Haven't seen VGA slamming on here in a bit so here you go. VGA graded a repro of an unreleased game as an authentic prototype.
I'm not sure where you are getting your info from, but there is no reason to infer that is a reproduction cart. Please point out to me how this is anything but a prototype cart. Also being that it is a prototype is the reason why it's so expensive.
It would be nice if you could back up your claim OP.
That being said, VGA does kind of suck. Sealing a game in an acrylic case like some kind of art piece is the stupidest thing you could do to it, and instantly drops its value to $0 for me. I buy games so I can play with them (and read the manuals), not so they can sit in permanent stasis on my shelf. I also don't care about factory sealed games at all, because again, I'm just going to have to tear the shrinkwrap off to play it. I do like my game boxes to be in general good condition, though.
Not OP, but I'm not entirely sure myself. From the auction, the picture of the back of the cart looks legit, but this would be the first time I've seen a prototype Atari 800 cart with a graphical label, or with "prototype" printed on it. Then again, most of the Super Pacman 800 repros have better labels than that. The sad part is, being sealed in that case, you have to take the word of the VGA idiots that the internals are legit and not a repro. I'm not entirely sure I can trust them to handle that.
I'm sure I read somewhere that they do in fact open up boxes to verify the content, but I couldn't give you source and don't care to look for one. Absolutely mint games are way too much of a collectors piece, even as someone who frequently buys new old stock.
I have one myself. I got it when I used to work at a retro game store. They are rare but I have seen others on ebay. My boss and I think they are repros. He really knows his atari shit and he has a lot of legit prototypes.
Here's the top of it. It has a crappy label covering the <<left cartridge normally on top of the metal carts.