Check your game manuals for RUSTY staples!

I noticed quite some time ago that many video game manuals I was coming across had rusty staples that if left alone would gradually end up staining the paper badly.

But it would seem no one in the retro gaming community is mentioning anything about this…

I have found problematic rusty manual staples in titles from almost every platform up to and including 32bit systems but seems to be extra problematic for SEGA Master System and Megadrive titles.

Sometimes you can not even tell by simply looking at the spine of the manual and checking the center pages of your manuals is highly advised.

A couple of my worst Examples:

The solution is rather simple!

By using a small flat-headed screwdriver you can gently pry the staple open:

Then you can carefully push it out:

Get a brand new staple and re-insert it into the holes left by the original staple:

Then finally using your screwdriver again close the staple gently flush to the center of the page.

Unfortunately it would seem there is not really much you can do to clean up any stains rusty staples may have left on your manuals but at least they won’t get worse and if you proactively change them coupled with good storage conditions maybe you can avoid such damages altogether.

Yay another thing that I will soon obsess over instead of actually playing games.

Have noticed a few staples rusting in my games before but was always in already beat manuals so didn’t even think to put the effort into fixing it.

May only be an issue in climates with higher humidity. I checked mine and they are all good. It’s extremely dry here though, almost year round.

I’m in Alberta, Canada

Would the rust left on the paper “infect” the new staple?

Not really, but it depends on the staple. Most staples are going to have a coating on them to prevent rust, like nickel or zinc (galvanizing). The new staple won’t rust until that barrier or coating is broken.

With that said, if you buy cheap enough staples, there’s of course a chance the coating may be super thin or non-existent.

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Good to know, thanks!

So now I have to worry about non original staples?

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Lol… Imagine asking a seller that?

Agree about the humidity. OP where are you located?

This was meant to be a quick thread post before hopping on a flight that I thought no one would care about…

I am in the UK and humidity is for sure a huge factor. Old games that are now being sold most likely have been sitting in lofts or sheds in dubious conditions.

Items from Japan have suffered from this a fair bit as well.

Seems the metallurgy questions already got answered somewhat but human sweat is like the worst thing for metals so previous handling could also be a factor.

This forum is pretty intense sometimes!

Well, let’s see an extreme case of rusty staple on game manual, courtesy of yours truly, just to add more OCD to you guys.

That’s what I got when I bought an used copy of Samurai Shodown 4.

Not only the staple was rusted, but it even tainted the manual pages. And the staple kinda disintegrated when I handle it. I had to replace with a new one, but the damage was already done.

Even worse, the rusted staple melted (?) the paper in the area next when the old staple was. Fortunately this is the only page that the damage was that severe, but almost every page has the rust stain on pages.

So yeah, check your manuals for rusted staples, LOL.

EDIT - I replaced the staple some years ago and the new staple looks OK, so contamination of the new staple isn’t an issue.

Yeah, I was a bit disappointed when I opened that sealed copy of Richard Burns Rally on PC - the manual staples had indeed rusted and there was what looked like faint mould under the disc. Luckily it’s the first instance I’ve seen it.

We need to make sure we store our games in airtight containers I guess?

I’m looking to replace some staples in a number of computer game manuals I have.
Can you tell me the specification/type of staples you use?? I can’t find any that match what’s used from manufacture, however they look the same as the ones pictured in your post.
Thanks in advance.

I just used ones from the offices at work but really they should just be generic staples that can be found anywhere.

I remembered this thread when I received a manual with a suspiciously loose outer cover. Sure enough the staples were rusted inside but it didn’t have time to tear through any sheet yet. I replaced them with some I had at home, which were only minutely different. Slightly larger, and with a square section instead of round. But that will do the job just fine.