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VGS Origin Stories: Why/how/when did you start collecting?


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Think this might be a fun thread. Having gone back to read nintendo age archives, I found it interesting to see people like rarebucky and jonebone posting threads. Meanwhile I've purchased several of my mint sealed games off bucky on ebay. I guess there's just a ton of history with folks in the community, many long-lived across several forums, so I think it might be cool for folks to talk about their beginnings and some of the things they've learned. 

Doesn't need to be long, can be formatted however you like. I'm not even sure where I'd start so I need to think about it first. 🙂 I guess I can start by saying I began really collecting probably around mid-2019, having casually collected CIB starting in 2015 when the collecting itch really struck with those new fangled amiibo. Then sometime in early 2020 I hit it into high gear (like most) and began mass-acquiring my favorite sealed game boy games. Now it's 2021 and I'm still more or less doing the same thing, except I'm on VGS complaining about it. 😄

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There wasn't a specific moment per se.  I consider the start of my collecting as the day I got my first paycheck in '97, as I transitioned from begging for a $5 video store sell off title from my parents to actually spending my own money.  But since I never sold any of my childhood stuff, I would say my collecting technically started on Christmas Day of '89 when I got my NES and TMNT for Christmas 😛  As an aside, it wasn't until around 2000ish that I realized video games were actually something people considered a collectible.  Not sure the exact timeframe without digging up the old mags, but the "Collector's Closet" section of Tips & Tricks magazine was the first time I realized other people were as into games as I was.  And it wasn't until around 2002/3 that I joined an online community, although I didn't really get heavy into online forums until a few years later.  So depending on the metric defining me as a collector, I could be pretty much anywhere between '89 and '06 😛

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Black Friday 2015, didn’t find shit at the stores. Went with my wife to breakfast with one of her friends. Got talking about old games for some reason. She mentioned that she had an old SNES with a bunch of games she didn’t use so I bought them off her. I was a lifelong gamer at that point already but only had an Xbox One. I count that moment in time as when I started taking collecting seriously. I think the next week I bought the NES and N64 and have been buying since. 

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Member · Posted

I started collecting around the early 2000s, I was in highschool and being housed by my parents so job money went frivously to mt dew and video games. I always would treat them well, even as a kid because it was rare to get a new game and I never had a current gen system until that point.

So I went and got a used 64 right before Majora's mask came out, started buying other 64 games. I had already been adding nes and Gameboy games to my little collection at the time but I think the 64 was the push toward full on collecting but at that age you don't have enough disposable income to really have a go at it.

Time passed and I had a bunch of stuff... Life at that age was crazier and I wasn't grounded. Moved places, hauling the collection 5+ times, and that was the point I decided to keep only my favorites and get rid of 75%. 

Around 2011-2012 I ended up accepting that videogames are a huge part of my life and regretting the selling but started back at it and stepping back I think it gave me great perspective on everything.

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As a kid in the late 90s I was obsessed with Zelda. I knew about "collecting" in terms of a particular IP or hobby, like Donald Duck or baseball cards, so I realized pretty early on that I was technically a Zelda collector. At the same time, I loved finding new games to play. I'd go to sales with my mom and pick up NES and SNES games for cheap. At some point my Zelda love broadened to Nintendo, and then to all games. 

I found NA in 2009 after searching for something Nintendo related on Google and spent a few weeks lurking, reading threads. I had a few hundred games at that point, but that was the first time I realized that people collected video games, and that I was kind of in the same group, just younger and with a lot less money 😛 

But in both cases, I feel like I didn't "start" collecting, I just obtained things because I was interested in them, and it wasn't until later that I sort of realized that I was a collector. But I will admit that after joining NA, I learned a lot more about games and my interest in getting more of them went way up. I've had fun trading and building up my collection ever since.

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Always been into video games, but in my 30s now, I have some money to play with. Started out a couple years ago with Switch physicals. Got bit by the metroidvania bug and played through the GBA castlevanias. I wanted to play the DS castlevanias, but there is just no good way to play them outside of a PC with a mouse, which I am not into. So I bought a 2DS, Order of Ecclesia and Portrait of Ruin.

 

These days I’m mainly looking to play games I missed out on in high school/college due to lack of funds, mainly DS and PSP.

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I had stopped gaming for the most part and just played games like Call of Duty from time to time. Then, in January 2012, I went jogging one morning and came across a Sega Genesis system CIB and a PS1 system with its box, instructions and everything just sitting at the curb waiting for the trash man to come get them.

I looked at the Genesis just for nostalgia's sake and the contents looked in great shape. Some of the connectors weren't even opened. I started thinking about when I was younger how I use to play NES, SNES and Genesis and how much fun I had with them.

I ordered Sonic the Hedgehog off of Ebay and had a lot of fun replaying it. So that's when I got the itch to re-buy the games I had as a kid and some others I always wanted to play. I even started a blog where I and others could write reviews for Super Nintendo games.

Now I have over 900 games in my collection and often think what if I didn't go jogging that particular day? How would my life be different now?

Edited by Trifecta
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Administrator · Posted

Middle school, early 1989.

We got our Atari 7800 for Christmas (the games were cheaper than on the Nintendo!) and one of my school chums had 2600 games (they work on the 7800 for those that don't know) that he sold me for a dollar each.

Came home with them, and my Dad asked me where so many games came from.   Told him they were a buck each, but I only had $10 so I only got 10.   He handed me a $20 and said to pick up 20 more.

Through the course of the next month word spread at school, my Dad kicked in more cash, and we ended up with 60-70 2600 games.

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I’d say I started collecting games of interest to me around the early to mid 2010s. That was when I started looking back at the older systems I have and looking up what else there was I would want. My collection is pretty small because I only want to buy games I really want to play. If I see others cheap enough I will buy them, though. Can’t resist a deal, haha.

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I was always the NES guy but after selling my games I had as a kid, I just emulated everything.  My friends had NES' and I'd play it at their house.  After a while I felt I played better on a real NES.  I think the first game I got was Cheetahmen II Lost Levels and I didn't even have an NES console at that point.  I think the first game I went out and bought was Dick Tracy.  I left it a friends house who had an NES.  Then I started doing research what other cool games should I pick up.  Now I'm here.

 

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I was always a collector, even from the time I was 8 and my parents would buy me Star Wars figures and I'd want to leave them in the boxes. It got to the point where they'd take them out of the packages before giving them to me for Christmas just so I'd play with them. 

But, I didn't start thinking of video games as a collectible until 2005. My second year in college I lived in a house with 4 other dudes and the guy in the room next to me (who I didn't know well at the time) started raging at his TV over a video game @Ghostofsparta.

When I knocked on his door to see if he was okay, I discovered he was playing Mega Man 6. I had played and beaten all the X games, so I figured I could jump in and help... yeah... not the same thing. Wily was a savage in that game. 

Anyways, after that we shared all our stories about our favorite childhood games, and in order to convince eachother how bad-ass certain games were, we had to go out and buy them.

That's when in-the-wild collecting was still fun.

Anyways, I rebuilt my childhood collection over my college years and went from there. Needless to say, I'm much more passionate about video game collecting than I ever was about Star Wars or Beanie Babies 😂😂

Edited by 3rdStrongestMole
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I first started collecting in 2006 about 2 years after I graduated high school.  I had sold all my games I had as a kid and wanted to reconnect with my childhood. I first found digital press and had gotten a lot of all the Mega man games, a nes top loader, snes and some games from a guy, and I met Parpunk there and he introduces me to Nintendoage in early 2007. I joined there and made many friends.  From there I got into collecting service center memorabilia in 2008 or so, and started Gameboy collecting in 2010. I was sad when Nintendoage closed, but it wasn’t what the site was anymore and I still had a lot of great friends who I still talk to today . I haven’t been collecting as much as I used to, can’t afford it now. Even games that’s were reasonable are far to expensive.  I’ll just wait a decade or so until people don’t cAre about this stuff and I can get all my games I want then😁I have nothing but time to get all the common stuff I still need. 

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Member · Posted

Depending on what you could consider collecting it's either 1985 or 1995.

Up until being forced through unemployment/bs having to destroy a collection in 2005 I never let a thing go, not one shred of paper down to receipts.  1985 I got a west coast test launch (pre) Deluxe Set + SMB and Hogan's Alley for Christmas.  From there allowance money, but being a kid, largely presents, I racked up dozens of games for it by the time Gameboy in 1989, and then the SNES rolled out in 1991 I grabbed day one (first console I paid for myself, though intended for Christmas, but that's a side story.)

1995 -- Going into college that fall, but staying local, over summer I found a formerly amazing local retail second hand shop for games 10min from my house, most stuff in store was $5 for each game, or trade 2 cheapies for 1 in return new.  This was that era (pre-2011) where paper wasn't something to rip people off over, or cardboard, or little foam blocks and baggies and sleeves of plastic.  I took a $20 and went on a journey one that lasted until I left the area at the very end of 2002.  Keep in mind the internet was not really largely publicly taken off even towards the end.  I large amount of it for me was fun, learning, discovery, trying new stuff for NES, Gameboy, SNES, occasionally a N64 game too despite it being retail.

I did it for that, all that fun and discovery, but also in college I got a part time job on campus, but staying home had no budget, so I found myself able around classes being able to get quite a bit more things and enjoying more stuff, even due to N64 being abused went multi-maker and got the NEC Turbo Duo -- what a ride.  And all those yummies I saw in Nintendo Power I couldn't get back then, for $5(largely, some were $10, few but rare up to $20) I could splurge on the misses.  It was for those reasons as much as not-collecting but just as life goes, it was my out, my escape... single player forever.

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I started seriously collecting when I found a few of my old gaming items in my garage about 6 years ago. I had a top loading NES, Ghosts n Goblins, and Tengen Tetris just sitting around collecting dust. I decided to start playing again, and it all spiraled out of control from there. 

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I've been collecting one thing or another literally as long as I can remember.  I recall one or two people on NA trying to argue with me on this, but it's true.  The first thing that I remember actively collecting was Kenner's line of Star Wars figures and toys.  I kept different cardbacks as I got them in order to track all of the figures available and mark off those I had and keep an eye on those I needed, hung onto pages out of the Wish Book or the small catalogs inserted into various vehicles and accessories to track other items, in the line, and kept at it from the point of my earliest memories of those toys onward.  Sure, I had other stuff, and as one of the NA naysayers tried to argue in order to deny that I was collecting anything at 3-4, I wouldn't turn down any other toys that I enjoyed being thrown my way (as well as wanting quite a lot of stuff that I never got), but I never actually collected that other stuff.  Did I have G.I. Joes and Transformers and Little People in decent numbers when I was little?  Absolutely.  Did I collect those?  No.  I didn't want or "need" every piece of those lines I saw on a shelf, even if I liked or wanted a fair amount of them.  Kenner's 3.75" Star Wars stuff, though?  Even the figures/characters I *hated*, I had to have.

Thus began my NES collection.  We had an Odyssey2 from as long ago as I can remember, and my brother scored an Atari 2600 after we moved when I was little, but I didn't care too much about going out and grabbing titles for either, although I did enjoy the odd new game now and then.  When a friend ended up with a launch NES, however, things changed.  I ended up with his 2600 and a crate of games because he just wasn't interested in them anymore, and only ever played with his NES.  And, although the times were few and far between, I would as well when I was over, as often as I could.  It wasn't for about 4 more years that I got my own system, but as soon as I did, I started picking up every game I could get my hands on, regardless of review.  Many of the earliest games I had were those discarded or thrown off by my neighborhood friends, usually for $10 or so, CIB, and almost always so that they could accumulate enough money to either outright buy a new game or convince their parents to put in the rest of the money to do so.

All of my money during the year (sporadic "allowance," stuff earned outside of normal chores, birthday, Christmas, etc.) ended up being saved, then blown en masse at my local Hills when they would have their end-of-year blowout sales, discounting all of their NES stuff significantly, but moving their overstock and/or slowest sellers into the $10-20 range.  So, my friends would end up buying maybe 1-2 full priced games during the year, but I'd end up with between 5-10, if not more, just by hanging onto my money and waiting until the time was right.  It wasn't until virtually everyone had moved on from the NES and flea market deals such as 3/$10, 4/$10, and event, eventually, 5/$10, that I ever ended up with most of the popular "staple" titles.  I never owned Contra or either Zelda myself before picking them up at the flea market for $3-4 each.  Instead, I'd played such then-losers as Metal Gear, Legendary Wings, A Boy and His Blob, Werewolf: The Last Warrior, etc., endlessly.  As much as I enjoyed those games, my friends had them, and while I might enjoy playing them on my own, I couldn't justify blowing half a year's pocket money for one game I'd already helped to beat versus 3-5 (or more, depending on which friend needed cash) that I hadn't.

I got in and out of collecting some other things, CCGs most notably, but the NES, and eventually older video games in general, always stuck with me.  I may end up occasionally amassing a bunch of games for one system (I had quite a pile of PS2 games a few years ago, until I realized I wasn't going to play most of them ever again and let my friends starting a physical storefront for their flea market business trade credit me out of most of them), but I really only collect for the older/oldest stuff at this point, and the NES primarily.  Something else may capture my attention the way the NES did way back when, but to date, nothing else has come close.

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I've been collecting since I started gaming back in the early 90s. I have two older brothers and we often bought games from friends and stores growing up. We had a nice size NES and SNES collection back in the mid-90s (~50-80 games on each system) which was primarily of used, loose games. There was a local newspaper 'The Bargain Hunter' which was classifieds that we'd buy lots off of and trade doubles for other games... basically Kijiji before it was readily online.  We kept the bulk of our games as I continued to keep up with newer consoles like the 64, PS1 and eventually the PS2. Once the PS2 and GC were on the block and I was in high school, I wasn't really gaming or buying game related stuff anymore due to being busy and spending what little money I had on other stuff (booze/weed/saving for university). This continued right through until university was over around 2008-2009-ish...

Then, like I'm sure many, many other people my age, I got a job and started looking at getting some old favourites for SNES that I didn't own as a kid. The funny thing is, I remember Wild Guns was one of the first games I looked up on eBay and it was going for about $80 at the time, which blew me away at how expensive it was and I almost lost interest immediately. But after finding some good deals locally and seeing prices/interest starting to creep up around 2010-2011, I started getting interested in CIB stuff and filling out my NES/SNES/64 collection. Once 2011-2012 rolled around and I joined NA, I was addicted to collecting from then until 2015-2016.

I got major burnout around 2016 as the market was becoming stale, I had most of what I wanted, and prices were beyond ridiculous for scraps. I realized I was buying stuff just for the sake of it and it was no longer any fun for me. Since then, I've been slowly downsizing my collection. I would like to get to a point where I only own what I'm going to play, which was the initial plan that got out of hand.

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grew up poor. somehow got an NES in '87 (i think? i was 5). we had a handful of games, not many, but Legend of Zelda was one of them. That started my love of video games. As a kid, we acquired SMB 1,2,3, Zelda 2, Double Dragon, Tecmo Super Bowl, Mega Man 6, and a few trash titles. But we rented games. Oh man, did we rent games. Contra/Super C, Kirby, Mega Man 2-3-4 (nobody around us had 1 or 5). So i knew that there were a ton more games out there.  (side note: i REALLY wish i would have had Metroid and Bomberman growing up. all time great games that would have potentially pushed Zelda out of my #1 spot!)

Like @the_wizard_666, my collecting began in earnest once i started working. My first task was to pick up the games i rented as a kid and to finish out series (like Mega Man). and it branched from there. after skipping the SNES (broke and unwilling to sell my NES games for a new system), i grabbed an n64 day one (still arguably my prize possession). Once i moved into my own apartment, i was grabbing more and more games from pawn shops and eBay. i had no idea there were other people that collected NES, as all of my friends only cared about PS2

It was probably 5-6 years ago, after joining NA, that i really realized there was a group of people who were into these same things. i got exposed to more titles, which led to more collecting, which led to going further down the rabbit hole. i am super happy to have the collection i have, and a major point of pride whenever i look at my shelves full of games. 

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In 2004, I was twelve and reading an issue of Tips & Tricks. The magazine used to have a section called Collectors Corner written by Joe Santulli of Digital Press. This particular issue talked about collecting Super Nintendo games, which at the time was still my favorite system. Later that year for Christmas I asked for a copy of the Digital Press Advanced Collecting Guide and basically memorized it on what games to look for at GameStop (which at the time was phasing out Super Nintendo games.) The rest is history.

Pretty much done collecting now other than buying new games I'm interesting in. I had a lot of fun collecting and learning

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My story… well it all started with being a kid playing NES/SNES/Mega drive at relatives/friends. Was never able to get it, my parents did not like video games. When i was grown up, around 10 years ago I stumbled upon a NESthat my friend had and he gave it to me. Since then I have been all over the consoles/games I did not own but wanted, or even got some game systems I did not know about when I was a kid

Edited by Knud
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On 9/13/2021 at 12:28 PM, twiztor said:

 

Like @the_wizard_666, my collecting began in earnest once i started working. My first task was to pick up the games i rented as a kid and to finish out series (like Mega Man). 

 

That makes three of us. I did this with mega man x (1-3) in particular, having not beaten x1 at all until an adult, then finally 2 and 3 which were extremely easy in comparison. 

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14 hours ago, inasuma said:

That makes three of us. I did this with mega man x (1-3) in particular, having not beaten x1 at all until an adult, then finally 2 and 3 which were extremely easy in comparison. 

Crazy. I can beat X2 and X1 so easily but I have a lot of difficulty with X3

Edited by phart010
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