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This NES Legend of Zelda cartridge is selling for more than $100,000

This particular cartridge was only produced for a few of months in 1987.

Legend of zelda on nes
Image: KnowTechie

Old-school video games have become very desirable collectibles over the last few years. Now, one NES cartridge from 1987 has been listed on an auction website for sale. The current bid? $110,000.

We’ve all been made aware of the massive Pokémon craze over the last couple of years, with Charizards and Pikachus selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars. But many people may not realize how sought-after old-school video games have become in the collectible world, and this NES cartridge is a prime example.

The cartridge in question is a sealed copy of the original The Legend of Zelda for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in 1987. According to the auction listing, this particular copy of the game is considered rare because the production of this variant, the “NES R” variant, only ran for a few months. The auction listing has this to say about the rarity of this particular game:

Of all of the games we’ve offered in our auctions, this sealed, early production copy of the first game in the groundbreaking Legend of Zelda series is no doubt the apotheosis of rarity, cultural significance, and collection centerpieces…Only one other variant precedes the offered “NES R” variant and that is the “NES TM” variant, which is the true first production run. However, it is also widely believed that only a single sealed “NES TM” example exists.

As of today, July 6, the current bid for this cartridge is $110,000 with three days left to enter a bid. While this is a very incredible price, it doesn’t look like this copy of The Legend of Zelda will go down as the record holder. Just a few months ago, a copy of Super Mario Bros. for the NES sold for a whopping $660,000.

It’s no real surprise that these games are becoming popular as collectible items. People that experienced them throughout their childhood are beginning to reach their financial prime.

These old-school games are very nostalgic for these people, making them perfect as collectibles. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if we start seeing more and more NES and other old-school games in good shape selling for this kind of money.

UPDATE 7/9/2021 2:04 PM EST: It sold for $870,000 at Heritage Auctions, breaking the previous record for the most expensive game ever sold.

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Staff writer at KnowTechie. Alex has two years of experience covering all things technology, from video games to electric cars. He's a gamer at heart, with a passion for first-person shooters and expansive RPGs. Shoot him an email at

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