Important IMP Improvement

By Mark Haspel

Before designing the Wata case or label, we consulted over two dozen advanced collectors and high-end video game dealers about what they would like the Wata product to look like through product testing methods. They gave us their input on our policies of how sealed games and CIBs should be treated. Wata drew conclusions from these different opinions and moved forward with our holder, label and policies.

Since then, there have been collectors within the community who have given us great suggestions and ideas that they would like to see Wata implement. Some of these suggestions are either not financially nor operationally feasible, but a few have caught our attention.

After reviewing many of these suggestions, Wata has decided to implement a change to our policy regarding IMPs.

IMP stands for Incorrect Married Part (to learn more about IMP’s please see our other Blog Post). An example would be a CIB Super Mario Bros matte sticker box with a cart and manual that has an oval seal. To be perfectly clear, it is the box from the 1985 first version with a cart/manual from the 1992-1995 version. This particular cart and manual could not have been included in the 1985 version as they did not exist when the first version was released. IMP designations can only apply to CIBs, not to sealed games.

The reality of collecting CIB video games is that since the release of these games and over a couple decades since, no one really cared about what version cartridge or manual was included in a box.  There were a handful of advanced collectors who did know which variations applied to which boxes, but these people were a small minority. Most collectors would just take a higher grade manual from 1992 and switch it with the lower grade manual from 1986. The prevailing thought was “If it had less defects, it meant it was better.” No one did these things with malice, it’s just how the dice fell. Most collectors had no idea the high grade manual they put into a CIB was incompatible with how the game was originally released. This was common practice and a great many CIBs have incorrect married parts.

Up to now, Wata would grade the components of a CIB, whether they are IMP or not, and give an overall grade to the CIB. The fact that there is an IMP component would be disclosed on the label.  All component grades would be listed individually on the back of the label. At first, IMPs were only designated on the back label, then on the front label in the “exception” field (first line). We listened to the community’s feedback that this was still not overt enough for unsuspecting buyers and went one step further:

All IMPs will still have the component grades on the back of the label. All IMPs will still have the IMPs disclosed on the label. The overall grade will be displayed on the back of the label as it was before. The adjustment that Wata is implementing is that the overall grade on the front of the label, on top of the hologram (aka “the flow”) will be replaced with the designation “IMP.”


This will eliminate any confusion or misunderstandings among buyers about the authenticity of the items contained in a CIB. Wata has been transparent on the Wata label and on our website about the contents of an IMP CIB, but this adjustment will make the distinction irrefutable.

We thank you for your support and hope to implement more of our customers’ feedback moving forward.