Level 18: The game chasing safari. 

It’s been a while since my last post because I took some time off to get married, change jobs, etc but I’ve still been hunting in my limited free time. There’s been some noticible changes in the retro market over the last year, prices seem to have levelled out a bit but I’ve also noticed the surplus of games has decreased. 

For collectors of classic systems like NES and Sega seem to basically have the majority of what they want for their collections ie: boxed consoles, etc and there seems to be less new people getting into the hobby. This in my experience has caused less of a rush on popular games and an increase in common titles turning up as these newer collectors lose interest and trade their stuff back in. 

On the other end of the coin there seems to be more and more copies of rarer games turning up and sitting around on shelves because most collectors have already found copies for their collections and the price tag is more than enough to chase off a new collector who isn’t as concerned about a physical copy when everything can be experienced by simply playing it through emulation. 

At this point in my collection of 390 NES carts I’m finding it a real hunt to find things I don’t have, fortunately I have most of the higher priced titles I need but still have a lot of common titles left to find but in my area everyone seems to have the same 50-100 games that I’ve already got. 

Second hand stores have also seemingly dried up for older games as I mostly find PS2, 3, wii games of no real interest as there’s so many resellers to compete with for the limited stock they do get that’s of any value. A lot of times when these thrift stores do get older games now I also find often they incorrectly price them based on the perceived value for retro games so you run across $50 Mario Bros 3′. However the odd time they don’t realize what they have and I lucked out not too long ago on a Tengen Tetris for $6. 

So my game hunting has evolved into a game safari, instead of just taking a rip around my hometown a chase now requires towns further out, planning, scoping out the place for thrift shops, pawn places and game stores, spending money on gas and travelling in the hopes of finding that Sesame street or Dance Aerobics I need to get checked off my list. 

I’ve also found myself branching out more in what I collect as I usually really just collect for NES but as I’ve been finding less titles I need I’ve found myself collecting Intellivision as there seems to be large amounts of complete in box games and I was able to find a CIB system that was in excellent condition and the cost of collecting Intellivision is far cheaper than Nintendo it’s been easy to really get a decent collection together. 

Having to go so far out to look has changed how I hunt a lot too, I find that sometimes I’ve bought things that I already have but can bring back home to flip in order to get more money together for when I do eventually find NES carts I need but that can make for less of an interesting trip as you feel that you’re just getting things to have them and not really finding anything of value to your own collection.   Fortunately my last few trips out of town have luckily been bonanza’s with finding system boxes, manuals, inserts, Atari and Intellivision catalogs, etc which really helped to complete some of the boxed systems I have that needed a few inserts or posters to really be complete. 

It’s become interesting to start to really have to dig to find treasures where as for the first 390 games it seemed to be relatively easy to round up but every once and a while I manage to unearth something fun and still get to add 5-10 to the list. So as long as there’s still games I need I’ll be out on safari hunting through every game store, yard sale, and flea market until I finally track down those last couple hundred games. 

Enjoy the hunt. 



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