The value of video game collectibles is going through the roof, so much that some retailers had to pull them from the shelves, as their acquisition became a public safety concern. Still, this doesn’t prevent collectors of video game memorabilia from investing in or selling their most valuable cards, sometimes for record-breaking prices. The recently sold sealed copy of Super Mario 64 is one such example – the game sold for an eye-popping amount, becoming the most valuable game collectible ever.
A sealed copy of Super Mario 64 sold for a record-breaking sum of $1.56 million on Heritage Auctions, as reported by IGN. It broke the previous record of $870,000 set by NES’ The Legend of Zelda just a couple of days before, making it the most valuable game collectible ever. Additionally, it also became the most expensive Super Mario game ever to be sold at the auction; a copy of the original 1985 Super Mario Bros. was sold through Heritage Auctions for $660,000, setting the new all-high record at the time. To those unfamiliar with collectibles, these amounts might seem unreasonable and even outrageous. So what drives their value up?
Put simply, rating and investment opportunity, and not necessarily in that order. Still, the rating is the main price-determining factor. For example, the previous two record-holders, 1986’s The Legend of Zelda and 1985’s Super Mario Bros., had a Wata rating of 9.0 A and 9.6 A+, respectively, while the new record holder features a rating of 9.8 A++. This means that the 1996’s Super Mario 64 game’s packaging is in very near to perfect condition, at least according to WataGames’ grading scale, driving up the game’s price significantly.
Investment opportunities are the second most crucial factor. Given the continuously rising value of gaming and sports collectibles and memorabilia, such as Super Mario 64, some people began treating them as a purely financial investment. Just a few months ago, the 1st Edition Charizard Pokémon card sold for over $300,000, sparking a new interest in Pokémon trading cards, which subsequently grew into mass hysteria over their acquisition and purchase. Some retailers, such as Walmart, even pulled Pokémon cards from sales due to public safety concerns.
Nostalgia is the third factor, which plays a very minute role here. While you can make money off nostalgia, especially in the gaming world, in this case, it can only cause aggravation of those who genuinely love the Super Mario 64 video game. However, Nintendo made sure that their best-selling, critically acclaimed title remains available for the upcoming generations, choosing to cherish the cultural significance and importance of Super Mario 64, releasing it for other iterations of its gaming system.
The breathtaking condition of the copy mentioned above might be enough to justify the record-breaking price, but for those in it for the story – your copy might lie elsewhere. Perhaps on Wii, or Wii U, since the game is available on those gaming systems. Given the significance of such a fantastic title in the Super Mario franchise, it’s worth considering porting over or completely remastering the Super Mario 64 game for the upcoming Nintendo Switch OLED model.