If you had a windfall of cash – let’s say, in the hundreds of thousands, what would you purchase? A home? A Mercedes? Or a copy of Super Mario Bros.? I know it’s a hard decision. Think carefully now.

No matter what your spending preferences, a tremendous amount of dosh has recently been spent on an NES game. Believed to be the single biggest personal video game transaction ever, a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. likely broke a bank account selling for $US100,150.

But what’s so special about this copy? Checking eBay listings as of publishing, vanilla sealed copies go for well under $US1,000. So, what gives? Well, a small, circular black foil sticker with the Nintendo logo on it. Yep.

You see, before the NES was widely released over the US, Nintendo did a limited test run of sorts in 1985/86 throughout L.A and New York. Games sold during this period were not shrink-wrapped – which became the norm, but were instead just sealed with that sticker over the flap. As you can imagine, specimens of this time period are very difficult to track – especially sealed.

So, what money bags now owns a $100K piece of cardboard and plastic they can’t play? Well, three money bags, to be precise. It was co-bought by a collector named Rich Lecce, video game store owner, Zac Gieg and the founder of Heritage Auctions, Jim Halperin, which also conveniently put through the sale. Seen as an expensive promotion by some since Heritage Auctions has just started selling Wata certified collectables, the auction seems legit no less.

The identity of the original owner, however, who is now $100K richer, remains anonymous. All that is known is that they’re a volunteer adviser to Wata and that they weren’t looking to sell. Supposedly, offers have been made in the past of over $50K that were declined, but $100K seemed to be the magic number.

Whether this is a true indicator of its value remains to be seen, but regardless, an argument can be made that something is worth as much as someone else is prepared to pay. I would personally rather use $100K towards a mortgage, but what do I know?

Brendan Meharry Brendan Meharry (123 Posts)

Growing up while the fifth generation of consoles reigned supreme meant that Brendan missed out on much of the 80’s and early 90’s of gaming the first time around. He either lacked the cognitive ability to play them, as naturally, he was a baby - or he simply didn’t exist yet. Undeterred, Brendan started a blog called Retro Game On in 2011. This followed his exploits as he collected and played everything he could get his hands on no matter what the release date. While RGO is mainly YouTube focused these days concentrating on video reviews and historical features, the itch to do some old fashion writing never went away. More recently, Brendan has been a staff writer for the gaming website, GameCloud, mostly focusing on the indie gaming scene in his locale of Perth, Australia.