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Retro Deals Sealed Copy Of Super Mario Bros. Just Sold For $114,000

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza

Remember when a super rare sticker sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. on NES sold for $100,150 USD last February? Well, another copy of the exact same game (in a similar condition) has now broken this record - going for the sum of $114,000 USD (this roughly equates to £90,000). That makes this particular copy the most expensive video game ever sold.

Why exactly did this US retail version go for more, you ask? Apart from its sealed state and 9.4 out of 10 grade, it's all to do with the cardboard hangtabs. Heritage Auctions explains the appeal and history of these variants underneath the listing:

What's the deal with cardboard hangtabs? one may, understandably, wonder.
Cardboard hangtabs were originally used on the US test market copies of black box games, back before plastic was used to seal each game. As Nintendo began to further establish their company in the US, their packaging was updated almost continuously. Strangely, the addition of the plastic wrap came before the box cutting die was altered to remove the cardboard hangtab. This rendered the functionality of the cardboard hangtab completely useless, since it was under the plastic seal.
There are four sub-variants of the plastic sealed cardboard hangtab box (this particular copy of Super Mario Bros. being the "3 Code" variant) that were produced within the span of one year. Each sub-variant of the cardboard hangtab black box, produced within that timeframe, had a production period of just a few months; a drop in the bucket compared to the title's overall production run.
In short, a cardboard hangtab copy of any early Nintendo Entertainment System game brings a certain air of "vintage" unrivaled by its successors.
 
  • Thoughtful
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Kittehkraken

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Trimesh

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This has "publicity stunt" written all over it - the last "record breaking sale" was incredibly dodgy once you started looking into it, because the auctioneers, the grading company and both the buyer and sellers were all related entities. I would not be in the least surprised if this turns out to be more of the same.