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The other day someone asked me what, among today’s consumer disposables, I thought would make serious money as collectables in the future. Having read about the $100,000 just taken at auction for an original Super Mario Bros game (no, I didn’t know what that was either) I would say the most iconic of computer games must be among them.

Apparently the original game came out in 1985 and was played on a Nintendo NES console (no, still no idea). The one that made a fortune at auction was a tester copy sent out to trial the game, and that is what makes it particularly desirable because the game itself was not rare at all.

What especially interests me, though, is that even when it comes to the most modern collectables, the old rules still determine value: rarity, condition etc. In this case, what added hugely to the price – as it does with toys in general – is that the game remained unopened and so in its original and undamaged packaging.

If you really want to see how far people will go to secure the ultimate rarity, consider the $87,000 paid for a Black Lotus Card from the 1993 card trading game Magic The Gathering. Only 1100 of the original version were made.