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How do you open a sealed NES game without damaging it?


m308gunner
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I would usually just use my fingernail in the opening of the top flap to remove the seal.  Opening the box itself, that's a bit trickier.  If you're planning on keeping the game in the box when you're not playing it, then just plain don't worry about it, because you'll be stressing every time you go to play the game.  If you're storing your carts separate from the boxes, Joner's idea should work fine.

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Never worried too much about damaging a sealed game when opening it since the simple act of opening the flap damages the box by a little.

But If I had to "professionally" open it, I would buy a nice sharp letter opener (the ones that look like a dagger) ... or a little more ghetto, a simple metal nail file.

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3 minutes ago, ThePhleo said:

Never worried too much about damaging a sealed game when opening it since the simple act of opening the flap damages the box by a little.

But If I had to "professionally" open it, I would buy a nice sharp letter opener (the ones that look like a dagger) ... or a little more ghetto, a simple metal nail file.

Yup, that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid. That little crease in the main flap.

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4 minutes ago, m308gunner said:

Yup, that's exactly what I'm trying to avoid. That little crease in the main flap.

I had a sealed Sachen game, and I wanted to open it to scan it into my computer...when I did the scan, I noticed there were purple little flakes ALL OVER THE GLASS. The ink itself just jumped off the box!

Now, QC is terrible at Sachen. But I have to imagine the same is happening a little on licensed boxes.

I wonder if heating up the box would help lessen the damage though? Probably not.

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13 minutes ago, m308gunner said:

So would that be inserting the butter knife down the front over the main flap or into the side at the top? 

You want to lift it up from the sides. One side at a time. I just use the exacto knife as I already used it to cut the seal but a knife works as well. I do this in all of my videos if you want to see how.

*cough* channel plug *cough*

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH2OtZzlJtHLagtqjPzjhEw

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41 minutes ago, austin532 said:

You want to lift it up from the sides. One side at a time. I just use the exacto knife as I already used it to cut the seal but a knife works as well. I do this in all of my videos if you want to see how.

*cough* channel plug *cough*

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH2OtZzlJtHLagtqjPzjhEw

Thank you, that was a nice informative YOU CUT INTO THE TOP OF THE FRICKIN' ABADOX BOX YOU MONSTER MY GOD HOW COULD YOU BE SO AHHH AHHH AHHH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! -additional incoherent railing and shaking fist at screen while cradling own copy of Abadox-

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Administrator · Posted
51 minutes ago, austin532 said:

You want to lift it up from the sides. One side at a time. I just use the exacto knife as I already used it to cut the seal but a knife works as well. I do this in all of my videos if you want to see how.

*cough* channel plug *cough*

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCH2OtZzlJtHLagtqjPzjhEw

The opening jingle on your video is from the NES Sesame Street games. Well played.

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A pen knife is ideal for removing the plastic wrap, but a box cutter also works just fine. I remove the plastic wrap completely, but if you want to keep it in place, you need to be very precise with your cut along the top flap to avoid box damage. One recommendation would be to use something very small, such as a pin, to punch several sequential holes in the plastic between the top flap and the front of the box. This gives you a place to insert a one-sided blade with the sharp edge angled up to complete the cut.

The key to opening the top flap is to approach from the sides. Slide a thin, sturdy object (such as a thin letter opener or the blade of a knife) under the top flap from one of the sides, then lift straight up. DO NOT ROTATE, JUST LIFT. If the flap doesn't lift easily, do the same thing on the other side to make the elevation symmetric and prevent a bend. Your fingers should be able to do the rest.

I've opened dozens of new games and never damaged a box flap with this method.

Edited by DoctorEncore
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1 hour ago, m308gunner said:

Thank you, that was a nice informative YOU CUT INTO THE TOP OF THE FRICKIN' ABADOX BOX YOU MONSTER MY GOD HOW COULD YOU BE SO AHHH AHHH AHHH AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! -additional incoherent railing and shaking fist at screen while cradling own copy of Abadox-

Almost but not quite. Exacto knifes are very sharp so it's easier said that done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've opened up sealed stuff on rare occasion over the last less than decade things got crazy.  It's best to have an adjustable x-acto knife where you can just barely slide the tip of it out, and then the classic butter knife.  The blade you can take along the top side where the box has an opening anyway carefully as you'll be least likely to slice the box itself.  You can then carefully pull the cellophane away however you want, as much as you like (perhaps just pop the top for protection still?), and then butter knife the flap so cardboard isn't creased.  That's about as good as it can get as you can still end up flaking or whatever the fold itself from flap to box top in back just from the act of opening it given the age.

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The shrinkwrap will have a place where it connects from one side to the other and leaves this little coarse texture of sorts, a place where the shrinkwrap is "assembled" so to speak. Use your nails between 2 fingers and then rip at it until it pokes, after that you can just pull of the seal and the box will remain by itself.

You can probably use some knife/boxcutter/needle for this aswell just make sure that you've pierced the collected shrinkwrap mush and then make pulls outward angle from the box so as to not stab it and cause damage.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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