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Your evolution as a collector

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#1 JayAre OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 10:05 AM

When I first started collecting for the 2600, I just focused on buying games that I enjoyed playing.  Then, as time went by, I began purchasing games that I found interesting, either because of the packaging or some other reason.  As my collection grew, I decided to try to get at least one game from every manufacturer.  Although this would be impossible due to the scarcity or price of some games, I would try to do this as much as I could.  Then, a few years ago, I expanded my collection to include non-game items, like promotional or merchandising items.  From the beginning, I've always focused on trying to acquire sealed games whenever possible, so that's never changed.  What has changed is how much I'm willing to pay for games, which is now quite a bit higher than when I started.


So how about you?  How have you evolved as a collector?

#2 20ohm20 OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 10:47 AM

1994-2004:  Amass everything I could get my hands on


2005-2011:  Buy very specific things I didn't already own and/or really wanted, but only if the price was right 


2012+:  Rarely buy anything except a couple homebrews every year

#3 Keatah OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 11:50 AM

For me today it's about minimization and downsizing while maintaining maximum variety and versatility. That comes through emulation and PC gaming. A full-size arcade cab would be the complete opposite of my goals, one game in a 300lb wood housing that's 3ftx3ftx7ft. No way!

In the 70's and 80's I had nearly one of everything and every title. Eventually it grew into a warehouse. But then it became untenable and impossible to enjoy. FULL STOP.

#4 Shawn OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 11:54 AM

For me today it's about minimization and downsizing while maintaining maximum variety and versatility. That comes through emulation and PC gaming. A full-size arcade cab would be the complete opposite of my goals, one game in a 300lb wood housing that's 3ftx3ftx7ft. No way!

In the 70's and 80's I had nearly one of everything and every title. Eventually it grew into a warehouse. But then it became untenable and impossible to enjoy. FULL STOP.


Every single time you mention emulation you should get a massive ice cream headache. 

#5 zzip OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 12:00 PM

1990s - start working, grab everything I wanted but could never have as a kid


2010s - decide that it's all junk and sell everything I can

#6 racerx OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 12:35 PM

I'm an accidental collector...I've just kept everything since the heavy sixer my parents got me as a kid. These days I just pick up odds and ends that interest me.

I put together a complete boxed Jag collection and have kept the boxes of anything I've bought new through the years but otherwise I buy loose carts. I've never understood the attraction of sealed games.

#7 Keatah OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 1:41 PM

Every single time you mention emulation you should get a massive ice cream headache. 


I get those headaches when messing with real hardware. Especially those bulky-ass cabinets and ratbaggy consoles.

Edited by Keatah, Tue May 14, 2019 1:43 PM.

#8 godslabrat OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 2:11 PM

Every single time you mention emulation you should get a massive ice cream headache. 

At least he doesn't get all CrossFit about Rasberry Pi and CRTs, like a big chunk of Retrogamsrs.

#9 hizzy OFFLINE  



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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 2:21 PM

Carts - Roms - Homebrews - Carts, Roms, & Homebrews

#10 VectorGamer ONLINE  


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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 2:22 PM

Sold all the cartridges and use a Harmony cart. Takes up less space and less money.

#11 KevKelley OFFLINE  


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Posted Tue May 14, 2019 5:01 PM

Once I got a job I went on a buying spree of old systems since they were cheaper then one N64 or PS2 game that may or may not be good. eBay was relatively new and I got some good deals at the time.

Now that I got a wife and kids I reevaluated my collection. I really love the cartridge systems most so have slowly been getting rid of my other systems to focus on the games I enjoyed the most. The collector in me will still grab anything and I love these new homebrews.

#12 Jinks OFFLINE  


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Posted Wed May 15, 2019 9:18 PM

I used to buy everything now only homebrews

#13 MrMaddog OFFLINE  



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Posted Wed May 15, 2019 10:19 PM

1990's I bought a lot of carts from thrift stores & flea markets to play on a real 2600 I got dirt cheap online.  Plus Radio Shack still sold accesories for it...


2000's Moved around a lot, 2600 stopped working due to power supply failure, couldn't find a replacement to play a box full of carts I kept stored, had to use an emulator to play my backups...


2010's Wanted to get back into playing & collecting carts but can't find anything to play my carts that still works besides the Retron 77.  Bought a Flashback which was meh so that's getting turned into a Pi case to still play games on a CRT and Atari joysticks...


2020's Hopefully my big projects will be finished so I can actually enjoy playing games...

#14 Lord Thag OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 9:49 AM

Not much, really. Started collecting loose carts at flea markets and whatever, which quickly expanded to collecting carts from all systems I liked. I'm more of a player than a collector, so I've never cared about boxes or complete sets. I downsized a few years back and got rid of all the 'interesting but not fun to play' stuff, but that's about the only change. 

#15 boxpressed ONLINE  


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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 10:53 AM

I started collecting retro in 2010. My goal was to get a CIB example of every console before the NES (not counting Pong machines). I pretty much got there, but then got tired of staring at this APF M-1000 that never got taken out of the box. I never owned one as a kid and had no nostalgia for it. Once I sold it, I felt free to get rid of a lot of my collection. I don't regret those early days of collecting because it was new and exciting, but I don't need to be in that same place today with even more stuff. In short, I did it, and knowing that it enough because having the space is more important.

#16 toiletunes OFFLINE  


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Posted Thu May 16, 2019 12:00 PM

For 2600:
1- If I happen to find games somewhere, look for something I don't have.
2- obsessively make lists, scour online stores to compare prices, hunt variants, collect one of everything.
3- lose interest when it gets too hard to find anything in my price limit, pick a selection to keep, sell the rest.

For other systems: Lesson learned. I watched online videos, tried emulation, and figured out what I'd actually want to play and keep BEFORE buying anything.

#17 jhd OFFLINE  



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Posted Sat May 18, 2019 4:05 PM

I discovered r.g.v.c on Usenet in the early-1990s. A few years later, I purchased a 2600 and a handful of cartridges at a local church rummage sale.


I steadily acquired a decent collection of titles between local sales, a few online purchases, and clearance NIB stock at local retailers.


I have not seen anything Atari 2600-related at a thrift shop in about five years, so my collecting has naturally come to a conclusion. I do not own any homebrew games -- though I would consider buying one if it came up for sale in a local shop at a reasonable price. 


Unlike many (most?) others, I never went through a phase of collecting everything gaming-related. Part of that was lack of interest (the Intellivision has no nostalgia value for me) and part was due to unavailability (I have never seen a Colecovision or an Arcadia for sale locally). I do have two Pong systems, a few Famiclones, and some other odds-and-ends, but I am not actively collecting anything. 

#18 Deteacher OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun May 19, 2019 7:28 AM

90s-2000s:  I was strictly a collector of Atari 2600.  Collecting carts for that system was lots of fun, especially when you came across that one title you didn't already have.  It was quite a rush for me.  I had over 350 unique titles.  When space started to become an issue, I decided it was time to bite the bullet, sell off the collection and go with the Harmony Cart.  It was bittersweet, but at the end of the day, I was glad I did it.


Now, today, outside of buying homebrews, I'm "collecting" systems and getting the multi-cart for that system, or building emulation consoles.  It's become less about owning and more about playing. My current collection consists of:


Several Atari 2600s in various states of operation.  Need to get some of them back up and running.


Atari 5200 (No multi cart yet, so I do buy carts for that one...for now.)  :)  Most recent homebrew was Curling.  :)

Atari 7800 (RCA/S-video modded) with a Harmony Cart.  Have several 2600 and 7800 homebrews.

Atari 1200XL with My-IDE II cart

C64 with SD2IEC disk emulator. (also have a 1571 drive and lots of disks of games)

Original Xbox, soft-modded with multiple console emulators.

Raspberry Pi Zero built into an NES cart for NES/SNES emulation.

MAME cab for arcade gaming.


My collecting "bug" now has me looking for old vintage handheld games, like "Merlin" and "Digital Derby"...the classics.  I guess it never ends.  :)

#19 BigO OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun May 19, 2019 7:41 AM

1994-2004:  Amass everything I could get my hands on


2005-2011:  Buy very specific things I didn't already own and/or really wanted, but only if the price was right 


2012+:  Rarely buy anything except a couple homebrews every year

The dates might not be exactly the same, but within a year or two, this.

#20 MrBlackCat OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun May 19, 2019 8:47 AM

Here is kind how things went for me...


Early 80's Dad got us a Commodore Vic-20 and three game cartridges.  We wanted an Atari of course, but this thing was great.  I wasn't collecting as I was an unemployed teenager in school.

I was still living at home when I was 19, and had started picking up C-64's (even an SX) and other Commodore games and systems at pawn shops and yard sales.

Then PC's happened.  I wasn't a console person, but I did have a Genesis an Atari and something else I got out and played occasionally, but I was a PC Network game guy at the time.

I was using PC's at my job, learned networking, then DooM came out supporting IPX over LAN.  By the mid 90's I had several PC's with every Network based PC game I could find.  I had DooM, HerEtic, HeXen, TekWar, Corridor 7, etc. All of them, in multiples for however many machines I was running them on.  Then Quake Came out. In a year or less I had three modems and phone lines in the Quake dedicated server, which ran 24-7 until 2001.

The Quake era was huge, but Duke Nukem 3D is what REALLY started the broad "collecting"... I started looking at other ways to play Duke Nukem games while waiting on the next expansion and later waiting for Duke Nukem Forever to come out.  Someone had given me a PS1 as I wasn't into consoles when they came out, so I got the third Person Duke Nukem games for PS1, as well as the semi-port of Duke Nukem 3D. Time to Kill, Planet of the Babes and Total Meltdown.  Great times.


Further down the rabbit hole...

I got way into Duke Nukem games and decided to get Duke Nukem for every system it was put on, in every form.  This lead to merchandise.  I got every Duke Nukem game/add-on, shirt, memory card, book/manual/guide, store display available, from around the world.  This has left me with the largest collection of Duke Nukem items in the world.  My game room is Duke Nukem themed.

I built this 8ft Nukem symbol in the floor.



Ok... getting excessive, I will summarize more.

I eventually obtained most every mainstream game console and handheld made, and still do minus a few years. (I don't have an xBox 1, but I do have a PS4.)  They are all hooked up and accessible at all times, so it takes up lots of space.


Backtracking a little... when I started "collecting" it was only First Person Shooters or "DooM-a-Likes", and their add-ons/expansions/shovelware.  By the end of the 90's it got to be too many, so in my effort to "control" this expansion, I realized how much I enjoyed the box art of the 90's, so I stopped collecting any DOS FPS that wasn't boxed.  I just rotated my game boxes from storage to sit on the computers and shelves every once in a while. It looked like this back then...



In the early 2000's I moved to another house and had space.  I thought I had plenty of space until I got EVERYTHING I had collected in one space.  I am building shelves on the ceiling, racks on the ceiling, and the seating in the room are custom built for storage.



So now...

Now I am watching people (like Bill L) end up backing off.  I am not sure where to go from here... My DOS FPS collection is at around 400 Unique Boxed games, so it is mostly done, no issue there.  Console cartridges and disk based systems I only buy specific games I want to play, and I do I keep wanted lists for console games and have budgets for these things.  Right now I only buy special editions or collectors editions of specific games like DooM, Red Dead Redemption II and such... so it is slowed down, but still excessive with over 1000 games.  I won't live long enough to play them all at this point.  I do track them in a spread sheet and play them mood-based.  I few years ago I picked up all the Halo series as I had not played them... great games, I see why they were so popular.


Anyway, I have mostly controlled expansion by limiting purchase to game-room decor' based editions...


Edit:  Forgot this section... Plug-N-Play and Modern Mini's... These are an issue as there are so many now and I generally buy all of them.  I call this "The Retro Tower of Shame", which has now reached the ceiling.  Most of the units are in place in a cabinet for instant access, but still.  There are just too many, and I really never had "a plan" on a control point for them.  I want them all, but that has become impractical.  I didn't get all versions of the Flashback consoles and handhelds, which is a start, but still, this is a point of issue.

This is an older image, and now the stack is literally to the ceiling with spares...



Then I saw the post about the Homebrew for Galaga 2600... this will be my first Homebrew purchase. Am I catering to nostalgia, or I am starting down a road I am already resisting?


We shall see. :)


#21 Keatah OFFLINE  


    Missile Commander

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Posted Sun May 19, 2019 3:23 PM

Yup. I was like that in the years following the 80's. Stuffed my room. Did the basement. Overcrowded that. Got a warehouse and storage, cost too much money and wasn't accessible unless driving down there. Not that I'd play all of it  Enough was enough!! Got rid of it all. Soon I regretted that badly.and thought I'd never play my childhood games ever again. Let alone play any arcade games again - those seemed out of reach now and forever.


The essence of videogames is in the bits and bytes and electronic circuitry and stuff. NOT cardboard boxes or plastic shells or other physical manifestations. Once I understood that it was an epiphanic moment. And it just so happened to be the mid-90's when emulation was just beginning getting underway.


The whole notion of a digital collection spread out before me, years before there were such terms as digital downloads or digital collections. The major online archives we know of today didn't even yet exist. But I knew they were coming. A major Renaissance was now on the horizon.


These past years it's been fun curating and archiving all sorts of stuff, versions, editions and more. And it's even more fun when you do it yourself with your style and your time and effort. Your organizational methodology. Each digital collection becomes unique like no other.


A proper emulation computer boots instantly like so. Power-on. Pull up your chair, drop ass down. And select which vintage machine you want to use. The booting to desktop process should complete itself before you even sit down. Everything should be instant instant instant. BANG!Bang!Bang!


It sure beats the livin'shit out of console clutter and walls of boxes caving in. It thoroughly eliminates wire clutter and tripping over other shit while you re-rig everything. No more tacky repositioning of intermittent wires and wiggling'em to get the best picture. And it whips the llama's ass with superior reliability and consistency and convenience.


Could one computer that could chameleonize itself into any other take the place of the original stuff? Absolutely! Any day of the week!

#22 Flojomojo OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun May 19, 2019 5:25 PM

I really like the last two posts above ^^

MrBlackCat for the pictures, Keatah for the words. I like to look, I like to dabble. I don't really need to own as much as I do, and emulation and web services bring me the novelty I want without all the clutter.

#23 Keatah OFFLINE  


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Posted Sun May 19, 2019 6:09 PM

Yes I think walls of cartridges and shelfs of consoles are indeed a sight to behold and almost always interesting to look at. As long as it's someone else's task. As long I don't have to clean and dust the shit or pay a maid service.

#24 GeekDragon OFFLINE  


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Posted Yesterday, 1:51 PM

I really don't evolve as time goes on, I de-evolve.  When i start collecting something, I jump all the way in the deep end.  Then as time goes on, I start looking at my collection and start to slow down.  Case in point, Atari carts.  When i started to seriously collect like 3 years ago, I was grabbing everything, label variations,system variations,etc.  Now, I'm putting the variations on the back burner and concentarting on just getting carts i don't have.  I've done this with everything I collect over the years, toys, monster stuff, comics, etc.  I should know better now, but I always get too excited and overdo it.

#25 Mikebloke OFFLINE  


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Posted Yesterday, 3:43 PM

The worst thing I ever did is start cataloguing my games. I did this because I was finding they were being stored more than being played. They were being stored because I had so many, and had started inadvertently buying doubles of games.


This is across platforms, My 2600 journey started when my brother in law bought me one when I was quite young at a boot sale, probably for about £10 knowing him. It came with galaxian, jedi arena and centipede.


I didn't really buy any 2600 games for over a decade, mainly because I got a NES next, and then Sega machines. It was only when I started specifically looking for retro games that my collection started to increase from 3.


With any of my collections for different consoles, I'm starting to track which were actually released in the UK first, then grabbing others which work in an unmodded console. 2600 is a bit different for me though, primarily because even with any colour differences (well, on a 7800 at least) most games is still playable.

I'm going for first party Atari released titles first, even ignoring ones I have through Atari Vault. I have 8 more to get, and this isn't limited to UK but US releases as well. I keep a log of Atari Vault games I need in cart, and which games I have in 32 in 1 cart but not as individual games. I have only just started tracking third party games, starting with activision, but I buy whatever depending on interest and price.


I don't know what to do with regards to limiting 2600 collecting, there isn't really any good database as far as I know of purely UK releases, and even those for PAL or european seem sketchy to me, hence why I'm just going for Atari first and branching out. I am not fussed about how good it looks, vast majority is loose carts, if it works I'm happy.


My PAL 7800 collection is 3/4 complete and mostly boxed, I don't have a Jaguar or a Lynx yet, and while I know I can just get a converter to play a 5200, I have no current plans to grab it (although admittedly I do like the look of it!)

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