Jump to content
IGNORED

Funcoland Memories


MovieTom
 Share

Recommended Posts

Let's hear your Funcoland memories! That place was such a big part of my childhood. I remember getting so excited when I would see those rainbow colored letters on the side of a strip mall. I bought so many games from there growing up. I would take their newspaper price sheet and sit in my room going over each game on the list and putting stars next to the ones I thought sounded cool. 

Randomly, I remember playing Clockwork Knight at a Funcoland which made me really want a Sega Saturn. I begged them for one for my birthday and when that day came we drove down to a Funcoland and picked one up! Funny thing was, I didn't pick up a copy of Clockwork Knight until years later. I shopped at Funco all the way until the end. 

Good? Bad? What memories do you have of those stores? Did you work there and if so, what was it like?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember trading in a boat load of Genesis CIB games an SNES games along with the systems to Funcoland and somehow amazingly it added up to just enough to get the PS1 that I told them I wanted. Like, just enough! Isn't that amazing? I was a kid that didn't have a sense for what things were worth or if I was getting ripped off or not. My dad had been a collector and gave it all to me for mowing his lawn lol... all I wanted was that shiny new PS1!! 😞

I know for sure that a minty CIB Musha, Truxton, Hellfire, several Thunder force games, Axelay, and like 30-40 other quality games..many many SHMUPs.. were in the lot.

For a good memory... I remember being in 4th grade and frequent recess pass time was all of the boys crowding around a Funcoland newspaper talking about all the games we want, and circling some and such. Good times! 

 

Edited by Snappy
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For a number of years I got the majority of my games there used since I was too young to make my own money and my parents refused to buy me most of the games new. But one particular trip to the store stood out to me for a funny reason. It was early 1997 and I had just gotten my N64 and I was super pumped to have it but I had no games for it so my dad took me to Funcoland and I brought Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64 up to the counter and the guys at the counter said "oh no no no, you don't want these. Nintendo is going out of business. They already stopped making N64s. You should trade it in to get a Playstation." I was really confused because not only did I not know anything about Playstation but I was always a Nintendo guy and really just wanted my Mario games. So they went on this long spiel of how PS1 had a ton more games, is a better system, Nintendo is filing for bankruptcy blah blah blah. So I went home that night and really mulled it over and eventually came to the decision that even if PS1 had 1000 more games, N64 was the one I wanted and I stuck with it. So I went back to the store and got Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64 much to those employees' chagrin. The crazy thing about this visit was that my one decision would have completely reshaped my gaming future. I would have played many different games and would have likely been a Playstation guy first from then on, I'd have missed out on many of my favorite games of all time, and who knows what I would be saying are my favorite games now. It would not have been completely life changing sure since it's only games but it's just funny to think about how that one day could've changed everything about gaming for me. Also, those guys were stupid liars.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have only vague memories of Funcoland. I definitely went there as a kid and vividly recall their colored NES dust covers floating around. I can't say I actually bought anything there, but I remember being quite sad when they closed down.

Edited by DoctorEncore
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I feel like there was one in the South Hills Mall in Poughkeepsie, NY that I went to when I was really young but it got changed to an EB Games and then moved out of the mall into a strip mall location. I remember being in the EB Games and I can’t tell if my mind is playing tricks on me that it was a Funcoland. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted

Ah, Funcoland. Back when businesses thought it looked good to have off-white walls and shelving.

Honestly, that's about all I remember.  I didn't shop at Funcoland much, until I got my own car, and a couple of years after that I went to college, far away from any place with a used game shop. I know I preordered a couple of games from there, but I can't remember what.  Probably Squaresoft RPGs like Brave Fencer Musashiden.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funcoland was my favorite store from about 98-02.  I too used to get the newspaper price list and highlight games I wanted.  Those days, I had gotten into Gameboy, Game Gear, and particularly Sega Saturn -so a lot of memories looking at those games.  One thing I remember distinctly is the smell of the store - but that's really hard to describe.  Many very fond memories of Funcoland...

The store I would go to was located at: FuncoLand

1240 Carl D Silver Pkwy Fredericksburg, Virginia

Edited by Soma
wanted to add my store's former location for posterity
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Homebrew Team · Posted

My Funcoland was the worst. I would save up my coins and beg my parents to stop by when they were doing errands at the nearby mall. I’d go up to the counter, pull out my price sheet and ask about the games I had starred. Every single time, the teenage guy behind the counter would just say they didn’t have whatever I asked for without even turning around to look at the rows of games behind him. The only way I could get a game was if my mom told the guy to actually turn around or one of the older guys who ran the place was working and would check.

I remember a whole other ordeal trying to get a power pad. I asked that store if they had one and they said no but I could try some other stores a few towns over. I visited those stores without luck, but one of them about an hour away said if one came in they would let me know. At some point later they called and said it arrived, so my mom took me over later that week and they said it was gone. I’d just about given up when I went back to the one closest to me and casually asked if they had a power pad...they told me “well, funny you asked. Another funcoland about an hour away sent us this one for a customer but they never picked it up, it’s yours if you want it.” I can’t help but wonder if that was the one meant for me, and one person thought to send it to my closer store but never said anything. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to be an employee at a funcoland. I remember how much they made us push cleaning kits onto customers as part of our up-sell. When school was in session, i spent the majority of my time exploring the used games we had as it was generally dead until around 3pm. Also seemed to be a quasi babysitter for parents looking to do some shopping sans kids. haha

 

Sometimes i also think back and wonder how many "rare" and/or valuable games (by today's standards) passed through my hands. Back then i wasn't really a collector in the same way i am today, was just looking to own games i thought looked fun.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember saving up for Double Dragon 3.  I would call once a week when I got my allowance to see if the price changed, I made they guy tell me exactly what it would cost with tax. It was expensive, something like $32 at the time.  Once I finally had enough saved up it was half change to the penny.  The guy at the counter loved counting it all out! 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't have very specific memories, I just know I bought most of my Genesis games used there (or at the grocery store). I do remember playing San Francisco Rush at Funcoland kiosk for the first time, which is when I first wanted the game. I think I bought it immediately after playing it?

My weirdest Funcoland memory is buying Streets of Rage on Game Gear, a game I knew nothing about but it was only $9.99, and the salesman was heavily trying to push me to buy some different game. I don't remember what the second game was, and I get if I was trying to buy like Rise of the Robots, but why try to stop a kid just trying get his Streets of Rage on!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
1 hour ago, RalliArtEvo said:

I used to be an employee at a funcoland. I remember how much they made us push cleaning kits onto customers as part of our up-sell. When school was in session, i spent the majority of my time exploring the used games we had as it was generally dead until around 3pm. Also seemed to be a quasi babysitter for parents looking to do some shopping sans kids. haha

 

Sometimes i also think back and wonder how many "rare" and/or valuable games (by today's standards) passed through my hands. Back then i wasn't really a collector in the same way i am today, was just looking to own games i thought looked fun.

Aaaaah, it's coming back to me.  Didn't you guys also have something called a "Game Doctor" or something like that, that was suppose to be a hand-cranked disc polisher?  Ugh, I remember that those things made games look hideous!  I never had/needed one because I took care of my stuff, but I remember some store trying to hawk those things off on everyone, even if you walked in the door claiming to only own a SNES!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Funcoland, mid to late-90s.  I wanted to play Chrono-Trigger more than any other game up to that point in my albeit-short lifetime.  Eventually I found one after months of searching.  I got  to the store around 8:00 p.m. and the cashier lets me look at the $59.95 cart-only copy of Chrono-Trigger traded in earlier in the day.  That's when I noticed a burn mark next to the cartridge slot.  It was probably from a console overheating, but for the longest time kid-me thought it was a cigarette burn.  "Is it still full price?", I asked.  "You want it or not," he responded.  I bought it after a minute of waffling.  No regrets.  One of the top-5 best video game-related decisions in my lifetime.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, RalliArtEvo said:

Sometimes i also think back and wonder how many "rare" and/or valuable games (by today's standards) passed through my hands. Back then i wasn't really a collector in the same way i am today, was just looking to own games i thought looked fun.

Brother, as a former employee myself, you really don't want to know.

  • Wow! 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Member · Posted
15 hours ago, m308gunner said:

Good memory - huge bins of cart only nintendo cartridges you could sort through.

Bad memory (in retrospect) - trading in CIB games for trade-in cash and watching them trash the booklets and boxes.

This is what get me about myself too.  I didn't trade in that much stuff, but when I did, I always had all of the boxes, manual and inserts which I kept as collector items.  I was careful about pulling my games in and out of systems (primarily the N64) so when I did trade in an N64 game, it would have been in exceptional shape by today's standards.  They guys would tell me they didn't need the boxes.  I still couldn't keep them.  Part of why I was getting rid of games was because I didn't have the shelf space. They were kind enough to not throw that stuff away, but man, I'm sure they did.

The good news is, it was probably nothing more than WCW vs. NWO and Extreme-G 2. There's a small chance I traded in Mischief Makers but I'm not 100% sure on that one, but if I did, it's probably the most expensive title I traded in CIB which they trashed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When i was a kid, I discovered Sim City 3000. I wanted to play a Sim City game so badly but we didnt have a computer yet. One day, browsing the SNES games at Funcoland, I found Sim City. I had no idea there was a SNES version and I remember yelling "YES" at the top of my lungs when i found it. I also distinctly remember the clerk that day was trying to sell some old lady on Ecco the Dolphin for Dreamcast.

 

Funcoland is also where I sold all my original NES stuff to get myself a GBA. I sold Dragon Warrior 3 and 4, and Mega Man 5, along with a lot more common stuff, like 40 games total plus the console, and still didnt have enough until my dad pitched in some extra money to seal the deal. Now, I could buy multiple GBAs with the money I would make selling my copies of Dragon Warrior 3 and Mega Man 5. It sounds terrible but I don't regret it at all and still have that GBA and always will.

Speaking of which, 20 years later, 10 years since I started collecting, and I still havent rebought Dragon Warrior 4.  I think I'll go buy it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I worked at Funcoland briefly in the late 90s. It was fun to be around video games all day, and I definitely snagged some gems at a discount. My store manager and district manager were pricks, so I didn't stick around long. I remember buying a bunch of copies of Super Mario/Duck Hunt for 25 cents a piece and using the innards for an art project I was working on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used to go there a few times a month. There was a Shinders (cards and comics) and a Funcoland in the same strip mall by Northtown in Blaine. It was heaven.

 

I used to grab a few copies of their printed price sheets and bring those home. I’d spend time going through the whole thing and I’d circle all the really cheap games. Like anything under $1 for any system I had. I’d plan it all out and have the right amount of money to get them all. I’d bring the sheet in with all the games circled and ask the employee if they had it, 1 at a time. Probably like 30+ games. I swear, they rarely even had 1 of the games in stock. I’d end up getting 1 cheap game and then a regular priced one instead of the 30 that I planned.

 

I also remember doing a backdoor deal with an employee there. I wanted to buy a Saturn Net Link to get online and he had one at home for sale. We met up at an Adventures in Video parking lot and made the deal. We were too poor to have a computer at home so that was the first time I went online. It was so cool and I started learning how to code HTML on my Saturn. That actually kick started my career. 
 

I miss the feeling of anticipation that you’d get when you walk in to a Funcoland, Toys R Us, or any Video Rental store. You had no idea what could be in there. Apart from the triple A titles, you really didn’t have a way of knowing what games were coming out. I feel like a lot of 80’s and 90’s kids chase that feeling but it’s almost impossible to get now. 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The memories.

My grandmother owned a small business right across the road from a Funcoland. The first time I ever crossed the street by myself was going to Funcoland. I remember being incredibly nervous that no one was with me, even despite my grandmother watching me the whole time.

I had $25 and a plan.

Go eat a slice of pizza and a soda for $3 and I should have enough for a $20 game after tax.

The game I bought wasn’t important because I don’t remember which it was. It was probably for my SNES since I was 7. All I remember was being very proud of myself and my new found freedom.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I picked up an NES lot last year and the guy gave it to me in this box...I was more excited about the box itself than the games I got!  Now it lives on my Nintendo tv stand thing and is used to store my supply of extra styro blocks for cib NES games.  Funcoland ruled and I did the same thing with the price sheets, just obsessing over which games I could potentially get on my next visit!

IMG_20191222_021141_287-1-1.jpg

Edited by 8bitsupremacy
  • Like 3
  • Wow! 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, GeeksTreat said:

I still have an old newsprint game menu advertisement that I kept. I should post a pic, its a trip. Got a lot of good stuff from that place and past up alot of good stuff also.

I also have one of these.  Such a trip to look at old prices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...