Game on! The video game portion of Heritage’s recently completed Comics & Comic Art Auction grossed $3,337,854. The event that ran on April 1-4, 2021 is now Heritage’s highest grossing video game auction, having bested their previous auction record of $1.3 million, set in November 2020. The video game sales helped bring the total of the Comics & Comic Art Auction to $16,562,887.
Super Mario Bros. WATA 9.6 A+ sealed (Hangtab, 1 Code, Mid-Production) NES, the finest known professionally graded copy, jumped to $660,000. This is now the most ever paid for a video game, having crushed the previous record of $114,000 for a copy of Super Mario Bros. that Heritage sold in July 2020.
“As soon as this copy of Super Mario Bros. arrived at Heritage, we knew the market would find it just as sensational as we did,” Heritage Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie said. “Even so, the degree to which this game was embraced outside the market has been nothing short of exceptional, and that aspect of this sale has certainly exceeded our expectations. Though, I suppose we can’t be too shocked; who doesn’t love Mario?”
Two games became the first non-Mario Bros. games to achieve six-figure sales. The Mega Man WATA 9.4 A+ sealed (“Dr. Wily,” second production) NES sold for $144,000. It is one of just three factory-sealed copies that Heritage has offered and first of this variant. A Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! WATA 9.6 A++ sealed (Oval SOQ TM, later production) NES realized $102,000. The first Nintendo game endorsed by a celebrity, it is the finest copy with an oval seal of quality that they have sold.
Pokémon had three high selling video games, starting with the Pokémon Crystal Version WATA 9.8 A++ sealed, GBC that brought six times its preauction estimate when it finished at $90,000. The Red Version WATA 9.4 A++ sealed (Sandshrew, first production) GB had 27 bids push it to $72,000. The Emerald Version WATA 9.8 A+ sealed, GBA went for five times the estimate at $55,200.
Some of the other top video game sales were a Super Mario Bros. 3 WATA 9.8 A+ sealed (“Bros.” right, later production) NES for $52,800; Final Fantasy III WATA 9.6 A sealed (made in Japan) SNES for $50,400; and John Madden Football Championship Edition WATA 9.2 A+ sealed (rental exclusive) GEN EA $50,400.
Within the trading cards lots, a Magic: The Gathering Alpha Edition still sealed Starter Deck climbed to $84,000. It is 1 of fewer than 100 known decks and was consigned by a consultant for Wizards of the Coast.
“Bidding was strong when the lot opened and remained strong through the whole sale," Heritage Magic: The Gathering Specialist Brian Wiedman said. “It is obvious people are starved for fresh Alpha items from Magic: The Gathering. This should start the masses to set upon their closets to find their old collections.”
Magic: The Gathering International Collector’s Edition sealed Box Set had a dozen bids push it to $28,800. The set contains all 302 original Deckmaster series cards, as well as duplicate land cards, for a total of 363 cards.
Pokémon cards were popular with bidders, including a Blastoise #2 First Edition Base Set Rare Hologram trading card PSA Gem Mint 10 that finished at $43,200. The Pokémon German First Edition Base Set Sealed Booster Box saw 50 bids before ending at $38,400. A Pokémon Charizard #4 First Edition Base Set Rare Hologram Trading Card pulled in 51 bids before hammering for $37,200.