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Grading rare CIBs...


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I’m not trying to start an argument, I’m simply asking for advice...

I saw a WATA Dinosaur Peak CIB 7.5 on eBay for $24,999.  I see there is some interest in it with 7 watchers already.  It’s a CIB, not the greatest grade, but it’s rare and sought after and not easy to find in excellent shape.

I have some rare NES CIBs that I don’t feel comfortable opening their boxes/manuals given their value.  They are in the 7.0-8.0 grade range for WATA (if I got them graded).  

My question is...  would you advise me to get higher end CIBs in decent shape (7.0-8.0 range) graded or just leave as is? I’m talking Little Samson, Dinosaur Peak, Power Blade 2 (big bump recently)...  maybe Bonk/Panic? I’m on the fence.

I respect your opinions and thoughts.  Any advice would be appreciated.  If you would rather send a private message, that would be great too.  Thanks.

 

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I'll say this - most of those watchers are either the seller's alts/friends making it look like there's more interest than there is, or they're watching to see if it actually sells.  I'll leave my opinions of CIB grading out of it (otherwise I'd say not to do it ever) and say that it's a decision you'll have to make.  If it's not something you see yourself ever playing again, and you're THAT worried about preserving it's condition, then do it.  But I'll tell you this - as long as you're not frantically flipping pages, you won't damage that manual any more than it already is.  And opening the box, if it's a frequently played game you might cause a bit of creasing or wear over time, but not enough to lower the value of a 7-8/10 condition item.  I could understand if it was 10 out of 10, pristine mint, but you admit it's essentially the low end of decent.  Nothing short of an accidental coffee spill, a child/pet getting to it, or an intentional defacing, will cause enough wear to ruin it.  So my advice is to look at each title and decide if it's something you'll never want to pop into a system again, or if it's something you'll want to pop in from time to time.  Because once it's in that slab, it's there for good (unless someone like me were to buy it, because I'd crack the shit out of that case 😛 ).  Ultimately it's your call, but if you're seeing dollar signs because of an eBay listing that's likely only there to grab attention, it's not a great idea.  But if you're collecting as an investment or are content with a pretty shelf piece, by all means, go nuts and protect your investment.

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Thank you, I appreciate the feedback. I’m not normally in favor of grading CIBs, but Dino Peak and Little Samson seem to be on another level.  I probably should not have mentioned Bonk or Panic Restaurant because they do come up more frequently.

I did learn how to open boxes properly using both hands on the sides of the flap (didn’t realize I was doing it incorrectly until I watched a collector on a YouTube channel).  

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12 minutes ago, Barewooley said:

I did learn how to open boxes properly using both hands on the sides of the flap (didn’t realize I was doing it incorrectly until I watched a collector on a YouTube channel).  

Another thing to note is with SNES and N64 boxes.  Namely there is one side that opens with minimal wear, and the other side is not so easy.  With SNES you want to open the right side, with the little purple box by the flap.  On the N64 boxes, you open the red side...basically the same side as the SNES.  I never realized it until a buddy of mine pointed it out to me (he wasn't a collector, he was just anal about keeping his stuff in great shape).

Also, I used the "play" argument because all of those games you mentioned are actually fun games to play.  Now, if you were talking about Stadium Events... 😛

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I've had concerns about NOT grading cib that contain carts in great condition, mainly carts that have rarely been played or never been played.

Carts that have seen significant play over the years, especially NES or SNES, have been turning yellow or have started to show staining these days, as the reaction from the boards heating up over and over has affected the plastic cart. It's fairly tough to find a non stained Mortal Kombat for SNES, so for me, I've sent off quite a few NES/SNES games for worry that the longer they sit, they will eventually start to stain because time will have an impact no matter what. I'd prefer to have a grade assigned to them now rather than never.

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@Gulag JoeI have literally never heard of that happening in over two decades of collecting.  Maybe with specific games using cheap plastic, or consoles for the same reason, but never as a general thing.  Usually yellowing is from either the quality of the plastic, meaning that age is causing it, or simply nicotine from being in the possession of a heavy smoker.  I have no idea where you got the idea that they get like that from playing them.

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1 hour ago, the_wizard_666 said:

@Gulag JoeI have literally never heard of that happening in over two decades of collecting.  Maybe with specific games using cheap plastic, or consoles for the same reason, but never as a general thing.  Usually yellowing is from either the quality of the plastic, meaning that age is causing it, or simply nicotine from being in the possession of a heavy smoker.  I have no idea where you got the idea that they get like that from playing them.

I had 2 copies of mk1 for snes, one was played heavily, the other was never played. Both were stored in the same place for the last 20 years. The heavily played game developed stains, the never played copy did not. This is just an experience with this specific game. Maybe the plastic differed between the 2 carts, or maybe it's just a strange coincidence.

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3 hours ago, Gulag Joe said:

I had 2 copies of mk1 for snes, one was played heavily, the other was never played. Both were stored in the same place for the last 20 years. The heavily played game developed stains, the never played copy did not. This is just an experience with this specific game. Maybe the plastic differed between the 2 carts, or maybe it's just a strange coincidence.

Doesn't MK have a Majesco release?  Check the heavily played copy, I have a feeling it's got "Made in Mexico" somewhere either on the front label or the back one.  They had shite labels, so it wouldn't surprise me if they used shite plastic too 😛

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I never thought these games would come down to "it's worth so much money I'm scared to open it".

Not a swipe at OP just amazed at the state of retro gaming as a whole. 

Edit: selling = grade , keeping on the shelf = box protector and no direct sunlight 

Edited by a3quit4s
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I have no desire to have my items stuck in a slab since I enjoy opening them up from time to time, but I do care about keeping them in good condition. A good middle ground is to buy acrylic cases from CGA and keep them in those. If you ever decide you want to sell later, Wata and VGA will probably still be around.

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2 hours ago, a3quit4s said:

I never thought these games would come down to "it's worth so much money I'm scared to open it".

Not a swipe at OP just amazed at the state of retro gaming as a whole. 

Edit: selling = grade , keeping on the shelf = box protector and no direct sunlight 

Oh believe me, I know that feeling.  Again, it's not on the OP or anything.  When I started, I didn't think that I could sell off and buy a house, but it seems we're getting to that point.  Not that I'm gonna (why buy a house if I have nothing to put in it?), but it's crazy to think that my hobby is considered by some to be a form of investment.

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No offense taken, I get it.  I’m not sure how I feel about grading either way.  The rising prices have certainly made me think differently.  It’s comical that I was mad at myself for overpaying for some titles about a year or two ago.

I don’t plan to sell anytime soon...  I honestly hate selling (making a listing) and shipping.  I just don’t enjoy the selling process and then worrying about scammers.

Even if I graded CIBs, I’d enjoy looking at them on the shelf.  For now, I submitted two sealed games for grading and we’ll see how that goes.  I do like the idea of opening things up anytime (as one poster stated, I’m not likely to further damage a box or manual any more than it already is).

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I am going to second the idea that @DoctorEncore has offered. It is both a faster, and possibly also a more affordable, option to what CAS can offer. 👍

In regards to grading, there are a few things to consider:

- If you choose to grade with plans of selling (or insuring) in the future, use either VGA or CAS. Both companies grade the same way, offer "UV protection" type upgrades (which I always recommend) for an additional fee, and will place the label inside the case. (I recommend that for those who are not collecting "for the grade" atop of owning the game.) And having a registration number also helps when it comes to insurance. And if you do the maintenance care that CAS has posted on their site, they should stay in the same condition the day you put them on your shelf.

- The main differences between CAS and VGA is simple: CAS uses a two-grade system. This basically means you have VGA's standard system as a main grade, and number saying why it was an 85+ and not a 90. And while they are still new to grading video games, they are willing to do custom cases that display everything that comes with the game. (There are a few on their site, and will post links if you like.) They also deduct $2.50 if you want them to do everything but grade said items, and their default label is on the inside of the case. (Which means having it on top has to be requested.)

- CGA's cases are a better bet if you want ones that allow you to swap out boxes. I highly recommend paying extra for their Archival upgrade, as it eliminates 99.9% of all UV light. Which means you just need to follow the additional maintenance in the end. If you want an easy way to insure your items, use CAS because you will trade in the ability to replace the box with something that includes a registration number. Their photos (which are free) is beneficial, but having a registration number tends to make tracking the item down that more easier (if the item was stolen).

Atop of that, Wata grades games like CGC tends to grade comics. And I will not be entirely surprised if Deniz sold the company before people bounced onto the next hype. 🤔

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5 hours ago, the_wizard_666 said:

Well, the worst that happens is you decide you don't like them being graded, you sell them for a premium, buy another CIB to replace it, and pocket the difference.  Doesn't hurt to experiment I suppose.

Have you tried buying anything decent CIB in collector condition lately?  You won't pocket nearly as much as you think.  Or, you'll be left with something in pretty rough shape.  

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Member · Posted

Firstly, I have strong doubts a WATA CIB Dinosaur Peak 7.5 is worth anywhere near $25,000. Having 7 watchers doesn’t mean anything these days. It needs to have much more watchers and more importantly genuine offers to be of genuine worth. 

Also, you need to understand the essence of graded games collecting -which is to collect with protection and high-end condition. Being of condition 7.5 doesn’t seem to be a high-end condition at all, and so the value would plummet heavily compared with a mint sealed copy, and a CIB mint would be somewhere in between in value. 

Should you try and find better condition components in order to raise the value? Well it depends..how much time and effort would it take to upgrade components? And then how much increased value have you got with the increased time/effort spent? The answers are often reliant on research and experience. 

One more thing, don’t always assume an upgraded grade is guaranteed of more worth. For example a 7.5 to 8.0 might be of similar worth, whereas a 7.5 to a 9.0 is likely to be a significant jump in price.

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9 hours ago, jonebone said:

Have you tried buying anything decent CIB in collector condition lately?  You won't pocket nearly as much as you think.  Or, you'll be left with something in pretty rough shape.  

You know I've been out of the CIB game for years Boner 😉 But even a small premium is still money in his pocket, which would be an overall win, even if it wouldn't normally be worth the price.  It'd be different if he were doing more than one or two titles to see if he likes having them like that, but given the situation, my statement is still valid - if he makes $20 more for his graded copy than he pays for a non-graded one, should he decide he'd rather have it ungraded, then it wasn't a complete waste.  I do agree that it's not a great idea overall - grading a collection to make a few peanuts is a lot of hassle for a comparable pittance.  My statement was simply with regard to his current situation.

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