means of creation for these test cartridges. Now, with Wata certifying them, anyone can be much more confident that the prototype games they're buying are genuine."

Wata also preserves each prototype's data by "dumping" and storing it on a secure database which will only be accessible using its unique Matrix code, a feature that will be released in the near future.

For images and more information about these games, and the rest of the 1,405 lots in the auction, visit

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.

Steve Lansdale, Public Relations Specialist

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