Elusive "Black Box" Super Mario Bros. Certified by CGC Video Games in Heritage Auctions Sale

This standalone release of Super Mario Bros. is much harder to find than its Super Mario Bros. / Duck Hunt counterpart.

When it comes to classic video games, there’s no doubt that Super Mario Bros. for the Nintendo Entertainment System is up there with the best. CGC Video Games™ had the pleasure of certifying a sealed copy of the standalone game — a rarity that isn’t usually seen inside its original box. The submission received a grade of CGC 9.4 A and is available in Heritage Auctions’ January Video Games Signature® Auction, which is being held on January 20-21, 2023.

Super Mario Bros. was Nintendo's flagship title for the Nintendo Entertainment System, released in tandem with The Legend of Zelda as Nintendo's "climax" title for the ROM-cartridge format before the Famicom Disc console was released soon after in Japan. It took the world by storm and is widely considered one of the greatest video games of all time. Today, Super Mario Bros. continues to be a collectors staple, and has been re-released several times across several Nintendo consoles. 

After the initial release in North America as a limited launch title in 1986, Nintendo re-released the game as a package-in addition with newer model NES consoles. The new release was paired with Duck Hunt in a double-feature cartridge.

Due to its limited release, this standalone version of Super Mario Bros. is difficult to find in its black box, and even scarcer sealed. Additionally, black boxes — one of Nintendo’s early signature box variants — were even harder to keep in pristine condition. The black coloring was easily worn away over time, especially in the ‘80s when preserving condition wasn’t as popular as it is today.

About the variant

There are several variants of Super Mario Bros. This particular variant is the Oval SoQ™, Rev-A.

Oval SoQ™

“Oval SoQ™” refers to the Nintendo Seal of Quality that is printed on the front of the box. Nintendo printed its boxes with its Seal of Quality as a guarantee to the customer that the game met its production and quality standards. The Oval SoQ™ is the second Seal of Quality used by Nintendo.


Rev-A is a notation Nintendo added to most of its NES boxes and cartridges after it switched from a five-screw cartridge to a three-screw cartridge. Short for Revision-A, this code is often found on the front of the box and on the back label of a cartridge.