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The Graded CIB and sealed games continuum. (Damaged sealed vs pristine CIB).


Grondorr
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Those of you who have read Wata's blog post on cross grading VGA to WATA, will recognize the chart below. Here's the post if you haven't read it. https://www.watagames.com/learn/blog/post/wata-crossovers/

I have basically taken their chart and extended it into seal conditions below C and grades below 7. I'm wondering if this makes sense to people other than me. As this chart is laid out it implies a few things:
1) No CIBs can be considered higher than an EX+ (assuming a box/manual cart perfect 10)
2) The highest practical condition for CIB would be EX-/VG+
3) An 8.0/A++ would be equivalent to a pristine CIB. (Both EX+) This would be the equivalent of a VGA 70. (maybe a 75/75+ if you are feeling particularly generous)
4) I don't really know which "no seal" column is the right one. They can't all be right. (I'm leaning towards the column just to the right of C)

1640234771_ScreenShot2020-11-30at11_09_52PM.thumb.png.6a63f144024cc4bbcfe22d038ba0cbb6.png

Edited by Grondorr
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  • The title was changed to The Graded CIB and sealed games continuum. (Damaged sealed vs pristine CIB).
Member · Posted
16 hours ago, Grondorr said:

Those of you who have read Wata's blog post on cross grading VGA to WATA, will recognize the chart below. Here's the post if you haven't read it. https://www.watagames.com/learn/blog/post/wata-crossovers/

I have basically taken their chart and extended it into seal conditions below C and grades below 7. I'm wondering if this makes sense to people other than me. As this chart is laid out it implies a few things:
1) No CIBs can be considered higher than an EX+ (assuming a box/manual cart perfect 10)
2) The highest practical condition for CIB would be EX-/VG+
3) An 8.0/A++ would be equivalent to a pristine CIB. (Both EX+) This would be the equivalent of a VGA 70. (maybe a 75/75+ if you are feeling particularly generous)
4) I don't really know which "no seal" column is the right one. They can't all be right. (I'm leaning towards the column just to the right of C)

1640234771_ScreenShot2020-11-30at11_09_52PM.thumb.png.6a63f144024cc4bbcfe22d038ba0cbb6.png

Counterpoints:

1. If a CIB has perfect contents (all 10s), then technically it’s either mint or near mint, EX+ wouldn’t make sense.

2. No reason why a CIB can’t be near mint.

3. A VGA 8.0A++ implies a perfect seal, with a damaged box. Therefore this can’t be the same score as a pristine CIB (by definition, has a perfect/undamaged box).

4. With NS, no reason why they can’t go up to near mint or mint, if they’ve left the factory and is untampered with.

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  • 2 months later...

Counter-counterpoints:
1) A CIB can't have all 10s. From what I've been reading, a 10 box means that it's never been opened, which means it should be impossible to know the condition of the contents. Also the seal would have a 0, so ... ????
2) Well, in WATA, they consider the seal a separate grade, but if you were to go with a singular grade, a game without a seal, that was originally sold sealed, can't be NM, as it's missing a major component of the retail item.
3) While it's not the same condition, as a singular grade stops being able to fully convey everything once you start dropping down the scale.
4) Presuming NS Mint would mean a game that never shipped with a seal. I am fine with this being Mint, but if the game was sold sealed and it lost the seal over time, if trying to map to a singular score/grade, it should take a significant hit. (I don't think the community is of one mind though.)

A few further thoughts:
1) It probably doesn't make sense to try and put CIB and sealed on the same scale, as it's really two distinct hobbies, but at the same time I do feel that WATA cases/grades tend to obscure the fact a game is missing its seal.
2) We shouldn't ignore the seal. All else being equal, having the seal fully intact and in great condition, is a major differentiator.
3) On the other hand, comic book collectors might argue otherwise, as it seems that books aren't allowed to be graded if they still have their factory seal intact. (Of course unlike video games, the norm for comic books is to sell them unsealed, with only a few oddball books coming sealed, so it might not be a good analogy.)
4) Apparently vinyl collectors are in the two sealed/unsealed camps as well. Sealed collectors who don't play the records and pay more, and open collectors who buy them to play, or to just get less expensive copies.

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1 hour ago, Grondorr said:

2) Well, in WATA, they consider the seal a separate grade, but if you were to go with a singular grade, a game without a seal, that was originally sold sealed, can't be NM, as it's missing a major component of the retail item.

Go take a look at the 9.2 (or whichever grade it was) game that was completely missing its hangtab. I would think the hangtab is much more integral than the cellophane but not according to Wata.

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2 hours ago, Grondorr said:

Counter-counterpoints:
1) A CIB can't have all 10s. From what I've been reading, a 10 box means that it's never been opened, which means it should be impossible to know the condition of the contents. Also the seal would have a 0, so ... ????
2) Well, in WATA, they consider the seal a separate grade, but if you were to go with a singular grade, a game without a seal, that was originally sold sealed, can't be NM, as it's missing a major component of the retail item.
3) While it's not the same condition, as a singular grade stops being able to fully convey everything once you start dropping down the scale.
4) Presuming NS Mint would mean a game that never shipped with a seal. I am fine with this being Mint, but if the game was sold sealed and it lost the seal over time, if trying to map to a singular score/grade, it should take a significant hit. (I don't think the community is of one mind though.)

A few further thoughts:
1) It probably doesn't make sense to try and put CIB and sealed on the same scale, as it's really two distinct hobbies, but at the same time I do feel that WATA cases/grades tend to obscure the fact a game is missing its seal.
2) We shouldn't ignore the seal. All else being equal, having the seal fully intact and in great condition, is a major differentiator.
3) On the other hand, comic book collectors might argue otherwise, as it seems that books aren't allowed to be graded if they still have their factory seal intact. (Of course unlike video games, the norm for comic books is to sell them unsealed, with only a few oddball books coming sealed, so it might not be a good analogy.)
4) Apparently vinyl collectors are in the two sealed/unsealed camps as well. Sealed collectors who don't play the records and pay more, and open collectors who buy them to play, or to just get less expensive copies.

I think it’s commendable that you’re being a lateral thinker and trying to squish the types of entities into the one spectrum. I think it would make more sense though if you’re validating the worth of a game and putting them up in a spectrum.

With the 2 formats (CIB and sealed), they are for different lovers of different contents. Sealed collecting is about the box and the seal, whereas CIB collecting is about the box and the inside contents. I can speak on behalf of both groups of collecting because I’m a hybrid CIB/sealed collector. 

When a mint CIB is brand new and was never factory sealed, then it’s the best state a CIB can be. When a CIB was originally a factory sealed and the seal was broken off, then it might turn off a sealed collector, but would still be a potential turn on for CIB lovers. Ultimately, how you grade a box is dependent on its overall condition, and not whether it came with a seal or without.

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6 hours ago, GPX said:

When a mint CIB is brand new and was never factory sealed, then it’s the best state a CIB can be.

But it's also going to be in the best state any copy of that game can be in. It's in some heisenberg state between sealed and CIB. I think that other than the nagging doubt that a game hasn't been tampered with, most sealed collectors would consider something that's never been opened and didn't come with a seal, as equivalent to sealed (case fresh). Especially if they get it graded and the grading company doesn't riffle through the pristine contents. (not sure how to assure this other than send it in with the case and special instructions.)

Overall I have to give it more thought, but I definitely see that a trashed copy of a game that still has a seal intact should be worth less than a pristine CIB, but where that crossover happens, I'm still exploring. (I think it will prove to be situationally dependent, with a few more variables needing to be thrown into the mix.

At the end of the day, there are way more game collectors than sealed copies of key titles, so CIB collecting has to expand and evolve as a hobby, especially if HA is going to be able to justify to their shareholders their huge investment attempting to turn game collecting into a big new business line for their company. (There needs to be enough "product" to keep the auctions flowing.)

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