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Rare Video Games Are Attracting Top Dollar


Image via Ravi Palwe on Unsplash

Last month we wrote about the strength in the sports card market and how blue chip sports cards may actually be a better investment than blue chip stocks, at least over the last decade.


The Daily Mail says data from PWCCwhich manages the largest trading card auction venue in the world, shows the index of the top-performing 500 cards had a return on investment of 216% since 2008 compared to 135% for the S&P 500.


"The market's just on fire," PWCC director of business development Jesse Craig told the DailyMail.com.


Another corner of the collectors world that is on fire is the market for rare video games. Driven by nostalgia and a flood of money, the last few months has seen record prices paid for video games.


In July, a copy of Super Mario Bros. brought a winning bid of $114,000 and set a new record for the most ever paid for a video game. The video game, which is the first in the popular Super Mario Bros. series, was one of the first variants produced after Nintendo began sealing the games in shrink-wrap in 1985.


"The demand for this game was extremely high, and if any lot in the sale could hit a number like that, it was going to be this one," Heritage Auctions' Director of Video Games Valarie McLeckie said.


With just over four months having passed since the copy of Super Mario Bros. set a new record, it was easily topped by a $156,000 winning bid last Friday for a sealed copy of 1990's Super Mario Bros. 3. Heritage Auctions said 20 bidders were trying to acquire the video game following an opening bid of $62,500.


This particular game is a rarity for the way the word "Bros." is printed on the front cover, slightly covering Mario's famous white glove. This particular cover indicates it's the earliest version of Super Mario Bros. 3 that was produced.


"We couldn't be more pleased about breaking the world record for the second time in the same year," McLeckie said. "That said, it's no surprise that another Mario game, which so many of us grew up with, would set the new bar.


It's not just Super Mario Bros. games attracting top dollar. A Pokémon "Red Version" for Nintendo's GameBoy auctioned for $84,000 last week, marking a record price for a Pokémon title and more than four times the pre-sale estimate. At July's auction, 27 bidders attempted to acquire a copy of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! before it ended up selling for $50,400.


With virtually every asset soaring in price, who knows which nostalgic item from your childhood will be the next hot collectors item.


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