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Mr. Game&Watch
The logo of Game&Watch

The great Nintendo Handheld Games from the 80's ...!

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Overview: Information about the copies

Unfortunately there are many copied Game&Watch items on the market, also called reproductions. These «Items» are a real pain for most collectors, because for them they are worthless.

Of course there are collectors who buy the Game&Watch games loose, because for them the original boxes, instructions, papers etc. are too expensive. Finally they complete their games with these reproduced items. Nothing speaks against that.

But there is a problem, if these collectors sell their games at a later time and «forget» to mention, that they are selling reproduced items...

If you are not careful, you might get such copies. On the following pages I give you some information and hints to detect the copied Game&Watch items.

Which Game&Watch items are copied? (Part 1)

Except for the games themselves, following items are being copied:

  • Boxes
  • Styrofoams
  • Instructions
  • Papers (Warning, How to Play etc.)
  • Plastic bags for the games
  • Packaging of the batteries
  • Battery covers
  • Advertising material, such as flyers


It's possible to identify them on the following characteristics:

Colors: They are rather pale, sort of bleached. They are not as strong as the original ones.

It's very bright on the inside, almost white (Picture 1). The original carton is darker because it has the typical «carton grey».

On most boxes the expression «non-official» is imprinted, but not on all boxes! (Picture 1)

There are some boxes, who have no flaps on both sides. In many cases they are sold together with transparent crystal boxes (Acryl boxes). (Picture 2)

On the copied boxes the seam is different. The last seam which is glued onto the carton to hold it together, is located on the bottom side(Picture 3). The original boxes have this seam on the top. (Picture 4)
Copied box of Mario Bros
Picture 1
Copied box of Ball AC-01 - no flaps on both sides
Picture 2
Copied box of Donkey Kong DK-52 - the glued seam is on the bottom side
Picture 3
Original box of Donkey Kong DK-52 - the glued seam is on top
Picture 4


The color of most copied styrofoams is yellowish, the original ones are bright white (Pictures 5a and 5b). But there are as well copied styrofoams which are white! They are recognizable on their material structure. It's rather rough (crude) compared to the original ones (Pictures 6a and 6b).

Copied styrofoam from the New Wide Screen Series
Picture 5a - Copy from the
New Wide Screen Series
Original styrofoam from the New Wide Screen Series
Picture 5b - Original from
the New Wide Screen Series
Copied styrofoam from the Silver Screen Series
Picture 6a - Copy from
the Silver Screen Series
Copied styrofoam from the Silver Screen Series
Picture 6b - Copy from
the Silver Screen Series

On some of the copies, the space which is meant to hold the batteries, is smaller than the original one and has a bit another shape. This affects mostly the styrofoams of the Panorama Screen Series (Pictures 7a and 7b).  
Copied styrofoam from the Panorama Screen Series
Picture 7a - Copy from the
Panorama Screen Series
Original styrofoam from the Panorama Screen Series
Picture 7b - Original from the
Panorama Screen Series

Which Game&Watch items are copied? (Part 2)


Unfortunately the copied instructions are difficult to spot. Except for those which are printed on colored paper (Picture 8). But there exist copies which are printed on white paper, just like the original instructions. I don't have such a copied instruction to compare it with an original one. If you own copies of instructions, please This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Copied instructions
Picture 8 - Copy

Papers (Warning sheet, How to Play etc.)

They are easier to detect, because the color of the paper is not the same like the original ones (Pictures 9 and 10). The yellow color of the Caution Sheet is too bright usually or even more like orange color. The color of the fonts is different as well, in most cases rather blue than black (Picture 10).
Copied papers
Picture 9 - Copied papers
Copied papers
Picture 10 - Copied papers

In case you have original papers, compare them to those shown in auctions if you are unsure if they are original or not. Here a picture of original papers:
Original papers
Picture 11 - Original papers

Plastic bags for the games

A hint to detect these is, that the copies are brand new. Most of the original plastic bags are in used condition. But careful: There are original plastic bags who look like new as well, because they have never been used (mint games). Another characteristic of the copies is, that they are very bright and clear. It's possible to look through them very easily. The original ones are sort of light milky shine (but you still can look through them).


Which Game&Watch items are copied? (Part 3)

Packaging of the batteries

Let's start with the most obvious: On the back side there is a date stamped. On the original ones this date is in black color (Picture 12), on the copies it's imprinted in the same color like the other text there (Picture 13).
Original: Date is black
Picture 12 - Original
Copy: Color of the date is the same like the colour of the text
Picture 13 - Copy

There are three characteristics on the front side. The blister of the original packaging which holds the batteries, has a thin sort of honeycomb like or a rhomb like pattern underneath (Picture 14). That is missing on the copies (Picture 15). Second, the upper part of the original packaging is less smooth than the one of the copies. Their upper part is plasticized (Picture 15). It's very smooth and it reflects the light much better.
Original: With honeycomb, without plasticization
Picture 14 - Original
Copy: Without honeycomb, but with plasticization
Picture 15 - Copy
A: Copy (too high). B: Original (less hight)
Picture 16 - A: Copy  |  B: Original

Third, there is a difference on the blister itself, but only the ones which hold the LR43 batteries, not the ones holding the LR44 batteries! The copied blister of the LR43 batteries is too high. Probably because it's meant to hold LR44 batteries. And it's generally a little bit too width. But it's not a big difference and not easy to spot.

Unfortunately all three characteristics are not very easy to detect, mostly if the sellers provide bad auction pictures. But latest after you have received the item so you can have a close look at it, it's not very difficult. And the time has come for a complaint...

Battery covers

The copied battery covers are easier to detect. Most of them are of white color and on the upper inside, they have an extra deepening on each corner (Picture 17). Besides that, on the original battery covers the whole in the middle is deeper than the one of the copied ones (Picture 18)
Copy: With deepening in the corners
Picture 17 - Copy: Deepening in the corners
Original: No deepening in the corners
Picture 18 - Original: No deepening in the
corners, the hole in the middle is deeper

There are copied battery covers of different colors as well. Similar to the white copies, they have characteristics on the upper inside. But instead of deepenings, they have two rather deep rings (Picture 19). But be careful: The original battery covers have rings at the same place, but they are less strong and more clean (no plastic residuals). The hole in the middle of the copied battery cover is less deep as well, just like the one on the white copies.
Copy: Rings in the corners
Picture 19 - Copy: Rings in the corners

Advertising material (Flyers)

Because of the modern high tech copy methods, it's very difficult to detect them. A direct comparison is needed. If you know typical characteristics to detect such copies, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., thank you!

How do I detect auctions of copied items?

  • Read the auction description closely
  • Have a close look at the pictures
  • Ask the seller
  • Check the list of auction numbers of copied items


Read the auction description closely

At least, most sellers declare that they are selling copies. It's very important to read the whole auction description.

Watch out for the following words:

  • Copy
  • Hand made
  • Handmade
  • Homemade
  • Replacement
  • Re-Printed
  • Reprinted
  • Repro
  • Repros
  • Reproduction
  • Selfmade

Another hint: Some sellers list every single item separately which is included in the auction and they use the word Original for them. But on the one or other item they don't write Original. Here you can suppose that these items are copies. So, you better ask the seller about it.

Here is an example (short version):

«Complete with original packaging box [...], foam tray is brand new and original,
plastic bag is brand new and original [...], Batteries included»

==> Read the full auction (PDF)


Have a close look at the pictures

Next, you should check out the pictures very closely and recheck with the information here on the page Which Game&Watch items are copied?. Be very careful if the auction pictures are of poor quality. In this case it's very difficult or even impossible to detect copies.


Ask the seller

If you are unsure, ask the seller and request more (good!) pictures. If he doesn't answer, then maybe better don't buy. Sellers who are too lazy to answer or who don't like critical questions should be avoided.


What to do if I receive copied items?

  • Contact the seller
  • Contact eBay
In case you receive copied Game&Watch items and if there was no information at all in the auction description that the seller is offering replicas, then contact the seller first. Ask for a partly refund or even a full return, because the copied items are almost worthless.

If the seller is not willing to help you, report him to eBay and use the PayPal buyer protection to get back some of your money or even a full refund (cancel the auction). After that, give negative eBay feedback to the seller and write the reason to warn other eBay members. Remember: eBay sellers cannot give you negative feedback! So don't be afraid to give negative feedback, but only if it's justified.

Who copies the items and who sells them?

There are several persons who copies Game&Watch items. The most active one is the eBay member hobbymodel from Thailand. He produces most copies like boxes, styrofoams, packagings of the batteries etc. He used to sell copied Game&Watch advertising flyers as well.

The user lee_yoshi84 offers many of the copied Game&Watch items, which have been produced by hobbymodel.

Another eBay member named picsboutic from France has sold many of hobbymodel's items so far. Additionally it looks like many of the copied papers are manufactured by him as well as the colored instructions. And very often he sells various Game&Watch advertising flyers, but they are cheap colour copies only.

A very active seller from Australia is named chrisant7. He sells the copied items produced by hobbymodel.

If you have more information about the copies This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., thank you! :-)