DALLAS – A pristine, unopened matte sticker sealed copy of Gyromite from the first U.S. test market for the Nintendo Entertainment System and the highest-graded copy of The Legend of Zelda will be featured among a selection of high-end Wata-certified video games and iconic video game original art in Heritage Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction Sept. 10-13. View the fully illustrated catalog on LiveAuctioneers.
Gyromite – Wata 9.6 A+ Sealed [Matte Sticker, U.S. Test Market], NES Nintendo 1985 USA is the highest-graded, factory-sealed matte sticker game ever offered by Heritage Auctions or any other venue. The matte-textured Nintendo-branded sticker that was used to seal this copy identifies that it is from the very first production of Nintendo Entertainment System (or NES) sold only at the first U.S. test market in Manhattan.
“Since Nintendo’s goal with conducting the test market was to gauge the viability of releasing their console in the United States, the number of units they produced of each title for the test launch was conservative, to say the least,” said Valarie McLeckie, Heritage Auctions video games director. “Finding a sealed or even complete-in-box copy from this event is an extraordinary occurrence – no matter the copy’s condition. With that in mind, the near-immaculate condition of this copy is undoubtedly unique.”
The Legend of Zelda – Wata 9.6 A+ Sealed [Oval SOQ TM, Later Production], NES Nintendo 1987 USA kicked off one of the biggest series in the history of video games and features the first appearances of Princess Zelda, Ganon and, of course, Link. This is the highest-graded copy of this title that has ever been offered by any venue to date, and it is projected to surpass the sale of the Wata 9.4 A copy that sold for $33,600 in Heritage Auctions’ May 2020 auction.
Duck Hunt – Wata 7.0 C Sealed [Hangtab, 3 Code, Mid-Production], NES Nintendo 1985 USA is the only sealed hang tab copy of the title that has ever graded at the time of its recent encapsulation by Wata. Cardboard hang tabs only served a functional purpose before sealing NES box in plastic became the standard. However, the plastic was incorporated into the production process before the hang tab was removed from the cardboard box cutting die. This particular hang tab copy is the “3 Code” variant, which is the same variant as the Super Mario Bros. that recently sold for $114,000 in Heritage Auctions’ July 2020 auction.
Super Mario Bros. 3 – Wata-Certified Prototype, NES Nintendo 1990 USA is the first video game prototype that Heritage Auctions has ever has offered that was developed by Nintendo. Despite the finished title’s relatively late release on the Nintendo Entertainment System NES, Super Mario Bros. 3 was so groundbreaking that it sold more than 17 million units in its time and is the third-best-selling title on the NES. The prototype’s hand-made physical construct consists of a gutted Kid Icarus cartridge, sections of which were cut away to expose the EPROMs (Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory) which make up the “heart” of the prototype. It can be assumed this prototype is from one of the final stages of the game’s development, based on the dates handwritten on the EPROMs’ labels.
Ericksen’s Captain Commando Capcom advertisement painting original art (Capcom, c. 1980s) features one of the most iconic depictions of Capcom’s mascot at the time, Captain Commando. The image was also featured on the back of some of the biggest Capcom titles on the Nintendo Entertainment System including Strider, Duck Tales and Mega Man 2. The artist who rendered this image, Marc Ericksen, is credited with creating some of the most iconic box art of the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. After creating video game artwork for nearly four decades, Ericksen has near 150 published illustrations in the industry, 90 of which are featured on the cover of video game boxes.
Frank Cirocco S.W.A.T. Pro Magazine October-1992 cover original art (GamePro Media, 1992) features an image starring the Double Dragon boys that was displayed on the cover of GamePro magazine’s spin-off sister publication, S.W.A.T. Pro magazine. This incredible piece of original artwork was rendered in mixed media by the extremely talented comic book artist, Frank Cirocco, who is known primarily for his brilliant work on the Alien Legion sci-fi series from Marvel/Epic in the mid-1980s. However, Cirocco was also a prolific NES box illustrator and had around 15 covers under his belt. Cirocco was, in fact, the very first U.S.-based artist Nintendo employed to design its covers (instead of re-using Japanese art).
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