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Wata Games – November Updates

Hello Wata Games subscribers! We’re excited to share our most recent updates with you and announce some exciting things we have in store to grow and elevate the video game collecting hobby!

In addition to our usual updates, we are announcing a very exciting campaign and partnership between Heritage Auctions and Wata Games. Video Games are now going to appear in the world’s largest collectibles auction house — and you have the chance to participate! Keep reading for more information and more content!

Debut of Video Game Auctions:  Heritage Auctions and Wata Games join forces and are now accepting Consignments

To herald and rally up quality video game collectors leading up to the debut video games auction, Heritage Auctions and Wata Games announce that they are now accepting video game consignments.  Join the ardent video game collectors to grow your collection—by submitting consignments and/or bidding in these historic auctions! To be part of the signature auctions or weekly auctions you can reach out to:

Matt Griffin, Consignment Director (Comics)
[email protected]
(214) 409-1694

Why Heritage Auctions and Wata Games?  Because they are leaders in grading, certification, authenticity and transparency for collectibles never available before in the industry.  Credibility and reliability of the source matters; Heritage Auctions has built a reputation on credibility and reliability for over 40 years in collectibles that collectors trust.  Wata Games offers the confidence and transparency that Heritage Auctions looks for on behalf of their customers.

Come join this powerful force—Heritage Auctions and Wata Games—and start collecting! Heritage Video Game auctions will begin this December appearing in the weekly Sunday Night comic book auctions, as well as the Heritage Signature Auctions in February.

Contact Heritage or Wata for questions on consignments, auctions, or general information.

Two of Wata’s founders Deniz Kahn (left) and Kenneth Thrower (right) pose in Wata’s booth at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo this past October

What we’ve been up to…

The Wata team has been busy traveling around, and some of that time was spent exhibiting at shows. You may have seen us if you were at Chicago Wizard World, New York Comic Con, or the Portland Retro Gaming Expo. We had some amazing historically significant and high-end games on display at each show and we got to meet some great collectors while there! See below for some highlights of our travels:


While at New York Comic Con…

We met a lot of great people and got some exciting submissions, including some of the awesome people from IGN, one of the largest video game and entertainment websites/media groups. They stopped by Wata’s booth to do a feature on some of the most valuable collectibles on the show floor, including, of course, video games! To check out the video just click here!


While at Chicago Wizard World…

At Chicago’s Wizard World convention, Wata Games caught the eye of a semi-local publication from Kenosha, Wisconsin. Click here to check out Kenosha News’ feature on Wata!

Also, set up next to us at Wizard World was Wafflefoot Games selling only Wata Certified video games. Although Wata Games has no involvement with the direct buying/selling of games, several established sellers are always offering Wata-certified video games and are happy to help out collectors of all types!

Wafflefoot’s booth was set up next to Wata Games with over a hundred Wata-certified games for sale.
Founder and Chief Grader Kenneth Thrower poses in front of Wata’s booth before the show opens.
Certified games in-hand, the Mario brothers gave us a visit during the show!
Wizard World was a comic book show after all, so the founders had to get some alone time with an authentic Action Comics #1.
Although Deniz doesn’t seem as impressed as Kenneth does….

While at the Portland Retro Gaming Expo…

We got to set up an iconic four-case display for one of the largest vintage video game expos around. After a year of anticipation, we finally enjoyed the opportunity to meet and re-unite with some fantastic collectors and video game enthusiasts.



We were lucky enough to have six Nintendo World Championship cartridges in our posession at the time of the show. All are now back in collectors’ hands but it made for one killer showcase!
2D or 3D labels? Like these submitters, you can mix and match according to your preference, in this case for some of our favorite and most recognizable characters!
Some more high-end rarities featured in this case including three copies of Stadium Events, Mountain Bike Rally/Speed Racer sealed for SNES, the only known sticker sealed Super Mario Bros. and Mario Bros, two sealed Myriads for NES, and many more gems!

If you want to see some of the games that we feature, we now have a scrolling submission gallery on our home page (at the bottom) where you can view some awesome submissions. You can also check out our Instagram page where we feature the Wata certified game of the day, many of which you may have seen if you stopped by our booth at any of the shows we attended.

– Featured Testimony – 

“Just got my 1st submission back from Wata Games and I can honestly say that the grading was spot on, the turn time was fantastic, and the game looks great in the holder! I am looking forward to sending them in many, many more games!”

-Steve Borock
Game Collector & President CBCS

From The Grader’s Desk – November 2018
Wata certifies its first perfect 10 A++

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 title from the NES that is special to us at Wata for reasons not relating to the title specifically, but to the unique nature of this particular copy of the game.  The game in question is The Karate Kid, released in 1987 by LJN.  The Karate Kid is based on the 1984 Columbia Pictures movie and subsequent franchise films, which was well regarded with kids of the NES era during the 80s and 90s era of martial arts mania, even receiving a 1989 cartoon series.  The film series helped make careers for Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita and Elizabeth Shue.  It even inspired a modern-day revival series on Netflix in 2018 called Cobra Kai that stars most of the original cast and tells the story from the point of view of antagonist Johnny Lawrence.  The show received positive reviews from critics and fans of the franchise, including yours truly.

So, you probably are familiar with the movie and NES game.  Perhaps you know about LJN and their love of destroying your favorite movie franchises and turning them into frustrating or unplayable games.  Maybe you even know of their notoriety as a company with gamers like the Angry Video Game Nerd, but that isn’t why I chose to highlight this copy of The Karate Kid.  This particular copy is special because it is the first perfect specimen Wata has certified, receiving a certified grade of 10 A++.  That is the highest grade that a sealed game box and shrink wrap can receive, and this particular copy was deserving of our first recognized slot at the 10 spot.

In determining the grade of any sealed game, Wata carefully scrutinizes the surface of both the box and the seal, assigning a numerical grade (10 being the best and 0.5 being the worst) to describe the condition of the box, and a letter grade (A++ being the best and C being the worst) to describe the quality of the seal.  This copy of The Karate Kid was determined to be in top condition, receiving no grade deductions for neither the box nor seal.  It is important to remember that the difference between a 9.8 and a 10 can seem very small, but there are circumstances outside of the owner’s hand like handling and general condition. The step from 9.8 to 10 is usually the result of a perfect situation of printing, handling, packaging and presentation of a game before it even leaves the factory, coupled together with a game with no post-manufacturing damages or wear.  While many games can achieve a 9.8, that seemingly small step to 10 can become a quantum leap.

This level of condition may seem to be easily achievable for a new item, but you will have to remember this game is close to 30 years old and has survived in this condition without any special services of preservation available for much of its lifespan.  It is easy these days to pluck new games from a store shelf and send them in for certification immediately, almost guaranteeing a high mint grade.  However, classic NES titles had to wait decades for a proper certification and preservation option, all while having cardboard and soft shrink wrap packaging that promoted wear with even the slightest handling.  After collecting and examining thousands of sealed games, I have developed an appreciation for games that have somehow made it through the years unscathed, and I must say, they are few and far between.  This game is one of those rare instances, a perfect storm of circumstances, and I must say I am proud to have been able to both grade it and to share it with everyone here.

Happy Collecting,
Kenneth Thrower, Chief Grader

Submission Highlights

Here are photos of some significant and unique submissions we received in the past couple months. 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!


Upcoming Events

To kick off 2019, Wata Games will be at the Retro City Festival in Southern California, January 5-6. If you’re in the area be sure to stop by this awesome event run by passionate members of the video game community. We’ll have games on display and will be accepting submissions. To see what other events we’ll be at in the coming months, check out the Wata Events page here.

As always, we’ve got a lot more to share with you and are excited to unveil what we have in store for the rest of the year! Keep an eye out for more updates and our first feature editorial coming this month.

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

Happy collecting!!

-The Wata Games Team-

Copyright © *2018* *WATA GAMES*, All rights reserved.

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