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The Duel: Super Mario Bros. Game vs. Holographic Charizard Card

Which of the two mint-condition gaming collectables would you choose? That is, if they weren't already sold.

Robb Report's The Duel Nintendo/The Pokémon Company

The great thing about the collecting bug is that there’s always something new to obsess over, should you wish. So here are two that might be new to you: Recently, there have been significant outlays on video games and trading cards. In the past year, a mint-condition copy of the original Super Mario Bros. sold for $2 million, while a holographic Charizard Pokémon card was auctioned for $369,000. Maybe kids and nerds aren’t the only ones hoarding this stuff after all.

Super Mario Bros. Game

Holographic Charizard Card

AUCTION DESCRIPTION

“Super Mario Bros. is hailed as the savior of the video game industry.”

AUCTION DESCRIPTION

“This irresistibly cloying ‘Charizard’ card beckons the observer through magnetic visual qualities that challenge the adequacy of verbal description.” Pfft.

CREATOR

Shigeru Miyamoto, who has referred to himself as Mario’s dad.

Robb Report's The Duel

Mario Bros. creator Shigeru Miyamoto.  Associated Press

CREATOR

Satoshi Tajiri. He collected bugs as a kid, which is a bit like collecting Pokémon cards. (Catchphrase: Gotta catch ’em all!)

Robb Report's The Duel

Pokémon Creator Satoshi Tajiri.  Courtesy of Satoshi Tajiri

AIM OF THE GAME

Jump on top of mushrooms and hurdle over obstacles until you reach a big, spiky turtle and rescue the princess.

AIM OF THE GAME

Capture a bunch of cutesy wild animals and force them to fight their kin on your behalf.

NAME COMES FROM…?

Mario Segale, who was Nintendo’s landlord in the US when it was developing the game. He berated the company’s president about overdue rent one day.

Robb Report's The Duel

Super Mario Bros. Bowser character.  Nintendo

NAME COMES FROM…?

Char + Lizard = Charizard.

Robb Report's The Duel

Pokémon Cards.  The Pokémon Company

DID IT REALLY SELL FOR THAT MUCH?

There’s been some speculation about this sale and others like it, with commentators claiming artificial inflation, citing a recent $660,000 transaction for the same game as an example.

DID IT REALLY SELL FOR THAT MUCH?

Don’t underestimate the value of Pokémon nostalgia. YouTuber Logan Paul, who recently wore his Charizard card as a necklace during his fight with Floyd Mayweather, has helped make it even more desirable.

WHO THE HECK IS BUYING THIS STUFF?

People like Antonio Romero Monteiro, who owns 20,139 video games—the largest collection in the world.

Robb Report's The Duel

Video game collector Antonio Romero Monteiro.  Courtesy of Antonio Romero Monteiro

WHO THE HECK IS BUYING THIS STUFF?

People like rapper Logic, who dropped $220,000 on one of these cards last year.

Robb Report's The Duel

Rapper Logic on stage.  Brent N. Clarke/AP

HAILS FROM

The whimsical and perpetually under-siege Mushroom Kingdom.

HAILS FROM

The mythical Kanto Region, named for the IRL area in Japan.

THEME PARK
Super Nintendo World in Osaka, Japan, where guests can meet Mario, Princess Peach and their mushroom-headed companion Toad.
THEME PARK

Opening in 2022, Pokémon Wonder is a nature walk in Tokyo where visitors try to spot various Pokémon in the forest.

LESS VALUABLE MERCH
The Italian plumber has appeared in Lego sets, Hot Wheels tracks and even Monopoly.

LESS VALUABLE MERCH

Charizard onesies are available for anyone who wants to go as a big orange lizard for Halloween. (YOLO as the kids say.)

 

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