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So let me ask you as a collector...


the tall guy
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So here goes, might as well broach this subject.  At what point does level of damage completely wreck desirability?  Obviously the game itself needs to function, and the manual be readable, but I'm thinking more of boxes.  

I recently picked up a few boxes I needed for my NES collection and the condition is wrecked.  I'll be adding a picture.  At the same time though, is it not better than a naked cart?  For me, I'm alright with it, but I tend to feel something is better than nothing.

 

What are your thoughts?

IMG_20190923_230131829.jpg

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First and foremost I am a cart collector, primarily to play the game. Clean pins and a functional game are my absolute priority, with cart and label condition as a secondary aspect. However, I wouldn't buy a game with a totally fucked up label, or with too much rust and dirt all up in there, so it does effect my decisions to an extent. Better condition is always better, but I do have some yellowed and marginally sun faded games in my collection nonetheless.

When it comes to boxes, I'm kinda the same way. Better is better, but I am willing to put up with significant wear on boxes, as long as the overall appeal is good enough. For example, I wouldn't buy a boxed game that was totally faded or destroyed in some way across the front to ruin the box art. But, banged up edges, a little crushing here and there, some tears on the sides, not an issue for me.

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i wish i had kept a picture but i remember getting this absolutely trashed copy of tecmo super bowl for a contest, and the label was almost destroyed, the cart itself was falling apart, at that point i should have thrown it out but i needed it for the contest and then later it broke and i couldn't get it working again.

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Ow, those poor boxes. Well...it's your collection so whatever you feel ok with. I have a LoZ: MM box for the N64 that has pieces missing from it. I'm not too bugged by it since it's a CIB copy. I have it in a plastic protective box so it gives it some support and makes it look nicer then it really is. You might look into getting some of those boxes for your...boxes lol. They really do make them look nice.

I also have some nasty labels on some carts...I got them because they're going to be my "playing condition" copy vs my "collectors condition" copy. But I'm weird and crazy going for two copies of every NES/SNES/N64 game so...

I guess the stuff I personally pass up? Is when it's really nasty. Like the cartridge itself has been broken or it smells horrible, or there's obvious mold on something. Sometimes stuff can't be saved...as sad as that is.

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1 minute ago, Gloves said:

I've upgraded a couple boxes from lower condition ones I had previously for sure. I really like when things are clean and crisp. 

You promised me you would devour EVO's box on stream and have not followed through on your promise. I guess you don't like that tastey  cardboard anymore?

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I do have some box protectors! I've got over 500 of them, I just need to get some more (like, another 25 currently).  

Upgrading is definitely not a bad idea, but honestly I don't buy on eBay and I rarely run into boxes locally.  At the same time, I can't help feeling that some box is better than no box.

How do you keep track of what you need to upgrade?  Keep a list?

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Oh man, those boxes are pretty awesome.

In general I think most boxes can be made to look decent when put into a protector and on a shelf. The key to that being true is that you would need the spine to look decent enough, which might not be the case on those one. 

In my opinion any box is better than no box. But based on those ones, once I found upgrades I prolly would just give them to a friend that can use them, since I find it hard to sell horrible condition boxes.

I wish I knew were I packed away 2 NES boxes I picked up a few years back in a large manual lot. They are missing a huge corner of each of the boxes. Basically looks like a dog took a bite out of them.

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3 minutes ago, the tall guy said:

I do have some box protectors! I've got over 500 of them, I just need to get some more (like, another 25 currently).  

Upgrading is definitely not a bad idea, but honestly I don't buy on eBay and I rarely run into boxes locally.  At the same time, I can't help feeling that some box is better than no box.

How do you keep track of what you need to upgrade?  Keep a list?

Well for me, I use MyGameCollection app for Android. In it there's an option to make "labels". I put conditions in those labels, like if something is missing a manual or has a nasty label...that sort of thing. And physically, for my disc based games at least...I put all my non black labels up at the beginning of each consoles library. So all my player choices are lined up at the start so I can see what I need to replace. It also helps cut down on the unmatchingness of my libraries. And that's easier on the eyes lol.

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If it was me, I would probably stick those boxes into a box protector, just to give them some shape and uniformity (not to protect them).  I've found those shiny protectors really do polish up the worst offenders.  Use, damage, and wear are character to a physical object.  I rather like it, and am trying to embrace that for my own collection.

Edited by epiclotus
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I agree that something is better than nothing. As a general rule, if I don't have it in my collection and it's a good find at say a flea market or a garage sale, I will pick it up. Then, later on, once I have finished my collection (either a complete library, or whatever I have decided to be my goal for that system) I will go back and upgrade as I feel necessary. That said, if a game or box is severely damaged, and it isn't an amazing deal, I will usually pass until I can find a nicer copy.

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Yeah, agree with KokiriChild.  I think it's good collecting sense to not pay much for a beat up box, even on a somewhat rare or popular game.  I've actually been to one local game store that discounts their CIB's based on condition.  It's pretty rare, but I think good business.  

As far as upgrading, though, might I suggest that, unless space is a serious concern, you keep the beat up boxes along with any upgrades?  Then your collection tells a story of how it has grown over time.  If anyone asks why you have 3 copies of, say, Super Mario Bros. in the box, you can relate how and why you got them.  

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5 hours ago, the tall guy said:

That's pretty slick.  I'm incredibly low-tech.  I have a handwritten list of every box and manual I'm missing, and I cross it off when I find it.  Never have to worry about a dead phone battery that way... then again, it's folded up in my wallet and pretty much falling apart.

So long as you get a phone with a good battery life and charge it overnight (while it's shut off), one charge should last you the day (depending on what you do...using it for game apps or watching videos will drain it faster then say surfing the web or using that collection app I mentioned). Most phones also have a power saving option you can turn on. I use mine.

Embrace technology my friend. It's handy for collecting. Get a catalog app (like the one I mentioned or any of the various others that are out there), get VGPC app and as another back up, use Google Sheets as well. It's what I do. I use the app for on the go stuff and Google Sheets when I'm at home (and to keep track of prices paid for items).

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I’m not really a collector of boxes. I’d love to have all CIB, but I’ve spent my money amassing games since my original pre disc collection was less than 100 games. I’m reaching the end of collecting vintage games, so I will likely move on to current gen games unless I start collecting boxes.

With that said, my preference is to have clean boxes. The OCD in me cannot deal with tears or exposed cardboard where the glossy finish is gone. I’d rather not have the box. Then again, I’m the kid who used to use baby wipes to clean his Jordans in elementary school.

Edited by ICrappedMyPants
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