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GoldenWheels

Do you worry about buying counterfeit games?

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It seems that with certain sites that will remain unnamed (ahem) selling very close to original looking NES, and SNES, and Genesis games, very very cheaply, that these counterfeits have to be working their way into the normal supply chain of game sales. In many cases, I assume many of the fakes are sold as 'legit' knowingly by some who bought them from China, and then perhaps sold unwittingly as those buyers sell their games later on. Eventually it's probably all mixed up and even good faith people could be passing on counterfeit games.

 

(I call them counterfeits because most of these do nothing to indicate they are a reproduction anywhere, like a call out on the label or a new style label or even a colored shell. To me they are trying to be something they are NOT, so different from a repro in my mind)

 

It's to the point where I guess you can't knowingly buy a lot of these games without having the seller pull the board so you can compare it to a real one online, or without having an insane knowledge of shells/screw number/sticker patina. This is really taking a lot of the fun out of the hunt for me, in a way. I'm not sure why. I guess I'm just depressed I even have to consider such a scummy thing in our hobby when I buy a game. I know this has been an issue for many many years but when it was limited to having to hand-make fakes, I think it was just much harder to accomplish, and therefore a smaller issue. But for several years now any idiot can just buy them dirt cheap and pass them off.

 

Sometimes I think a flood of counterfeits is gong to crash these systems' markets. This wouldn't necessarily bother me as I don't buy as an investment but I'd STILL want the REAL game even if that happened, and I wouldn't be able to be sure without sleuthing! And it's pretty crappy, no matter WHY you buy your games, for people who already paid more to get a legit version.

 

(Full disclosure, I even own some of these fakes. But write REPRO right on the label in black sharpie so there is no confusing it with a real one, and so I don't risk forgetting that it IS fake and selling it.)

 

So do you guys worry about this when buying SNES, NES and Genesis games online? Are any other systems big candidates for fakes that I don't know about?

 

What do you do "in the wild" when you find what may be a great deal but have no bit to open the cart? LOL. Take a risk?

 

Will this ever affect systems which are seemingly far harder to counterfeit for due to their software physical format (Say, Turbografx or Lynx)?

 

This whole thing just kind of...sucks. :woozy:

 

 

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I'm a gamer, not a collector, so it doesn't bother me - as long as there is a clear indication that it's a reproduction. When you see something like BattleSphere Gold selling for $500 and you just want to play the game to see what all the fuss is, I don't see a problem with a repro that costs $50 - but it should be labelled as such.

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Honestly all the fakes I have seen have been somewhat easy to spot. I have seen enough games where things like the gloss of the label or the precision of the cut tend to make fakes stick out like a sore thumb. Even when they are very good after seeing literally millions of games you will look at a fake and see something is just not right. I could definitely see this as a problem for those who are new to the hobby and come in ready to drop a lot of cash, but it's not something I wory about myself.

 

I once spotted 5 bootleg GBA Pokemon games at half priced books. They were pretty good and even the patina was there cuz they were probably bootlegs from the actual time those games were new. The color of the plastic was ever so slightly off, the reflection on the foil label was just not quite right. These two minor details made it jump right out at me and made me look even closer, and then even the smaller details became more obvious.

 

In their defense when I told the employee he pulled them all from the shelf. He told me although he is not a gamer he collects vinyl, and bootlegs are something he takes very seriously.

 

So yea the store got fooled, and they were put on the shelf where the buyer could have been fooled. But I'm a collector it's my job to be able to spot them. I see it as buyer beware. I think most of us will be able to spot them. And if your not a collector and you just want to play the game then who cares if you got fooled cuz you can still play the game. In situation of very expensive bootlegs if you get fooled that's on you. Only serious collectors are going to drop that kind of money on games, not someone who just really wants to try playing stadium events. If you're dropping that kinda money and you don't know what to look for then too bad so sad, but I don't have a ton of sympathy for you.

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I mostly get games to play, but repos fakes, pirates, etc are for one purpose, to be cheap. As long as its not priced the same as the original high dollar cart I'm OK with them. Now if I was buying for investment or to resell I'd prefer original.

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Since I'm a gamer, it doesn't bother me much. The bits and bytes are going to be the same. Cartridge shells are only delivery mechanisms and a means to an end.

Edited by Keatah
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I like fakes if I know they're one and priced correctly, but being OCD/picky about it I like them to match the rest and not look like some amateur level garbage with some ghetto label or other tattooing or deficiencies to it. This tends to infuriate other collectors who get their panties in a twist about it though. Just tell me it's a copy and charge me accordingly and I'm fine, but it better as 1:1 emulate the aesthetic look of the original and not be junk internally built like a garbage ticking time bomb.

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Since I'm a gamer, it doesn't bother me much. The bits and bytes are going to be the same. Cartridge shells are only delivery mechanisms and a means to an end.

Yeah but that's assuming you KNOW Keetah. Say you bought counterfeit Apple II games (bad example I know) for real game prices, then found out after. You wouldn't be mad?

 

I'm a gamer too, and repros bother me not one wit (emulation either). But the fraud/lying/scam part about real/fake that does...and it seems like a fact of life now.

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Oh, all the time- it makes me terribly leery of buying anything notable online. Luckily, most of what I want is both obscure and not overly expensive, so I think I'm OK.

 

I typically do a full run down of what's online when I go to pickup a new title... there's always several overly cheap very-much-fake listings for titles with a lot of counterfeits running around, so if I see that I abandon all online shopping plans. Best to find someplace trustworthy in the meatspace to pick those up.

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I will not buy much of anything these days. I gave up on buying sealed about 7-8 years ago because fakes were made so damn good. I gave up about 3 years ago on buying any game w/value. I carry security bits w/me when I go to yard sales and local deals. As long as the pcb is original I will buy it if it is cheap enough. However it is getting very hard to tell fake labels these days.

 

3 years ago this hobby was completely ruined for me due to fakes. You can either adjust and say f-it they are just games or you can stay upset and complain about what is and will not change. I still keep majority of my collection which luckily I amassed long ago.

 

No system is safe. Atari on up is all fair game for fakes and probably pre-Atari as well.

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I probably wouldn't mind a repro, as long as it's clearly marked and sold as such. I haven't been stung by buying a counterfeit that was presented as the real thing yet, but then, I haven't really bought much of great value lately. I know that it doesn't have to be a big game to have a fake made of it, but it's less likely I would think. If someone's going to make a counterfeit game, they're going to make it a game that will make them more than some common like Excitebike or whatever... they'll try to make a Panic Restaurant or Earthbound or something...

 

I mean, I'd rather have the original authentic cart if possible... and after that, if it's unlikely that I'll ever be able to afford the real deal (like Magical Chase or something)... I'd honestly go for emulation first. I don't worry about it enough to keep from buying things though... but lately my buying has been on the really cheap side so that even if a fake did slip its way in, I wouldn't be out much.

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I haven't been stung by buying a counterfeit that was presented as the real thing yet, but then, I haven't really bought much of great value lately. I know that it doesn't have to be a big game to have a fake made of it, but it's less likely I would think.

 

Don't buy any Gameboy Pokémon games. The most counterfeit $15 games around.

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Don't buy any Gameboy Pokémon games. The most counterfeit $15 games around.

 

 

Heh, I have zero interest in Pokemon, so no fear there. And yeah, I've seen lots of people posting pictures of fakes of them. My kids play them, but I tend to get new ones for them.

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So let me get this straight... as an NES fan, I see prices at an all-time high and the likelihood of me accidentally getting a bootleg getting better every day?

 

No wonder I haven't bought a new NES game in almost 5 years. When people like me are checked out, you know the hobby is going into a downward spiral.

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No system is safe. Atari on up is all fair game for fakes and probably pre-Atari as well.

I'm sure I'll regret saying this but I don't recall seeing TG/PCE HuCard fakes, let alone one that would be hard to tell isn't a knockoff. Maybe partly why those damn games shot up ugly in the early days just as the NES got stupid and never retreated.

 

Outside of finding Ms Pac-Man at the flea a few months ago I hadn't bought a NES game in probably 5 years, SNES nearly as long too at least from ebay and damn near the same offline too. Counterfeit had nothing to do with it as they can be spotted well enough even without a bit if you can see the item in hand of very blown up quality in a picture. I never thought I'd go a month or even a week without finding something new to enjoy on old Nintendo carts and now outside of Gameboy and that's fairly slim too I won't bother. As he said just above, downward spiral if someone like me gave up. Anyone knew me from 10 years ago plus would wonder what happened and when did the pod people drop a clone.

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I'd have no problem buying a fake as long as I know it up front. Honestly, there are a few games I'd like to be able to play (House of the Dead Saturn) but can't justify spending the money on a legit copy.

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I don't worry at all about counterfeit games these days, mainly because the systems I'm actively buying games for aren't ones that are prone to counterfeits. I've yet to see any counterfeit Wii, GameCube, or 3DS games floating around. I have inadvertently bought counterfeit DS and Game Boy Advance games a couple times in the past, but I avoid that now by only buying DS games in person from local stores where I can examine the cart, case, and manual closely before buying and in the case of GBA games I just check to make sure they have a 2 digit number physically stamped into the label. All legit Game Boy, Game Boy Color, and Game Boy Advance games have a 2 digit number indented into the label and I've yet to see a single counterfeit game that was able to replicate the indented number stamp, so I just check to make sure it has the number stamped into the label before buying and I'm good to go. :)

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I'm sure I'll regret saying this but I don't recall seeing TG/PCE HuCard fakes,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GlqY0_xQ4w

 

Counterfeit had nothing to do with it as they can be spotted well enough even without a bit if you can see the item in hand of very blown up quality in a picture.

 

I have a Megaman 1 shell right now, when I got it a few months ago it had excite bike shoved inside it. Most likely some rental that had been swapped. Aside from that carts get damaged all the time. Sure someone may have purchased an original shell and dumped a repro cart inside. I don't gamble. If it can be done it will be done. Security bit to check the board or I don't buy it.

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I sometimes but a game because it is fake. In the early 90's I got a river raid for 2600 that was a pirate or something. I thought the shell was cool, its about an inch shorter than a standard run game.

 

Pokemon carts, I don't bother with, after DMG, all of them have silver labels and glittery cart shells, I've seen no fakes replicate both of those.

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If there is money to be made there is counterfeiting. Counterfeiting is a huge problem and is getting worse. When it comes to software, better to stick with good old piracy. Risk of counterfeit should be a fair use defense for piracy of high priced collectibles.

 

Edit: I would guess counterfeiting is less of a problem with systems with a small fan base (eg. Intellivision or coleco vision). And then there are newly made "collectibles" that try to be authentic. They are still tricking or confusing buyers eventhough its unintentional.

Edited by mr_me

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GlqY0_xQ4w

 

 

I have a Megaman 1 shell right now, when I got it a few months ago it had excite bike shoved inside it. Most likely some rental that had been swapped. Aside from that carts get damaged all the time. Sure someone may have purchased an original shell and dumped a repro cart inside. I don't gamble. If it can be done it will be done. Security bit to check the board or I don't buy it.

Thanks! And yes I know people even in the 80s would bic pen melt their way into a board swap in a shell. It's nice to see a quality HuCard replacement like that with Magical Chase.

 

I'm looking to get a core grafx but I won't want to get into the mess of the game scam pricing so I'm looking at NeoSD.com(Terra Onion's) Super SD System 3 device which runs all hucards (any region), super grafx, and all formats of disc media from the original through arcade via hucard/iso dumps on a SD card. It just came out, very quality build stuff from the NeoSD (MVS/AES) device makers -- https://www.neosdstore.com/shop/index.php?id_product=12&controller=product&id_lang=1

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Sometimes yeah but usually only when it comes to importing pricey NES games which doesn't happen too often. The shear amount of "repro" covers for the Mega CD on eBay UK has put me off buying a lot of games on that system as well.

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Especially when I going to more for a game than I normally do. That is why I will never buy an expensive game online, I have been burned that way at least once. At least in person I can exam the game.

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I try to be vigilant, especially when getting Famicom stand ins for pricy NES games. I think, knock on wood, I've been fairly lucky thus far. I think I've accidentally got a bootleg twice ever... once in the world of GBA (the Tiny Toons game put out by Treasure... I think mine's a fake) and once when I went to replace the Princess Peach game on the DS that I lent to somebody and never got back.

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