A sealed copy of an original 1985 Super Mario Bros. NES cartridge been sold at auction for the record-breaking sum of $100,150.
Thought to be the only known "sticker sealed" copy of the 34-year-old game and certified by Wata Games with a Near Mint grade of 9.4 and a “Seal Rating” of A++, the cartridge was eventually sold for $100,150 when a group of video game collectors pooled resources in order to part-own the game.
"Beyond the artistic and historical significance of this game is its supreme state of preservation," said Kenneth Thrower, co-founder and chief grader of Wata Games. "Not only are all of NES sticker sealed games extremely rare, but by their nature of not being sealed in shrink wrap they usually exhibit significant wear after more than 30 years. This game may be the condition census of all sticker sealed NES games known to exist."
As for the buyer? A group of collectors purchased the game, including Jim Halperin, founder and co-chairman of Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas; Zac Gieg, owner of Just Press Play Video Games in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Rich Lecce, described as a "pioneering video game collector".
"I’m very happy with our purchase of the Super Mario Bros., considering the impact the release of this game had on the world and continues to have," said Halperin via a press release.
"More and more collectors from other fields are discovering how much fun it is to collect video games," added Lecce.