Investment Ideas: Vintage, Sealed, Mint-Condition Game Cartridges Continue to Break Records at Auction - The Scene

The 1996 Super Mario 64 sold for $1.56 million at a Heritage Auctions event last Sunday, following a big sale for The Legend of Zelda two days prior.


Two classic video game cartridges broke records in the past week, continuing a trend in recent years of big bucks spending on these gaming collectibles. Sold both at Heritage Auctions in Dallas, The Legend of Zelda first went for $870,000 last Friday, followed two days by a Super Mario 64 set going for $1,560,000.

The Sunday bid is the first time a game cartridge sold above $1 million, and both sales are well above the $660,000 price tag of a 1986 Super Mario Bros. last April.

“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,” reads the item description for the Super Mario 64 in the Heritage Auctions site. “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.”

Quick sale

Potential buyers definitely didn’t dilly-dally. Starting at half a million, bids came flying in quickly at the Heritage Live event finally settling on its record breaking price.

Super Mario 64 / From

First introduced in 1996, Super Mario 64 is the first game in its franchise to feature 3D gameplay. It widely-praised, and holds the Guinness Record as the N64 game with the most sales ever at 11.8 million. It also has won numerous awards in the past, and is routinely in “greatest of all time” lists.

Also included in similar lists, The Legend of Zelda first came out in 1986, and was also a commercial and critical success. After selling more than six million copies worldwide, the game soon produced sequels and spin-offs, creating a franchise. Many considered it is a precursor to present day role-playing games.

Sealed and graded game cartridges have risen in popularity in the past few years along with other Gen X-to-Millennial childhood pop culture items like Comic Books and Pokemon cards. Many of these mint-condition titles go for tens and thousands of dollars, depending on the number of copies are left in the world and how the impactful the game was.

Banner Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

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