Highest-graded copy of 'Sonic the Hedgehog' to reach market rolls up to Heritage Auctions

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Highest-graded copy of 'Sonic the Hedgehog' to reach market rolls up to Heritage Auctions
Sonic the Hedgehog - Wata 9.8 A+ Sealed [Made in Japan, Early Production], Genesis Sega 1991 USA.

DALLAS, TX.- Given the assertion that many collectors pursue what they enjoyed during childhood, it is no surprise that an exceptionally high-grade copy of the highest-selling Sega Genesis game stands as one of the centerpieces in Heritage Auctions' Video Games Signature® Auction April 22-23.

The event includes two Friday Signature® Floor Sessions, starting at 4 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. (Central Time), and continues with a Signature® Internet Session at 4 p.m. Saturday.

A spectacular copy of Sonic the Hedgehog - Wata 9.8 A+ Sealed [Made in Japan, Early Production], Genesis Sega 1991 USA is the highest-graded copy — from the earliest production run or any production run, for that matter — of the game ever offered at Heritage Auctions. The game featuring Sega's furry blue mascot had few rivals when it came to popularity. With more than 15 million copies sold since it was released in 1991, Sonic ranks alongside a cast of video game icons like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Lara Croft as one of the most recognizable video games characters ever created.

The chance to land a near-perfect copy of this game is undeniably rare. However, this magnificent game is not alone in its remarkable level of appeal. The event features nearly 400 lots of in-demand games for collectors.

"Our team carefully curated this auction to include only the best vintage video games our venue currently has to offer," Heritage Auctions Video Games Director Valarie McLeckie said. "We recognize that part of the appeal of collecting for many is that it's an activity people enjoy, and we want the spirit of our auctions to be reflective of that. With this in mind, we only included the highest-value and most exciting games we could choose."

"The latter was especially challenging because we tend to get excited by many games! Regardless, I'm proud to say this may end up being the most exceptional lineup of games we've ever offered at one time. We expect this to be one of the most engaging events in vintage video game collecting this spring and hope collectors of every level will tune in to watch to experience the excitement of the event firsthand."

Also up for grabs is the highest-graded standard release copy of Mario Kart 64 - Wata 9.6 A++ Sealed, N64 Nintendo 1996 USA ever offered at public auction. This version sometimes is referred to as the "red label" version, an indication of an earlier production run of the game before it sold 1 million copies and earned the "Player's Choice" emblem. This game is the second installment in the iconic Mario Kart series.

Metroid - Wata 9.4 A+ Sealed [Hangtab, No Rev-A, First Production], NES Nintendo 1987 USA is easily the highest-graded copy Heritage ever has offered, and it also happens to be from the game's first production run. Wata has only graded six sealed copies of this variant as of its November 2021 population report, and only one has graded higher, and copies with this particular packaging feature are prized among serious Nintendo collectors. Variant rarity aside, Metroid is one of the most celebrated franchises to get its start on the NES console, and it also marks the first appearance of Samus Aran — the first playable Nintendo female protagonist. This game helped inspire the creation of a genre that can only be described as "Metroidvania," a portmanteau of "Metroid" and "Castlevania."

Among the top PlayStation games in the sale is Rayman - Wata 9.6 A++ Sealed [Jewel Longbox, Early Production], PS1 Ubisoft 1995 USA. The game might be a port of the 1995 Atari Jaguar game, but this PS1 version is in which the colorfully animated game and title character truly gained fame. This copy marks the first time Heritage Auctions ever has offered a factory-sealed copy of Rayman's hard-to-find longbox release. Collectors who have sought to complete a longbox set have said this is one of the most elusive titles. The offered copy, according to Wata notes, includes an "EGM Game of the Month Sticker."

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

• The Legend of Zelda - Wata 9.2 A+ Sealed [Rev-A Round SOQ, Mid-Production], NES Nintendo 1987 USA

• John Madden Football - Wata 9.6 A+ Sealed [Clamshell, Promotional Copy], Genesis Electronic Arts 1990 USA

• Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - Wata 9.6 A Sealed [Clamshell, Early Production], Genesis Sega 1994 USA

• Mario Kart 64 - Wata 9.4 A+ Sealed, N64 Nintendo 1996 USA

• Tomb Raider - Wata 9.4 A+ Sealed [Pixel ESRB, Sony Security Label, First Production], PS1 Eidos 1996 USA

• Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - Wata 9.8 A+ Sealed [Oval SOQ TM], NES Ultra 1989 USA

• John Madden Football - Wata 9.6 A+ Sealed [Made in Japan], SNES EASN 1991 USA

• Super Star Wars - Wata 9.6 A+ Sealed [Made in Japan, First Production], SNES JVC 1992 USA (28105)

• ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron - Wata 9.8 A Sealed, Genesis Sega 1993 USA

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