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WATA graded repro Final Fantasy 2 NES on eBay


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https://www.ebay.ca/itm/254570478167

I was just listening to the latest CUpodcast and I couldn't believe what I was hearing.

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This just blows my mind, that WATA is grading reproduction games from companies with zero license to reproduce the games that they are selling. I don't feel that this is the sort of thing a company like WATA should be involving themselves in, tbh.

They are ready to "authenticate" an illegal bootleg of Final Fantasy 2, so what next? Can I start sending them some of my Famicom bootlegs and multicarts? I've got a REALLY nice copy of Super Donkey Kong 99 on Megadrive, they gonna give that a grade for me?

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Am I in the minority here, or does something like this start to make a mockery of "grading" at this point? If anyone can make a fake game, put it in a nice box and send it for grading... Or is it only certain companies who get the special treatment, in which case what makes those companies any better than other bootleggers? Because that's all they are.

Every new development I hear about WATA makes me less and less a fan, tbh.

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I’ve got this. Probably gonna grade an 11ish. Wish me luck all.

Grading pirated games dilutes the WATA brand (IMO) bit they can do whatever they want with their brand. Also, let’s stop calling them reproductions and just call them what they are...pirated game

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/254570478167 I was just listening to the latest CUpodcast and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. This just blows my mind, that WATA is grading reproduction

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WATA grading reproductions should be a concerning debate. However, the more concerning issue that I can see is the practice of sellers trying to make a living with deceptive practices and ripping people off for mega bucks. 

From the OP’s Ebay link, the seller:

- did not mention anything about item is reproduction, only pumping up the respectability of WATA and how “rare” the item is.

- talks about WATA but then linking it to VGA grading scales of gold grades 100, 95+, 95, 90+ etc. This is misleading as if 9.6A+ is the same as VGA95. 

- selling legit items among repro items, which makes it blurry for the unassuming customer that they’re all legit.

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Member · Posted

A couple of thoughts on this. Consider rare and highly collectible repros and homebrews like some of the 8-bit Xmas games and Timewalk stuff. This is a way to get these desirable items entombed and even being verified. Even the Duck Tales re-issue that that came in a lunch pale might even get graded. But, if grading that stuff makes sense, where do you draw the line? I guess you don't draw a line but instead just put all the correct markers on the label.

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12 hours ago, GPX said:

WATA grading reproductions should be a concerning debate. However, the more concerning issue that I can see is the practice of sellers trying to make a living with deceptive practices and ripping people off for mega bucks. 

From the OP’s Ebay link, the seller:

- did not mention anything about item is reproduction, only pumping up the respectability of WATA and how “rare” the item is.

- talks about WATA but then linking it to VGA grading scales of gold grades 100, 95+, 95, 90+ etc. This is misleading as if 9.6A+ is the same as VGA95. 

- selling legit items among repro items, which makes it blurry for the unassuming customer that they’re all legit.

Oh yeah, you are totally right on that! I looked at the eBay description when I first saw this and yeah it doesn't say ANYTHING about the fact that it's a bootleg.

Now, for seasoned gamers and collectors around these parts, of COURSE we know that it's fake! And I'm not saying that this is especially deceptive as an item based on the WATA grading, which DOES explicitly state it is a reproduction.

However, it would be very very easy indeed to look at that without doing your homework, or if you're simply new to collecting NES and take it at face value that this is in fact a legitimate release.

You may say that is ignorant, stupidity, or whomever buys it gets what they deserve. But it's basically like putting a bar of soap in a candy wrapper and then writing "soap" on the back in the list of ingredients.

The fine print on a graded game is NOT the first thing you look at. You look at the game first, then case as a whole with the WATA logo and the grade. The fine print stuff is a second look at best, and for most people it's further down the list.

Strictly speaking no deception has taken place, but if you give me a bar of soap in a candy wrapper, don't be surprised when I throw up on your shoes. 🤮

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54 minutes ago, OptOut said:

Oh yeah, you are totally right on that! I looked at the eBay description when I first saw this and yeah it doesn't say ANYTHING about the fact that it's a bootleg.

Now, for seasoned gamers and collectors around these parts, of COURSE we know that it's fake! And I'm not saying that this is especially deceptive as an item based on the WATA grading, which DOES explicitly state it is a reproduction.

However, it would be very very easy indeed to look at that without doing your homework, or if you're simply new to collecting NES and take it at face value that this is in fact a legitimate release.

You may say that is ignorant, stupidity, or whomever buys it gets what they deserve. But it's basically like putting a bar of soap in a candy wrapper and then writing "soap" on the back in the list of ingredients.

The fine print on a graded game is NOT the first thing you look at. You look at the game first, then case as a whole with the WATA logo and the grade. The fine print stuff is a second look at best, and for most people it's further down the list.

Strictly speaking no deception has taken place, but if you give me a bar of soap in a candy wrapper, don't be surprised when I throw up on your shoes. 🤮

From my viewpoint, plenty of deception has taken place.

Effectively, this is what the game is: "sealed reproduction game, graded by WATA 9.6 A+"

Effectively, this is what's being described: "BRAND NEW game, Gold Grade 9.6A+, from a highly reputable grading service, WATA".

This is no different to any seller choosing to focus on all the good points of a game, and neglecting to point out the flaws. And then deciding to list it for mega bucks, just because..."sealed, graded, gold, WATA/VGA..blah blah"

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On 4/24/2020 at 9:50 AM, ThePhleo said:

Grading pirated games dilutes the WATA brand (IMO) bit they can do whatever they want with their brand.

Also, let’s stop calling them reproductions and just call them what they are...pirated games.

Thank you.  I've been saying that for years, many years.  People co-opting the use of the word reproduction bugs me because that implies you're legally reproducing something you own, or own a license to do so.  That FF2 'repro' is a straight up bootleg, just a very well made to look quality boot, but in the end is as shady as your dime street famiclone cart from the 80s.  Same sentiment from those who take prototypes and act like they own them, despite only legally owning the board they're on, and making releases of that.  Same thing, bootlegs.  And WATA getting into graded boots I think diminishes the value of what they supposedly are trying to build a reputation around to be taken seriously.  I mean so do sports card, coins, stamp, comic, rare book and the other grading outlets also rate bootlegs and seal those like real goods are?  I highly doubt that.

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On 4/24/2020 at 10:48 AM, OptOut said:

Now, for seasoned gamers and collectors around these parts, of COURSE we know that it's fake! And I'm not saying that this is especially deceptive as an item based on the WATA grading, which DOES explicitly state it is a reproduction.

However, it would be very very easy indeed to look at that without doing your homework, or if you're simply new to collecting NES and take it at face value that this is in fact a legitimate release.

Next stop, 1:1 bootlegs of Little Samson or hell, Super Mario 1* 

 

 


*Reproduction

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17 hours ago, nrslam said:

Or even better: Counterfeits.

I think there’s a small difference in semantics between counterfeit and bootleg. But I understand where you’re coming from.

To me, a counterfeit tries to make a 1:1 replica while a bootleg tries to just sell you a product in their own packaging.

As a kid who basically grew up shopping on canal street, this goes back to music and clothing. My family wouldn’t let me buy anything “bootleg” but would let me get “replicas” or “imitations”

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There's a lot of slimy tactics in the game market now that comic collectors and speculators are muddying the water with their brand of false, car salesman ignorance on what they're even selling or how rare it could possibly be. Wata is just their getaway driver.

In summary, do your research before you drop money on anything. If you're not 100 percent sure what something is, or how many there are, just pass. 

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On 4/26/2020 at 4:02 AM, c0op3r said:

My  first question to myself was why have it graded in the first place?

Isn't the point of these fan translations and reproductions to play the game on original hardware?  A sealed graded game can never have this done - retarded.

I mean, you could say the same of video games in general. Why keep a sealed copy of Super Mario Bros? It was meant to be played too.

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Timewalk stuff is (was?) very sought after and commanded a premium over other bootleg producers. 

The issue with grading boots is there's no objective standard you can apply to something like that.

And if they're gonna be serious about it listing it as "reproduction" is borderline fraudulent. Its fine shorthand but officially there is no original example for that item in that form.

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