Last Friday and early production version of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) game The Legend of Zelda video games sold for $870,000. Breaking the previous record set by a nearly perfect copy of Super Mario Bros also for the NES which sold for an eye watering $660,000 just three months ago.
“The Legend of Zelda – Wata 9.0 A Sealed [No Rev-A, Round SOQ, Early Production], NES Nintendo 1987 USA. Truly, the term “grail” only begins to scratch the surface of describing this game. Of all of the games we’ve offered in our auctions, this sealed, early production copy of the first game in the groundbreaking Legend of Zelda series is no doubt the apotheosis of rarity, cultural significance, and collection centerpieces. A proverbial trifecta of collector perfection that only one will receive the honor of calling their own.”
#HERITAGELIVE #WORLDRECORD!! Bidding frenzy drives The Legend of Zelda – Wata 9.0 A Sealed [No Rev-A, Round SOQ, Early Production], NES Nintendo 1987 USA to $870,000 – most ever paid for a video game at auction, at #HeritageAuctions! https://t.co/PRhOICeMlV#LegendofZelda pic.twitter.com/7TSYYmt8Ik
— Heritage Auctions (@HeritageAuction) July 9, 2021
“While it is a hard truth, it is a truth nonetheless — none of the copies we’ve offered of this title previously could even attempt to hold a candle to this one due to its incredibly rare variant that holds early production status. This matter is completely inarguable.
This Legend of Zelda is the only copy from one of the earliest production runs that we’ve ever had the opportunity to offer, and, possibly will have the opportunity to offer, for many years to come. Considering this variant was only produced for a few months in late 1987 before it was ultimately replaced by the “Rev-A” variant in early 1988, this statement likely comes as no surprise to collectors.
Only one other variant precedes the offered “NES R” variant and that is the “NES TM” variant, which is the true first production run. However, it is also widely believed that only a single sealed “NES TM” example exists, and there is no telling whether or not that copy will ever come to market. Essentially, this copy is the earliest sealed copy one could realistically hope to obtain.”