Curator’s Picks – Video Games Signature® Auction

curator valerie Or80TX



Valarie Spiegel
Managing Director, Video Games
Heritage Auctions
2801 W. Airport Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75261
1-800-872-6467 Ext. 1994

1. Super Mario Bros. – VGA 90+ NM+/MT Unopened [Barcode, FF Logo, Later Production], Famicom Nintendo 1985 JPN

My appreciation for the Famicom Super Mario Bros. stems from its essential role in the history of one of my, and many others’, favorite video game franchises-the eponymous “Mario Bros.” series. Super Mario Bros. for the Famicom debuted several months prior to the NES version in the US, establishing it as the original incarnation of the game. Unopened copies are a rare find, especially in its exceptional, practically factory-fresh condition. We have submitted a lot of games to VGA, and I can attest how incredibly difficult it is for a game to achieve this grade. This is especially true for games that were manufactured without a plastic seal because they are more prone to the elements. I see this as a timeless artifact, emblematic of the franchise’s profound influence on our collective global culture.

2. Peter Bollinger Gex Panasonic 3DO Video Game Original Box Art (Crystal Dynamics, 1995)

Original video game art is an incredibly rare find in video game collectibles. It’s especially exciting when a piece of art from a series that resonated with many people surfaces. The original box art for Gex for the Panasonic 3DO (and PlayStation) is one of my favorite video game original art lots we’ve had the opportunity to offer. Seriously. Maybe I’m just a Gex fangirl, but I have always found the game deeply charming and funny. To whoever ends up winning this lot-I’m sincerely jealous (but I promise I’m still happy for you!).

3. Ultima: Escape From Mt. Drash – Condition: VG CIB, Commodore Vic-20 Sierra On-Line 1983 USA

For me, the allure of this game was mostly due to the level of detective work that was necessary to verify its authenticity amidst the controversies of counterfeit versions in recent years. Learning everything I have about this game in the past couple of months was an incredibly rewarding journey for me. Each component of this game, from its box to the cassette, manual, and registration card, has undergone meticulous verification, and all components align with the characteristics of known, genuine copies leaving no doubt of its authenticity in my mind.


Evan Masingill
Consignment Director, Video Games
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Heritage Auctions
2801 W. Airport Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75261
1-800-872-6467 Ext. 1977

4. Del Thompson Ghoul Patrol Super Nintendo Video Game Original Box Art (JVC, 1994)

One of my favorite parts of this job is seeing one-of-a-kind items like original video game art. Video Game artwork is an emerging area of collecting, and it has been gaining popularity over the last few years. Collectors seeking to participate in this hobby will quickly find that many video game covers are either lost to time or part of private collections. Final pieces, like this beautiful Ghoul Patrol cover, are rarely offered for public sale, and once they sell, they’re unlikely to reemerge.

5. Atari 2600 Console – VGA 85 NM+ Sealed [Black Console, Square Box, with Pac-Man & Combat], 2600 Atari 1983 USA

Longtime collectors know that most video game consoles were manufactured without a seal on the box, making this unopened 40-year-old pre-NES console quite rare! This particular example is unique because the box is sealed by the original Montgomery Ward branded tape that attached the receipt to the box. The receipt shows this console was purchased in 1984, during the transitional phase between the 1983 video game crash and just a year before the NES’s groundbreaking 1985 launch. This sleek model is colloquially known as the “Vader” because of its black casing, which omitted the earlier faux wood-grained design.

6. Metroid – CGC 9.6 CIB [Hangtab, First Production], NES Nintendo 1987 USA

When this game came to our office ungraded, I knew it would receive a record grade the moment I held it. The condition of the box was genuinely stunning and uncharacteristically clean for a 37-year-old NES game. Even though this game is opened, its 9.6 box grade indicates it is in better shape than most sealed copies! CIB collecting has been gaining popularity, as evidenced by our record CIB sales. Collectors recognize that early-NES games as mint as this are rarely found.


Brett Weiss
Lead Cataloger, Video Games
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Heritage Auctions
2801 W. Airport Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75261
1-800-872-6467 Ext. 1348

7. Espial – CGC 8.0 NS Unopened, 2600 Tigervision 1984 USA

As a hardcore video game collector and longtime Atari 2600 fan-I began playing the system in 1977, the year it came out-I have amassed a huge collection of games for the console. I haven’t counted recently, but it’s probably around 300 or so titles. One game I’m still lacking is Espial, a rarity reminiscent of such classic shooters as Xevious and The Dreadnaught Factor, but not as well-known. Released in 1984, after the industry crash in North America, the game was produced in low quantities, hence its scarcity. I would be thrilled to simply add a cart-only copy of Espial to my collection, but the unopened example we’re offering would truly take my library of Atari 2600 games-or pretty much anyone else’s-to the next level.

8. Alien 3 – VGA 95 Mint Uncirculated Sealed [Oval SOQ R], NES LJN 1993 USA

You often hear about great movies inspiring bad video games. The most famous example is probably E.T. the Extraterrestrial for the Atari 2600. But what about a truly awful movie as the basis for an awesome video game? It does happen from time to time, as with Alien 3 for the NES. While your mileage may vary with David Fincher’s addition to the Alien film franchise, I can’t stand it, but I LOVE the video game it inspired. Gamers guide Lt. Ripley through six stages of the Florina 161 prison colony, using a flamethrower and other weapons to battle the titular creepy creatures. Atmospheric visuals and a nice mix of exploration and intense action make it one of the best movie-based games of the era. The VGA 95 Mint Uncirculated copy we’re offering is so pristine it’s scary.

9. Justice League Task Force – Wata 9.8 A+ Sealed, SNES Acclaim 1995 USA

Released the same year as Marvel’s Superheroes for the PlayStation, Justice League Task Force was overlooked to some degree back in the day, but it holds the honor of being the first-ever fighting game featuring DC Comics heroes (and villains). Loosely based on the comic book series of the same name, the game pits the likes of Flash, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. against one another in a series of one-on-one battles. Curiously, Green Lantern didn’t make the cut, but the equally emerald, yet less popular Green Arrow did. Regardless, this is a fascinating fighting game that would absolutely rock the shelves of any video game or comic book collector, thanks to the awesome cover art, which epitomizes DC Comics of the 1990s. The Super NES version of the game was co-developed by Blizzard Entertainment, adding to its value for fans of that legendary company.


Brian Nocenti
Consignment Director, Video and Trading Card Games
Heritage Auctions
2801 W. Airport Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75261
1-800-872-6467 Ext. 1876

10. Game Boy Advance SP Console – VGA 95 Mint Unopened [Charizard Edition, Japanese Version], GBA Nintendo 2004 JPN

The Game Boy Advance SP was a big hit, thanks in part to its front-lit screen and compact design. However, finding a sealed special edition today can be a tough task. This limited version was only available through Pokémon Center stores, making it even more special. In Japan, seven variants of this console were released, representing different Pokémon characters, with Charizard and Rayquaza being the most desirable. Finding unopened consoles of these rare releases is extremely difficult. Don’t let this opportunity to own this stunning piece of Pokémon history go up in flames.

11. Tekken – Wata 9.8 A++ Sealed [Jewel Longbox, Early Production], PS1 Namco 1995 USA

When it comes to PlayStation fighting titles, Tekken is one of the biggest names in the game. The longbox version of Tekken was released in two variants: the large jewel version, which is being offered here, and a cardboard variant. Shortly after the release of the two longbox versions, a CD-style jewel case was used to package the game moving forward, thus making the longbox releases the early production variants for the PS1. Only 102 games were released on PlayStation using the longbox style. I’m sure we will see an epic battle for this game on the auction block.

12. Grand Theft Auto – Wata 9.6 A++ Sealed [Mature Rating on Back, Mid-Production], PS1 Take-Two 1998 USA

The GTA series will go down in history as one of the most controversial franchises ever created. This, folks, is where it all started! Grand Theft Auto was initially released for DOS and Windows in November 1997 and was followed by the PlayStation version in December 1997. The game portrayed a character you could control to commit crimes and wreak havoc throughout the city, if you desired. This sparked a bit of controversy initially and has only continued and accelerated throughout the years, with the release of many sequels. Some even had to be changed from MA rating to Adults Only. This title will be one to watch to ensure no one steals it on auction day.


Cierra Caballero
Associate Video Game Specialist
Heritage Auctions
2801 W. Airport Freeway
Dallas, Texas 75261
1-800-872-6467 Ext. 1348

13. Mighty Morphin Power Rangers – Wata 9.8 A++ Sealed, Game Boy Bandai 1994 USA

“Make my monster grow!” And oh boy, is this copy of Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers a big deal. I grew up watching the series and the movie with my sister. You better believe we jammed to the series and movie soundtracks and joined gymnastics in hopes of becoming Power Rangers ourselves. I am not authorized to say if that dream came true. I still re-watch the series regularly, and I am grateful it got me into the Tokusatsu and martial arts genre. Sadly, I never got to own a Game Boy, but if I did there is no question that I would play this for hours.

14. The Karate Kid – Wata 10.0 A++ Sealed [Oval SOQ TM, Later Production], NES LJN 1987 USA

It’s astonishing that The Karate Kid franchise, despite its iconic status, has inspired so few video games, with just one title based on the original 1984 film. I’m a huge fan of the movies and have been glued to the Cobra Kai television series. With the final season on the horizon and the franchise growing, seeing the NES game in top-tier condition in our Signature Auction floods me with nostalgia from watching the first two films as a kid. Graded Wata 10.0 A++, this copy shows no mercy!

15. Mario Power Merchandising 1990 Black Corduroy Jacket [Size Large], Nintendo 1990

16. Mario & Yoshi Power Team Black Denim Jacket [Size Medium], Nintendo 1991

Talk about making a “Powerful” statement! I am a massive fan of vintage clothing, so when I saw these two Nintendo employee jackets in our Signature auction, I was extremely impressed with their quality. Getting to wear them even for a second for our Instagram reel was a treat, and I can attest they are incredibly comfortable. My favorite part, of course, are the logos of Mario and Yoshi on the back!



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