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Old Super Mario Bros. video game sells for $164,000

AP, July 13, 2020 6:45PM Kids News

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Actor Jeremy Bulloch (right) as bounty hunter Boba Fett with Darth Vader in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. A Boba Fett action figure sold in recent months for $267,000. media_cameraActor Jeremy Bulloch (right) as bounty hunter Boba Fett with Darth Vader in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. A Boba Fett action figure sold in recent months for $267,000.

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An unopened, 35-year-old Super Mario Bros. video game has been sold for more than $164,000 at auction.

A bidder, who wished to remain anonymous, snapped up the early version of the pioneering* Super Mario Bros. game, which was released in 1985.

The game was for Nintendo’s NES console*.

The auction was on July 10 by a company called Heritage Auctions, which is based in Dallas, Texas, US.

This photo provided by Heritage Auctions on Saturday, July 11, 2020, shows the front of an unopened copy of a vintage Super Mario Bros. video game that has been sold for $114,000 in an auction that underscored the enduring popularity of entertainment created decades earlier. (Emily Clemens/Heritage Auctions via AP) media_cameraThe front of the unopened copy of a vintage Super Mario Bros. video game sold at auction. Picture: Emily Clemens/Heritage Auctions via AP

The $164,000 paid eclipsed* Heritage Auctions’ previous record amount for a video game, which was just over $144,000. That sale was early last year for an unopened copy of the same game.

The Super Mario Bros. copy that sold for a new record was part of a collection of video games from the 1980s and 1990s that sold to various buyers for nearly $1,007,083, which was well above Heritage Auction’s initial target of about $719,345.

Other titles auctioned off included “Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!”, a 1987 video game based on the former heavyweight boxing champion, that sold for $72,510.

Super Mario media_cameraA more recent version of Super Mario than the version in the 1985 game just sold.

PRICEY BOBA FETT
The most expensive Star Wars action figure sold at an online auction is a Boba Fett Rocket-Firing Action Figure. It sold for about $267,000 on November 7, 2019.

The action figure is a prototype* rocket-firing bounty hunter* Boba Fett made by toy company Kenner in 1979. The toy was never released and most prototypes were destroyed in the factory at the time. Only a handful of them have ever been sold.

Generic image of Monopoly board game. media_cameraInstead of a cardboard board and plastic houses, hotels and dice, the world’s most expensive version of Monopoly is made with gold and jewels.

GOLD MONOPOLY
The world’s most expensive Monopoly game has a board made from 23 carat* gold and rubies and sapphires top the chimneys of the solid gold houses and hotels. The dice have 42 diamonds for spots.

The Monopoly set, valued at $2.8 million, was created by jeweller Sidney Mobell, San Francisco, US in 1988.

Source: Guinness World Records

GLOSSARY

  • pioneering: doing something first
  • console: control panel
  • eclipsed: was much bigger or better than something else
  • prototype: model to show how something could be made in the future
  • bounty hunter: person who hunts as a job and is paid each time they catch what they are hunting
  • carat: measurement of purity of gold; pure gold is 24 carat

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QUICK QUIZ

  1. How old is the game?
  2. Who bought the game?
  3. What two decades was the games collection from?
  4. Why is the Boba Fett action figure so rare?
  5. What is the expensive Monopoly set made from?

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. FOR and AGAINST Collectors’ Items
This Super Mario Bros. video game was kept for 35 years unopened, making it more valuable with a buyer spending $164,000 on it. But surely a game is meant to be played with? While keeping something unopened and in pristine condition makes it more valuable in the future to collectors, is there also value in opening it and playing with it now?

Make a FOR and AGAINST chart and write down reasons FOR keeping a toy or video game unopened to save and increase its value later on. In the AGAINST column write down reasons for not saving the toy or game and playing with it now.

When you have written down points FOR and AGAINST the idea of saving a toy, consider what you will do next time you purchase or receive a new unopened toy or game. Will you keep it to sell to collectors in the future or will you open it to play and enjoy now?

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and Creative Thinking

2. Extension
Gold Monopoly has been made with lots of gold and many expensive gems.

Choose another boardgame and redesign it to rival Gold Monopoly in jewels and expense. What will you create it out of? Will you include gems to embellish (decorate) it? What will you call it? How much will you try and sell it for?

Draw a labelled diagram of your redesigned game, showing how you have made it more upmarket than the original version. Give this game a name and write a paragraph describing (and trying to sell) it to a would-be buyer.

Time: allow 30 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Critical and Creative thinking

VCOP ACTIVITY
Opener Up-Level It
Make a list of all the openers in the article. Pick three that repeat and see if you can replace them with another word, or shuffle the order of the sentence to bring a new opener to the front.

Don’t forget to re-read the sentence to make sure it still makes sense, and that it actually sounds better.

HAVE YOUR SAY: What toy or game would you most like to have?
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking. No comments will be published until approved by editors.

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