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Atari 8-bit Best Electronics "prototype" graded by VGA

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I found this on nintendoage:

http://vintage.nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?StartRow=1&catid=5&threadid=157265

 

Someone bought an Atari 800 Super Pacman "prototype" from Best Electronics and VGA graded it as an actual prototype. He got it back from VGA and is now attempting to sell the graded "prototype" on eBay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1984-ATARI-800-XL-XE-SUPER-PAC-MAN-PROTOTYPE-GAME-CARTRIDGE-VGA-NG-CERTIFICATE-/141834394587

 

Pretty sure the "protos" Best sells are repros, but I wanted to hear it from the Atari experts first. If VGA indeed graded a repro as an authentic prototype, this is a serious blow to their credibility as a company.

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I believe the prototype is still in either Brad's, Bruce's( b&c computervisions ) or lance's ( video 61 ) hands. It has a 90% chance of being just a repo. If it is the real deal, then he would post a pic of the board. I don't care about the VGA guy. There are more true Atarians out there Who's judgement I would rather trust.

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It's popped up there before. It is the same label Best uses which are all repros. More power to Best, et al., for selling them, but the chutzpah of the person putting it on eBay. Wow. Also, that VGA crap is just ridiculous. I mean seriously. From what I can read of the letter behind the cart, it implies some research about the status. What is likely, is VGA slapped it in a case, charged this person's credit card and said "Sure, whatever you want to say it is." I realize this is usually not always the case, but USUALLY if it says "Prototype," it's *probably* not the original one. I would think that would give would be eBay buyers their first clue, but I have been wrong before. and willbe again, no doubt.

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Wow, the balls on this douchenozzle.... I hope he gets gang-raped by a pack of bears!

 

-Thom

Yeah, the seller is pretty douchey, but the real fuckup here is the fact that VGA graded it. The fact that they are the premier grading authority on video game collectibles and this cat is out of the bag, is a pretty big SNAFU on their part.

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These are not even repros... they are just taking the pirated ROM of an unreleased game and slapping it into a shell with a printed label and hawking it. I read the story that they got it from a former Atari employee, etc,. All misdirection to make it sound legit.

 

In older ebay posts they'd make it sound like they were actually made by Atari (probably the boards were) back in the day.

 

I'm shocked Namco doesn't go after them...

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I'm shocked Namco doesn't go after them...

AtariAge sells unlicensed Pacman games. Why doesn't Namco shut us down?

 

Because they don't give a flying banana about what some guy in an Austin garage slaps on a cart. Nintendo, well that's another story... :skull:

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Not to try to defend this grading, but VGA is just a tool. Use it for your pleasure or profit, or don't use it at all. It is hard to believe they are really good at authenticating stuff like this, but then again, only the most elite collectors/gaming nostalgists will have much intelligent stuff to say about a prototype submitted for grading. For example, look at 5200 EPROM boards- without a lab loaner case, they can be tough to authenticate. I've seen the logic- are there stickers on the eproms? are they DMP or hand written? Do the tiny stickers have dates on them? Are the teeth worn? Is the soldering sloppy? Sure these may be real criteria, but they are also sort of hard to authenticate.

 

This is a Best item, sure. This is a lame item to grade. I'm sure if we knew more about the toy and comic grading they do, we could come up with a good number of similar stories. We could probably ask them to grade my left shoe and they'd do it.

 

I'm not trying to defend this move. There are a ton of other sellers with VGA garbage.

 

I will admit I am using VGA a bit for my own collection. I have some really valuable sealed stuff that I'm happy to see encased in acrylic and protected from mishaps. Not grading everything, just a few select items. I am opposed to using VGA for non-sealed stuff personally. That includes this item. Whenever the "VGA is horrible" topic comes up, I try to provide a little balance to the conversation and sometimes receive a good deal of flame for it.

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Not to try to defend this grading, but VGA is just a tool. Use it for your pleasure or profit, or don't use it at all. It is hard to believe they are really good at authenticating stuff like this, but then again, only the most elite collectors/gaming nostalgists will have much intelligent stuff to say about a prototype submitted for grading.

With all due respect, VGA is the premier authority on video game authenticity/grading. The purpose of the VGA case is not to preserve but also authenticate. If you just want to protect your gaming item, they have DIY GCA cases for that. The customer who submitted the item knew it was fake, but it's irrelevant. If VGA can't be trusted to differentiate a genuine prototype from a repro, then what business do they have grading items? Their word becomes exactly that. Words... :ponder:
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I completely agree. VGA only reduces their credibility by getting involved with this kind of stuff.

 

I will say that for this specific instance, the Best protos could be considered a grey area. A good number of the carts sold by Best are mask ROMs that came from Atari originally, that were either on boards or added to boards by Best then put in original Atari cases. I personally don't consider them Prototypes, so I think that is a misleading designation. On the other hand, they often contain more original parts than most reproductions, and might not be looked at the same way as something made by Hozer or similar folks.

 

 

With all due respect, VGA is the premier authority on video game authenticity/grading. The purpose of the VGA case is not to preserve but also authenticate. If you just want to protect your gaming item, they have DIY GCA cases for that. The customer who submitted the item knew it was fake, but it's irrelevant. If VGA can't be trusted to differentiate a genuine prototype from a repro, then what business do they have grading items? Their word becomes exactly that. Words... :ponder:

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If you read this:

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

It looks like all VGA ever did was contact best and confirm that it was part of the original stock of "protos" purchased from atari..

 

They make no claims as to what atari used it for, or how rare it is..

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I should list mine for $399. :-)

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Yes, but it didn't get VGA graded, now did it?

 

This item could be a trophy piece to some cynical VGA-hating collector out there. Why? Because VGA erroneously authenticated something that wasn't genuine (a repro). It's the antithesis to sealed collecting! :evil:

 

VGA's reputation is on the line, and it would be in their best interest to buy it back and destroy the case. But they won't. And if the right buyer comes along, they'll never be able to retrieve it...

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Just all part of the lets make a killing shell game.... whatever... You pay them money and they give you a piece of paper, they aren't anything more than that... they pretend to be but it's a long line of crap they've given paper to that isn't worth the paper it's actually printed on that gets me wondering why they are still around. That paper is used to try and extract more dollars from some poor schmuck and that's all it's about. End of story and nothing more.. I will continue to use the Atari for what it's meant to be.... A damn fine computer doing a wonderful job and playing a shit ton of games on it at the end of the day after I'm done using it for work. Anything else is a waste as far as I'm concerned. I will use VGA paper for what it is... toilet paper.. wipe, flush. done

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It doesn't look like the one in question was graded either because based on that picture it says,"No Grade". Or does that mean something else?

You are taking the rest of my post out of context.

 

This item could be a trophy piece to some cynical VGA-hating collector out there. Why? Because VGA erroneously authenticated something that wasn't genuine (a repro). It's the antithesis to sealed collecting! :evil:

 

VGA's reputation is on the line, and it would be in their best interest to buy it back and destroy the case. But they won't. And if the right buyer comes along, they'll never be able to retrieve it...

 

The item in question received a "no grade" because it is a previously used item. Among the items that qualify are promotional giveaways, retail products that did not originally come sealed, and prototypes. Homemade items, including repros, are not eligible for grading / authentication, and that is exactly what this item is: a repro. Best electronics were in possession of a prototype which they dumped and created reproduction carts + labels with.

 

So forgive me if I used the term "grade" when I meant "authenticate." The seal indicates first and foremost, that the item has been examined and determined by VGA to be a legit prototype. This is in error because they have authenticated a repro.

 

So I guess _The Doctor_ is right. It isn't worth the toilet paper it is written on. :ponder:

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Thanks for clearing up that you meant authenticate instead of grade.

 

I don't know much of anything about VGA so when you said,"The fact that they are the premier grading authority on video game collectibles." How did you determine this fact and where did they get this authority from?

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Thanks for clearing up that you meant authenticate instead of grade.

 

I don't know much of anything about VGA so when you said,"The fact that they are the premier grading authority on video game collectibles." How did you determine this fact and where did they get this authority from?

I don't give a rat's butt honestly. People over on NintendoAge for a time went berserk over anything with a VGA grade. A $100 sealed game nets an instant grand or more with an 85+ gold seal. Lately a number of high profile items have sat and rot on eBay. Quite frankly, I don't get it. 85 is split and can also be gold or silver seal, which affects the resale price. How can 85+ be better than 85? :ponder:

 

There are also documented cases of a collector having a game slabbed by VGA, then being dissatisfied by the grade assigned, cracking the case, sending it back to get regraded, and receiving a wholly different grade on the item. This demonstrates that there some luck element as to the grade an item gets assigned. Worse now that they can't even be trusted to authenticate. All it takes is one fake item to get slabbed by those blokes.

 

IMO. the worst offender (and quite the facepalm moment) was a gold NWC PCB mounted naked inside the case with the EPROM windows exposed. Seller wanted $27k for it and to the best of my knowledge, it never sold publicly. :facepalm:

 

1990-NWC-Nintendo-World-Championships-Go

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If that is all true them maybe they are just as much at being a fake premier grading authority on video game collectibles as Super Pacman is a fake prototype? Therefore, maybe the issue isn't just Super Pacman being graded/authenticate by them but any and every game?

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