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Wata Games – August Updates

Hello Wata Games subscribers! If you are receiving this email, you’re subscribed to receive our monthly updates — and this is our first one! We promise to never bother you with senseless emails, and pride ourselves on crafting engaging and interesting content & news that our readers care about. If you are not one of those interested readers (no hard feelings — not everyone wants to be up-to-date on the most interesting developments happening in video game collecting), you always have the opportunity to unsubscribe at the bottom of this email. We’ve got all sorts of exciting content to share with you and can’t wait! As always, we love hearing your feedback — if you ever have feedback, please drop us a line.

Wata’s President Deniz Kahn (left) and Chief Grader Kenneth Thrower (right) pose in Wata’s booth at C2E2 this past April with three of the most valuable NES video games in Wata holders (both Nintendo World Championship games and a CIB copy of Stadium Events), and a certified copy of Detective Comics #27, the first appearance of Batman.
Deniz stands alongside Steve Geppi, world-renowned collector and President of Gemstone Publishing. Wata’s display at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo focused on drawing the parallel between where the comic collecting industry was 30 years ago, and how video game collecting is nearing that same point within its respective industry today.

What we’ve been up to…

The Wata team has been busy traveling around (and of course, preserving the gems of video game collecting), and some of that time was spent exhibiting at shows. You may have seen us if you were at Denver Comic Con or TooManyGames in Philly — we had some amazing historically significant and high-end games on display, and we got to meet some great collectors while there!

If you want to see some of the games that we featured, we will soon be hosting a photo scroller of submission highlights on the website homepage, so keep an eye out! You can also check out our Instagram page where we feature the Wata certified game of the day, some of which have been or will be in our cases at the next shows we attend.


While at TooManyGames…

We met a lot of great people and got some exciting submissions, including Nintendo World Championships (Grey) #136 that was purchased at the show for a high dollar amount. One of the great people that stopped by our booth recognized a one-off prototype box of New Kids On The Block, a game that was never released, as it used to be in the office where he worked. What are the chances!
He posted about it here: check it out!


Wata Games featured on Hakes – Scoop Articles

Carrie Wood, Editor to Scoop — Hakes Auction House’s premier eNewsletter — featured Wata Games this month in a two-piece article. She provides an interesting take and insight on Wata’s services and the benefits of grading from the perspective of someone who is more a “gamer” than a “collector.” We thank Carrie for writing such a detailed and positive review of our services!

We strive to provide all collectors with the same experience we were able to provide Carrie, who has also written several books on video games such as The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Video Games, or her newest book, The Overstreet Guide to Collecting Tabletop Games, all available for purchase on Hakes. Be sure to check out her work!

To read the review on Grading and our services, just click here 

To read the interview with president Deniz Kahn, just click here 

Submission Highlights

Here are photos of some significant and unique submissions we received this month. Many of these are featured as the “Wata Certified Game of the Day” on our Instagram page. We are always posting new and unique submissions so be sure to follow the action!

NES: NWC Grey - #136
NES: Stadium Events CIB - Copy featured in the documentary
SNES: Donkey Kong Country Competition Cartridge CIB
NES Clu Clu Land CIB - Matte Sticker Seal Variant (1st Print)
SNES: Starfox Super Weekend Loose - 2D Label Example
NES: Mike Tyson's Punch Out CIB - White Bullets Variant (1st Print)
PS2 Star Wars Bounty Hunter Sealed - Limited Edition Artwork Cover

Newsletter Update

We’ll be sharing our Wata Word newsletter articles with you each month, covering various topics including market trends, expert opinions, variant information, specific featured games, featured collectors, and much, much more! If you haven’t seen it yet, we have an op-ed written

by founder Mark Haspel on “What is an IMP,” which highlights the importance of recognizing when components of a CIB game have pieces that are incorrectly matched or were variants never packaged in that manner. Click “Read More” below to see the newest features published.
Read More

From The Grader’s Desk – August 2018
Wata Certifies the only known Sticker Sealed copy of Super Mario Bros.

Dear subscribers,

As Chief Grader of Wata Games, I get to see some of the most unique and interesting video games throughout history pass over my desk. In this column, I will be sharing some of these highlight items with you.

This month’s feature will be a classic staple all of you are probably familiar with.  Not just a staple in gaming, but the whole world! From the grader’s desk this month I bring you Super Mario Bros. for the NES.  Now you’re probably thinking, “Wait, isn’t this game ultra common, possibly the highest selling game for the system as well as one of the highest selling games of all time?” Well, yes. In fact, Mario is officially the most recognizable fictional character in the world having surpassed Mickey Mouse several years back.

So what makes this copy of a very common game so special?  As with many collectible games, it’s all in the details. To begin, this particular copy is factory sealed, a state that is uncommon enough for NES games whose boxes and contents were treated as disposable packaging by most consumers during the system’s lifetime. More importantly, what sets this copy apart from the rest is the unique population for its print run. The earliest NES games were first-party “Black Box” games, a distinction given for their uniform design and appearance. Since these games were Nintendo’s first foray into home console gaming, they chose to seal their games with small “Nintendo” branded stickers like the ones used previously for their Game & Watch handhelds. These sticker seals debuted in October 1985 on the 18 NES test launch titles in a “Matte” style, and by the time the NES launched nationwide in 1986 they had been upgraded to a “Gloss” style that would read “VOID” when removed. This type of security seal coupled with a flip-up cardboard hangtab built into the back of the box proved to be inadequate for retailers, and by early-1987 Nintendo switched to the shrink wrap seal used ubiquitously in the industry.

This particular copy of Super Mario Bros. has a Gloss sticker seal, which is the 2nd of 11 box variants recognized by Wata. It is unique in that it is the earliest and only known sticker sealed Super Mario Bros. for the NES, Nintendo’s celebrated first console. This is the game that saved and launched an industry to the success it is today. It is the most well-known and iconic game of all time—and you are looking at the earliest factory sealed copy known. Wata certified this copy at 9.4 A++, and I hope you enjoy seeing it as much as I do sharing it with all of you.

Happy Collecting,
Kenneth Thrower, Chief Grader


Upcoming Events

Wata’s going to be at Wizard World – Chicago Comic Con this August 23-27. Not only will we be displaying high-end Wata certiffied games, but right next to us Wafffleffoot Games will be exclusively selling Wata certified games. Stop by our booth to see historically significant gems or just next door to get a taste of the action!  To see what other events we’ll be at this year check out the Wata Events page here.

Upcoming Wata Features

We have a lot in store over the next several months. We are currently expanding the sizes of custom archival blisters that each game is protected in–once complete, we will be able to offer certification for:

  • CD Jewel Case Sealed/CIB (PS1, Dreamcast, TurboGrafx16, 3DO, CDi)
  • Gameboy/GBC/GBA/Virtual Boy Sealed/CIB
  • Atari 400, 800, 2600, 5200, 7800 Sealed/CIB
  • Intellivision Sealed/CIB
  • N64 Cartridge
  • Genesis Cartridge
Wata is also working to preserve NES games’ data, not just the game conditions. We are currently developing a secure method off ‘dumping’ the ROMs for prototypes so that we can make them accessible to the owner of the certified game by scanning the Matrix code, which communicates to a secure database with the ROM data. Although we will begin to offer this starting with just NES prototypes, we hope to expand the service to all types of games across various systems and offer it as an additional service for all types of collectors!

We’ve got a lot more to share with you all and are excited to unveil what we have in store for the rest of the year! Among other interesting content, next month’s updates will include our first official Wata Word newsletter articles and an exciting announcement about special games previously unaccessible publicly being available to you for the first time. Stay tuned!

For inquiries, please email us at [email protected] or give us a call at (303) 390-1262

Happy collecting!!

-The Wata Games Team-

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