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The following Game Boy Advance cartridges were purchased from eBay in 2007. They were $5 ea (NEW) and I assumed they were bootlegs. As it turns out I was correct.

The obvious differences I noticed between the authentic Nintendo GBA cartridges and the bootlegs are the front labels. Although they are similar, the bootlegs are much darker and a little bit blurrier. They are very close though. Most even have the "Official Nintendo Seal of Quality" stamped on the front!

The second thing I noticed being different is on the inside of the plastic cartridge casing. (see picture #4) You don't have to open it up to see. Check out how the pin stamping is staggered and not in a straight line on the bootleg. It looks like a mess! After seeing this it's not hard to imagine the large amount of defects that are often found with bootlegs. You can also clearly see the Nintendo logo, followed by the cartridge code and the pin count (32) printed on the IC board.

The backs of the carts are very similar to the originals. It seems the text on the Nintendo original is a bit smoother. It appears the bootleggers are using old and sometimes worn out die casting molds which can cause the print to look overly sharpened.

I believe all bootleg GBA games, that save your progress, utilize a Lithium-ion coin cell battery and not the standard flash type. For example the fake Mario Kart Super Circuit has a battery and the original does not. The game saving does work all the bootlegs I've tested [see picture #9]

Also, the bootleg version of Yoshi's Topsy Turvy Games does not include the accelerometer, which makes it unplayable and pointless to exist as a fake!

-Matt

GB/GBC Bootlegs / Repros
Shatae (GBC + GBA Enhanced) $5 from Taiwan

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