I walked into a recently opened video game store which recently opened. It has a front area with several classic arcade machines, The Simpsons, both TMNTs, a cocktail Ms. Pac-Man, a Neo-Geo, a PlayChoice-10 and a few others. Further back in the store there were racks of video games and accessories. They had something every Nintendo, Sega, Microsoft and Sony handheld and console system. I'm pretty sure I saw some TG-16 in there too and some of those Tiger handhelds. I saw nothing pre-crash, home computer, PC or post-crash Atari.
While I was looking around in the store, the owner took a telephone call. Even though I could not hear the caller's voice, the owner was using a mobile device and spoke loudly enough so I could understand the subject matter of the conversation. The caller asked if they took in Atari 2600 games. The owner replied that he did not take in any pre-1985 items at this time. He told the caller that he did not have any space to devote to that material at his store. He further stated that he did have a 2600 and about 40 games in the back room that had been sitting around for months.
I would suggest that the owner may have been telling the caller a little white lie. There are three other video game stores in the area which at least sell the pre-crash stuff. However, the demand for pre-crash isn't very impressive compared to the post-crash stuff. I believe the owner just didn't want to buy. His shop seemed completely setup, but there were areas which could have been rearranged for precrash stuff. Did he need a whole wall full of video game stuffed animals? Could he have stored one of the probably rarely turned on arcade cabinets at his home? (None of the machines were on, but this was a Tuesday afternoon),
Having visited many of the retro video game stores in my state, I cannot say whether this store's indifference to pre-crash systems is a trend or just particular to a few operators. Does anyone else see a trend of newer stores avoiding the more esoteric systems?