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Sega Genesis Sonic the Hedgehog Mystery Variant


SonicFanForLife
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Does anybody know where this variant of Sonic the Hedgehog comes from, why it exist, etc? It has a retail box, but the cartridge has a "not for resale" sticker on it. I know that the Sega Genesis came with the game that had "not for resale" on the box and cartridge, but the "not for resale" was almost always printed on the cartridge label in large blocky text. I have seen a few others who had the same question. I tried to contact Sega about it, but their support department is only for recent games and hardware. Anybody have a clue?

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My guess is that they started to include the retail versions of the game with the bundles rather than the original 'Not for Resale' version. Easier to just slap a sticker on a cart than reprint new covers and labels. I'd say there's no additional value to having the sticker, and the game would probably be worth more without it, but I like to keep games as they were initially sold for that real retro vibe.

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Short answer: To cut costs.

Long(ish) answer: I assume printing stickers is much easier than printing new covers and labels. It would also be more cost effective in the long run, since if they decided to bundle a different game with the Mega Drive they could just use the stickers.

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Why would it say "not for resale" only on the cartridge? Nobody would see it until they got home with it, unless there used to be a sticker on the case too. I don't see any sticker residue on the case, though. I have seen a couple more of this variant on the internet, but only one had the case. Could it have been a copy that Sega sent a retailer for demo purposes?

Here is another one that someone was asking about on Reddit. It does appear as if there used to be a sticker on the front of this case (right above his ear on the left). The previous owner of my copy must have cleaned the front of the case really well.

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