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Press Release - November 20, 2020
Rare, Sealed ‘Super Mario Bros. 3’ Variant Breaks Record For World’s Most Expensive Video GameHeritage Auctions sold the game Friday for $156,000, just four months after setting the previous high score
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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.
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.
Heritage also enjoys the highest Online traffic and dollar volume of any auction house on earth (source: SimilarWeb and Hiscox Report). The Internet's most popular auction-house website, HA.com, has more than 1,250,000 registered bidder-members and searchable free archives of five million past auction records with prices realized, descriptions and enlargeable photos. Reproduction rights routinely granted to media for photo credit.
Robert Wilonsky, Director, Corporate Communications
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