austin532 457 Member · Posted October 28, 2019 Share Posted October 28, 2019 (edited) I guess I'll start. I've been collecting complete NES games since the late 90's and I've always been picky about making sure the games are as close to brand new as possible. Meaning I like them to have all the original items that were included when they were brand new. I definitely feel like I am in the Top 10 OCD collector's when it comes to this but I wouldn't be surprised if others are worse off than me. Also note that this information mostly applies to licensed games. Alright, down the rabbit hole we go: BACK LABEL (Gold) Label 1 - Summer 1987 - Spring 1988 Label 2 - Spring 1988 - Summer 1988 (rare) Label 3 - Summer 1988 - Winter 1988/89 Label 4 - Winter 1988/89 - Summer 1992 Label 5 - Summer 1992 - Winter 1993/94 Label 6 - Winter 1993/94 - Winter 1994/95 Label 7 - January 1993 ("Overlord" only) (Special thanks to OxDEAFC0DE for finding about this one) BOXES There are only 3 different styles of the regular sized boxes: 1. Paperboard which is used for the majoroty of games. 2. Cheaper white Paperboard is used for games not manufactured in Japan as well as Unlicensed games. These are more flimsy and are more susceptible to damage. 3. Athletic World Round Seal with flap on bottom. There are 5 different games that came in big boxes: 1. Arkanoid 2. Gyromite 3. Miracle Piano Teaching System 4. Stack-Up 5. Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? FOLD OUT POSTERS/PAMPHLETS All Nintendo published NES games came with a poster, fold out, pamphlet, whatever you want to call it showing the more popular games that you were able to buy at the store. 1985 - R.O.B. Poster (The Nintendo Game Plan) Lasted from Fall 1985 to about Summer of 1986 1986 - R.O.B. Poster (The Nintendo Game Plan) Lasted from Summer 1986 to about Fall of 1987 1987 - R.O.B. Poster (Now You're Playing With Power.) Lasted from Fall 1987 to about Summer 1988 1988 - (Now You're Playing With Power!) Lasted from Summer 1988 to about Fall of 1989 1989 - (Now You're Playing With Power!) Lasted from Fall 1989 to about Summer of 1990 1990 - 4PL-NES-USA (4 Player Game) Lasted from Summer to about Fall - 4PL-NES-USA-1 (4 Player Game) Lasted from Fall to about Winter - GP-NES-USA (Now You're Playing With Power) Lasted from Summer 1990 to about Summer 1992 1992 - GP-NES-USA-1 (Classic Action Classic Challenges) Lasted from Summer 1992 to about Summer of 1993 1993 - GP-NES-USA-2 (Classic Action Classic Challenges) Lasted from Summer 1993 to Winter 1994 NINTENDO POWER SUBSCRIPTION INSERTS All officially licensed games came with a Nintendo Power subscription insert starting in 1988 and would vary from year to year. 1987 - Nintendo Fun Club (Free Membership!) Lasted from Summer to about Winter - Nintendo Fun Club REV-1 (Free Membership!) Lasted from Winter 1987 to about Summer 1988 1988 - PMG-US (Introducing Nintendo Power) Lasted from Summer 1988 to about Spring 1989 1989 - PMG-PT-USA (Super Mario Bros 2.) - PMG-QU-USA (Castlevania II) - PMG-VR-USA (Track & Field II) - PMG-MW-USA (Zelda II) All 4 inserts are random and lasted from Spring 1989 to about Spring of 1990 1990 - PMG-AA-USA (Becky Delong) - PMG-BB-USA (Jamie Clark) - PMG-CC-USA (Jeff Benson) - PMG-DD-USA (Marty Ramirez) All 4 inserts are random and lasted from Spring 1990 to about Summer 1990 - PMG-USA (Nintendo Power Dude) Lasted from Summer 1990 to about Spring 1991 1991 - PMG-USA-1 (Danger!!!) Lasted from Spring 1991 to about Spring 1992 1992 - GP-NES-USA (Ultimate One-Up!) Lasted from Spring 1992 to about Summer 1993 1993 - GP-NES-USA-1 (Woah!) Lasted from Summer 1993 to Winter 1994 PLASTIC BAGS As far as I know there are only 4 different plastic bag designs: 1. Standard design with small hole in the middle 2. Standard design with bigger hole in the middle 3. Special design bag with huge hole in it which was exclusive to both gold cart Zelda games. This was so the gold would shine through the shrinkwrap better. 4. Cheaper quality bag with small ridges on the top that came with games not manufactured in Japan. Acclaim, LJN, Virgin, etc. PRECAUTION BOOKLETS Most games released between 1992-1994 came with a fold out Precaution Booklet: 1. NES-USA/CAN-1 (1992-1993) First prints of these were actually stapled. 2. NES-USA/CAN-2 (1993-1994) 3. NES-USA/CAN-3 (1994) PRINT DATES Starting sometime in 1988, boxes and manuals now had what's known as print dates. They appear on the right tab of the box as well as the last page of the manual in the bottom right corner. These consist of 5 digit numbers which translate to: Y/MM/DD so for example 81222 means it was printed on 1988 December 22. Also for chip dates most are printed as a four digit code. So for example 9017 translates into 1990 Week 17. There are 52 weeks in a year so week 17 would be April 23rd - 29th. Some chips however are more cryptic and require some work to translate. (Special thanks to the VGS members for finding out about this one.)SEAL OF QUALITY There are two different Nintendo Seal of Quality seals: 1. Original first print games from October 1985 - February 1989 had the Round Seal 2. Games from March 1989 - December 1994 had the Oval Seal. SHRINKWRAP At least 3 styles of shrinkwrap: 1. Almost all officially licensed games have what's known as a y-fold horizontal seam on the back. 2. Very few third party games are known to not have the traditional horizontal seam. 3. Cheaper made shrinkwrap for games not manufactured in Japan. Has a vertical overlap seal as well as seams all around the box. SLEEVES All Nintendo published games had the Nintendo sleeve. All third party licensed games had a plain black sleeve. It's possible some other companies may have used Nintendo sleeves as well but we need more info on this. There are actually 3 different types of sleeves for both Nintendo and Third Party: 1. Nintendo sleeve with smooth cracked design (All games released between 1985-1990) 2. Nintendo sleeve with a textured design (All games released between 1990-1993) 3. Nintendo sleeve with a textured design but the logo is shiny (All games released between 1993-1994) 1. Black sleeve with smooth cracked design (All games released between 1986-1991) 2. Black sleeve with a textured design (All games released between 1991-1994) 3. Black sleeve with a very rough texture and cheap feel to it. These came with the few licensed games not manufactured in Japan by Nintendo like Overlord, Wizards & Warriors III, and Terminator 2 for example. (1991-1993?) Need help with these releases dates. The sleeves got thinner and softer each year as well. For example the original Black Box games sleeves from 1985 feel hard and stiff compared to later ones. I've been doing this for so long now I can almost tell which sleeve goes to which year just by the feel of it. STICKER SEALS There are at least two different sticker seals: 1. Original first print Black Box games had a matte sticker seal 2. Later print Black Box games had a glossy sticker seal STYROFOAM PIECES There are at least 5 different types of Styrofoam pieces: 1. Original design which used bigger polystyrene beads 2. Original design which used smaller polystyrene beads 3. Cheaper design with a very rough texture feel to it. These came with the few licensed games not manufactured in Japan. 4. Much thinner and is slightly blue looking in color (All games that came with the tall SNES style manuals) 5. Custom sized one for Monster in my Pocket so that the included figure could fit. Also did you know there is a correct way to insert the styrofoam? Look for the side that has marks that look like a n or u design. Turn it to where it looks like a n, then flip it upside down and slide it into the box. That mark is caused by the two tabs at the bottom of the box. (I told you I was OCD with this) 6. It is now confirmed that some games like Captain Planet actually came with a hollowed out cardboard piece instead of styrofoam. Not much is known about this and needs more research. WARNING SHEETS Most games starting around 1989 started coming with warning sheets, there are: 1. Gray Epilepsy Sheet - NES-DOC-USA (1989) 2. Pink Caution Sheet - Not a whole lot is known about these yet as they were available for a very brief time. (1989-1990?) 3. Yellow Rear Projector TV Sheet - NES-RPTV-USA (1990) 4. Gray Epilepsy Sheet - same as 1989 (1991) 5. Gray Epilepsy Sheet - same as 1989 (1992) 6. Gray Epilepsy Sheet - NES-DOC-USA/CAN (1993) I'm not sure why some games have this and some have the Precaution Booklet. MISC. SIDE NOTES 1. Most first print Nintendo published games from 1988 did not have the seal of quality on the cart label. 2. Most games from 1990 and after seem to have a matching 5 digit number on the right tab of the box and on the last page of the manual. 3. All boxes that say Rev. A indicate that the game is a 3 screw or 3 security bit type. 4. Just like the Nintendo Power inserts, some of these items listed above would carry over to the early next year. 5. Some games had multiple variants and include a -1,-2, or * next to the game code. 6. All games released during and after summer 1992 now had a new back label which was now in English and French with the code NES-USA/CAN. 7. Most games from 93-94 used what appear to be galvanized screws instead of nickel plated screws to hold the cart together. I think that about covers it for now. If I am missing some things please let me know. *All of the information provided in this guide may not be reproduced, displayed on any website, or distributed publicly under any circumstance without my permission* Edited April 19, 2020 by austin532 8 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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