How to Spot Fake Sealed Classic Video Games

You might remember my interview and store tour with Jason from Trade N Games (based in St. Louis, MO area) (See our interview here).  Well anyway, I wanted to share an extra video segment from that day where he shared his thoughts on sealed games and how you can spot fake sealed games in the wild.   I also thought I’d round up some other tips to share with you in case you are on the lookout for sealed games.

Sealed Game Tips from the Video

  • For Sega Genesis games: Only sealed with a seam on the top and bottom – no side seams because they were sealed in a tube of plastic.
  • NES: real factory sealed games have a side seam and a very straight and equal horizontal line (perpendicular with the side seam)  that goes across the back
  • Don’t go based on just the hang-tag — fake ones can be easily added
  • If paint has worn away on the fold of of the box lid, you can tell it has been opened before (look for touch-up of paint on the fold as well)

Additional NES Tips from Expert eBay Seller

  • eBay seller, skcin08 has some great NES tips that you can read in more detail on his eBay post, but here are some excerpts
  • “Check the hang tab. The hangtab used to hang most NES games is a “D” style hang tab, measuring 2 inches wide and 1.75 inches high. Often times the part of the hang tab that is stuck to the shrink wrap is slightly discolored, yet oddly enough, the rest of the tab is usually still clear. “
  • “Price tags. Some legitimate factory sealed games have price tags on them, but resealers sometimes will add their own price tags onto the shrinkwrap. If the price tag looks old and discolored due to age, chances are it is a legit factory sealed game. Also, where is the price tag from? Generic white price guns can be purchased on eBay for around $15 shipped, but price tags from major retailers are not easy, and generally not worth the time, to reproduce. If a game has a price tag from a major retailer such as Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, etc., it is likely factory sealed.”

Additional Tips from Racketboy Forum Members

  • If the price is too good to be true, it normally is
  • Look for signs of aging (yellowing, brittleness, texture, and odor) in the plastic of a shrink-wrapped vintage game.
  • does it look like it was done with cheap plastic and a hair dryer or by a machine? And the older it is, the more likely it should exhibit some some wear and tear. I’d be more dubious about a perfectly preserved 2600 game than a good condition sealed copy of Madden 64.
  • Disc based games are not sealed in shrink wrap like old cart games where. They are in cellophane that’s folded and glued at the top and bottom.
  • I normally just examine the quality of the wrapping. I’ve seen some really neat reseals but its never as thick plastic as a factory seal and they never ever have a tear strip.
  • Also for PS1 games in jewel cases, the presence of a top seal sticker does not guarantee that it has never been opened. It is easy to pop the bottom hinge and get the case open and get at the contents. I usually do this since it makes it easier to peel the seal off new audio CDs in one piece. You muse see the seal and the folded cellophane wrap both.

Do You Have Any Tips?

Do you have any additional tips on how to spot fake sealed games (or know of other links that have good info?)  Share them in the comments below!


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