I recently released an article about how Grand Theft Auto was the hidden winner in terms of New/Sealed game sales. If we look at graded video games though, there is a different winner – Mario. There were other crazy notable sales – but consistently, Mario trumped everything else in almost all auctions. I did look at some eBay sales – but Heritage Auctions really had the impressive stuff.
Super Mario Bros. NES Original
Released in 1985 – Super Mario Bros quickly became popular among gamers. Now, it seems they are the most valuable for collectors. This original NES game has a few variants, the most notable are the 3 screw and 5 screw. On every graded game, it will specify which it is and to some, it is a BIG difference. The 5 screw games were the older and more original before Nintendo saved money by reducing to 3. An 8.0 5-screw sold on Heritage for over $40k in May of 2020. Then in November, an 8.0 3-screw sold on Heritage for $8,400.
In July a killer $114k took a 9.4 WATA grade in auction for a 5-screw. Again in November, a 9.6 3-screw sold for $39k. Higher grade still sold for less due to the 5 vs 3 screw. There are a few other things to consider (sticker vs seal – type of seal – type of sticker) – but the screw count is a biggie.
Any time I saw this game on an auction I KNEW we were going to see some great prices.
Super Mario 3
This had the highest sale of Mario games on Heritage. In November, a 9.2 Wata graded sold for $156k. A 9.0 sold for 38k in July of last year also. What makes these games so iconic is that they are early production and have the “BROS.” lined to the left side of the box (pictured here) rather than to the right ( pictured at the top of this post). Because they were the first ones released – complete in box is “heavily” available – I say “heavily” because it’s still rare. To find them SEALED… That’s extra super rare and is the reason these sold for such high rates compared to other games.
Other Impressive Sales
There were a couple other games that sold for some pretty numbers in 2020. While Mario beat them – here are a couple more to talk about. A 9.6 A++ Chrono Trigger originally released in 1995 sold for $48k in November. In May a 9.8 A++ (pictured here) sold for $28k. In general, what I can find is that these games were made in Mexico and to find a sealed copy is rare. I can’t find any reason that the two sold for such different prices (with the higher grade being lower).
An 8.5 graded Mike Tyson’s Punch Out that was originally released in 1987 sold for $45k. A 9.2 of the same game also sold for $33k. The only thing I can find to explain the difference in price is that the 8.5 was from mid-production whereas the 9.2 was from later-production.
Super Mario Bros Video Games Wrap Up
That’s all I got for you today. Did you notice the same thing with Mario crushing it? I know there was a crazy sale in 2019 – but I feel like 2020 was just Mario’s year. Many video games saw a big-time increase in quantity and value during the COVID bump. What are your opinions there? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments if YOU have any of these.