Factory sealed pokemon gameboy games

Hello! Does anyone have experience buying/selling factory sealed pokemon gameboy games? I have been thinking about buying red and maybe even blue to go along with it at some point but I am worried about fakes. Are there any signs I should look out for?
The only thing I am aware of is that the plastic should have what they call an “H” seal. I’ve been looking at listing online and I’ve seen some games that look legit have a different looking ESRB sign on the front. Some have a white “frayed” looking E and some have a crisp black E. Is this a production date difference or sign of a fake?

Any help is appreciated! I’ll try posting some links but i’m doing this on a phone and i’m not too sure how that works lol.

Edit 1: frayed white E

Edit 2: crisp black E

The white one is the first release. The black one is the revised logo later on.

I would also try and look into VGA graded ones just to be extra sure it’s not a fake xD

Look for the “H” Seal on the back. It is the line that seals the shrink wrap going across the back-middle of the game. That’s supposed to be one of the best indicators. Other than that - stick with reputable sellers and pay a bit extra from them.

Like Charchu mentioned - VGA is the PSA of Video Games. They authenticate and grade games and give them a nice looking case to boot.

Good luck on your hunt - I’m on the hunt for a Silver, Gold, and Crystal myself.

Thanks to the both of you! I didn’t know about the VGA so i’ll look into that. I’m always willing to pay a little extra for reputable sellers so i don’t waste my time with scams because as they say time is money.

I don’t know how much has changed but it was always super easy to reseal a Game Boy game to look like it came from the factory. Working at Gamestop (long ago) they gave us cellophane and heat gun so we could bag and seal things. It was pretty easy to replicate it back then so I imagine now it would be even easier to pass off a used game as new. Needless to say, beware of what’s out there in the market. I think one of the best indicators would be that H seal + an original price sticker. That would be tougher to replicate so it looks legit (aged).

Its really not, especially the H-seams. Its almost guaranteed to be legit (few exceptions exist). Its not as easy to re-seal a game as most people think, nor not easy to find boxes minty enough to re-seal to look good. I’ve spent a good bit of time in the video game market, and to be honest, most collectors don’t deal with VGA (usually only see random sellers thinking they can make 3x the value by grading it). This is mostly for GB, N64, SNES, NES games.

What part of it is difficult to reproduce? Not being argumentative, more a curiosity. I collected video games for like 20 years or so and worked in the industry for many years. The box is the challenge no doubt. Pretty easy to see if one was pried open… usually.


i’ve been burnt a few times with fake seals, and semi opened seals.

VGA will refuse to grade items which have signs of being opened previously. So if it has a sticker, and it’s been peeled by someone’s fingernails on a pokemon console, it will be deemed un-gradable, and fall into a qualified category for grading. They have quite strict standards which justify the pricing.
It is extremely difficult to find sealed games in good condition, with seals that have not be tampered with or are damaged some way.

i have bought alot of pokemon games, and its one of the main things i collect.

pokemon gameboy games should have a crisp h seam on the back, and the left and right parallel sides should be crisp and angular as well in a sort of T shape seam. Both those links looked pretty good to me, but you can see there is some crushed corners on that blue, so be careful. will probably grade an 80 max.

Also check around the flaps, you can see if boxes have been creased and opened previously, sometimes when there is gaps around the openings, or marks, and little tears, it’s all indicators of previously being opened.

Also check for dis-colouration of boxes, and dodgy out of proportion prints, and the usual… don’t buy from low feedback sellers, or negative feedback sellers.

some gameboy games don’t have a h seam, but i think most of the american pokemon games will have the H seam.

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I took a look at some vga graded ones but they were insanely expensive so I’d have to get one ungraded. I’m fine with that tho because the cases didn’t look very appealing to me. What do you guys think about a vertical H seam? I saw one listed like that.

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Some of those should be okay. as long as it looks neat and legitimate, i think it’s alright.

Thank you. It wasn’t one I was considering buying but I want to know as much about this as I can.