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Image: Heritage Auctions

A copy of revolutionary 1996 classic "Super Mario 64" sold for $1.56 million at auction on Sunday, a record for video games.

Why it matters: Prices for boxed copies of games have exploded in recent years.

  • The "Mario" game was part of a nearly 500-item auction sold by Heritage Auctions, which doesn't even have a bona fide gaming category yet.
  • Heritage graded that copy of "Mario" as A++, noting "the condition of this copy is just so breathtaking that we're really at a loss here." So even if you still have the game in its shrinkwrap, your copy probably has more dents in the box.
  • An A+ version of the game sold through Heritage in January for $38,400.

By the numbers: Other notable sales from Heritage's auction included...

More recent games sold well, though not quite as well:

Someone even bought an early-90s U.S. Army training device that amounts to a replica M16 that can plug into a Super Nintendo.

  • That sold on Friday for $18,600.

Flashback: Classic games expert Chris Kohler called it a "retro game gold rush" back in 2019, as collector money that used to go to comic books, coins and cards moved to video games.

Go deeper

USCP chief: Officers testifying before Jan. 6 committee "need to be heard"

Thomas Manger, the new chief of the U.S. Capitol Police, Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

New Capitol Police chief Tom Manger said officers testifying before the Jan. 6 select committee this week "need to be heard."

Driving the news: The select committee's first hearing is set to take place on Tuesday and will feature testimony from law enforcement officers who were subject to some of the worst of violence during the insurrection.

Updated 37 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Pelosi appoints GOP Rep. Kinzinger to Jan. 6 committee

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced Sunday that she has appointed Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) to serve on the House select committee investigating the Jan 6. Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Pelosi's announcement comes after she rejected two of the five Republican appointments offered by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

America's "Friendscape" crisis

New research shows Americans have fewer friends than in the past, and are less likely to have a best friend.

  • Why it matters: At a time of excruciating mental and societal stress, this is another sign we're breaking apart. And the friendship drought could get worse with more people working remotely or hybrid-ly.