A pristine edition of the popular Super Mario 64 game has been sold at auction for an eye-watering fee, setting a new world record.
The loveable Italian plumber has earned himself a veritable treasure trove of those precious gold coins thanks to an auction which saw a pristine copy of Super Mario 64 sell for $1.56 million (~£1.1m). The video game dating from 1996 was still sealed and in near-perfect condition, graded at 9.8/10 according to the Wata scale and given an A++ rating for its seal quality (“the best condition one would hope to see in a seal”).
Despite the fact that the game was the all-time bestseller on the Nintendo 64 console, Heritage Auctions claim that just five copies exist in such excellent condition; and the minor details can make all the difference when a collectible goes under the hammer.
Just spare a thought for a similar seller who also presented an unopened, near-perfect copy of the same game (rated 9.6 rather than 9.8), at the same auction, and received $13,200. Not a bad day’s work by any means, but it’s got to sting by comparison for the want of 0.2 points on a rating scale.
The previous record at auction for a collectible video game was set just days before (July 9) on a copy of The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System, with the successful bid being $870,000. Heritage Auctions’ description of the Super Mario 64 copy that obliterated the record on July 12 goes some way to explaining its superiority:
“What can we even say that would do this copy the justice it deserves? The cultural significance of this title and its importance to the history of video games is paramount, and the condition of this copy is just so breathtaking that we’re really at a loss here. If you have had your heart set on obtaining the highest graded copy of the single best-selling video game on the Nintendo 64 — the first 3D adventure of Nintendo’s mascot, Mario — we only have one piece of advice: this is not an opportunity to waste”
The opportunity certainly wasn’t wasted, but one and a half million dollars arguably were. If I wanted to look at an expensive but unopened box, I’d just cast my eye towards the crate of champagne I bought in anticipation of England’s Euro 2020 victory.