Christmas can be a crazy time, and now that I’m back home I’m glad that I finally have some time to myself (and of course my wife). As with many modern families, ours is scattered all over the place. This has it’s advantages as a game collector as it gives you a chance to visit all the local game stores. I confirmed what I already knew in that some stores have ridiculously high prices for their games, while others are more than fair… and a few have no idea what they have… this can be a good or bad thing. Good if they actually have something rare and undervalue it. Bad if they have some decent stuff, but think it is worth it’s weight in gold.
We started out visiting my relatives in the United States and visited two of their local video game retail stores, Play ‘N Trade, and Elmwood Games. Play N Trade on the surface looks like every other game store, however their pricing on NES and SNES games were more than fair. I managed to pick up Donkey Kong from the Arcade Classics Series for under $15 which seemed like a great deal considering most other stores I’ve seen it in were selling it for over $35. I also bought Double Dragon III for under $13 which is what it price charting says it’s worth… not really a deal, but it completes my Double Dragon series which is kind of nice. Now all i have to do is print out covers.
The next store we went to was Elmwood Games. The appearance of the store seemed a bit flea marketish; games everywhere… many unorganized to the point where I wasn’t sure if the owner even knew what he had. There was a whole box full of SNES games with a sign saying “all games $10 and up”. Unfortunately there was not a lot worth speaking about in the box, and I did note that I had previously seen several of the titles at the Play N Trade for half of what this guy was asking. I found it really annoying that nothing had prices on it and every time I asked the owner for a price it seemed like he made one up on the spot. In his defence however, he did seem to have a fairly good idea of what his games were worth. I stuck to the $5 bin of NES games and picked out four titles. There was no tax so that was also a plus. I guess the biggest disappointment was that the owner seemed unwilling to move on his prices, which was one of the positive comments someone had written about the store. Oh well, a good visit… Thank you Buffalo!
Our next stop was in Lindsay, Ontario where there is a great little game store called Iceman Video Games. I wanted to think that Iceman was a tribute to the loveable character from the Megaman series, but he denied it when I inquired. Anyways, here in Canada we have a holiday called Boxing Day which is much like Black Friday in the United States. Everyone is trying to sell off their wares at really low prices. The Iceman was not to be out done. He was offering a buy 1 game get 1 free sale. I picked up Wing Commander: Secret Missions and Gradius III both for $20.
His prices were a bit high for these titles, however with the two for one sale it made them more than reasonable. I actually had Gradius III about a year ago, and if I remember correctly I sold it to the Iceman… I’ve regretted selling it, and for all I know I re-purchased the same copy. I had sold it because i didn’t know where my collection was headed and thought that I should focus only on NES titles. That sounds good however there are many really really bad NES games that are in my opinion un-playable. Most SNES games go for around the same price and several (like Super Metroid and A Link to the Past) have tons of replay value to them… not to mention the graphics are 16-bit which makes a HUGE difference.
Off to Peterborough, Ontario next. Here I purchased Mega Man X: Command Mission for the Play Station 2. I paid a fair price for it ($17) which is nothing to write home about, however I’ve not seen it in a while and I needed it for my Megaman collection. I’ve never played it, but it looks like a lot of fun as it has an RPG element to it. I bought it at a store called Chumleighs which over the years I have spent a small fortune. I went to university in this city and I can’t count how many VHS tapes I bought from this guy. In the end I think I ended up giving them all away… this was good as it saved me a trip to the landfill. Either way, my monetary contributions have definitely helped to keep the lights on at Chumleighs!
Over to my brother-in-laws house, I bought a few Wii titles from him. I was mostly interested in Punch Out, but as he was looking to get rid of his games, I offered him $35 for Mario Galaxy, Mario Party 8, and the aforementioned Punch Out. What’s weird is that I don’t even own a Wii anymore (traded it for an XBOX 360 several years back). This is something I’ll have to remedy in the very near future!
Somehow I managed to accomplish all this and still had plenty of time to visit with my family. It was great to see everyone, and I hope you all have a happy holiday! Until next time:)