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    Super Mario Bros. - Wata 9.4 A Sealed [Hangtab, 2 Code, Mid-Production], NES Nintendo 1985 USA. To date, the most highly contested lots in our auctions have almost always featured everyone's favorite Italian plumber, Mario. When it comes to his history, it would be difficult to argue there are many other games that are as pivotal as the first game in the Super Mario Bros. series.

    Collectors who are passionate about packaging variants and each variant's level of scarcity have often mentioned to us the improbability of coming across a sealed "hangtab" copy of any NES game "in the wild." This doesn't even take into account the impressive condition of this particular example. A photo of this game, no matter how excellent the quality of the image, would never do justice to how beautifully this copy presents in-person. To date, we have only offered one other hangtab with the "2 Code" sub-variant, but it had a much more modest Wata 7.0 B+ grade. For any collector looking to secure an elusive hangtab for themselves, this stellar example is nothing short of centerpiece quality.

    For those who are just now joining us, cardboard hangtabs were originally used on the US test market copies of black box games, back before plastic was used to seal each game. As Nintendo began to further establish their company in the US, their packaging was updated almost continuously. Strangely, the addition of the plastic wrap came before the box cutting die was altered to remove the cardboard hangtab. This rendered the functionality of the cardboard hangtab completely useless, since it was under the plastic seal.

    Anyone who has sifted through our permanent, past auction archives for hangtab copies of this game will likely see a number of complete in box examples. While these are difficult to find in their own right, they simply can't hold a candle to the level of rarity a sealed copy of this variant holds. Each sub-variant of the hangtab variants were each only produced for a couple of months or less in 1987--fairly early on for the lifespan of the NES. When one begins to consider the exponential rate that Super Mario Bros. sales continued to grow through-out its long production run, it's difficult to imagine there are enough sealed, hangtab copies of this title to satiate the demand the market has expressed for them.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2021
    29th-31st Friday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 5,044

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    I have done a preliminary analysis and the total of the hammer prices was $67,550. With BP, the final figure was $80,722.25. That is against the total insurance value of $34,785 or 2.32 x ‘pre-auction estimate’. Incredible, really, so a big thanks.
    Mark A.,
    Stratford-Upon-Avon, UK
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