When you think of rare and collectable NES games, chances are Super Mario Bros. is the last thing that springs to mind. It's one of the most common NES releases in existence, and logic would dictate that on the secondary market, it's not worth a great deal - even in exceptional condition.
However, a sealed copy of the iconic platformer has just sold for $30,100.44 on eBay, and the seller has confirmed that the buyer has paid, so this isn't a case of artificially inflating an auction for headlines.
The seller - DKOldies - told Kotaku that the game had been sitting in the company offices for quite some time, and that it was traded in with a collection years ago.
So what makes this particular example so special? The fact that it's sealed and in absolute mint condition obviously helps, but the biggest selling point is that this is a "hangtag" version, where the box had a tab on the back which allowed it to be hung on a peg in-store. According to experts, there may only be a dozen examples of this kind of packaging in existence, and this is the best-kept one which has surfaced so far.
To top it off, DKOldies says that the same buyer purchased some other sealed games that were up for grabs at the same time, including a lot which contained a sealed copy of Kid Icarus that finished at over $11,000. Now that's a serious collector.
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Scalpers strike again! Why can't Nintendo just make enough stock!
He's totally nuts.
Was it because from the photo they thought it was a rare copy of Mario holding a lightsabre?
The buyer must have serious cash to burn. What if it was Nintendo buying the games? It's not unheard of for companies to buy old examples of their products for posterity.
I think they got ripped off....I would have paid 26.99...
This is why I have no fundamental issues with emulation. But Nintendo should really re-release console hardware with a real 1080p conversion and re-releases of the carts too. The retro gaming market would die for this.
Shoulda had a V8.
@bolt05 I have no problem with emulation either (depending how and what you emulate, and if you buy new stuff etc.). But I am unsure how you can say that this is your reason, it is not like everyone wants to have a sealed copy of a game in mint condition
@bolt05 I don't see how this has anything to do with emulation. The game is worth about $4, the box is what they paid $30k for.
My God!! I wonder if the buyer ever decides to sell those if he will get the same or more amount of money. After all he was the one that natch everything meaning there wasn't anybody else willing to pay such prices.
I just want to see the buyer's unboxing video
After purchased a $30,000 of Sealed Super Mario Bros. NES
Imagine their reaction while unboxing...
For some people $30.000 is nothing
I wish I had that problem
What an idiot.
Runs upstairs and cling wraps his copy
what's the point of getting a sealed copy of a game if your never going to play it? want the box and book sure, there's cheaper options for that, heck you could get a repainted for less.
For $30,000 you could most likely get all the Nintendo consoles and arcade boards, and the game & watches.. what a plonker
I will never understand collecting something new in box it's never been opened, people do it with toys and video games and all sorts of stuff, I buy things to enjoy them not to set them on the shelves and look at them....
Hum..... Except for my amiibo.... Uggggggg
I would pay £20 max for a copy of Super Mario Bros. But put a tag on its packaging, and I would definitely pay £30,000 for it. Makes sense.
Caldor...Now that's a name I've not heard in a long time. A long time.
@bolt05 not sure the need to re-release consoles and carts, it seems like most people into the retro gaming community already have working consoles and shelves of carts. Only rare carts are hard to find and they are rare because nobody wanted them the first time around.
Also real 1080p is a no no for retro gamers you need to play them on a CRT TV if you're a true retro gamer
Oh, have you ever watch one of Powerpuff Girls episode ?
There was an episode shown an Otaku that really obsessed with Powerpuff Girls stuffs. And felt not enough, he even kidnapped those three girls and seal them inside display box.
He said if the seal broken, it will lost its value.
And Professor Utonium asked some children to tear up some of his collection.
Well, this situation is somewhat like that Powerpuff Girl episode.
Just got an unsealed Ocarina of Time amiibo for my birthday that a friend bought me from a reseller. Luckily noone was surprised when I instantly devalued that by opening it. Need to get me an Ocarina of Time outfit in BOTW 😁 The only things I have still in box are a set of Star Wars ships and only because my wife would look at me funny for playing with toys at 30....luckily I've got lots of loose ones to play with when noone's looking 😂
@Freek I was thinking the same thing. Couldn't this be easily copied to any NES game and box? Those little tabs on the back are only plastic stickers! Shrink wrap, replicate the price sticker, and buy a box of the plastic hangers and you could get rich off of your collection if you still had boxes.
@bolt05 If Nintendo mass produced the old carts, it would destroy the hobby of collecting games. Some people have worked very hard to build their collections. This would drive the value down. I know with Magic the Gathering cards, fans are always screaming for certain cards to be reprinted but Wizards have stated that they will not reproduce certain cards because of what it would do to the collectors and the values of those cards. Now if you're talking about Nintendo's current products then I agree. They need to make more systems, Amiibos, and special additions available on current products.
I wish I never opened and played my one.
@Danrenfroe2016 People start with basic collecting, get addicted, and then only rarity of an object or completing a series can satisfy their addiction.
@dkxcalibur No. They'd be sniffed out as fake. When I say sniff, I mean that. Along with general aging of the plastic, sniffing the glue used is part of the authentication process. Anything recently glued has a strong odour. Anything shrink wrapped recently is also obvious. I guess I should check my copy of SMB to see if it has the tab.
Welp, best buy 2 copies of the next game and leave the sealed in storage for about 32 years....
Wonder if he opened it just to smell it.......
@HalBailman Maybe I'm missing something but couldn't you mask this with another smell? Like mothballs and say it was in your grandma's attic for the last 20 years or something else? Who says you would shrink wrap it and sell it immediately. Maybe they re-wrap it and then store it for a year or two to lose those smells.
What if it was re-wrapped in 1996 or something?
.....I think I'm putting way too much thought into this.
My copy of Super Mario Brothers also has Duck Hunt. I'll take 50,000. No hang tag though....or box.
I don't know what prices were before on such items. Almost seems like they want to drive the price up. Of the 16 bidders, it looks like only two were willing to go over 10,000. It will be interesting to see prices in the future.
I bet it costs way less than $30K to shrink wrap something. Don't game store employees borrow games and then re-shrink wrap them later?
@dkxcalibur Yes, too much thought. Authentication experts would spot the difference. Shrink wrap would also be specific type, and ideally the original price sticker would be attached as more proof. While it's possible you could fool some people, it wouldn't be for anything of insane value like this SMB. Say you had a Super Metroid in a box and it's worth $100 now, shrink wrapping it to pretend it's brand new might fool someone into paying $200. If you asked for $500, serious collectors would be circumspect.
The sticker on the front though? Surely that should have knocked the value down a bunch. Not bummed about never not opening mine, since it was a pack-in with the console and I never had a box for it!
@HalBailman Yeah that happened to me with records - ebaying first pressings and checking all the numbers to make sure this was pressed in that country before that other one - it's a crazy part of the brain. That's why I never go to the casino!
It's only worth what idio... people will pay.
IMO, games are meant to be played. How do we know that the game still works within that packaging? They're pretty much just buying the box at this point.
@HalBailman Yes I figured that much too, but I also watched a documentary about a guy who counterfeited rare wine that was sold by the bottle at higher prices then this game cartridge and he got away with it for a long time. He went through a lot more hurdles too. He actually recreated the original labels! Wine critics have also commented that his counterfeits were actually very very close to the real thing in taste. I can't help but think faking this would be easier then faking the taste of rare wine. The price tag could be faked for sure. I'm confident in that.
Okay, I'm done now; but thank you for the conversation (seriously, it's been a long week and this made me smile).
Whoever pay for that much, at least they get a good game out of it. Would be much worst if this was Action 52.
I often hear gaming has got more expensive. But if you take $26.99 from, let's say 1986, and stick it into an inflation calculator, the game would cost $60.32 in today's money. So if anything, gaming has got cheaper!
I collect a ton of games and systems, I have unopened NES systems from 1988 and an unopened Virtual Boy as well. I also own a few sealed games from the NES & SNES eras. I have sealed copies, with hang tags, for a few SNES games.
I have never ever paid anywhere close to this, never even close to $1,000. Granted, I started collecting these a few years ago before the current hype, but I never expected to see a sealed version of SMB go for these prices.
Nostalgia is one strong pull.
This isn't even a rare game or box. I get that this is probably the nicest first print I've ever seen but that's a ridiculous price. I personally have 2 mint CIB first run copies of SMB. He overpaid by $28,000 - $29,000 if you want to look at the average selling price.
I've never been into collecting sealed games personally. I trade them for other high end games that I can play.
@Agent721 Call me paranoid, but I could never buy sealed console boxes or games, I'd always be worried whether or not the console or game cart was actually in the package. How do you know?!... Hmmm...
That's true, but I'm quite certain given their look, age, plastic condition and weight, that they're genuine. A few have the old price tags and the hangers. And again, I bought these a few years back, some over a decade ago, at much lower prices then they go for today.
The unused systems don't come sealed, so I've opened up the flaps to verify them and they're good to go, exactly as it should be.
I collect them for nostalgia's sake and not for a profit. I plan on eventually having a video game room in my pad, where this stuff will be displayed.
@dkxcalibur This isn't talking about the plastic hangtab stuck on to the wrapper. This is talking about the older box variant where there's a perforated hangtab built-in to the cardboard. It's relatively uncommon to find this type of box where the hangtab hasn't been punched or torn in some way, let alone is still sealed in mint condition.
I agree that this seems like a massive overpay, though.
@brideck No, good point. I thought they were talking about one of those "sticker" tabs. I guess that would be hard to fake.
No thanx, already got one.
lol he doesn't even know it's on wii u vc
Lol what a waste of money. $30k for a version of a common game that has a store tage just so you can hang it.I'm floored that someone would waste that much money
Oh, with $30,000 you can get 100 Nintendo Switch with $ 300 as MSRP.
I have a sealed copy of 1-2 Switch... only $20,000
@dkxcalibur No it wouldnt, youre flat out wrong. First edition releases are always worth more. Consider the market for original pressings of vinyl records and 1st print books. Re-releases never over take those.
@ValhallaOutcast I disagree. and I disagree. The OSSC is my reason. Perhaps also the framemeister except its too laggy for my liking.
CRTS's are just horrible fugly junk. There are many others who share my opinion. CRTs are also all failing and there simply wont be many left in another 20 years.
@chardir they paid for the authenticity and the complete rarity of it. Collectors are like addicts.
@essiw I am referring to the now extreme expense of retro gaming. This story is simply indicative of the whole situation. SNES carts are now effectively unobtainable. Most good games are now a minimum of $100-$200 for the game alone.
@the_shpydar You weren't the buyer on the four-game lot, were you? (I'm looking at one of the other games)
No, 'twasn't me, though i do have 3 sealed copies in my collection (one (or 2? i can't remember and am too lazy to check) even has a hang-tab), all gotten for drastically less than what the typical going price is ever since the Alamogordo dig.
@ClassSonicSatAm that is the meaning of an infinity+1 sword. Dexter's lab is right about NRFB never removed from box https://youtu.be/6PrRUKFcnPM
Awesome I love these kind of stories.
and this my friends is the reason why people use emulation, the whole retro market is based on inflation and greedy scalpers who overestimate the value of how much they are really worth.
@bolt05 Okay, I'll give you credit that you are correct in stating that "first prints" will always be worth more. That is correct. But it's also a proven fact that when stuff gets re-released, it lowers the price of the original. Common sense prevails here. If I'm a casual fan of collecting Gameboy games and the only way to own & play the games was to acquire them through ebay or other collectors then it makes these games in demand. This is what controls the price. If at some point Nintendo re-released the Gameboy and games, there would be no reason for me to pay more to buy them through the same outlets as before and the demand would fall. Now like I said, the originals would still be worth more, but the price would fall.
Stupidly opens it and finds out it is a fake with used copy of Atari E.T. inside. LOL!
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