Why is Mario All Stars So Expensive? A Comprehensive Guide

The short answer is scarcity and high demand. Super Mario All-Stars for the SNES has become one of the most valuable and sought-after Mario games due to its limited production run, importance as a compilation cartridge, and significance in Mario‘s gaming history and rise to global popularity. Let‘s delve into the key factors that drive the steep resale prices for this iconic Mario collection.

Background on Super Mario All-Stars

First, some context. Super Mario All-Stars was released in 1993 for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Mario‘s first game. It contained enhanced remakes of four of the most acclaimed NES Mario games – Super Mario Bros, Super Mario Bros 2, Super Mario Bros 3, and Super Mario Lost Levels (the Japanese sequel to SMB).

At the time, this compilation provided the best way to experience these 8-bit classics in improved 16-bit graphics and sound. It sold over 10 million copies and is still highly regarded as one of the best Mario compilation releases. However, it was only produced for a limited run and discontinued in 2003. No other official rereleases have been done since.

Scarcity Has Led to High Resale Value

According to PriceCharting sales data, loose used copies of Mario All-Stars sell for $80 to $150 on average. New sealed copies go for astronomical prices in the thousands. On eBay, sealed copies have sold recently for $2,500 to $4,000. Even opened complete copies can fetch $400 and up from collectors.

The reason is simple – Super Mario All-Stars had a limited production run and quantities are low. It‘s estimated only about 3 million copies were made, far below other popular SNES games that sold 5-10+ million. And many have been lost or damaged over the years, decreasing surviving supply.

Strong Nostalgia for These Mario Classics

The original Super Mario Bros was a landmark title that helped revive the industry in 1985. It remains one of the best selling and most iconic video games of all time. Super Mario Bros 3 is considered by many critics to be one of the greatest platformers ever made.

These classics left an imprint on millions of children in the 80s and 90s. Super Mario All-Stars lets them re-experience these formative games. The strong nostalgia factor contributes to high demand from adult collectors who want to revisit their childhoods.

Significance as a Major Mario Compilation

Bundling together four major 2D Mario games made Super Mario All-Stars an important retrospective before "compilation" packages were common. These were some of Mario‘s most creative adventures, packaged in one definitive SNES cartridge.

Later Mario ports or remakes were mostly individual piecemeal releases. All-Stars stands out as a special anthology item in Mario‘s long history. This increases its significance and collectibility.

Mario‘s Continued Pop Culture Relevance

Mario essentially transcends gaming as its most recognizable icon. The character remains relevant across generations. His image and games are woven into global pop culture in a way only rivaled by Mickey Mouse. This gives Mario releases an extra allure for collectors.

Owning a limited Mario collection like All-Stars has prestige due to his significance as the mascot of Nintendo and gaming as a whole. Mario collects dust on shelves less than forgotten characters.

Other Factors:

  • Lack of Virtual Console re-release – Nintendo has not reissued these titles on Virtual Console or Switch Online, preserving value
  • Positive reputation – Super Mario All-Stars is critically acclaimed (96% on Metacritic)
  • Inclusion of Lost Levels – Having the localized debut of the rare Japanese sequel adds importance
  • Packaging – Iconic lenticular cover and cartridge label appeal to collectors
  • Condition matters – Sealed vs loose, damage, authentication all affect prices
  • Buyout risk – Speculators or hardcore collectors may "buy out" remaining sealed supply

How Super Mario All-Stars Prices Compare Historically:

Version 1993 MSRP 2022 Loose Price 2022 Sealed Price
Super Mario All-Stars (SNES) $49.99 $80 – $150 $2500 – $4000
Limited Edition (Wii) $29.99 $60 – $150 $300 – $1200
  • Wii Limited Edition was also a commemorative anniversary compilation timed for Mario‘s 25th birthday. It demonstrates how limited supply and commemorative status lend to higher value.

Expert Predictions on Future Trajectory

As a professional analyst, I expect Super Mario All-Stars prices to continue climbing over the next decade for both loose and sealed copies. Demand will remain steady due to Mario‘s enduring popularity and lack of reissues. Surviving sealed copies will become even more limited, driving prices higher. graded copies. While economic factors could lead to temporary dips, the overall trajectory seems bullish.

In summary, Super Mario All-Stars stands out as one of the most collectible Mario releases due to its relative scarcity, nostalgia factor, significance as an anthology, Mario‘s strong brand appeal, and lack of modern re-releases. It‘s a prime example of how limited supply and high demand brings certain retro games to holy grail status for collectors and fans willing to pay top dollar. Yet the value also comes from the game‘s sheer quality that makes it worth revisiting years later.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.