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TheIronToupee has returned 🙂


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Hello again!

I figured I'd re-reintroduce myself and try to fill you in on my absence from the collecting community. For those who may not remember me, I was a part of NintendoAge since maybe 2010 and quickly became known as the Exertainment guy as I had the 9XS and 3500 models of the SNES bikes as well as numerous accessories and stuff for the Exertainment line. I was even featured in the SNES Omnibus books under the Exertainment titles! I also focused a lot on odd-ball gaming items and had some pretty sweet pieces such as the Racermate Challenge II setup for the NES, the NES TV, the exercise bike for the Wii, GBA Visteon dockable, GBA iCard, NordicQuest, Singer Izek, and many other things.

In the summer of 2019 my family moved to Houston, TX to be closer to my wife's parents as we recently had had a baby and could use the help. Almost as soon as we got there things went downhill. We were stuck in an apartment that had roaches, leaky pipes, and neighbors that smoked weed all the time inside so our apartment reeked of the stuff because of a shared ceiling. My new job was not progressing and there was some shady stuff going on with the owners I was working for and my wife was struggling to find work. Additionally, relationships with my in-laws became strained due to differences in political and parenting ideologies. I think it was also around this time that NintendoAge got shut down and all my hard work of posts/info/pictures were lost, so that was a gut punch.

By Thanksgiving 2019 we had about $400 left in our bank account and with two kids, my collection was the thing that could get us out of the hole. I had to make a deal with a reseller from Dallas who bought my collection for 50% of it's value, but I needed cash fast and the deal got done so we were able to pay our December bills. The only thing I kept was my Switch and a couple games, but the collecting identity I had built was effectively dead inside of me. Things looked up a little bit and then something called COVID-19 put a stop to the world. We were stuck in that crappy apartment through lockdown and the following summer as we struggled to find a house in a crazy housing market. Luckily, Animal Crossing helped us keep our sanity, my wife had found work, and I switched jobs to a more stable-ish situation. 

Fast forward to this past year and I had an uncle, an aunt, a childhood pet, and my best friend die (just this past May). My family members passed due to illness and old age, but my best friend decided to take his own life on an impulse the day after my kid's birthday. No warning or goodbyes to his fiance or baby, just did it. It devastated all of us as I had just talked to him less than 24hrs prior. My best friend was like a brother to me. Literally talked to him more than my own biological brother.

As I grieve that loss, I started to reminisce about how my best bro actually introduced me to the original Xbox, the Halo and COD franchises, as well as literally bought me an Xbox One just so he could play Xbox live with me during the pandemic because I had fallen on hard times. I decided to dip my toes back into the collecting scene, starting with Xbox as a way to honor his memory, and reengage with a part of my identity I lost back in 2019. It felt like a good omen as well that I happened across an Xbox kiosk to kick off my collection (pictured). I hope to get back into the groove of things with collecting and engaging with the community, but I am just taking it a step at a time for now. 

Thank you for reading my story and welcoming me back. 🙂

IMG_20230611_194456_HDR~2.jpg

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Social Team · Posted

Damn man, sorry to hear about the tough time times you've been going through.  I've know people who've sold their collection and collected again to only sell it all again.  And yet still get back into collecting again.  For them it was joy of the hunt for old video games at garage sales and thrift shops.  

Stephen Colbert Nerd GIF by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert

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Administrator · Posted

Hello and welcome back!  I definitely remember you from before - it's great to have you with us here.

I'm sorry to hear about all the trouble and challenges you've dealt with over the past few years, but it sounds like things are stabilizing and getting better for you.

All of our experiences combine to make us who we are, and I'd like to think that, good and bad, all of them build us up to be stronger.  Despite you losing all of your previous collection, that doesn't take away all the experiences you had (and knowledge and experience gained through the process).  I've met several people who said that "round 2" ended up being a much better, focused collection for them.  I'm sure none of these words could take away the feeling of loss of having spent all that time acquiring, only to lose it all.  And I'm sure the material items pale in comparison to the loss of your friend, so my heart goes out to you there.

Regarding the collection, I'd encourage you to focus on the future, and what you can build with what you have, rather than what you had before.  And again, I'm really glad to see you here and hope that things continue to improve for you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sorry to read that you had to part ways w your collection . But you provided for the family ( which key and important , imo ) . I had to do it also , 3.0 . Health related issue(s)

its good that the collecting bug caught up w you again . And your starting off pretty good w that kiosk . Neat piece 

Besides that , greeting(s) back to the party . . . 

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  • 3 months later...

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