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Early Collecting Years


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I often get nostalgic for my early collecting days chasing NES carts in the late 90s, armed with my printed Mike Etler list (which was like 15 pages of text) and a fat highlighter marker.  I tore up many a Funcoland/Gamestop/GameCrazy/video rental store clearance bins in the northern Chicago suburbs between '96-2004 and got some deals that I barely even knew were amazing deals because it was such a wild west era of collecting with not much information to be had or stable consistent pricing going on.  I definitely have this vivid memory of buying loose NES carts packed up in plastic packaging at a local K-Mart when I was 12 years old; I started digging through them and instinctively picking out the black box games (my friend @AlfPogs and I called them "originals" at the time), staring at them and deciding, "Yep, this is for me."  I could literally feel the collector switch in my brain toggling to the ON position at that very moment, and well here I am 24 years later still doing it albeit a few large gaps of inactivity.

 

Oh and I also worked at a media chain called The Music Recyclery as a teenager in 2001.  Had that five finger discount on some carts, that my boss basically turned a blind eye at despite knowing I was swiping them.  He was down...lol

 

Edited by 8bitsupremacy
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(Mods if there is already a similar thread please close/lock/merge) I was just thinking about when I first really started to get into collecting and getting a bit nostalgic over it and thought I'

I was very poor growing up, and mostly played rented games at friend's houses. The first game I bought new with money I earned was Chrono Trigger (from 92' - 95', all the money I earned from working w

Mine is pretty boring. I popped into pawn shop and saw a yobo when they first came out. Bought that and 5 to 10 nes games they had on hand. Plan was just to make a weekend out of it. I already had a b

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2 hours ago, 8bitsupremacy said:

I often get nostalgic for my early collecting days chasing NES carts in the late 90s, armed with my printed Mike Etler list (which was like 15 pages of text) and a fat highlighter marker.  I tore up many a Funcoland/Gamestop/GameCrazy/video rental store clearance bins in the northern Chicago suburbs between '96-2004 and got some deals that I barely even knew were amazing deals because it was such a wild west era of collecting with not much information to be had or stable consistent pricing going on.  I definitely have this vivid memory of buying loose NES carts packed up in plastic packaging at a local K-Mart when I was 12 years old; I started digging through them and instinctively picking out the black box games (my friend @AlfPogs and I called them "originals" at the time), staring at them and deciding, "Yep, this is for me."  I could literally feel the collector switch in my brain toggling to the ON position at that very moment, and well here I am 24 years later still doing it albeit a few large gaps of inactivity.

 

Oh and I also worked at a media chain called The Music Recyclery as a teenager in 2001.  Had that five finger discount on some carts, that my boss basically turned a blind eye at despite knowing I was swiping them.  He was down...lol

 

Man, there’s no official name for this stuff. It’s all just made up. Let’s all start calling them “originals”!

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I remember always being happy that I still had copies of my favorite GameCube games from when I was a kid - Mario Kart DD, Paper Mario TTYD, Mario Sunshine, etc. and I just kind of knew without saying that I was never going to sell them. One day I was thrifting while in college (this has always been a hobby of mine) and I found a GameCube for dirt cheap. I bought it and started looking up videos of games I could add to my childhood collection and it blew up from there. This was early 2015. I then branched out into other Nintendo consoles, other companies, etc. I still have all of the NES, SNES, and N64 games my brother raised me with but now he’s going to raise his daughter on them so I need to buy the staples for those consoles again soon.

As for my early hunting days, I got into yard sales right before the ability to find video games at yard sales officially died. I always had the best luck at young couples’ yard sales because they had games growing up like I did. I made off with a nice Wii collection, and some other notable buys were Stubbs, Samurai Western, Parappa, and a PS1 collection that I paid all of $5 for.

The funniest part about that PS1 collection was that I delivered pizzas on breaks in college, so on the same summer day that I paid $5 for that collection, I actually delivered a pizza to that same guy’s house and he tipped me $5.

I got to do the yard sale gig for about 2 or 3 years, but those days are long gone.

Edited by The Strangest
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My collection is far from complete from any platform but its getting there. I do have some heavy weights but I lack on complete runs of libraries which I prefer to accomplish now. First off, it would be the NES library and work on from there. The games in my collection that I do have are games that mean something to me and also games I bought at retail or given as gifts. Also, I've been at this collecting game for awhile now and it never bores me or my enthusiasm for this hobby never wanes. 

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On 10/23/2020 at 8:12 PM, The Strangest said:

I remember always being happy that I still had copies of my favorite GameCube games from when I was a kid - Mario Kart DD, Paper Mario TTYD, Mario Sunshine, etc. and I just kind of knew without saying that I was never going to sell them. One day I was thrifting while in college (this has always been a hobby of mine) and I found a GameCube for dirt cheap. I bought it and started looking up videos of games I could add to my childhood collection and it blew up from there. This was early 2015. I then branched out into other Nintendo consoles, other companies, etc. I still have all of the NES, SNES, and N64 games my brother raised me with but now he’s going to raise his daughter on them so I need to buy the staples for those consoles again soon.

As for my early hunting days, I got into yard sales right before the ability to find video games at yard sales officially died. I always had the best luck at young couples’ yard sales because they had games growing up like I did. I made off with a nice Wii collection, and some other notable buys were Stubbs, Samurai Western, Parappa, and a PS1 collection that I paid all of $5 for.

The funniest part about that PS1 collection was that I delivered pizzas on breaks in college, so on the same summer day that I paid $5 for that collection, I actually delivered a pizza to that same guy’s house and he tipped me $5.

I got to do the yard sale gig for about 2 or 3 years, but those days are long gone.

They aren't gone man, get out there!  I have success constantly in 2020 and prior years.  Just gotta be the first one, or be better at talking to people/asking for games than the pushy reseller who was there before you.

Edited by 8bitsupremacy
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On 10/24/2020 at 10:29 PM, 8bitsupremacy said:

They aren't gone man, get out there!  I have success constantly in 2020 and prior years.  Just gotta be the first one, or be better at talking to people/asking for games than the pushy reseller who was there before you.

I agree and disagree with this. Having personal friends that are also collectors all around the country, I have determined this is a regional thing. Some parts of the country have dried up and others have not. Generally speaking, if you live a major metro area you are more likely to get good finds at thrift stores and garage/yard sales. I have friends that live in the Seattle and Baltimore areas and they are constantly sending me pics of good finds. Hell, I even get pics from my cousin (who is not a collector) in the SF Bay Area asking if something is a good deal when he stumbles across stuff I don't see here (I live in the South) anymore. My friends that live in the South or Midwest generally find that least amount of goods. This might be anecdotal, but this is my experience.

Things dried up where I live about 8-ish years ago. I can only find things I'm looking for at my local retro shop, and things have been slim pickings there for about a year and half now. Talking to the people that work there, they say that people bringing in items to sell or trade is less than half what it used to be. They had to expand to table top gaming items to stay in business.

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