Auction recap: Sealed Super Mario World game hits $125k at Heritage

Sealed Gameboy fails to reach $10k in Heritage's video-game auction

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At 9.4, this copy of Super Mario World is the second-highest graded copy of the game to go to auction. (Credit: Heritage Auctions)

The auction schedule for the holiday weekend was as light as we've seen in a while.

The star auction was Heritage's showcase of video games. So we'll start our recap there.

First edition sealed Super Mario World: $125,000

The high sale of the video-game auction was this Super Mario World Wata 9.4 A sealed on Super Nintendo. It's the second-highest graded copy and sold for $125,000. A copy of the same grade sold in October 2021 for $144,000. The No. 1 copy, a Wata 9.4 A+ sealed, sold in April 2021 for $360,000.

Rovell analysis: This seems like a downgrade. Matching it to its comp, it's a 23 percent decrease, and it's a 70 percent fall from the No. 1 copy, both factoring for inflation.

First edition sealed Gameboy: $9,375

A sealed 1989 Gameboy first edition, graded a VGA 85+, sold for $9,375. It's the fourth-highest graded out of 18 sealed copies of the first edition by VGA.

Rovell: An 85 NM+ went for $21,000 in April 2022 and $16,200 in January 2023. Is it time to catch a falling knife? I think it's close, and I was an under bidder on this lot. As an owner of a sealed 1988 NES console, I think consoles are undervalued.

Contra Wata 9.6 A++ sealed video game: $20,000

Contra was one of the favorites of the original Nintendo generation, with the first game coming out in 1988. This particular auction was going to be a good test because it was a Wata graded 9.6 A++, the second-best sealed copy ever offered.

Plus, most of the best Contra games sold in 2021, when the market was scorching hot. In July 2021, the best copy ever offered (a 9.8 A+) sold for $150,000.

Rovell: To see this go for $20,000 is a harbinger for video game collectors or at least collectors of this game. It’s hard to believe in a market where the difference between the best copy and the second best copy could be 90 percent, factoring for inflation.

Elvis Presley's Bible: $150,000

This is the bible Elvis reportedly kept on the nightstand in his bedroom and comes from the collection of hoteliers Eric and Bibi Hilton. We've asked for a confirmation from auctioneer GWS that this hit the reserve and sold at $150,000.

Rovell: As I said last week, this doesn't do anything for me. I'd rather buy a clump of Elvis hair for half the price (as someone did in 2021) or even better, save that money and get one of this jumpsuits for $500,000.

Eazy-E signed cassette tape $6,750

The highlight of Heritage's lackluster Hip-Hop sale, this Eazy-E (Eric Wright) signed cover of an eight-song cassette went for nearly $7k. The album came out in 1993, and Wright died in 1995.

Rovell: Every time I expect the hip-hop market to explode, it doesn't. Is it that the people who appreciate the history aren't collectors? I've been watching this market for a good three years, and nothing really ever pops big. Maybe it was the lack of unique items here.

"The Remedy Is Kennedy" button: $6,785

One of the four button samples made in 1960 (each one reportedly had a run of 36) for John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign sold last week for $6,785. The samples were brought to Hyannis, Massachusetts, where JFK's father, Joe, supposedly said, "My son is going to be the next President of the United States you can't use ugly pictures like this!" No more buttons were made, and this became a grail for button collectors.

Rovell: I love this damn story. It's a small group of collectors, but a story can carry anything, and I think that makes this a decent buy. This one is the most common of the "Big Four" rejected buttons, but two of the other designs sold for $28,750 in 2021 and $13,750 in 2022. Sometimes, I think if you can buy the same story for cheaper, you do it.

Darren Rovell is the founder of and one of the country's leading reporters on the collectible market. He previously worked for ESPN, CNBC and The Action Network.