Post deals, brag about finds, etc.
Betagam7
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Taobao and Aliexpress deals, finds and purchases

by Betagam7 Wed May 06, 2015 3:51 am

Hi everyone,

After months of frustration I've finally mastered Taobao/Alipay with the result that I can now use the Chinese website to order all kinds of cheap and weird retro stuff.
I can't see any dedicated threads for Taobao on here but I know there are other gamers on here living in China so I thought I would create a thread here where people can post links to interesting things they've seen for sale or pictures of loot they've received.

I had a couple of things arrive today:

First up was this portable Famicom device. It cost me only 75 RMB (10 RMB extra for an additional 60 games that come on two little carts) which adds up to about £8/$12 in western money.

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It uses a lithium battery and comes with AV outs, a carry case, two 30 in one game carts and 200 games built into the unit. You also get the world's cheapest looking plastic controller for two players :lol:

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The system has a select-able English menu and most of the games seem to be in English. There is also a good range of titles, not just the usual First Party ones found on these devices. I've already played things like Hydelide, Mighty Final Fight, the NES version of Uridium (Last Starfighter) and this one along with staples like the Donkey Kong games and Mario titles.

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I'll try to update this thread with a list of what games are included.

The system runs on a lithium style cell phone rechargeable battery. The button layout is nice with Y and X being the NES's A+B and the other two buttons being turbo buttons.

Sound is pretty decent, it's not booming loud but it's clear and crisp and in stereo (at least on the main menu). I haven't tried it with headphones and I only have a monitor here so haven't tried hooking it up to a TV yet.

I'd be interested to know if anyone knows if more game carts are available for it but in the meantime it's a nice new toy.

The link is http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a1z10.1-c.w4004-9674979910.3.SPDJQY&id=42608019637 if anybody wishes to buy it, it comes in four colour schemes, although I chose the Yoshi-esque green.

I'm afraid that the price has gone back up to 300RMB since I bought it...maybe it will go on sale again soon. :?

Anyway, I hope we can use this thread to share other nice finds and deals on Taobao.
Last edited by Betagam7 on Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
Betagam7
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Re: Taobao deals, finds and purchases

by Betagam7 Wed May 06, 2015 3:58 am

A brief extra note:

I also grabbed this copy of a NGPC import title I've been looking for for a decent price for some time. It often goes on ebay for outrageously high prices even though it's not uncommon.

Big Bang Wrestling (NGPC)
cost 200RMB

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Curiously the game, including it's story mode are all in fully translated English. :D
Perhaps a planned release in the west was a possibility at one point.

It's a fun mish mash of 3 count bout and Fire Pro wrestling and a surprisingly inventive game.
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Tanooki
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Re: Taobao deals, finds and purchases

by Tanooki Wed May 06, 2015 8:55 am

Hope you can keep this going too, it's a really nice idea and that handheld seems half way decent, especially if they went with some higher tier stuff like Mighty Final Fight. I'm curious too if it has more carts, but even if it doesn't there seems to be more than enough to keep busy with.

I never heard of that NGPC title before either, but we did get hosed out of a lot of good releases in the US. I used to really enjoy owning that handheld but when the games dried up and with the small library I didn't keep it.
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Re: Taobao deals, finds and purchases

by Betagam7 Thu May 07, 2015 11:10 am

Tanooki wrote:Hope you can keep this going too, it's a really nice idea and that handheld seems half way decent, especially if they went with some higher tier stuff like Mighty Final Fight. I'm curious too if it has more carts, but even if it doesn't there seems to be more than enough to keep busy with.


I've been slowly working my way through the games. I'd estimate that of the 200 built in games there are maybe a handful that are reskins (a Harry Potter title that is clearly a reskin of another shooter that's also included) but there's a surprisingly high ratio of excellent games.

I was a little shocked by one inclusion that seems to go against the system's target demographic of children...

For some reason on a system that launches with a background composed of teddy bears playing in a field the manufacturer has seen fit to include this distinctly adult title http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peek-A-Boo_Poker.

This seems a bizarre and perhaps unintentional choice by whoever compiled the games list!
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Re: Taobao deals, finds and purchases

by Betagam7 Sun May 10, 2015 1:09 pm

These arrived this morning, just in time for Chinese (and American) Mothers day :lol:

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Only Mother 1 and 3 are translated into English. Mother 2 (Earthbound) only has menus translated because the full translation wouldn't fit on the cart (or so I've read).

However I've tested the saves and the batteries work on them. I'm guessing pirate carts aren't so dodgy in China where people could actually ask for immediate refunds as they are when ordering them from ebay.

Fake is fake but I'll enjoy playing these repros on my Famicom Mini Micro:

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If anyone is interested http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.436.FOpkjT&id=43746049842&ns=1&_u=42689tqecaf8&abbucket=11#detail is the link.

They cost 40RMB for both carts. Around £2 each. :D
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Tanooki
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Re: Taobao deals, finds and purchases

by Tanooki Sun May 10, 2015 5:10 pm

You said they're using the cheaper boards with batteries on them? There's two styles I know of coming out from that way. One has a battery that annoyingly also not just stores the save data but also a charge to the chip that stores the game itself too. When the battery goes, you end up with a plastic brick with a shiny label. The other uses a more expensive chip that the save goes onto and the game chip just keeps the data without needing the battery.

I've had both with Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart, and the first one the battery died and took the whole game out because of that. The second one has no battery, it's just solid.
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Re: Taobao deals, finds and purchases

by someone3760 Sun May 10, 2015 10:11 pm

Betagam7 wrote:These arrived this morning, just in time for Chinese (and American) Mothers day :lol:

Image

Only Mother 1 and 3 are translated into English. Mother 2 (Earthbound) only has menus translated because the full translation wouldn't fit on the cart (or so I've read).

However I've tested the saves and the batteries work on them. I'm guessing pirate carts aren't so dodgy in China where people could actually ask for immediate refunds as they are when ordering them from ebay.

Fake is fake but I'll enjoy playing these repros on my Famicom Mini Micro:

Image

If anyone is interested http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.436.FOpkjT&id=43746049842&ns=1&_u=42689tqecaf8&abbucket=11#detail is the link.

They cost 40RMB for both carts. Around £2 each. :D



How exactly would I order from that site/how long is shipping? I am interested in Mother 3, but I don't know what to do :)
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Re: Taobao deals, finds and purchases

by ninjainspandex Sun May 10, 2015 11:16 pm

Tanooki wrote:You said they're using the cheaper boards with batteries on them? There's two styles I know of coming out from that way. One has a battery that annoyingly also not just stores the save data but also a charge to the chip that stores the game itself too. When the battery goes, you end up with a plastic brick with a shiny label. The other uses a more expensive chip that the save goes onto and the game chip just keeps the data without needing the battery.

I've had both with Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart, and the first one the battery died and took the whole game out because of that. The second one has no battery, it's just solid.



Did you buy the one without a battery from DSX? He made me a Mother 3 and Fire Emblem Binding Blade repro, he uses actually Nintendo PCBs. Very top notch work.
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Betagam7
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Re: Taobao deals, finds and purchases

by Betagam7 Mon May 11, 2015 2:18 am

Tanooki wrote:You said they're using the cheaper boards with batteries on them? There's two styles I know of coming out from that way. One has a battery that annoyingly also not just stores the save data but also a charge to the chip that stores the game itself too. When the battery goes, you end up with a plastic brick with a shiny label. The other uses a more expensive chip that the save goes onto and the game chip just keeps the data without needing the battery.

I've had both with Dragon Quest Monsters Caravan Heart, and the first one the battery died and took the whole game out because of that. The second one has no battery, it's just solid.


This is interesting to read. I honestly don't know how these carts work. I'm not much of an expert in it and haven't opened them up to see.

I'm mostly familiar with fake Chinese carts from China that flood ebay in the UK and usually have no way of saving. I tested these and they do save. That's about the limit of my knowledge.

In general I don't have high life expectancy for anything I buy from Chinese websites. The fun here is in getting them cheaply.

Compare the £2 each I paid for these to an equivilent ebay price for example http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/MOTHER-1-2-3-GBA-ENGLISH-TRANSLATED-GAMEBOY-EARTHBOUND-SERIES-/201346027384?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item2ee1288f78

Those are probably exactly the same type of cart and the average price is five times as high.

someone3760 wrote:How exactly would I order from that site/how long is shipping? I am interested in Mother 3, but I don't know what to do :)


Well, I currently live in China, so for me shipping usually takes less than 2 days. I've no idea about the rest of the world.
You need to register an account with Taobao and I use Alipay (Chinese paypal) to pay because I have been able to link my Chinese bank account to it.

Even from China as a non-chinese person it took me a long time to get it set-up because it's so unintuitive and prone to errors and translation difficulties. You also have the problem of people listing things they don't actually have. For example, I'm trying to get a Frontlit NGPC at the moment only to find that the person who advertised it doesn't actually have any in stock and is still "sourcing parts". I'm on the verge of cancelling that one out of frustration.

I don't have any experience of using it from other countries so I'm probably not the best person to ask but I know that many people on here have used it to order stuff before so it is possible.

It is a great source of weird and cheap retro stuff though.
Betagam7
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Re: Taobao deals, finds and purchases

by Betagam7 Thu May 14, 2015 6:17 am

Another day another weird, cheapo handheld from Taobao. This time it's this oddity:

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Yes, it's got a picture of Bumblebee out of Transformers on it and Kirby too and also some guff about "32 bit". Can't quite remember the last time that was relevant...Hmm.

Let's have a look at its specs then:

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Magical laser sounds ominous...HD Viedo (sic) sounds about as true as the claim to be 32 bit. Supports all those consoles...hmm.

It's definitely black though since they've ticked black on the box and the picture is black.
Good job, I wouldn't want a white one...It's going to be white, isn't it...

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(sigh)

it comes installed with "10000 games" (actually the same 60 ROMS) endlessly recycled...I really wonder why companies keep doing this...even the box doesn't try to advertise it.

There are roms for GBA, SFC, NES and Megadrive on here, most of which are unplayable due to the microscopic screen size and two awful design choices. First we have a 3DS style slider instead of a dpad that makes response time slow for games that need precision like Metal Slug but is actually pretty good for stuff like Ms. Pacman.
Secondly...the button layout.

Actually not the button layout but the fact that there are only four of them...you've put a SFC emulator on a console with only four buttons! :roll:

but seriously start playing them and you'll find that the mapping is terrible. the 'Y' button is where the 'X' button is on a SFC and the 'B' and 'A' are also reversed. There is no option to reconfigure so SNES is basically a waste of time.

This isn't too much of a problem though because the screen size makes text unreadable and the system struggles to emulate anything. Witness Mario's journey into Micro World here where he becomes an actual amoeba!

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Honestly, the only decent emulation on this is the GBA...although I did find Golden Axe for the Megadrive surprisingly playable. The text also displayed well on the screen.

The system also works as an MP3 player, video player, "image viewer" and has a laughable e-book reader with no formatting.

Quite why it was ever made I've no idea...but there, there little one. You have a home now among all my other weird crap.

Weirdly the rotatable thing at the top that looks like it should be a camera is actually a laser pointer...great fun for playing with my cats but what a weird choice for such a gadget. I'm guessing either a camera had been planned or this is the shell of a more expensive unit with other crap put inside of it.

70RMB (about £7)
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