Heritage Auctions has hosted their first set of certified and graded collectible video games this past weekend, with the original The Legend of Zelda selling for over $3,000 USD after an intense bidding war. The initial set of video game auctions included 25 certified games, most from the 80s and early 90s. The games were graded, certified, and housed in protective cases by Wata Games as a way to offer consistency and objectivity through use of a third-party grader.
Heritage started advertising slabbed video games as one of their new collectible auctions on the official Heritage Auctions website earlier this year.
The Legend of Zelda (NES, Nintendo, 1987) Wata Games 9.4 B+ (Seal Rating) was pursued by over 30 collectors and ultimately sold for $3,360.00 USD and claimed the honors of being the top-lot. The game cartidge in question is from the Classic Series, which marked the game's release on the Nintendo Entertainment System. The copy put up at auction included the grey, three-screw version of the cartridge. Sealed versions of that NES title are notoriously difficult to locate, especially in such good condition. So between the popularity of the Zelda franchise and the original game itself on top of the fantastic condition, the lot was subject to some serious competition among bidders.
"A lot of collectors are just as passionate about their childhood games, such as their trading cards or comics," said Heritage Vice President Barry Sandoval, about the results from the Sunday Internet Comics, Animation & Art Auction. "We thought these certified games would do well, and we weren't disappointed."
Excitebike (NES, Nintendo, 1985) Wata Games 8.5 A (Seal Rating) also sparked a deluge of bids from over twenty collectors before drawing $1,140 USD. Excitebike was one of the launch titles for the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the copy put up at auction is a Revision-A game with a round Seal of Quality (SOQ), which indicates it is a later revision of the title. Excitebike was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto, who is known best for creating iconic Nintendo titles like Mario, Donkey Kong, and Starfox.
The third top ocntender was a copy of the first game in the longstanding Dragon Quest series, Dragon Warrior (NES, Nintendo, 1989) Wata Games 8.5 A (Seal Rating), which brought in $660 from 17 bidders. Originally released in Japan as Dragon Quest, it was renamed by Nintendo for release to Western markets.
Other top lots included:
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (NES, Nintendo, 1989), Wata Games 8.5 CIB (Complete in Box): $312
- Super Mario Bros. (NES, Nintendo 1985), Wata Games 8.0 CIB (Complete in Box): $312
- Wario's Woods (NES, Nintendo, 1994), Wata Games 9.4 A+ (Seal Rating): $228
- Mega Man 5 (NES, Capcom, 1992), Wata Games 6.0 CIB (Complete in Box): $216
- Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES, Nintendo, 1990), Wata Games 6.5 CIB (Complete in Box): $210
- Double Dragon (SMS, Sega, 1988), Wata Games 9.6 CIB (Complete in Box): $204
"These were just the tip of the iceberg," Sandoval said. "We're going to auction more every week, and we have some real rarities on tap for our large February Signature Auction."