Oct, 2022 thru July, 2023
by Hopper & ChatGPT
We are thrilled to have you here again as we delve into the fascinating world of graded video games.
You might have noticed a hiatus in the newsletter, and we want to take a moment to explain the reason behind it.
Old Man Hopper, the driving force behind this newsletter, faced a challenging period,
grappling with pain in his fingers, arms, and hands, which hindered his ability to engage with his passion for market news.
However, with renewed enthusiasm help from ChatGPT,
Hopper is back for now, ready to deliver fresh insights, news, and captivating stories from the ever-evolving world of certified video game collecting.
Let's dive into the exciting world of collectible gaming, and take a moment to glance at some key highlights from the broader financial landscape for the first half of 2023.
The S&P 500 index showcased remarkable growth, soaring over 18% so far in 2023,
while the realm of cryptocurrencies witnessed a staggering surge with Bitcoin up nearly 80%.
Turning our focus to the world of certified gaming, the year commenced with the first signature event in January and saw 849 bidders spend over $1.8 million.
Among the big sales was the highest CGC sale of the year: Super Mario Bros. 3 CGC 9.8 A++ Sealed Right Bros.
The momentum continued in April with another thrilling signature event,
which realized over $2.1 million from 851 bidders.
This electrifying auction featured the highest WATA sale of the year:
Duck Hunt - Wata 9.6 A++ Sealed Matte Sticker,
as well as the highest magazine sold to date: Nintendo Power #1 Newsstand Edition in CGC 9.8.
While the weekly events witnessed some fluctuations in both quality and totals as the year progressed towards the summer,
we remain eagerly poised for the July signature auction, to see if the market bounced off the May/June lows.
Look for more analysis and sold stories in our upcoming newsletter.
Wata POP Update
We are thrilled to bring you an update straight from the source! Dan Gomez,
the head of certification & database at WATA GAMES,
has shared some exciting news on Facebook & Discord.
Get ready to add an incredible new addition to your collection - Switch POPs are on their way!
Switch POPs are set to be released soon, and collectors are buzzing with anticipation with so many 10s being flexed on social media recently.
As the leading grading company with the highest market cap of slabs in the industry,
WATA GAMES continues to delight fans by dolling out Mint Nintendo Switch slabs.
These upcoming Switch POPs are sure to impact modern collecting,
and collectors are eager to check their collections vs the growing census of graded video games...
Keep your passion for collectible video games alive, and get ready to level up your collection with Switch POPs from WATA GAMES!
Meely Pops Drops WATAgraphs on WhatNot
Attention, gaming enthusiasts and collectors!
MeeleyPops has just unveiled an exciting new offering that's taking the graded video game market by storm - WATAGRAPHS!
These exclusive slabs feature limited edition autographs from renowned gaming personalities, paired with WATA's trusted certification, making them a must-have for any serious collector.
Each WATAGRAPH showcases the signature of a gaming personality,
ensuring a unique and valuable addition to your collection.
These coveted slabs are meticulously crafted and come with WATA's reputable label certification,
providing assurance of authenticity and quality.
As a limited edition release, WATAGRAPHS POPs are very short.
With sold prices on WhatNot openeing at $200 and beyond, these autographed slabs crossover the entertainment & gaming communities.
Whether you're a dedicated gamer, collector, or investor,
don't miss this opportunity to slab your own a piece of gaming history with WATAGRAPHS.
Keep an eye on MeeleyPops on WhatNot for the latest drops to secure your prized WATAGRAPH!
Standard Gaming Farewell
It is with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to a beloved dealer in the graded game space.
StandardGaming.com, known for its specialization in offering affordable slabs, including CiB (Complete in Box) items, Pokemon, and Switch games,
has announced its closure, effective June 2023.
In a poignant statement, the owner, Brett, shared his heartfelt sentiments with the community:
"Hi all! On Tuesday, we'll be shutting down StandardGaming.com.
The video game market just isn't growing at a pace that supports the plan the four of us had originally envisioned,
and we think it'll be a few too many years before that time comes..."
Brett's words reflect the passion and dedication that he and his team poured into their business.
StandardGaming.com was a efficient platform, known for providing access to graded collectibles at affordable prices,
making it a haven for both seasoned collectors and newcomers to the hobby.
Their commitment to serving the community with integrity and enthusiasm will be sorely missed.
As we bid adieu to StandardGaming.com, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to Brett and his team for their contributions to the graded game space.
Their legacy will live on in the cherished collectibles that now find homes with collectors around the world.
Let us remember the valuable role that StandardGaming.com played in making graded video games accessible and affordable for enthusiasts of all budgets.
May their memory continue to inspire us as we navigate the ever-thriving world of collectible video games.
New WATA Holders
Great news for collectors and enthusiasts in the graded video game market!
WATA GAMES has unveiled its highly-anticipated New Generation Holder,
offering enhanced protection and aesthetics for your prized collectibles.
All submissions from this point forward will be encapsulated in the new holder,
ensuring the utmost quality for your valuable games.
While some games can only be encapsulated in the Legacy holder,
rest assured that submissions for SNES Cartridges, Japanese N64 boxes, small box PC, and oversized/special edition DVD-style games will remain open for Legacy holder placement.
Furthermore, WATA GAMES is introducing four new platforms to their lineup:
3DS, PS Vita, PSP, and Game Gear. These long-awaited additions will not be available in the Legacy holder,
so collectors can enjoy them exclusively in the New Generation Holder.
The New Generation Holder boasts six optimized models,
each designed to securely and aesthetically accommodate various game styles and sizes. The breakdown of models includes:
Case #1: The Big Kahuna - For Atari, Genesis clamshells, longbox PS1, Sega CD, and Saturn games.
Case #2: The Classic - Holds NES, PSP, Game Gear, PS Vita, TurboGrafx, and all Blu-Ray style games (PS3, PS4, Xbox One, etc.).
Case #3: The Handheld - Designed for Game Boy, DS, NES Cartridges, and Double Jewel games.
Case #4: The Side Scroller - Perfectly fits N64 and SNES games.
Case #5: The Tall, Thin, and Handsome - Accommodates all DVD-style games (Xbox, PS2, Gamecube, Wii, etc.).
Case #6: The Super Slim - For 3DS and all Jewel Case games (PS1, Dreamcast, PC).
However, it's important to note that, in some cases,
collectors have reported receiving slabs with off-centered blisters and rare instances of games being crushed.
Collectors is diligently addressing these concerns and is committed to providing top-notch customer service to resolve any issues promptly.
As with any growing business, occasional hiccups are to be expected, but WATA remains dedicated to ensuring the highest quality standards for all collectors.
Stay tuned to WATA GAMES' social media and newsletters for the latest updates and opportunities to submit games for the Legacy holder.
Keep your collections protected and showcase your passion for collectible video games with WATA GAMES' innovative New Generation Holder and expanded platform offerings!
VGA Moves Forward
We have thrilling news for the gaming community! VGA, the oldest video game grading company,
has made a significant leap forward by updating their website and now offering online submissions.
This remarkable enhancement allows collectors to easily submit their cherished video game collectibles for grading, without filling out pdfs!
As an industry OG (Original Gamer), VGA continues to stay the course in grading video game collectibles.
And we have insider confirmation from none other than Dan Riga, a prominent figure in the gaming world.
Dan's insights have revealed that the turnaround times for grading are now incredibly quick.
With a seamless archival process of just 30 days,
collectors can have their prized possessions expertly graded and returned in record time.
Dan Riga's endorsement speaks volumes about the reliability and efficiency of VGA's services.
Collectors can rest assured that their valuable items are in the hands of trusted experts,
ensuring the utmost care and precision in the grading process.
Whether you're a seasoned collector or just beginning to explore the world of graded video games,
VGA's latest updates make it easier and faster than ever before.
So, gear up and get ready to experience the exceptional service and quick turnaround times with VGA's online submissions.
Keep an eye out for coupon codes like the 20% THANK YOU,
and don't miss the opportunity to add value and authenticity to your prized video game collection!
Wata Co-Founder Joins CGC
We are delighted to shine a spotlight on an industry trailblazer, Kenneth Thrower, co-founder of WATA Games -
a leading grading company in the collectible video game hobby.
With a deep passion for coin grading and a commitment to video game preservation,
Kenneth played a pivotal role in establishing WATA Games as a trusted standard in grading.
After years of shaping the industry,
Kenneth recently made a noteworthy career move,
leaving California based Collectors to join CGC Video Games,
a prominent competitor based in Florida.
The news of Kenneth Thrower's transition to CGC Video Games was announced by the Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®) on 2/9/2023.
As the new Video Game Grading Finalizer at CGC Video Games,
Kenneth brings an extensive background in the third-party video game grading service arena.
His joining the CGC team further solidifies their position as the industry leader in video game certification.
A lifelong collector, Kenneth's journey began at the tender age of five when his grandfather gifted him a large glass jug filled with coins,
sparking his love for collecting. His expertise in grading and keen eye for spotting variants and condition have been honed over the years,
earning him recognition, even winning coin grading contests at the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Show during his childhood.
Kenneth's passion for video games led him to co-founder and head grader of Wata.
His personal collection includes the finest known 1st print black box test market Super Mario Bros.
Beyond video games, he also indulges in collecting movies and music, as well as restoring classic cars - currently working on a Jurassic Park jeep!
As a perfect fit for CCG and CGC Video Games,
Kenneth's dedication to the collectibles industry will undoubtedly elevate their video game grading services to new heights.
With his expertise, CGC Video Games is excited to continue developing future grading services for emerging collectibles.
Let us extend our best wishes to Kenneth Thrower on his new journey at CGC Video Games.
His contributions are bound to shape the graded collectible video game market for years to come,
and we eagerly anticipate the innovations and growth he will bring to this thriving hobby.
The Journey of Josh Byerly: A Renowned Expert in Collectible Video Games
In October 2022, PWCC welcomed a true luminary - Josh Byerly,
a manager hailed as one of the foremost experts in the hobby.
With an impressive 22 years of experience as a collector, seller, and broker of authenticated games,
Josh's passion for video games began during the advent of internet forums.
As a trusted trader and a recognized expert in the gaming community,
he quickly made a name for himself with his vast knowledge and keen eye for rare finds.
Over the years, Josh's dedication to video game collecting only grew stronger.
His journey led him to launching the video game veritcal at PWCC.
His role at PWCC Marketplace allowed him to bring regular material to market,
share his expertise, educate others, and further contribute to the dynamic world of collectible video games.
However, in May 2023, the gaming community was taken aback by the news of mass layoffs at PWCC Marketplace,
shortly before Fanatics Collectibles announced their acquisition of the auction house.
The acquisition marked a significant move for Fanatics but the community believes the layoffs,
were to tighten up PWCC's books before the acquisition, and had nothing to do with video games...
Josh Byerly's journey in the collectible marketplace space reflects a profound passion for gaming and an unwavering dedication to the community.
We acknowledge Josh's invaluable contributions and eagerly anticipate how his expertise will further shape this beloved hobby.
Click on the Masters link to get in touch with Josh directly, as he actively buys, sells, and trades,
continuing to fuel the evolution of the graded gaming collectibles world.
Hopper Launches Game Gallery
We have some exciting news to share with you all! Podcasting Old Man Hopper,
the beloved voice of Power Collectors (formerly known as Game Investing),
is undergoing a fantastic transformation.
Say hello to Game Gallery - the ultimate destination for navigating the deep end of the gaming hobby!
With a rebranding that captures the essence of his passion for the graded game industry,
Game Gallery is set to help you connect to Hopper's network.
Old Man Hopper, now the curator of this virtual gallery of links & info,
is being assisted by AI technology to alleviate his painful fingers, hands & arms,
making it easier for him to share his insights and knowledge with the community he loves.
Launching GameGallery.net, a map to the deeep end of the hobby,
Old Man Hopper aims to help collectors journey ever deeper into the business of graded games.
Discover relationships, strategies, tactics, tips and in-depth analysis that will take your passion for collecting even deeper!
But that's not all! To stay connected and interact more frequently,
Game Gallery will now feature visual & video content on Instagram,
giving you an inside look at his latest pickups & solds!
And finally, let's not forget the driving force behind this exciting venture - our very own newsletter!
Started back in the bubble, this newsletter returns with a vengeance, powered by ChatGPT,
providing you with news driven insights, and exclusive content straight from the heart of Game Gallery.
Get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey with Game Gallery - a fusion of business, gaming history, technology,
and passion for gaming entrepreneurship that promises to ignite your collector's spirit!
For more exciting updates and the latest from Game Gallery, stay tuned to this newsletter, follow us on Instagram,
or click on the podcast link to go even deeper...
Duck Hunt & Nintendo Power do Six Figures
Heritage Auctions Video Games Signature® Auction went off from April 20 to 22,
where the video game collecting community witnessed a couple six figure sales.
With over 850 bidders participating, the auction achieved more than two million dollars,
reaffirming continued popularity and value of certified gaming collectibles.
Among the exceptional items up for grabs, a rare gem stood out, setting a milestone in the world of certified gaming.
A first print Duck Hunt, meticulously graded Wata 9.6 A++ Sealed took the crown as the highest Year to Date WATA sold.
As of late July, 2023, no other WATA slab has sold for more than $120K+ as far as we know...
With only one other sealed copy of the matte sticker version on Wata's December 2022 population report,
graded at 9.2, this newly graded 9.6 example became an extraordinary treasure in the market cap.
The impeccable seal grade and pristine condition of this iconic NES title,
known for its unforgettable black box launch, made it a once in a lifetime find.
In addition to the Duck Hunt sensation, another gaming collectible made a significant splash in the auction.
Nintendo Power #1 (Nintendo of America, Inc., 1988) [Newsstand Edition], CGC 9.8 NM/MT White Pages, broke into six figures realm during a down market.
This highest-graded copy from CGC held immense significance for both book/comic & gaming Power Collectors,
as it represents the potential for crossover from the deep pockets comic community.
Matt & Jason Launch CGC Video Games - A New Era in Video Game Collecting!
Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®) pioneers behind the much-anticipated CGC Video Games division:
Matt McClellan & Jason Brassard, two industry veterans and devoted collectors,
spearhead the groundbreaking Top 3 grading house,
bringing forth a new era in the video game collecting hobby.
With their profound knowledge and vast experience, having each owned and operated retro gaming shops for years/decades before joining CGC,
Matt and Jason have taken the world of video game certification & grading to new heights in pricing and speed.
Matt McClellan, as the Senior Video Game Grading Finalizer, brings with him an illustrious background in video game authenticity,
condition, and rarity. Having operated an independent video game store for nearly a decade, his expertise extends across a vast range of video game consoles.
His particular forte lies in authenticating sealed original Xbox games, modern systems, and all Nintendo games.
With a passion for video games that has been nurtured since his first encounter with a Super Nintendo and Zelda Link to the Past,
Matt's presence at CGC Video Games marks a significant milestone in the pursuit of excellence within the gaming community.
Joining Matt is Jason Brassard, a stalwart of the video game collecting world for decades.
As a Video Game Grading Finalizer, Jason brings an abundance of knowledge honed through collecting and building sets since the late 1990s.
With 20 years of experience operating an independent video game store, his adeptness at evaluating and handling new games is unparalleled.
Jason's expertise in retro, pre-2001 games, particularly Atari and Colecovision, exemplifies his dedication to preserving gaming history for future generations.
The co-author of "Classic 80s Home Video Games," Jason is committed to strengthening the video game hobby and market through CGC Video Games.
The launch of CGC Video Games marked a momentous occasion for collectors worldwide.
In October 2022, amidst the vibrant atmosphere of the Portland Retro Gaming Expo (PRGE),
the gaming community was thrilled by a major announcement.
CGC Video Games® made its highly-anticipated official debut during the show, presenting itself as a formidable response to WATA's new cases designed to showcase collectible video games in a whole new light.
Video game certified collecting has swiftly emerged as one of the most dynamic and rapidly-growing collectibles categories,
captivating collectors who simply can't resist acquiring just one slab. The allure of expertly graded video game treasures is irresistible, driving enthusiasts to expand their cherished collections and uncover new gaming gems at every turn.
The nostalgia for early video gaming has inspired collectors to preserve retro games,
while the enduring appeal of modern titles continues to drive interest in contemporary gaming collectibles.
Embracing CGC Video Games as a compelling alternative to the market cap leader WATA,
collectors now benefit from healthy competition in the graded game.
As business dynamics dictate, this spirited rivalry is a boon for the consumer collector,
empowering them with choices of up to ten grading house, lower submission costs,
faster turnarounds and enhanced services in their pursuit of the ultimate video game treasures.
Exciting developments have taken place in the grading landscape, benefiting collectors across the board.
Notably, grading cost have come down! Additionally, both CGC, WATA, and VGA are streamlining their processes,
resulting in shorter turnaround times.
Furthermore, improving quality control measures are being implemented.
As the industry continues to evolve, these positive changes should improve customer satisfaction :)