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Nintendo Super Mario Bros. video game sets record selling for $114,000.

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The fact that the whole WATA/grading thing has gotten any traction at all is profoundly disappointing to me.

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On 7/14/2020 at 3:04 AM, Magmavision2000 said:

I always wonder how copies like this exist. I find it highly unlikely that someone has had a sealed copy of SMB in pristine condition for 35 years. 

 

 

 

39 minutes ago, BassGuitari said:

The fact that the whole WATA/grading thing has gotten any traction at all is profoundly disappointing to me.

The beauty of the con, Seal it in plastic in a way people don't open it, reseal the original sticker like its never been opened. As a consumer you just hope that WATA actually tried to assume whats in it when they grade it, because for all you know it could have a worn labelled cartridge with the metal stripped off the pins - with a coffee stained instruction manual that survived a washing machine cycle in it, and nobody would be none the wiser.

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6 minutes ago, Mikebloke said:

 

The beauty of the con, Seal it in plastic in a way people don't open it, reseal the original sticker like its never been opened. As a consumer you just hope that WATA actually tried to assume whats in it when they grade it, because for all you know it could have a worn labelled cartridge with the metal stripped off the pins - with a coffee stained instruction manual that survived a washing machine cycle in it, and nobody would be none the wiser.

Never thought of that.  Good call.

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28 minutes ago, 0078265317 said:

Never thought of that.  Good call.

I'm a very real sense, 95% of WATA's expertise falls into the realm of cellophane analysis and verification.  They identify a plastic seal as factory original, and assume everything inside is as well.  The first person to do a reseal job that's as good as a factory original makes WATA a bunch of chumps.... if it hasn't happened already.

 

 

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9 hours ago, Mikebloke said:

At the moment its only select things like SMB one of the most common games as jack is a baby name. One day though, this fad will extend far enough that casual collectors like me who just want to buy games to play them (God Forbid someone actually plays these things!) will struggle. I've bought a few games "new old stock" because it was cheaper than buying in worn condition, and I've always immediately opened and plugged it into a real machine. I'm a monster.

I've done it too, didn't give a damn what some collector would feel about it as there's no reason to.  I popped open a couple of big box sealed up PC games I got last year so I could you know, play them. :D

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If I had stupid amounts of money, I think I'd rather be buying supercars or other awesome toys I could enjoy rather than sealed game carts.  Maybe a big piece of land where I could run over cars or blow stuff up with tanks.

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23 minutes ago, thanatos said:

If I had stupid amounts of money, I think I'd rather be buying supercars or other awesome toys I could enjoy rather than sealed game carts.  Maybe a big piece of land where I could run over cars or blow stuff up with tanks.

Exactly.  I mean, there are a few extremely sentimental games for me, and I would love to have sealed copies.  But that desire is right around the $200 mark.  $300 if I truly have no need for money.

 

But $40,000?  $70,000 or more?  My sentimental ass sentimentally wants to take a round-the-world Cruise with a legion of bikini models.

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Why do people seem so upset that this game went for so much money? If you're not a collector, you'll never understand. If you're gamer, congrats: your hobby just gained a lot of prestige for a classic game. If you don't agree with the value of this, there's over 100k reasons that starkly disagree with your opinion. 

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1 hour ago, atarilovesyou said:

Why do people seem so upset that this game went for so much money? If you're not a collector, you'll never understand. If you're gamer, congrats: your hobby just gained a lot of prestige for a classic game. If you don't agree with the value of this, there's over 100k reasons that starkly disagree with your opinion. 

Who said anything about being upset?

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1 hour ago, atarilovesyou said:

Why do people seem so upset that this game went for so much money? If you're not a collector, you'll never understand. If you're gamer, congrats: your hobby just gained a lot of prestige for a classic game. If you don't agree with the value of this, there's over 100k reasons that starkly disagree with your opinion. 

I'm personally not upset, but I'm a little perturbed since it's gonna be harder to find reasonably priced games (I don't mean dirt cheap either) since your average Joe is gonna see a copy of SMB sold for over 100K and not know the reason why (granted, not a lot of people did this when that other copy sold for 100K, but remember the "NES-001" situation"). I'm not upset about it selling for that much since I know why it's selling for 114K, I'm just not looking forward to the influx of people who are gonna try to sell their torn copy of Mario/Duck Hunt thinking it's the holy grail.

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On 7/20/2020 at 10:30 PM, atarilovesyou said:

Why do people seem so upset that this game went for so much money? If you're not a collector, you'll never understand. If you're gamer, congrats: your hobby just gained a lot of prestige for a classic game. If you don't agree with the value of this, there's over 100k reasons that starkly disagree with your opinion. 

Well...speaking as a collector of over two two decades now: I don't understand. 🤷‍♂️ I don't understand the thought process that ends at the notion that sticking stuff in plastic cases emblazoned with some number assigned by a self-credentialed organization makes it intrinsically more valuable by orders of magnitude--while simultaneously disregarding that said organization has a vested interest in their items being valued as highly as possible by virtue of their partnership with Heritage Auctions--and buying into that notion to the tune of $114,000. The "collector" here essentially trades a new Maserati for what amounts to glorified shelf candy (which will more likely be stored in a safe deposit box or somesuch anyway), and since it's sealed in its airtight, sterile case, no "gamer" will ever get to play it. Nobody wins here except Wata and Heritage Auctions.

 

(And if it doesn't turn out that the one person who would spend that amount of money on it already has, then the collector investor, too. Good for him/her.)

 

Personally, my problem really isn't about any of that, though. People can spend their money how they want--that's their business. It's just disappointing that there is such a large and ever-growing speculative element in the classic gaming scene that, when it comes down to it, isn't in it for the games, community, preservation, or even its own nostalgia, but rather to exploit and profit from our collective passion. A regrettably natural consequence of the scene growing exponentially over the last quarter-century, but disappointing nonetheless. Wata/Heritage Auctions and their grading scheme represent the apex of it--the logical extreme of speculation culture mutated and run amok. "Prestigious" high profile sales like this do not help; they only contribute to artificial price inflation and make it harder for collectors to collect, and for gamers to game. Classic gaming doesn't need prestige--at least not from outsiders with dollar signs in their eyes.

 

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On 7/20/2020 at 11:00 PM, Magmavision2000 said:

I'm not upset about it selling for that much since I know why it's selling for 114K, I'm just not looking forward to the influx of people who are gonna try to sell their torn copy of Mario/Duck Hunt thinking it's the holy grail.

 

If a sealed box copy of the game is worth $100,000, then my loose copy has to be worth at least $1,000, right?  🤑

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Thank you BassGuitari as it's nice to see someone else making that argument here/elsewhere when this comes up.

 

I'm not upset about the game itself going for those figures, it's all the other details and seedy stuff below and beyond it as you've laid out quite nicely.  Like it or not, trickle down stupdity/economics is in play here because like jdh kind of joked, to the non-gamer who doesn't care type, hell if that one did that, then my loose copy must be at least worth a few percent of that right??  (Nope) And they'll try.

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It's been a while now, but there was a lot of grief after Antiques Roadshow featured the Atari 2600, and the market was flooded with clueless sellers looking to get quadruple figures on commons.  A little more recently, clickbait articles on Yahoo and ESPN brought NES collecting into the spotlight, to the same effect.  The problem was, when the general public only gets half the story, the market gets cluttered with idiocy and it gets hard to buy and sell at sustainable prices for a while.  

 

I don't think anyone is angry, per se, I just have a sensation of "here we go again".

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Well I don't think anyone minds the sell part if they have it, buying, that's cancerous as long as the stupidity trickles by until a reality check sets in and it's corrected (more or less, still damage tends to be done.)  The few moments since virus hell kicked in I've used ebay, people are paying dumb prices, dumber on some stuff that could be in a way related to the HA+WATA apparent scheme going on that self serves both parties.  People perceive the stuff is worth more, so even the none locked away in plastic stuff sees an up tick.  I've marveled at the amount of items I've moved on there because I refuse to raise my prices, so basically the BINs since ebay forces 30% (a few years back it was always 10%) now are still a bit low or on the nose for the temporary new average things just get snapped up.  I don't mind it, like having a bit more room back, but I kind of miss the trickle as it would drip feed when I'd need something.

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6 hours ago, godslabrat said:

It's been a while now, but there was a lot of grief after Antiques Roadshow featured the Atari 2600, and the market was flooded with clueless sellers looking to get quadruple figures on commons.  

I've yet to find that video. What happened?

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31 minutes ago, Magmavision2000 said:

I've yet to find that video. What happened?

Basically, the AR dude said "Yeah, Atari 2600 units go for hundreds of dollars" (not mentioning that price was for particular sets that were CIB and in immaculate condition) and "cartridges are selling for thousands" (failing to make the distinction between Combat and Air Raid).

 

 

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57 minutes ago, godslabrat said:

Basically, the AR dude said "Yeah, Atari 2600 units go for hundreds of dollars" (not mentioning that price was for particular sets that were CIB and in immaculate condition) and "cartridges are selling for thousands" (failing to make the distinction between Combat and Air Raid).

 

 

This reminds me of the time I popped into a Mega Media Exchange while on a retro hunt. I struck out on that front, but they had CIB copy of Resident Evil 2 for Nintendo 64 for a good price (sweet!), so I grabbed that. When I went to pay, I asked the cashier/salesman if they carry "Atari" stuff (code for "anything older than NES"). He advised me that if I have an Atari, I'm lucky because they "go for $300."

 

I paid, thanked him for his time, and left. That was all I needed to hear. 😆🤦‍♂️ Although that interaction didn't give me much cause for optimism as far as how that place would price any "Atari" stuff they took in, RE2 for N64 and its item randomizer mode was a surprisingly refreshing take on the game for this grizzled veteran of the PlayStation original! 😄 😜

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On 7/19/2020 at 12:05 AM, godslabrat said:

People will be losing their ass on graded games by the end of 2020.

 

Pretty much. Well, maybe a little longer.  The COVID-19 thing has made video game prices skyrocket.  A simple $300 Nintendo Switch was going for $500 plus, Classic $1-5 games are going for $50-60+ and some people are paying it.  It's getting harder and harder to find good lots for cheap money right now, UNLESS you do the yard sale type thing and get lucky.

 

Once this all settles out, things WILL normalize, and prices will drop to where they should actually be.  A lot of people will be losing their pockets because of this.. 

 

At least I finally got a Switch about 2 months ago, for $330 with 5 games in the boxes, I thought that was a really good deal... 

 

With a sealed Super Mario Bros going for 100K+, I guess that means my 20 or so not in the box are worth about $100 each ?  Anyone ? LOL :)

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The problem is not collectors, or even normies like me, paying higher prices for vintage items which rightfully deserve a premium for some reason (rarity, condition, etc). It's a natural thing, and it's the same in any collectibles market.

 

The problem is when speculectors get a whiff of such market and start organising and puffing up the prices, resulting in hefty profit for themselves, because their items gain worth for no reason. The whole ridiculous "grading" angle is a part of that scheme (and a nice revenue stream too).

 

 

 

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It's a copy of one of the most common video games of that era. An incredibly popular title that sold a massive amount of copies for an incredibly popular system that was installed in dozens of millions of homes. Can't see how it's worth more than maybe a few thousand dollars. Call me crazy but I think this retro video game market is insanely overvalued, and people are pulling the wool over their own eyes.

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On 7/22/2020 at 12:33 AM, BassGuitari said:

Well...speaking as a collector of over two two decades now: I don't understand. 🤷‍♂️ I don't understand the thought process that ends at the notion that sticking stuff in plastic cases emblazoned with some number assigned by a self-credentialed organization makes it intrinsically more valuable by orders of magnitude--while simultaneously disregarding that said organization has a vested interest in their items being valued as highly as possible by virtue of their partnership with Heritage Auctions--and buying into that notion to the tune of $114,000. The "collector" here essentially trades a new Maserati for what amounts to glorified shelf candy (which will more likely be stored in a safe deposit box or somesuch anyway), and since it's sealed in its airtight, sterile case, no "gamer" will ever get to play it. Nobody wins here except Wata and Heritage Auctions.

 

(And if it doesn't turn out that the one person who would spend that amount of money on it already has, then the collector investor, too. Good for him/her.)

 

Personally, my problem really isn't about any of that, though. People can spend their money how they want--that's their business. It's just disappointing that there is such a large and ever-growing speculative element in the classic gaming scene that, when it comes down to it, isn't in it for the games, community, preservation, or even its own nostalgia, but rather to exploit and profit from our collective passion. A regrettably natural consequence of the scene growing exponentially over the last quarter-century, but disappointing nonetheless. Wata/Heritage Auctions and their grading scheme represent the apex of it--the logical extreme of speculation culture mutated and run amok. "Prestigious" high profile sales like this do not help; they only contribute to artificial price inflation and make it harder for collectors to collect, and for gamers to game. Classic gaming doesn't need prestige--at least not from outsiders with dollar signs in their eyes.

 

Well I guess we'll have to disagree, lol. Your viewpoint is clearly as a gamer rather than a collector, regardless of your experience in the hobby. That's fine. But why try to qualify your opinion as a collector of twenty years only to make arguments that gamers have been making for just as long?

 

There are different types of collectors. I completely understand why this particular piece is priced the way it is and why it's special. It will absolutely not result in people charging more for their carts at conventions any more than the  recent ebbs of prices in the retro world. It won't affect you or I or anybody here I gather because we know what games are not collectible. And I don't know who sounds more elitist, either....people of the opinion that people who collect simply for the investment are somehow less respectable than others who are in it for the 'right' reasons, or those who have the means to do so. This is about a game that is, regardless of how anybody feels about it,  extremely rare and clearly worth the money somebody spent to acquire it. In my opinion, as a collector. 

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