It had to happen…Retro video game collecting has been mainstream for well over a decade, with prices for desirable games skyrocketing exponentially, and Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, one of the biggest auction houses in the world, is finally getting in on the action.

“The key to making it happen was Wata Games,” said Heritage Vice President Barry Sandoval, referring to the video game grading service. “We toyed a little bit with the idea of selling video games, but what sold us is that one of Wata’s principals, Mark Haspel, used to be with CGC. That he was involved made us take it seriously. CGC has graded somewhere between three and five million comic books. That’s a good model to follow.”

Heritage dipped its toes in the vintage video game waters by offering 25 boxed games—some of them factory sealed—at its Jan. 13 Sunday Internet Comics, Animation, & Art Auction. More than 30 collectors bid on a factory sealed 9.4 B+ (Seal Rating) copy of The Legend of Zelda (1987), a groundbreaking action role-playing game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES, which debuted in the U.S. in 1985, revived the console industry after the Great Video Game Crash of 1983. Zelda was the top video game lot in the auction.

“We thought Zelda would sell for a few hundred dollars,” Sandoval said. “It went for $3,360.”

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Brett Weiss Brett Weiss (21 Posts)

A full-time freelance writer, Brett Weiss is the author of the Classic Home Video Games series, The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987, Encyclopedia of KISS, and various other books, including the forthcoming The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A–M). He’s had articles published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Video Game Trader, Video Game Collector, Filmfax, Fangoria, and AntiqueWeek, among others.  Check him out at www.brettweisswords.com