Earlier this year, a nearly perfect copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES sold for $660,000. Now, a mere three months later, The Legend of Zelda has shattered that record. On Friday, a rare, early production version of the NES classic sold for $870,000 at auction.
Outside of a single sealed copy from its original manufacturing run, it's believed the game that sold this week is one of the earliest known sealed copies of The Legend of Zelda in existence. According to Heritage Auctions, the cartridge sold on Friday comes from the game's "NES-R" production run. Nintendo only made that version of the game for a handful of months in late 1987. "Essentially, this copy is the earliest sealed copy one could realistically hope to obtain," the auction house said of the game before it went on sale.
Still, $870,000 is a lot of money to spend on a collectible, whether it's in mint condition or not. To put the price in perspective, Heritage Auctions sold a copy of The Legend of Zelda from the game's more common 1988 "Rev-A" production run for $50,400 last year.