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How can I tell a repro from a legit?
http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=15695
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Author:  DementedPurple [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:58 am ]
Post subject:  How can I tell a repro from a legit?

In the town I live in, there is this person who sells reproduction carts in flea markets. He sells them in pretty much every flea market in Colorado. I want to avoid buying fake cartridges and buy only legit ones. Is there a way to tell a repro from a legit? Thanks!

Author:  Dwedit [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

Look at the edge connector to see if it is an original board or not, and look at the PCB. The biggest giveaway is EPROMs (window on the chip) or new flash chips instead of ROM chips.
Reproductions made from a donor will use original boards, but the chips will be EPROM or FLASH chips. Use Bootgod's database to see what real cartridges look like, and compare. Manufactures of the ROM chips and mappers may vary.

If they won't let you open it up, just look at the print quality for the label, it's a dead giveaway whether it was an original offset print or not.

Author:  DementedPurple [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 8:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

When I get home, I'll take some pictures of some cartridges I believe are reproductions.

Author:  MottZilla [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

Some cartridges may have had their labels damaged and replaced. So looking at the label and seeing it isn't as expected for a factory original game will alert you that something isn't right. But there is a possibility that a cartridge with a replaced label still contains a legitimate pcb and maskroms. The final word is always going to be looking at the pcb. It's not difficult to tell if something isn't original. As Dwedit suggested you can compare with bootgod's pcb scans and very easily tell if it is original or not. If you see any wires though you can bet it's not factory original.

Author:  DementedPurple [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 4:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

Here is my copy of Super Mario Bros. 2. You'll see that it doesn't have a seal of quality, and that on the back it doesn't have a copyright

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Author:  MottZilla [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

According to the database, that label could be real despite the lack of the seal. From what I saw, it seems like earlier production copies of SMB2 lack the seal of quality on the label. Plus I don't see good reason for someone to repro one of the better selling games that should be fairly available compared to others.

Author:  tokumaru [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

Mario games in general are pretty sought after, despite being common, I guess...

Author:  MottZilla [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 6:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

15 to 20 dollars on ebay right now. So no, I can't see anyone reproing it. I think Demented was concerned because it lacks the seal of quality which is usually there, but not always.

Author:  Dwedit [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

On Bootgod's database, profiles #3 and #8 have no seal of quality. But there are three seal variants, one with TM, with with R, and one without a seal.

But yeah, people are much more likely to cannibalize a Super Mario 2 cartridge than make a reproduction of it.

The Cart Backs on bootgod's database may be broken, since they show US labels with ACHTUNG on the back.

Author:  DementedPurple [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

Just out of curiosity, around what time were these cartridges being made?

Author:  DementedPurple [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

An also, one thing I've noticed is that mine doesn't have the copyright 1985 on the back sticker.

Author:  DementedPurple [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

DementedPurple wrote:
Just out of curiosity, around what time were these cartridges being made?

It has a TM

Author:  Sour [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

I was curious and went looking for my copy in the basement - and then I discovered that canadian cartridges are actually slightly different from the US ones.
Mine had the black ® seal, which actually doesn't match the canadian copy on bootgod's site. The back seemed identical though.

Author:  tepples [ Tue Mar 21, 2017 7:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

The back label does have the mopyright symbol Ⓜ, which represents exclusive rights in a "mask work" (integrated circuit layout). Nintendo has long claimed mopyright on the physical layout of the ROM chip in addition to copyright on the actual game.

Author:  MottZilla [ Wed Mar 22, 2017 1:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How can I tell a repro from a legit?

DementedPurple wrote:
Just out of curiosity, around what time were these cartridges being made?


Late 1988. By early 1989 they have the seal. So it might just be the first production run that lacks the seal of quality. So maybe you can consider your version more desirable/more rare as it is among the first produced.

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