Decades of Games Later, Stickers Still Suck

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The fondest memories I carry in my years of gaming lie in the excitement of scouring shelves and pouring over box art to find what caught my young adolescent eyes. Running up and down aisles of Blockbuster and Toys R Us admiring the vibrant visuals and reading every small back of the box blurb to see what I might be taking home with me that day.

Many of us share similar memories. The long car ride home that was sometimes satiated by ripping the box open and staring at the manual that games still bothered to pack in with the disc or cartridge. Running inside and jumping right into a brand-new experience without a care in the world. Nostalgia at its finest.

The hours go by. The entertainment settles. The time comes to put the game back, maybe to play something else, maybe because you dislike leaving games in their system. And you find yourself face to face with one of two scenarios.

The wonderfully clean and vibrant box that you were given in its pristine and unblemished glory.


Or this.

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These.

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Monstrosities.

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These unwavering insults to a collector’s eyes have existed practically since games have existed. The retail sticker and the security seal have ruined painstakingly crafted title cards for generations now.

I’ll never forget the day I opened my copy of Pokémon Stadium. The giant box with the game transfer Pak inside and the gorgeous artwork on every face of this lovely little cube. At least, it had been gorgeous. Until it was ruined when my fingers attempted to open it and get to the game inside.

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The rips, the tears, the glue riddled residue left behind is enough to make your mind crumble in on itself. Clumsy removal leads to your property, the thing you just spent your precious money on, being scarred for the rest of its existence.

I could maybe even understand the early days of games. The lack of regard for this new hobby of gaming and collection was surely just ignorance on the retailers’ part. Yet here we stand, nearly three decades later and I still have to look at this collector’s edition with a damn sticker slapped over the only way to open it.

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We are still dealing with stickers all over our gorgeous new systems and toys.


We have YouTube videos dedicated to painstaking sticker removal. We have highly detailed wiki-how’s describing every possible method to remove them. It’s the equivalent of game collecting surgery. All these precise methods of scraping, heating, and praying that the thing comes off and leaves no trace of its damned existence.

How many classic Nintendo boxes have had to suffer rips and tears thanks to these stickers? How many collectors have cried themselves to sleep at night over the giant blemish they know will never truly leave the pretty box they have on their shelf? How much more can I dramatize this issue?

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Not enough I say.

This industry has transformed and evolved in so many ways since it began. Generations later, and yet this primitive little sticker continues to torment us. It’s 2017 and the best solution for security and advertisement somehow still remains this disgusting, glue-y piece of laminated paper and plastic.

Will things change? Probably not, considering how cheap and easy it is to slap the grubby little thing on.

Do you have sticker stories to share? Pictures to display and lament over? You can share them.

We are all victims here.
 

H1B1Esquire

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We usually do it as a "Fuck you, I've got mine.", but the best way to get around it is to either ask for stock without stickers, have a backup case, or blow dryer/rubbing alcohol.
 

Tom Bombadildo

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Nobody likes stickers, but with time and the right technique, you can usually get them off without too much damage. LGR made a video on his techniques ::

I was just about to post the same thing :lol:

These days I don't buy a lot of physical games anymore, so I'm not plagued by sticker madness, but back in the day it was super annoying.
 
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8BitWonder

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I've bought retro games a few times with a sticker on the damn cartridge art.
I could barely keep my hands steady removing them and even when they were finally off, I'd have to carefully clean away residue.
(Now I only have to be disgusted at the permanent marker name on some of them.)
 
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Gourmet

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Oh look, "it's current year!" argument again. Because obviously every retailer is above 50 years old and has decades of experience with removal of video game stickers, just like you.
 

RedBlueGreen

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It looks like Donkey Kong and Yoshi are hiding from the stickers.

I really hate when you're taking the stickers off a box and it pulls some of the cardboard off leaving a huge brown bald spot on the box. Or when you're taking the stickers off a game case and you can't get it off in one try so there's a bunch of the white underside of the sticker left on, or when you do get it off and there's a bunch of adhesive still on the case. The latter two are usually an issue for me when I'm trading in or selling games because I don't want the employees to see how much I paid for the game in case they try to lowball me. Like if you buy a used game for $40 and they'll give you $20-25 (local stores here give you about 50-60% of what the game sells for if they don't have too many) normally, but if they saw you paid something like $30 they might offer you even less than half of what the game is worth, like giving you $8-10 (this could also be an issue if the game has increased in value).

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Wait, how are you supposed to know if it's faulty and should be refunded if you can't open the box and check?
I think it means you can't just decide to return the game for a refund if it's been opened. If it's defective you can probably bring it back and complain.
 
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gamesquest1

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honestly in some ways now with plastic cases, the stickers actually end up protecting the case to a small degree, sure there are obnoxiously stubborn types that seem to require a chisel to remove, but it' nothing at all like stickers being stuck on cardboard boxes, those I hate

I think my biggest annoyances on ps1 cases where some shops took apart the case to apply their "pre-owned sticker over the barcode, and not content with that after peeling up the sticker you find they scribbled over the barcode in Biro just to add insult to injury.....oh and they couldn' let the manual get away Scot free, they just had to plaster that with the pre-owned scum branding all over the manual too XD

but yeah there is nothing worse than seeing a nice mint snes game only to turn it around and see a big tear where the sticker was ripped off (damn you yoshi's island) :(
 

WiiUBricker

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Well at least they can be removed. In Germany there are huge ass age rating signs that are printed on the actual game covers because they think germans are too stupid to notice regular sized signs. The australian ones are bad as well.
 

driverdis

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I just love removing a sticker to find another sticker under it that itself was covering the original sticker, then the original sticker does not want to come off. It gets even more fun when stickers are purposely put on the artwork itself instead of the case. I have had to change out cases because of impossible to remove stickers but I cannot do that if it is on the artwork.
 
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Yep. I think I tried peeling one of those stickers off once, only to ruin the case even further. Though, to be fair, I honestly didn't think of the little things to be a big deal. I kinda liked my game's a bit rough around the edges.

Reading this reminded me of the time me and my brother took the paper sleeves out of our PS2 cases and started to do cut and paste with them. We didn't think much of it then, but I'm sure the thought of it is bound to give some people aneurysms today.
 
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Deleted User

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You can get those stickers off with an Hairdryer, but you need to be extra carefull.
 

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