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Graded CIB with "Replacement Cases"

Gulag Joe

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1 hour ago, Hammerfestus said:

You mean CIB PS1 with the jewel case swapped out?

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Yeah, this was my immediate thought when I heard about CIB grading.  Especially when you take the time to get another case from the same publisher and year of release.  There would be no way to detect a case swap but, to be fair, if you had something like an SNES or N64 game and did your research, you could replace a tray and who would know the difference so long as you got an appropriate one from the right era.

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I think its tough to compare swapping a jewel case with a reproduction cardboard box. If the PS1 jewel case had some type of unique marking (like NGCD games), then you'd have a pretty solid point. 

AFAIK there's not a good way to tell if the jewel case was swapped with another PS1 game, DC game, CD etc. (though I do know current aftermarket jewel cases are much flimsier in their build)


All that said, I really don't see why many people would (should?) grade CIB PS1 jewel case games unless it's one of the jewel case variants or one of the very few high-end titles. 

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13 minutes ago, Gulag Joe said:


It is a common practice.   Nobody keeps their Symphony of the Night or Einhander or whatever in that beat to hell case.  Usually they are just swapped out for the cases from goodwill music cds.  Certain publishers will have slight variations on the manual clips configuration.  I’ve never worried about it.  Double discs are a bit more complicated.  Luckily those usually come completely apart so you can actually swap out individual elements.  

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I've not done a thorough analysis, but I have looked into this and paid close attention.  As @Hammerfestus the clip placement is different from case to case, and even the Compact Disc logo that's pressed into it isn't always in the same location.  Early on in my collecting, I did try to swap out component pieces of a standard case.  There are three.  The small pegs on the back piece that holds the game and the back-insert in place are often quite variable.  Placement can be off by about a millimeter (which is a bigger issue than it sounds) and even the nubs aren't all the same size.  This is also two for the bigger nubs that are used to make the hinge.  Some of those nubs are like flat cylinders while others have a tapering to make assembling of the case easier.

Those are all minor details, but if you try to piece together one gem mint case, you'll have a tough time doing it unless you get a case from the same publisher from about the same time.  It wouldn't surprise me that across the life time of the PS1, there's possibly 20 different clear, single-disc cases or potentially more.  At a glance, they all look the same but when you get the micrometer out, they are different, and when the differences are noticeable, I think that's when people could start getting agitated with case swaps and grading.  Of course, they have to think to be aware of it and to be honest, I don't think most collectors, even the new breed with really deep pockets, care that much about these clear cases.

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There is no database for tracking specific jewel case types to specific PS1 games.  Assuming that the replacement case has the Compact Disc log on it, 99% of the time, it will be impossible to tell the difference between an original and a replacement.  On top of that, we've seen that WATA's "expertise" seems to drop off the further away you get from the NES era.  So I would absolutely not trust them to confirm whether a jewel case is original or not.

The only exception I can think of would be for double CD jewel cases that only held one game.  The left side of the case that would not hold a disc had a special insert in the jewel case that replaced the spindle that would normally hold the game with a PlayStation logo.  I have yet to ever see replacements for these.  If this part is missing, you can be sure that it's a replacement (at least on that specific part).  But this exception makes up a pretty small percentage of PS1 games.



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Graphics Team · Posted
On 2/21/2022 at 2:18 PM, Gulag Joe said:

That foam block isn't a part of the overall Wata CIB grade


On 2/21/2022 at 2:46 PM, Gloves said:

If you send a game in without any foam block at all, would that impact the grade? Seems kind of odd.


On 2/21/2022 at 3:07 PM, CodysGameRoom said:

Just another reason WATA is a bunch of amateurs. They need FOAM BLOCK EXPERTS to get in there and really analyze if the foam block is TRULY an original or a FALSE REPRODUCTION.  


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