Jump to content

Photo

Atari collector demographics


84 replies to this topic

#1 buttheadrulesagain OFFLINE  

buttheadrulesagain

    Combat Commando

  • 6 posts

Posted Tue May 23, 2017 8:31 PM

I did not know where to post this one...

 

I am a Nintendo NES collector, and a topic that comes up regularly is "when will the price bubble burst"? Currently high end games are as expensive as ever and there still there is nothing indicating a crash of the market soon.

 

That being said, I was watching a popular podcast (Pat the NES Punk) commenting that, for example, Elvis collectibles were hot in the 80's-90's but as Elvis original fans got older and died off, the market of those items crashed, since new collectors were not filling the gaps left by the original ones.

 

My question to you is: have you seen this happen with Atari and the older consoles? Do new collectors replace the older ones? What can we expect for say, NES collecting in your opinion?



#2 high voltage OFFLINE  

high voltage

    Quadrunner

  • 6,111 posts
  • Location:europe

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 12:54 AM

I did not know where to post this one...

 

I am a Nintendo NES collector,

NintendoAge?



#3 Flojomojo ONLINE  

Flojomojo

    Up! Down! Up! Down!

  • 8,540 posts
  • Chu! Chu! Chu!

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 4:23 AM

I think Pat's right, I doubt cartridge prices will go up much higher. There's a ton of new games products every year, and the younger generation is unlikely to be as into vintage as those who grew up with it.

When will this happen? If I knew that, I'd be rich, and I wouldn't tell you my secrets!

#4 buttheadrulesagain OFFLINE  

buttheadrulesagain

    Combat Commando

  • Topic Starter
  • 6 posts

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 7:34 AM

NintendoAge?

 

Since the questions I'm making are related to Atari collecting, I don't see the sense of your answer.



#5 ubersaurus OFFLINE  

ubersaurus

    River Patroller

  • 4,957 posts
  • Location:Maryland

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 7:53 AM

I mean I'm in my early 30s, but I've also been collecting Atari for a long time - pretty sure most collectors for the platform are at least a decade older than I am, anecdotally. I'm not sure how many newer collectors have gone back to that early era.

 

It is true that as people age out of the collecting field demand - and prices - will probably drop or at least find equilibrium, but since we are talking finite numbers of hardware and software realistically you'll always have games that are going to be expensive as time goes on (as with the 2600). But who knows - the NES seems to do a decent job drawing younger people into it. It may just maintain its grip in collector consciousness longer than the 2600 and its ilk did.



#6 glazball ONLINE  

glazball

    Moonsweeper

  • 362 posts
  • Location:Austin, TX

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 8:39 AM

Though Pat *may* be right, I'd need to see some evidence (about a decline in Elvis collectibility).  He could be totally wrong.  I'm a Beatles guy so I don't know much about Elvis!

 

As for Atari, the bottom may fall out eventually after all us aging Atari fans kick the bucket, but I don't see that ever happening with NES.



#7 fiddlepaddle OFFLINE  

fiddlepaddle

    River Patroller

  • 2,256 posts

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 9:05 AM

Collectibles price fluctuations often seem obvious in retrospect, but are notoriously difficult to predict, other than specific situations like when things are being blown out of retail stores at ridiculous discounts, or yard sales where owner just wants to get rid of the stuff.

 

Your best bet is to make decisions based on what's fun and what you can afford to spend, and just sell stuff because you don't want it any more.



#8 4Ks OFFLINE  

4Ks

    Stargunner

  • 1,598 posts
  • Excuse my english, I'm typing with my balls
  • Location:The 'Burbs

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 10:51 AM

I started collecting in 2009 and prices for everything were pretty low back then. It wasn't until around 2012 that things started really getting ridiculous. Now everything that's even slightly retro is heading toward collectors-only territory, even stuff that's not particularly old like Gamecube and Dreamcast.

 

Atari stuff is just plain stupid these days. 2600 is the only one that's remotely affordable, all the others (especially Jaguar) have been ruined by collector types who snap up everything and then try to flip it for a profit. Good luck getting a working Jaguar for less than $200. And don't even get me started on the computers, good lord.


Edited by 4Ks, Wed May 24, 2017 10:55 AM.


#9 BassGuitari OFFLINE  

BassGuitari

    Habitual Line Stepper

  • 5,648 posts
  • Remember how bright the future used to look?
  • Location:Milwaukee, WI

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 11:11 AM

As far as bubbles go, we definitely saw one with Atari stuff about 10-12 years ago, when that generation of gamers "came of age" and were able to indulge their nostalgia. Carts like Frogger and Pac-Man were sometimes selling for $10 a pop, but it was generally nostalgia trippers who fell into that. A very positive thing for extant dedicated collectors (or very negative, if you were trying to sell stuff) that happened around that time is that many previously extremely rare games began turning up more frequently as the hobby gained more popularity, and thus became generally much less expensive to obtain (case in point: I was at a shop in 2001 or 2002 that had Chase The Chuckwagon for a $300; on a good day and in excellent condition, it's maybe a $100 cart now, probably closer to $80).

Prices have evened out since then as the nostalgia trippers got their fill and didn't pursue Atari collecting further. The interesting effect they had is that the price floor on common carts is marginally higher now (also possibly owing to inflation) while prices on rare games, for the most part, are actually less--in some cases the games themselves are simply less rare, such as once-rare games like Xenophobe that you can now get brand new for, like $15. The cheap games remain cheap, though--anyone who was ever going to buy them by now already has. And dedicated collectors--particularly those who have been around a while--have a lot of the more exotic stuff, so there's less demand driving prices up. The advent of SD carts complicates things a little, as well, since many gamers are now opting to just play ROMs on one of those instead of seeking out and paying for the likes of Gauntlet, Video Life, Condor Attack, etc. Of course those collectors still exist, but there are definitely fewer now.

I think the NES continues to draw people in because Nintendo is still relevant and visible as a company. Same reason people collect antique Coca-Cola memorabilia but not Moxie. People seem drawn to the misty nostalgic early days of a popular brand they have a connection with. If Sega put out a Genesis Mini Classic, no one would give a shit except people who already collect Sega stuff. Even the Atari Flashbacks; nobody cares except Atari collectors. (I shouldn't say nobody--they apparently sell enough of the stupid things to keep releasing new versions every year)



It's also worth noting that the NES generation came of age when social media and YouTube really started to hit their strides, and that they were part of the vanguard of that. Simultaneously, there was still a lot of incorrect information floating around--which they spread around further--like: Jack Tramiel shelved the 7800 and only brought it back after the NES took off; Pac-Man and E.T. crashed the industry; or Atari deliberately and shortsightedly said "no" to the NES deal. All of that really fed this false narrative that Atari, Coleco, Magnavox, et al were stupid and their systems amounted to little more than a series of necessary mistakes leading up to videogaming's "Eureka!" moment, the NES. People still hear that nonsense, and I think it turns a lot of people off from from exploring Atari and pre-crash stuff. Rather, they dismiss it as primitive, ill-conceived, not fun, and generally not worth their time.

(Full personal demographic disclosure, for whatever it's worth: I'm 32, have been actively collecting--as opposed to just accumulating new stuff as it came out--since 1998, and my interest is pre-Crash consoles and computers.)



#10 edladdin OFFLINE  

edladdin

    Moonsweeper

  • 385 posts
  • Location:Athens, Georgia, USA

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 11:39 AM

I definitely think the rate of NEW Atari collectors is not especially high in the wider world. I've just spent the last couple days calling and/or visiting a string of probably a dozen retro video game shops between Portland and Seattle and representation of pre-crash consoles mostly ranged from "none at all" to "box/shelf of 2600 commons in the corner". Only one shop (Retro Game Trader in Beaverton) had a real showcase for Atari, Intellivision, Coleco, and Vectrex.

Similarly, this last Christmas there was real heat for the NES Classic, complete with shortages and stories in the news. While getting our hands on the Atari Portable was no big deal.

That said, I think it will be a while before there is a price collapse. There are so many of us that love those consoles and we are still not THAT old.

#11 GeekDragon OFFLINE  

GeekDragon

    Space Invader

  • 39 posts
  • Just call me Geek!
  • Location:Chicago

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 1:36 PM

I grew up playing atari.  Gemini was our first system and pac man and asteroids were our first games.  But, I started collecting atari and retro games in general seriously over the last year.  Will the bubble burst?  As far as the older games like atari and nes, maybe aittle.  There will still be a premium on nice condition carts/boxes, because no one took real good care of thses games back in the day.  I also collect comics(going on 32 years now)and the comics from the 70's on down are raising in value and setting new price records.  Why?  Again, people bought these old comics, which at the time was a throw away medium, and no one reall took care of them.  Todays games, on the other hand, people will take much better care of these games, so MIB games will be more plentiful.  I see the market stabilize more then completely collapsing, since it is still a relatively new collectable market.  Will prices go down?  probably, but again, it will correct itself.



#12 high voltage OFFLINE  

high voltage

    Quadrunner

  • 6,111 posts
  • Location:europe

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 1:45 PM

 

Since the questions I'm making are related to Atari collecting, I don't see the sense of your answer.

Lot of Nintendo fanboys come here to post garbage, have to make sure you're not one of them



#13 buttheadrulesagain OFFLINE  

buttheadrulesagain

    Combat Commando

  • Topic Starter
  • 6 posts

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 11:55 PM

Lots of interesting input. Thanks!



#14 buttheadrulesagain OFFLINE  

buttheadrulesagain

    Combat Commando

  • Topic Starter
  • 6 posts

Posted Wed May 24, 2017 11:56 PM

Lot of Nintendo fanboys come here to post garbage, have to make sure you're not one of them

 

Nah, I only collect NES, but still appreciate the Atari 2600 enough to have the RGB mod and Harmony Cart, with a couple of wireless controllers to match.



#15 onthinice OFFLINE  

onthinice

    Chopper Commander

  • 186 posts
  • Location:NW Ohio

Posted Thu May 25, 2017 11:28 AM

Seems the one thread that causes all collecting to bottom out is fakes. In this case carts. I have a original copy of Panic Restaurant for the NES. If selling was a factor who would buy it when new copies are showing up from overseas? Sure the label and the inside is different but one would assume it was still the same game. Why pay lots more when you could have a knockoff.

 

Too many variables for these old games unless you buy from someone trustworthy. Makes senses why so many aftermarket developers are making and selling games.



#16 spacecadet OFFLINE  

spacecadet

    River Patroller

  • 2,024 posts

Posted Thu May 25, 2017 1:03 PM

Atari fans are definitely older and, these days, fewer than Nintendo collectors. I've watched that change over just the past decade or maybe two. I started collecting various classic systems about 20 years ago; now, 20 years later, a lot of people who are the age I was in the 90's are collecting Nintendo stuff. Not nearly as many people are starting out collecting Atari because it's not familiar or nostalgic to them.

 

It's a natural cycle, and someday Nintendo collecting will take a back seat to something else too. Whatever people grew up with, that's what they collect, until they either have enough of it or they die. And one or both of those things happens to everyone eventually.

 

As for what effect this has on prices, I don't think you can definitively say it makes them go up or down. Because as this happens, the available product out there is being consolidated into fewer and fewer hands. And a lot of it's still being destroyed too. So even as the overall number of collectors for something might drop, supply might drop even faster than demand. In that case, prices still go up. But this isn't predictable; all collector markets fluctuate.



#17 Wyluli Wolf OFFLINE  

Wyluli Wolf

    Chopper Commander

  • 225 posts
  • Location:Florida

Posted Thu May 25, 2017 1:51 PM

Atari fans are definitely older and, these days, fewer than Nintendo collectors. I've watched that change over just the past decade or maybe two. I started collecting various classic systems about 20 years ago; now, 20 years later, a lot of people who are the age I was in the 90's are collecting Nintendo stuff. Not nearly as many people are starting out collecting Atari because it's not familiar or nostalgic to them.

 

It's a natural cycle, and someday Nintendo collecting will take a back seat to something else too. Whatever people grew up with, that's what they collect, until they either have enough of it or they die. And one or both of those things happens to everyone eventually.

 

As for what effect this has on prices, I don't think you can definitively say it makes them go up or down. Because as this happens, the available product out there is being consolidated into fewer and fewer hands. And a lot of it's still being destroyed too. So even as the overall number of collectors for something might drop, supply might drop even faster than demand. In that case, prices still go up. But this isn't predictable; all collector markets fluctuate.

Totally agree.  Some folks might get curious about those "older" systems but its mostly nostalgia that makes us collect.



#18 Zonie OFFLINE  

Zonie

    Stargunner

  • 1,588 posts
  • Location:Arid-Zone

Posted Thu May 25, 2017 8:34 PM

I don't collect to collect. Sure If I see a loose 2600/7800 cart I don't have for a buck or two, I'll buy it. I have every Atari console, including a 400, 800 and XEGS, but don't really collect for them other than buy games (as above) or homebrews that I will actually play. I see 2600's and/or lots going for way more than they should. All these kids who find them in their parent's garages think they have something soooo rare. 

 

I have a NES. SNES, and N64. Most of the carts I have are what I play and most are 80's arcades. I did collect a lot of the controllers for the N64. I really had that for when my son from my first marriage visited. He had one at home, so only had to cart the carts when visiting.

 

I've recently just found enjoyment with the SNES. That came to be via marriage, it was my wife's brothers who passed away, so I felt the need to keep it. It only had the game boy adapter and super mario, which I really cannot stand to play. I added Dragons lair and Space ace but then it went into the closet for years. I recently found Classic Kong, so bought a copy of that and the Midway classics and Atari classics carts for that. The Asteroids is nearly perfect... The Classic Kong rocks. I guess the SNES is my current favorite, but other than maybe building an asteroids and/or defender controller for it, I think I'm good for games for that console at a whopping 6 carts.

 

My NES comes out for parties, because everyone knows NES. Again, mostly 80's arcade titles there. I got it for five bucks at a goodwill clearance center. It was dirty as hell. I cleaned it in a hotel room (I was on a business trip) replaced the connector and bought about 15 games for it. I hacked a controller board into an Atari CX-40 joystick so I could kick my kid's ass at games on it. 

med_gallery_3653_1328_65941.jpg

 

I have a Genesis and a Dreamcast. At one point I bought every DC accessory available, including the VGA adapter, hacked a controller to be able to plug in a CX-40 to it and built a pretty good collection of Atari emulator disks for it. I never was able to find the broadband adapter for a reasonable price. My Genny cart list consists of mostly the arcade classics. No surprise. 

 

I still have my original C64 and Vic 20's plus an Apple][+ and a shit ton of floppies for all of them including the Atari 800.

 

Not everyone is stating their Demographics which is the OP's question. I'm 50, have engineering and business degrees, and comfortably self employed with a wife that rolls her eyes at my game collection...


Edited by Zonie, Thu May 25, 2017 8:35 PM.


#19 atarilovesyou OFFLINE  

atarilovesyou

    River Patroller

  • 2,054 posts

Posted Fri May 26, 2017 11:09 PM

Lot of Nintendo fanboys come here to post garbage, have to make sure you're not one of them

 

A lot of Sega fanboys post garbage here too, so why don't you stop acting like some self-appointed thread police and keep your anti-Nintendo garbage to yourself?  Thanks.



#20 Scooter83 OFFLINE  

Scooter83

    Dragonstomper

  • 527 posts
  • Location:Northern NJ

Posted Mon Jun 5, 2017 11:25 AM

I say the atari bubble was around 2005 when it popped. Prices aren't what they were in the late 90s early 00s. I think mainly due to people collecting on remembering how it used to be. Some games are good for the 2600 5200 7800 but it lacks the big name titles with graphics to really draw in main stream gamers.

Likewise the nes is different there are more franchise game titles zelda mario metroid kids not around during that time are greatly interested in the games. I think cause like in mario you can see a guy jumping on a mushroom jumping on a koopa or zelda swinging a sword. And for that reason I don't see a big bubble on nes games or even snes games . Now bigger titles with collectors those prices might go up or goes down and that's a collectors market more than a gamers market. Good nes games will remain popular and in demand. But bad games will go down.

I think it's important to seperate the gamer price market from the collector market.

#21 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

Kosmic Stardust

    Princess Rescuer

  • 14,291 posts
  • Location:Milky Way Galaxy

Posted Mon Jun 5, 2017 12:55 PM

 

I think the NES continues to draw people in because Nintendo is still relevant and visible as a company. Same reason people collect antique Coca-Cola memorabilia but not Moxie. People seem drawn to the misty nostalgic early days of a popular brand they have a connection with. If Sega put out a Genesis Mini Classic, no one would give a shit except people who already collect Sega stuff. Even the Atari Flashbacks; nobody cares except Atari collectors. (I shouldn't say nobody--they apparently sell enough of the stupid things to keep releasing new versions every year)



It's also worth noting that the NES generation came of age when social media and YouTube really started to hit their strides, and that they were part of the vanguard of that. Simultaneously, there was still a lot of incorrect information floating around--which they spread around further--like: Jack Tramiel shelved the 7800 and only brought it back after the NES took off; Pac-Man and E.T. crashed the industry; or Atari deliberately and shortsightedly said "no" to the NES deal. All of that really fed this false narrative that Atari, Coleco, Magnavox, et al were stupid and their systems amounted to little more than a series of necessary mistakes leading up to videogaming's "Eureka!" moment, the NES. People still hear that nonsense, and I think it turns a lot of people off from from exploring Atari and pre-crash stuff. Rather, they dismiss it as primitive, ill-conceived, not fun, and generally not worth their time.

(Full personal demographic disclosure, for whatever it's worth: I'm 32, have been actively collecting--as opposed to just accumulating new stuff as it came out--since 1998, and my interest is pre-Crash consoles and computers.)

 

This is very true. Atari had a reputation with crap back in the 90s when I was a teen, and continued to do so with my demgraphic as my collecting tastes grew and matured. The lies perpetuated regarding Atari are everywhere online and have gone into legendary status.

 

I believed them for years until I broke and bought an Atari in 2012, and joined AtariAge, and haven't looked back since. Homebrew releases have kept me engaged with the platform and were it not for the vast community here I might have lost interest in Atari as a platform or my collection would not have been as vast.

 

Growing up in the NES generation, it has a few positives that keep it firmly planted as the bassline for most younger generation collectors. for one, the sprites are colorful and vibrant as is the music, which keeps people engaged more. Atari games were all about bringing the arcade experience home back in the day, but in modern times the crude blocky graphics and "beeps and farts" sound effects of many games are definitely an acquired taste.

 

The rawness of the Atari and it's versatility is what attracted me to it beyond the initial curiosity (the barrier to entry was low and I knew I could just resell the system and not be out much if I didn't like it), and the homebrew community is what made me stay. Atari is not for everyone, however I think it definitely needs to be experienced (or at least one of the pre-crash consoles) before one can call themselves a seasoned collector.

 

Atari VCS/2600 may not be the NES gold standard of retro video games as represented in the minds of the populace, but it withstands the testament of time and should be well regarded for it's place in video game history by single-handedly jumpstarting the home console market in North America and across the pond. Sure it had it's competitors but few really stood up to the legacy left behind by Atari.

 

Atari truly is the quintessential American classic video game console, even if it is overshadowed by the fact NES / Nintendo has remained relevant in today's modern gamer culture. Atari is like the classic muscle car that will never die...



#22 Torr OFFLINE  

Torr

    Dragonstomper

  • 974 posts
  • Location:Newfoundland, Canada

Posted Mon Jun 5, 2017 4:02 PM

Atari is like the classic muscle car that will never die...

 

I'd compare it more to the Ford Model T.

 

It was the "first" home console, it was a product that people ween't sure would catch on.

You have to have "been there at the time" or be interested in the history/chronology/evolution of video gaming to appreciate the VCS.

 

By the NES... then you hitting the 30's + 40's, functionality and practicality have been optimized, so now they can focus on aesthetics and bells & whistles.

 

I'd consider the 16 bit generation the 50's style muscle cars...

Optional CD-ROMs like customized engines; using specs and jargon as selling points...

 

I'm kinda rambling.


Edited by Torr, Mon Jun 5, 2017 4:05 PM.


#23 sramirez2008 ONLINE  

sramirez2008

    Stargunner

  • 1,552 posts
  • Location:Houston

Posted Mon Jun 5, 2017 8:23 PM

 

I'd compare it more to the Ford Model T.

 

 

I'll take the "T" over anything else. :-D

 

T.jpg



#24 Kosmic Stardust OFFLINE  

Kosmic Stardust

    Princess Rescuer

  • 14,291 posts
  • Location:Milky Way Galaxy

Posted Mon Jun 5, 2017 9:51 PM

^Model T (Atari) won't help you pick up chicks though. A '57 Chevy Belair (NES) will.

 

On second thought, not sure how any video game console will help you pick up chicks. You may have to get lucky, or swoon her with other admirable qualities.



#25 G-type OFFLINE  

G-type

    Chopper Commander

  • 184 posts

Posted Tue Jun 6, 2017 9:24 AM

Lot of Nintendo fanboys come here to post garbage, have to make sure you're not one of them

 

NintendoAge has a very active Atari high score board and discussion thread.






0 user(s) are browsing this forum

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users