Three and a half decades after launch, Super Mario Bros. manages to smash records. A premium replica of a U.S. edition of the 1985 game recently sold at Heritage Auctions for $114,000, smashing the previous mark established by a replica of Super Mario Bros. in a comparable state that sold at an auction last year for $100,150;
Which makes this the most pricey game ever released to date, according to game collector and journalist Chris Kohler.
What renders this edition so coveted? Okay, it’s rated to a 9.4 out of 10, which implies it’s in near-perfect shape, with everything in the initial box sealed. This is also a different variant of the US retail model, which has passed through quite a few changes over the span of time. Here is Heritage with a nice description of the so-called hangtab of cardboard, which makes this device so rare:
How is the case for hangtabs in cardboard? One might wonder, understandably,. Cardboard hangtabs were initially included in versions of black box games on the US test market, even when each copy was covered with plastic. As Nintendo continued to further develop its company in the US, their packaging was changed almost continuously. Curiously, the plastic wrap was applied until the package cutting die was changed to eliminate the hangtab from the cardboard. This made the cardboard hangtab ‘s usefulness absolutely worthless, because it was beneath the plastic cover.
There are four sub-variants of the hangtab package of plastic enclosed cardboard (this specific edition of Super Mario Bros. is the “3 Code” variant) which were created within one year. That sub-variant of the hangtab cardboard black box produced during that timeline had a manufacturing cycle of only a few months; a drop in the bucket as opposed to the total production run of the series.
In brief, a hangtab clone of every early Nintendo Entertainment System game in cardboard gives a certain “vintage” quality unrivaled by its predecessors.
In spite of the popularity of the title and the novelty aspect, Heritage also explains the larger picture: it is the highest-selling title on the original NES console of all time , in addition to become the first entry in the Super Mario Bros. franchise and being the first appearance of show antagonist Bowser.
But, why is this one worth $114,000, of all items? Since the Auction winner stays confidential, we can not be absolutely positive. Such consumers, mostly very rich, are usually eager to remain that way. That said, it is definitely possible that anyone with the resources and commitment to building up the rarest collections of Nintendo or video games might put anything like this on the shelves