A sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo NES games console has sold for a staggering $144,000 making the most expensive video game. The platform game developed and published by Nintendo and the successor to the 1983 arcade game, Mario Bros.was first released in Japan during 1985
The game was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Takashi Tezuka as “a grand culmination” of the Famicom team’s three years of game mechanics and programming.
“The aggressively size-optimized profile was intended as a farewell to the Famicom’s cartridge medium in favor of the forthcoming Famicom Disk System, whose floppy disks temporarily became the dominant distribution medium for a few years.”
Super Mario Bros. Auction description
“Super Mario Bros. – Wata 9.4 A+ Sealed [Hangtab, 3 Code, Mid-Production], NES Nintendo 1985 USA. Black box aficionados are often captivated by the appeal of the elusive sealed with hangtab variants. From what we witnessed in our May Signature Auction just a few months ago, Super Mario Bros. is no exception. A Wata 8.0 A Sealed copy of Super Mario Bros. with a cardboard hangtab sold for a record-breaking $40,200. Considering the grade of this copy, we can only imagine the kind of competitive frenzy it will spark amongst bidders.
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. Super Mario Bros. was one of the launch titles for the NES console in the US, and is the highest selling game on the console of all time. It marks the first game in the Super Mario Bros. video game series, as well as the first appearance of Mario’s archnemesis, Bowser. This copy will surely serve as a centerpiece for the discerning collector, and is not one to miss out on.”