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Super Mario Bros cartridge sells for $140K

This Super Mario Bros cartridge is worth $140K. Images via Heritage Auctions, Getty

Listen up, gamers: your old Super Mario cartridges could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A limited series Super Mario Bros cartridge has just sold at auction for US$100,105 (A$140,000), thrashing the previous record for a Super Mario Bros copy of A$42,000.

It reached this stratospheric price thanks to its status as part of a limited “test market launch” for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES).

It was released in New York and Los Angeles in late 1985, and the copies differentiate themselves from the other, much more common ones, by the small matte or glossy sticker used to seal them. It has a Nintendo logo on it.

The other widely released copies were sealed with shrink wrap.

“I’ve always said personally that I believe that sticker-sealed Mario is possibly one of the most significant video gaming items historically,” the CEO of games certification firm, Wata Games, Deniz Khan told Kotaku.

He estimates there were only 2,000-10,000 copies of each of the sticker-sealed 27 test market titles, and that games will soon become collectors items on par with coins, comics or cars.

“The guy who was selling it has always said that he would never accept less than six figures for this item, for years now,” Khan said.

Continuing, he predicted that collectors’ items like this $140,000 cartridge will one day sell for more than $1 million.

Are your old games worth their weight in gold?

The sale coincides with a report finding some Lego pieces have returns outperforming gold, stocks and bonds.

A huge secondary market for Lego with tens of thousands of investors means some pieces have increased in value by up to 613 per cent over one year.

The paper ‘Lego – The Toy of Smart Investors’, found that there are five sets worth more than any others:

These are:

  • “Darth Revan” (Star Wars)
  • “Seal’s Little Rock” (Friends)
  • “Ice Skating” (Seasonal)
  • “TC-4” (Star Wars)
  • “Elves’ Workshop” (Seasonal)

“The popularity of Lego investments is partially driven by the fact that this alternative asset does not belong to the luxury segment and is therefore affordable to any retail investor,” the researchers said.

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