A sealed copy of “Super Mario 64” set an auction price record for a video game after fetching $1.56 million at Heritage Auctions on Sunday.
Collector’s must-have: The auction house revealed that 16 collectors bidded during the last day of the three-day auction in Dallas, according to Barrons.
- Vintage video game grading company Wata Games gave the 1996 copy a near-perfect grading of 9.8 A++.
- The auction house declined to disclose who the consignor and the winning bidder were.
- The sale broke the record set two days prior by a copy of an “early limited production run” 1987 “The Legend of Zelda” for the NES, which sold for $870,000.
- Heritage Auctions Video Games Specialist Valarie McLeckie admitted that the sale was a shock as they thought exceeding the $1 million mark for a single video game “would need to wait for another auction.”
Speculation raised: The sudden price jump of the record-breaking sale, despite its marginal grading difference over previous Mario 64 sales on Heritage Auctions ($38,400 for a 9.4 A+ graded sealed copy in January and just $7,500 for a 9.2 A graded copy last year), led to speculation “ranging from money laundering to collectors trying to inflate the market with targeted bids,” according to Kotaku.
- A Heritage Auctions representative told Kotaku that the winning bidder was vetted before they were allowed to bid, noting that the person was a collector “who is not related to the auction house.”
- “Although the winning bidder does not wish to be identified at this time, this may change in the coming days or weeks,” they further noted.
About the game: As the first Super Mario game playable in full 3D, “Super Mario 64” was embraced by fans and became one of the best-selling games in the beloved global franchise.
- As a launch title for the Nintendo 64 in 1996, it became one of the console’s killer apps, helping it sell millions of copies worldwide.
- In 2011, the Smithsonian American Art Museum selected “Super Mario 64” as one of 80 games it displayed as part of its “The Art of Video Games” exhibit.
Featured Image via Heritage Auctions