Reseals: How to Tell if Your Game Is Authentically Sealed

There are numerous ways to tell if your sealed game has an authentic seal from the manufacturer or if it is resealed.

One of the key steps in the certification process adhered to by in the CGC Video Games™ is game authentication. When video games are submitted, the CGC Video Games graders meticulously inspect each collectible to determine whether the game and all of its components are genuine, including the game’s seal.

Most video games came from the factory or distributor sealed in plastic shrink wrap. The type of plastic and seal type can vary between consoles and publishers. Knowing which type of plastic was used and how the game was sealed is an important part of the authentication process.

However, not every sealed video game submission has an original seal. Some games have been resealed, or repackaged, in either authentic or non-authentic plastic wrap after having been opened for any reason.

An authentic Mortal Kombat II sealed (left) and the same game, resealed (right).

There are many reasons why a game may have been resealed. Factories would often reseal games during the production process. It was not uncommon to open games on the production floor for quality control purposes and reseal them after the inspection. These types of reseals are considered authentic because they were resealed by the manufacturer.

Distributors resealed video games as well. Seals could tear or rip during the distribution process, so distributors would reseal games quite often. Like manufacturers, distributors would open games for quality control checks and reseal them afterwards. These types of reseals are also considered authentic because they were resealed prior to being sold in the retail market.

Reseals attempted during the retail process for any reason are considered non-authentic. Retailers may reseal games that are returned to them before offering them for sale again. Unlike factory-inspected games, used games typically feature significant handling defects, so CGC Video Games will reject submissions that show evidence of being used and then resealed afterward.

If you are considering submitting sealed games to CGC Video Games, here are some ways to identify whether your game’s seal is authentic or not.

Third-party seals

One way to authenticate an original seal is to compare the seal to other known copies of your game. This copy of Mortal Kombat II features what is known as a “third-party seal.” Third-party seals often have a seam that runs along the top, bottom and one of the sides of the box. Third-party seals might be original to a video game, but they are usually the most common form of a non-authentic reseal.

The top of authentic Mortal Kombat II sealed (left) and the resealed copy (right).

The bottom of authentic Mortal Kombat II sealed (left) and the resealed copy (right).

V-seam seals

Most known sealed copies of Mortal Kombat II feature a “V-seam seal.” This type of seal has a seam along both the top and bottom of the box, as well as a connecting seam that runs vertically along the back of the box. This disparity in seal types is the first indication that this particular Mortal Kombat II may have been resealed.

The back of an authentic Mortal Kombat II sealed (left) and the resealed copy (right).

Color breaks

Another indicator to watch for is a “color break.” When a box is opened, pressure is placed on the cardboard where the flaps meet the back and sides. That pressure damages the ink on the box, resulting in a thin line of color break along the base of the flaps. A color break is strong evidence that the game has been opened and used, and is no longer considered authentically sealed.

An authentic Mortal Kombat II sealed with no color break (left) and the resealed copy with a color break (right).

As these pictures show, the Mortal Kombat II on the right displays color break along the base of the flap on the right side of the box, while the copy on the left does not. The color break is quite faint, indicating that it may not have been opened many times. But the line of color break extends along the entirety of the flap’s base.

While these are not the only ways to authenticate an original seal, they are the most common and most effective. CGC Video Games encourages all those interested in submitting to be conscious of potential reseals and check submissions before sending them in for certification.