Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sega Genesis Sticker Mania

Greetings all, I know it has been a little while since I have posted anything so I wanted to get a fun post out for the Holidays. Before we get stuck on stickers let me tell you what I have been working on... Sega Genesis Cardboard Box Games. I guess I should be more specific, I have been working on completing a set of Sega Genesis Cardboard Box Games (CB), and while that sounds as easy enough, I assure you it isn't. Completing a set of CB's is not as simple as finding a list and buying away until you are done. Why not you ask? Well first off, no list exists...well no list existed until now. Me and a few friends on SegaAge.com worked very hard and did tons of research to create the most accurate list available, every game on the list is proven to exist with pics. Some lists you might find have tons of games that are flat out wrong or just speculation, this list is 100% confirmed. This does not mean that the list has every game to ever appear in cardboard, their may be other and variants we have not seen. This list is a work in progress but given the sheer size of the list now and how many months we worked on it, I can't imagine we are missing many if any. Okay so that the trailer for a post hopefully coming soon, which I have already started writing. The List
Now let me stick it to you.
As I have stated my current collecting goals is to complete the Sega Library, I have been pretty heavily entrenched in Genesis for the last few months; as such, I have found a few stickers on games. I thought I'd share my findings, and ask you guys what stickers you have found?
Okay here is a big one found on the very rare Sonic 2 cart from the cardboard hangtab box, and College Football 2 cardboard with the white insert.
Check out this sticker on the standard edition of Double Dragon, I have one with it and one without. Photobucket
Oh and how about a variant of that sticker found on other Accolade games but not all the accolade games.I found at least warp speed and summer challenge to have this sticker version. You can see here that the double dragon sticker is not connected to the label art while Warp Speed has the sticker built into the art. Photobucket
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Here is one that will stick with you. Captain America with Pin.
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Telling you about this group of games is rather sporting of me. The EA limited Edition First Round Sticker that is on the cover of many of their games is both a variant and a sticker. Only Madden 94 is shown but this sticker appears on all EA sports games from 92-94 so look out for these titles: Tony Larussa Baseball, NHL 94, NBA Showdown 94,Madden 94, PGA Pour Tour 2, NHL Hockey 93, Bulls Vs Blazers, and Team USA Basketball. Photobucket


Now that I have my thoughts in a row, I figured I'd line up one last one for you. Columns Sega Classic CB. I know this sticker looks similar to the College Football 2 one, but it is not the same, this one has a black circle around the Sega logo
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Thank You for reading and Please share your finds.

~Johnny~









Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Hang UP with Hang Tabs

Hang Tabs, what's the big deal?  A quick video about them.

When one thinks of hang tabs, I think most people think about the Original Nintendo (NES) but maybe more people should think of Sega. Sega owned the lion share of hang tabs, starting with the Master System and not ending until the 32x, while the NES only saw a limited run of Hang Tab boxes. The NES  released its first batch of games, commonly referred to as the Black Box games due to the predominately black boxes the games came in, with hang tabs built into the cardboard box.(Side Note: it wasn't just Black Box Games that had hang tabs, some games like Castlevania are known to have hang tabs.)

These hang tabs would allow retailers to hang the games from the peg boards to be easily displayed. At the time I am sure this sounded like a great idea, and I am sure it helped the upstart Nintendo gain display space it might not have otherwise acquired. Well turns out the idea was far better than the reality, the hang tab made for  some very awkward situations. Turns out if you hang an 8oz to 10oz fully boxed game complete with instruction, poster, cart and various other inserts from a tiny cardboard flap it will rip after not so long. Now if that seems crazy please check the video you will see that Stack-Up, which weights nearly 1 pound has a hang tab...Brilliant. Another scenario that came out of these hang tabs was security. If a game couldn't be shrink wrapped, what was to stop people from taking games out of the boxes?  My first copy of Ice Climber, a hang tab that wasn't shrink wrapped,  was not in fact Ice Climber, it was Tennis...what a let down. Toys-R-Us didn't want to take the game back either, but my mother eventually convinced them it wasn't a scam, that we were the victims and after about 3 hours I was finally at home climbing icy mountains to my hearts content. I later in life heard from guys who worked at stores that sold Nintendo games say that they would some times take the games home to play them for awhile and then put them back. This is not to say all hang tab games were left open for the plunder, many had security stickers placed over the flap. This idea produced more damaged boxes as well, as those stickers were prone to tear the first layer of the box off if you tried to remove it, your other option was to cut it and leave the ugly sticker on. Now some of you are probably saying, hey wait I have sealed Hang Tab games, sealed in shrink wrap. Yes of course,  many many many were still shrink wrapped, but some retailers opted to open and hang the games up, and as time would show, this was not the greatest idea.

Hang Tab VS Non Hang Tab Variants.
I talk briefly about this in the video but here is the run down as I understand it, and mind you I am not an expert when it comes to black box games. Hang Tabs are in general were the first batch or batches of the games to come out, they saw wider circulation  and higher print runs then the non hang tab versions. Hang Tab versions are less rare but are slightly more collectible. In a world where rarity is king this anomaly is created by the fact that Hang Tab boxes are usually damaged, so to find a collectors quality one is difficult. Non Hang Tabs more rare but a little less desired.  Price wise on eBay they are about the same, most sellers don't know anything about hang tabs and a lot of times neither do the buyers. These are not a hard rules, exceptions exist and to find out more about that I suggest visiting the Nintendo Age forums, they are filled with knowledge and good people.

The Sega Hang Tab
Most Sega games that come in the standard Sega Clam Shell Case have hang tabs built right into the case. The clam shell design had been a staple of Sega games since the Master System, and this lasted all they way up until the 32x. When Sega turned to CD as their new format of choice the clam shell design was abandoned, but the idea of the hard case was not. Collectors of Sega Games aren't split exactly but there is a divide amongst them, one side is very pro hang tabs, and one which just finds them to be a nuisance because they are difficult to shelf and store. Hardcore collectors prefer hang tabs on all their games, and truth be told if I was going to sell an expensive Genesis game I would make sure it had a hang tab, but the reality is if you need a good hang tab box, they aren't that hard to find, any sports game will do the trick.


No good comparison can be made between Nintendo hang tabs and Sega hang tabs, they just aren't comparable. It is sad that one of Sega's best ideas, the hard shell game case, has also made it less collectible. Nintendo and SNES collectors suffer long searches for mint boxes and rare games that  have their box, often times having to pick up the same game over and over and over just for box upgrades. SMS and Genesis collectors have it easy, the durable clam shell case protected the game, manual and the art work. The result of these hard cases is that more small print run games survived, thus making them less rare and easier to find complete, which keeps the collector cost down, this blessing is a double edge sword to collectors who view their collection also as an investment. The original Sega clam shell design was innovative without trying, we only need to look at modern game and cases to see the clam shell influence. Sega game cases are kind of an odd story, the clam shell is one of the finest , most durable game cases every made (hang tabs aside) and the Saturn and Sega CD cases are absolutely some of the worst most fragile pieces of garbage a game has ever had the displeasure of resting in.

Thank You Reading...Sega fans be sure to watch the last 30 seconds of the video.
~Johnny~



Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sega 32x Complete Collection Video

This is a just a quick post to show you I took a video of my complete US Sega 32x collection(The video is at the bottom) and also to talk a little bit about the 32x. This video is also as much about showing off the library, as it is practicing with iMOVIE, which I hope to use to compose all future videos. A little bit about the 32x or what I like to call the worlds hardest system to connect. The way you set up a 32x and which Genesis systems it is compatible with varies. So before you go all willy nilly trying to connect one google how it's done. It is pretty sad that I am suggesting people Google how to set up the frankenstein console but reality is a harsh master.
I found that photo in a Sega forum, and I feel it perfectly captures the 16bit era for Sega. The 32x doesn't have too many any all-star titles or must own games, what it does have is a severe lack of a proper Sonic title, which might have helped move the system, it also has games you can play on other Sega Systems: Night Trap, Slam City, Brutal, WWF, Mortal Kombat, Pitfall, you get they idea. For a system with so few titles it has a lot of ports, no Sonic and two WWF games. It isn't all bad, it does add some beef to the processor, and better sound but most feel that the games weren't getting enough of an improvement to warrant buying one.  I don't want to get to in depth about the system, for that you can go here .   Let me tell you what this systems offers for collectors, since I pretty much just panned it as a gaming rig. The 32x has a small library of games 36 (in the video you hear me say 39 but that is counting the 3 non US releases), that aren't to difficult to find and only really has 3 expensive titles.  The expensive ones are Spider-Man: Web of Fire, Pitfall, and World Series Baseball with Deion Sanders. These titles can be had for prices ranging from $90 to $200 (These prices are trending upwards at the momen), and anyone digging in eBay and patrolling forums can do better. This was the first set outside individual game series I completed and it felt really good to check that box. Collecting complete libraries is a daunting and expensive task, the 32x is a great way to get one if that is what you are after, also the yellow boxes really standout on a shelf.

Edit
I wanted to add a few notes to this blog after some discussion on various Sega forums. 1: The total library might actually be 40, a rare Sega Tec Toys 32x version of Surgical Strike is known to exist, but it is not known if it had release beyond that of production model. 2: With regard to the library again, the 3 world titles are Sangokushi 4 (jp), Darxide (eu), and Fifa 96 (eu).

I hope you enjoy seeing another piece of my collection and good luck hunting.
~Johnny~

I have a Facebook Humor Page: Why Is Everybody So Bad At Everything? If you like the little jokes I put in the links, this is of the same ilk.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Collectors Burnout and Daytona USA C.C.E. Netlink Edtion

Well it has been a little while, but I hope to get more frequent updates out the near future. The reason I failed to post for the last couple of months was family related and also "collectors burnout" related which does happen from time to time. Collectors Burnout occurs when you reach a point where you have been collecting hard for several months, possible years, and you suddenly lack the excitement or passion that was driving you before. This might be because you were attempting to reach a certain goal, be it complete set, complete series or whatever your particular slant is and you made it or realized it wasn't reasonable. Sometimes life gets in your way and forces you to focus on more important things, weddings, college, babies, unemployment, and all that other fun grownup stuff. Some people burnout due to simple frustration, maybe because of a failed goal, the cost of the hobby, or the lack of resources or good finds. When this point occurs ,at least for me, I need to have another goal or be willing to adjust my collecting strategy to move forward, but to do any of that you need a spark, something that rekindles the passion to collect (please read as obsessive need).

Well 4 months ago I completed my Sega CD collection, getting most of the variants and I was pretty much wipe out, I had been patrolling forums and eBay for almost a http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifyhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifear pushing hard to finish my set, I had shttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifpent a ton of money and I even had another goal ( To complete Sega Saturn US Library) but I didn't have the drive, couple that with some family stuff and viola, I disappeared. My eBay searches were still emailed to http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifme every night, and here and there I picked up a game or to, but I was absent from the forums, I wasn't hunting in the wild, I was just out of the game. I had not lost my love of games, I had in fact been playing through several, what I was lacking was that spark. So what finally engaged me and brought me back? Daytona USA CCE Netlink Edition.

(I realize that some people do not know what Daytona USA CCE Netlink Edition is, so if you click it it will take you to the wiki, but here is what the wiki says "It was also separately released for the Saturn as a Netlink-compatible title, entitled Daytona USA: CCE Netlink Edition. Although commonly thought to be Panzer Dragoon Saga, this NetLink version of Daytona USA: CCE is in fact the rarest North American Sega Saturn game. It was available only through Sega's online store, and making it even more rare is its almost total indistinguishability from the regular version of Daytona USA: CCE. The only notable differences found are a black & white NetLink booklet with the standard booklet and the disc has a small NetLink logo. It fetches up to US $1,100 (March 2010) on eBay, in the rare instances it does pop up.")

It was about a month ago when I was going through my favorite searches email, which I barley paid attention to, it was more I wanted to clear my inbox then find a game, when I saw that a copy of Daytona USA CCE Netlink Edition had popped up on eBay. Now I promised to talk about all the tactics I use to collect and here is one that might be a little more questionable, or at least not admitted to as frequently by other. Here is the auction link Daytona You can see in the auction that the seller wanted $500 for the game OBO. The game was without the insert, which admittedly hurts the value of the game, but for me and my mental checklist just having the game and the case was good enough. I checked very quickly my private price guides to see if $500 was a good deal, and it seemed okay, if I was lucky I might find a complete one for that, Racketboy's site said it about $300 complete but from what I had heard the last one complete went for more than $700 and sealed $1100ish. I knew I didn't want to pay $500 so I made an offer, but quickly saw that another offer was already out on the game.

Quick aside, when rare games that don't find eBay more than twice a year appear, sellers might mishandle the price because they cannot check completed auctions and the available price date from other sites is inaccurate and inconsistent. This knowledge sometimes allows people to offer low on a rare game and get it because the seller just doesn't have enough data, these are the good deals you hear about and rarely see because they dissolve so quickly.

Knowing I had one offer in front of me I decided to act quickly. The first thing I did was to check Amazon to see if the seller had it listed there, turns out that was a no, second thing I did was to Google the sellers eBay name. This Google search lead me to a phone number, that I promptly called. Why make the call? It's true if I wanted the game and was worried about the offer I could have just used the buy it now for $500 but I wanted a deal and thought that I could get it because when I looked through the sellers history he didn't sell many Saturn Games, I was hoping his lack of knowledge and the general lack of that game anywhere would benefit me. So I place the call and promptly I got a voice-mail box. I left a message stating I saw his auction and was interested and asked for a returned call. I was a bit disappointed and mulled over using the buy it now, but within 20 minutes I got a call back. I talked to the gentlemen selling the game, he was very nice, he explained he was just about to accept the 1st offer he had on the game being it was better than mine. I offered to match it, and complete the transaction via Paypal that instant and save him some cash on final value fees. He agreed, the transaction was made and I received the game 2 days later.
I got the game for well under $500 but more than $250, a price I was comfortable with. Was the way I handled this a little shady? Yes, I'd say so, I also think had I acted before the first offer went out I could have had the game at around $200. The quest for this game and the fact that I didn't think I'd ever own it (or at least anytime soon) really pushed me through the mire of burnout I had been trapped in. I believe that all collectors will experience burnout from time to time and in varying degrees, so before you sell your collection on eBay in one big lot, take a few months off recharge and come back when you are ready. I say this because I have seen several post on forums that state "I am starting my collection again", or "I wish I hadn't sold everything". Don't let this happen to you.
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A few quick notes about this blog.
I want this blog to be an honest look at how I collect, so I am willing to admit when I do things a little drastically, or things that aren't quite on the level. I accept the critisims and judgments that come with such acts.
I also want this blog to be about more than just "hey look at the cool game I just bought". I really want to give out some tips, and talk about how I experience collecting.

As Always, Thank you for reading
~Johnny~

Sunday, March 27, 2011

3DS Unboxing, Bonus World 3

So this strays a bit outside the realm of what I normally do, but I thought it might be nice to share with everyone the unboxing of Nintendo's new 3DS. People ask me pretty often what my favorite console is, current and classic, and while it is pretty easy to pick one blurt it out and have done with it I feel like that just adds fuel to fanboy wars that I have no interest in. I love video games that's the plan and simple truth, for me it doesn't matter if it's made by Sega, Nintendo, Sony, or Microsoft. I love games and I love collecting, blind allegiance to a manufacture that doesn't care about me only assures that I am missing potentially great system exclusive games, I look forward to every new system release and the unique items they bring. /mini rant. So without further adieu Nintendo 3DS.



PS: I have a few more videos coming, here they are in no particular order: 25 years of Zelda, Complete US Sega 32x Collection, and Complete US Sega Master System Collection.
As always thank you for stopping by.
~Johnny~

Monday, March 21, 2011

World 3-1: Tools of the Trade Part 1

I know it has been a little while since my last post, but I had some unforseen issues take up all my free time. I am back and lets get right to it.

Video Game collecting is a great hobby, but it can also be difficult, expensive, and frustrating. In an attempt to minimize these feelings for others I am going to list some of the basic tools I use to make this hobby easier. The tools I use are broken into 2 sections, Obtaining and Keeping. These two sections will detail how I go about finding games, and then how I organize and store the games once I have them. I know it sounds basic enough but a good system will help you save money and keep you organized. I know a few collectors who have no idea exactly what they have, of course they have a general idea, but if a fire occurred and they needed to claim everything, they would be in a tight spot. Worst case scenario situations are not the only reason I suggest listing and being organized, simple lists will keep you informed about your collection and help you if you suddenly need to sell it all off, but more about lists later.

Section 1: Obtain
Most of you already know where to obtain games (Obviously), but I am going to share a few that hopefully you don't know about or just forgot about. Lets run down a basic list of where you can search for games: Forums, Online Retailers/ Auctions sites, Local Game Stores, Garage Sales, Flea Markets /Swap Meet, Goodwill/Salvation Army. I think those are the basic categories, now lets talk about each one a little bit more.

Forums
A great place to get with collectors and find some sweet deals are forums. Forums can be found for whatever system you desire (I will list a few links), just be sure to follow the forum rules for posting. Forums usually have prices below eBay but above flea markets, as you are dealing with collectors they tend to know the value of their goods. You can trade in forums which helps you build connections and also eliminate extras. Sometimes in forums you will find people who have picked up games for systems they do not collect and simply want to pass a great deal on to other collectors. Another benefit of forums is the raw knowledge of the people there, and also the ability to post exactly what you are looking for and have the games come to you.
Some forums to make use of: All Nintendo Products (Nintendo Age), Sega Master System (Sega8bit) Sega 16 bit era and Sega in general (Sega Age) (Sega-16) Video Games for all systems
(DigitPress) (RacketBoy), All Atari systems (AtariAge) NeoGeo Stuff (NeoGeo), Playstation (PlaystationCollecting), and last but never least Turbo Graphx / PCE (PcengineFX). I think that covers forums for most of your needs, but a google search for your system of choice will land you with tons of other options. Most of these forums also have main sites as well, so be sure to visit those for tons of great info.

Online Retailers and Auction Sites
There are many sites dedicated to the buying and selling of video games. Finding sites that specialize in our hobby is not very difficult, a simple Internet search and voilĂ  you have options. Given that their are so many I am just going to list one or two and a tick I use. You can find many recommendations in forums as where to shop if you need more info. So one site I really like is Estarland, they have many options for a good variety of systems, and the other one I like is Amazon. Amazon is often overlooked, many times have I found what I was looking for on Amazon for far less then what it was going for on eBay. Amazon does have its problems, like a lack of real pictures, and sometimes they suffer from really inflated prices or sellers who have moved stock and not changed their Amazon store. Okay now for the tricks, when doing a google search, type the name of the game you want and buy as the search topic. Doing this will cause you to see results with more stores and it will also prompt Google to show you its shopping results. If you didn't know when doing a Google search, you can narrow it to shopping results buy clicking the shopping tab at the top of the page, the same way you would filter image results or video results. The other trick I use pertains to Amazon. When you look search out a game on Amazon you often buy from people who have their own store on Amazon. To see an example go here. These stores all have their own names, Gonzo media, That's What She Said Games, and so on. Many of these stores have brick and mortar locations or other Internet locations. Google the store name to hopefully find their main site. When you find the main site search for whatever you were looking for, and you may find you save 10% because you are cutting out the middle man buy not forcing them to sell through Amazon.

Auction Sites.
eBay, is the big guy in town, and provides ease of search and the ability to determine market value for your games. Some people hate eBay and they have their reasons, but it is still a great tool to find whatever you are looking for at a competitive price. The thing I like best though is saved searches. Saved searches allow you to be notified daily when new items are posted, this is an excellent tool when you are searching for rare games that don't come up very often. You are allowed to store 99 saved searches and if you are serious about finding games i suggest you start using them up. Go here for a tutorial on how to create a saved search. I am not going to go on an on about eBay, most of you I am sure are familiar. Okay so I know I said I was done with eBay, but let me touch briefly on Half.Com. This is one of my favorite places to find online steals. The structures is the same as eBay as far as searches, and saved sellers, but all of it is buy it now, and the results are displayed by product with individual sellers listed on the product rather then independently. Half.Com is where I go when something gets hot on eBay nd the prices starts to climb, Half.Com doesn't fluctuate as fast so you can find some sweet deals on rare and hot titles. So now that the gorilla is out of the room lets talk about the other auction sites. First off Game Gavel, this site is dedicated to video game auctions, and that's pretty much it. It is a great resource and because the fees are so low, unlike eBay, sellers pass those savings on to you. Another reason to consider game gavel, is the fact that it has less traffic than eBay, which means you aren't fighting as many people in open auction; however, the sword cuts both ways on this issue, because their are less people that means fewer results. Game Gavel is a great idea, but I do find it needs more support, so please consider it next time you are going to put an auction up on eBay. The last site I want to mention is ShopGoodWill.com. Shop Good Will is a nonprofit auction site run by the Good Will, I am not going to get into causes or morality here, I have no personal feelings for the Good Will one way or the other, and truthfully I have no idea where their money goes, for me the Good Will is a resource for games. ShopGoodWill has some pretty interesting stuff as far as video games, you can find great deals here. As far as the site it is a bit clunky but you can have saved searches and you can shop by category. Video Games do have their own subcateogry the break down looks like this: Listings > Computers & Electronics > Home Electronics > Gaming Systems & Games. I usually just do a generic Nintendo search then pick an auction then click the subcategory from that to see all the results. This site is a mixed bag and you can find some real gold here but you need to be willing to sort through the garbage.

Local Game Stores, Garage Sales, Flea Markets, Goodwill/Salvation Army
Well I can't really advise everyone where to look in their local surroundings, but in general here are some tips to find local games. The easiest way google video games and your zip-code together and check out the results. The way I prefer is to open Google Maps and search my zip and video games. On smart phones you can use the same map search, but you can generally eliminate your zip-code and have it search the surrounding area for you, this is a great trick when you are traveling. Other ways to find local games are via newspapers, where you can check for garage sales, and the classified section under miscellaneous. A google search or phone-book search will also tell you where your local Salvation Army, Good Will, pawn shops, and other such consignment stores are located. Craigslist is the greatest and easiest way to find local games. I know searching Craigslist can be tedious for multiple cities, but here is a tool to make it easier, it's a site that searches under specified parameters on Craigslist www.searchtempest.com/. Another way I search Craigslist is via an app on my Ipad and phone see it here. It cost one dollar and it is money well spent. Searching locally is harder then browsing eBay, and nets less results, but when you do find something the prices is usually cheaper. So local means lower yield, but higher return.

Collecting is more than just finding the games, it is very much a knowledge arms race. What I mean by the last statement is don't go into the hunt blind, you should know the basics about whatever you are looking for. What are the basics, well how much are the games you are looking for on eBay and forums? What are the rare games for the system? Which titles are going to be hard to find in the future? Also you should narrow your specifications as well. Do you want Complete in Box ,or are carts/disc only titles fine for you? Remember complete titles fetch far greater prices than loose, and sealed prices are far higher than complete copies. When hunting complete titles make sure you know everything that a game must include to make it complete. I have seen a few collectors think they have obtained a complete game because it had the box, instructions and cart, only to find out later that the game also came with a map, or insert, or letter. You get the idea. The more information you arm yourself with, the better deals you will find, you will also protect yourself from getting ripped off. Like with all things, some people are just out to make a buck and they may make fake inserts, repro carts, boxes, and reseal games to try and pass off as the genuine article. These people are few and far between but many a collector has been suckered. Knowing how to spot fakes will save you money and hassle. A side note on reproductions. Many people make reproductions of various game articles and state upfront that they are in fact Repros. Repros in general are not bad, it's only those trying to pass them off as genuine that are the problem.

So that's it for part one, stay tuned for part 2 where I go over how I keep this stuff organized once it's obtained.
Thank you for stopping by ~Johnny~

PS. As far as recent finds I wanted to share this.














I know their is a lot going on in this picture. This was all obtained at a video game collectors show called SC3 or Sothern California Classic Collectors. All of this was obtained for $60, please note all the Game Boy stuff is box and manual only, no carts. All of the Sega and Nintendo stuff is complete, except Bomberman N64 which is box only. This was a a nice haul at a great price. I also got to see a few reputed Chiptune Artist play live Computeher and 8 Bit Weapon. Their were other artists as well but by far these were the acts to see. If you love the sounds of video games check out their music. A note to anyone who attended this event or to any of the organizers. This was my third time going to an SC3 party and while I understand the venue change, it felt very sterile and far less comfortable then the other shows, their was less socializing and less fun, the edition of live bands was great and the highlight of an otherwise lackluster show. Sc3 in its new iteration is no longer a party it is now just another mini-convention. If thats the way it needs to be, then you guys really need to provide more, you are all talented and hardworking people and I have the utmost faith in you. Just My 2 Cents. If anyone is interested I have some videos of the show floor, the bands and the trading area just let me know.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

World 2-2: Sega CD Complete Collection

I hit a collectors milestone this month and to celebrate the feat I made a video to go along with this post. I am stepping outside of doing my standard post which would normally address some general aspect of collecting and not be system specific, but as I said this is a milestone and I am celebrating . First Video is my full collection, Second is the rare titles and Variants for the system.

My feat as the title of this post says, is completing my Sega CD collection. I have been chipping away at Sega CD for about 2 years, it started with me just wanting Shining Force CD, then I picked up a few lots with other titles and before I knew it I had 50ish Sega CD games. When I realized that I was 1/3 of the way, I went with my typical collecting strategy, find the rare and expensive games first and then pick up the filler.

While that strategy seems pretty sound it was tougher then I thought. Sega CD collecting is harder then it appears, this is due to the fact that so many of the games that are rare aren't really known to be rare. An example of this is the game Radical Rex, only some of the Sega CD collectors know that Radical Rex is tough to find, and your average rare title collector has no idea. This means that when collectors run across it, they don't value it and may not even pick it up, which in turn makes the game even harder to find. Over a 1 year span I counted 3 Radical Rex complete copies popping up on eBay, two of them sold before I even noticed and 1 I was outbid on. I eventually found my copy on a forum I am a part of, but not before I created several threads stating that I was looking for. These threads made more people aware of how rare the game was and now the price on the game has spiked. In the last month I have seen 4 copies of Radical Rex appear on eBay, each one selling for more than the last, with the exception of this one at 199, a price a year and a half ago I would have said was out of line. The last 3 copies I saw sold went for $60, $80 and $133, and that makes $199 seem a lot less crazy, even Digit Press has adjusted the rarity of this game to a 6, which is more rare then Snatcher even though Snatcher routinely fetches $150. To make a long point short; Sega CD is full of titles that are rare but unknown and not sought after which makes finding them tough.
In the end I wound up finding all the filler and searching for the last few rare titles I need. The last two titles I acquired were Colors of Modern Rock, and ESPN NBA Hangtime. Both of these titles are listed at rarity 5 from Digit Press Online Rarity Guide, but I would say ESPN NBA Hangtime is probably more like a 6 or even a 7 as I have seen less of them than Radical Rex or The Space Adventure.

I think that many people write off Sega CD or think that its easy to complete if you just throw money at it. It was far more difficult then I anticipated, and a bit more expensive. The cases for Sega CD games are terrible, they crack and break if you look at them wrong, the discs themselves are fragile, and very easy to scratch and make unplayable. The Cardboard Box titles are usually trashed, finding a mint copy of even the common titles is a feat. Rarity scales will never reflect the difficulty of finding nice Cardboard Box titles. The Sega CD also has a dearth of variants for such a small library.

The list of every Sega CD game and all of its Variants and Misc stuff can be found here, it is by far the best list I know of. The best part of this list is that we actively work on it to ensure its accuracy and add any new found oddities or variants. The list also has a few pictures that will be a boon to any collector.

I am really thrilled to have finished this set, I had help from a few friends and forums members, I am now just a few variants away from completing my variant set.

Thank you for Reading/Watching, my next post will feature websites and tools I use to help me collect and organize. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask.
~Johnny~


Thursday, February 10, 2011

World 2-1: Rare Vs. Expensive

In this entry I am going to address 3 questions which I feel puzzle collectors and hobbyists alike.
  1. What makes some classic games so expensive?
  2. What makes a game rare and who decides?
  3. Why aren't all rare games expensive?
I see these three questions pop up all the time on the various forums I
am apart of. The questions aren't always phrased the same, but never the less I rarely go a month without finding a new thread dedicated to one head of this gaming Cerberus. These three questions don't necessarily have separate answers and really they are the core of one of the greatest misunderstanding in video game collecting. So what is this grand misunderstand?

Rare games aren't always expensive, and expensive games aren't always rare!

That is it right there. ^^^^all bold and centered in page^^^^. I called the three questions that make up this concept a Cerberus, but a better analogy is probably that of a Sphinx. A sphinx is made up of three parts, (well 4 according to some) as is our grand misunderstanding, and as it is with the sphinx if you fail to answer the riddle you are doomed. In the case of video game collecting, it isn't death, but it is overpayment. Over paying for a game is one of the greater fears that collectors have, it ranks lower then fire and earthquakes but it's still up there. This fear of over paying will make collectors do some questionable things. In some cases collectors will scour eBay and buy up all copies of a title, so it stays hard to find, sometimes it will cause them to bid up auctions that they have no intention of winning to protect their investment. I have heard of collectors hoarding titles, I consider hoarding owning more than 8 copies of any given non variant title. I know one collector that will list rare games at super inflated price points on eBay to increase the base price of his rare titles and to make sure it acts as a gauge for anyone selling similar games. I am not here to be the morality police and condemn people for these behaviors or similar actions, but people should be aware that things like this happen and when attempting to address game collecting's big misunderstanding we must factor in these behaviors.

Back to the sphinx and answering its riddle. Rare games aren't always expensive, and expensive games aren't always rare. It seems like a simple enough concept to understand, but it is kind of counter intuitive to what we know about rare goods. In most cases Scarcity correlates with value; however, in the video game world that correlation doesn't always hold true. To best answer why I will again break down the concept into the three questions I laid out at the beginning of this entry.

  • What makes some classic games expensive?
  • What makes a game rare and who decides?
  • Why aren't all rare games expensive?

  • What makes some games so expensive?
    It seems like when ever I am showing someone my collection or telling someone I just bought an old game, I get questions like this "whats your most expensive game?", then followed up by this " HOW MUCH DID IT COST???". It seems to me that non-collectors find any price over $20 for a game 10 years-old or more is far to much. It doesn't matter what I paid for the game, after I tell them what I value it at. Non-collectors are fixated on my estimated value, they can't see why anyone would want to spend that much on what seems like garage sell junk. After the shock wears off I get the follow up question "Why is it so expensive?" Answering that question is sometimes very easy. Stack -Up being one of my most expensive games, is rare and unique, also its on a shelf that's easy to point to. Stack-Up is hard to find complete, or very rare, because it is rare it is expensive and that's the end of story. This is a one minute explanation, but with other games it is not so easy. Some games are very common but still expensive; for instance, let us look at Final Fantasy 7 for the PS1. FF7 for the PS1 sold about 10 million copies, but it still sells for roughly $50. This game is not rare by any stretch of the imagination, but what keeps its price up and titles like it are its popularity or desirability . If a game was considered to be good, and also desired then the cost will stay high. Titles in this category of popular but not rare are available in the wild and on eBay, but many copies are held on to by people who love the game. While many copies of these titles were produced and many are available, the demand is so great, and the game is so beloved that it always fetches a higher price ignoring the fact that it is not rare. Rarity and Popularity are the two key factors in determining the price of a game. Now if a game is both rare and popular, the games price could rise over the $100 mark.

    What makes a game rare and who decides?
    No one decides which games are rare, they either are or they aren't. In the early days of rarity posting, games were often labeled as rare, when what they should have been listed as is popular or uncommon. So if a game is popular and also uncommon it seems harder to find, or when it is found it is expensive undoubtedly because it sells well, thus people shout that it's rare, which in-turn then makes it go up in cost. A little over a decade ago collecting for the NES really started to take off,
    if you walked into a video game store the setup was much like it is now, most of the area dedicated to current generation titles, and a very small area, sometimes just a bin was dedicated to old games. Games found in these bins were usually all the same cost. At my local store it was any NES, SNES, or Genesis game $5 or five for $20. A select few titles had individual price stickers Zelda was $10 and Earthbound was $25 loose. Other major titles and know RPGs were excluded from the $5 price but that was pretty much it. I know I bought Duck Tales 2 for the low price of 5 bucks. Duck Tales 2 is pretty rare and now a complete copy can find prices of $110 or more, graded copies are currently on eBay for $1000+ and a sealed one is listed for $1999 OBO.

    Back then people weren't collecting to complete a library, most collecting was nostalgia based, so games like Duck Tales 2 and Little Sampson warranted their 5 dollar price tag, the same way Zelda earned its $10 price tag. Demand was so high for games like Zelda, that it didn't matter that it had millions of more copies then games like Duck Tales 2, Zelda was twice as valuable.

    More and more collectors are now trying to complete libraries for system (Librarians), Nintendo being the most common has a well established rarity guide. Other systems like Sega CD are just now getting enough people trying to complete the system to truly find out what is rare. The rarity is established on the ability to find the title and that's it. Forums now have these Librarians searching far and wide for titles in such places as eBay, local shops, Estarland, GameGavel, forums, and many more. The results of these questing gamers is now being shared, and we collectors can start to put the data together to see what is actually rare. So that is the answer to why the rarity guides are off. Are they getting better, oh yeah but you can't bank on them to always be accurate. They are fairly accurate for prices though.

    Why aren't all rare games expensive?
    To answer the last question, "why aren't all rare games expensive?" We must ask more questions. Here is an example, a rarity 8 game X is $40 while another level 8 rarity title is $10. Why? This has many factors. Here is a list of a few: How long has the title been know to be rare? Is it desired? Is it a good game? Does it have a niche or sought after designer? Is it an RPG or SHmup? Every time yes is answered to one of the questions I listed the cost of the rare game goes up and the converse is also true, more "No" answers and the cost of a game may stay down. Out of these questions the biggest factor that keeps the cost of a rare game low is "How long has it been known to be rare?". This is a pretty simple thing to understand, if people don't know it's rare then why should they pay a big cost for it. When collectors know a title is rare they look for it, even if it isn't in their collectors category. You would be hard pressed to find any collector in the know to pass up a cheap copy of Stadium Events just because they don't collect for Nintendo. Just like with so many other things in life, big names mean big dollars.
    If we are looking to see why the cost of rare games goes up we should first look at desirability, because it is the sole biggest factor that can drive a price up. Desired titles always fetch more thats the easiest way to say it. I mentioned FF7 for the PS1 earlier, for awhile it was fetching 80 or so dollars on eBay, now its fallen to 50ish for black label versions. It is a very common title,but it commands a high price because it is well loved, just like Mario 3. If Final Fantasy 7 was a rarity 8 title rather than a 2 the cost for this game would be well over $200. Lets look at SHmups, they have a niche market, they are very popular, and also rare. This put the desire factor titles very high and the prices show that. Radiant Silvergun $150+, Border Down $250+, a lot of SHmups are priced like this. Titles like Radical Rex for Sega Cd might fetch $50-$70 even though it is far more rare than FF7 or Radiant Silvergun. In 10 years though Radical Rex may command $200+ if it is as rare as we think, while FF7 and other common titles will only see a minimal bump if all things remain equal. Radical Rex may never have a huge bump in the desire category, but sometimes rarity alone is enough to carry the prize of a game into the triple digit or more area. The desire to own Radical Rex for Sega Cd will be driven by completest and rarity based collectors.

    Hopefully these explanations help us to understand Video Game Rarity and how cost and rarity do not always mesh. My tip is always invest in rare games, classic games have a finite number available and are usually a safe bet. While it is true remakes and Xbox releases can happen, and this can cause games to dip in value but most don't fall far if they fall at all. Buying games you know are rare but aren't valued high can net you some pretty sweet trades in the future, but patience is key. Please remember just because it is expensive it doesn't mean it's rare, it might just be popular and uncommon.

    My Newest Find.
    A part of this blog that I feel has been neglected, is me showing how and what I find. My current focus as mentioned before is Sega Saturn and Sega CD. I can now proudly say I have a complete Sega CD USNTC collection. All of my games are complete in box with manuals. As exciting as it was to finally cross Mega Race, The Colors of Modern Rock, and ESPN NBA Hangtime off my want list, it wasn't nearly as fulfilling as finding this.














    Wonder Dog Red Box for the Sega CD has eluded me for quite some time. I figure and so do a few other Sega Cd collectors I chat with, that this is the hardest Variant to find in the Sega CD collection. I am currently trying to find out just how rare this title is, and when I have a more concrete idea I will let you know, but for now my estimate is at least a 7 on the rarity scale and that might prove to be a conservative guess. Yes, I do own two copies of this titles, and both were found within 1 day of each other. One of them I paid $45 for, it was listed on eBay. I was very happy to pay that cost, even though it might show up again on eBay for less. Why less? well, it's not well known and it's a variant of a title that normally goes for about $20. Most people don't know it even has a variant, and no one I a have talked to knows what the ratio from Red box Wonder Dog to Green Box Wonder dog is. I am currently 3 variants away from having a complete variant set to go along with my complete Sega CD collection.

    As always thank you for reading, and for my next entry I hope to feature one of my 3 complete Sega sets (Sega CD, 32X or Master System) in a video.

    ~Johnny~

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    World 1-4 Trade Etiquette, and Buyer / Trader Types

    Audio Transcript here. This is just an audio transcript.
    Once I get some real hosting this will be available in real feeds like a true podcast
    Video game collectors go about amassing games in various ways: eBay, garage sales, video game stores, pawn shops, and the one I want to really focus on forums. Forums are a great resource for collectors, you can get tons of info on games, meet like minded people, be part of a community, and buy sell and trade games. Forums are great to have, but I think we need to talk a little bit about proper etiquette when conducting business on forums.
    Introductions
    First and foremost if you are new to a forum introduce yourself. Most forums have a dedicated space for all new users to say hello and give a brief introduction. Introducing yourself will allow current members a chance to greet and familiarize themselves with you. This might not seem very necessary, but for me I am far more likely to conduct business with someone who has a few posts down and has introduced themselves. I'd much rather deal with you than the guy who jumped into the Market Place Forum and put down a few items he has for sale. Forums are very small communities people look out for each other. When someone burst onto the scene with no post but a sale thread it throws a few red flags. Who is this guy? Is this a scam? Is their only reason for being here to profit on collectors? Unknown members are a risk, this isn't just for selling, it goes for buying too. How do I know a new member won't try to screw me with a bad paypal transaction, or bad feedback? The answer is I don't. The risk of being taken advantage of isn't relegated to just new members; this goes for transactions with anyone, but being new might just tip the risk / reward scale to far into the risk category.

    How to create a Buy, Sale, or Trade Thread
    Now that you are a full fledged member of a forum lets talk about how to properly create threads in the market place. Know the lingo, you have to know what the common abbreviations used in market places mean like WTS (Want to Sell) and WTB(Want to Buy). Knowing the lingo will allow you to more effectively create threads. Okay example 1: You have three games for sale, two for the Genesis, one for the SNES. The games are Bubsy, Batman, and Sonic 1. First be very clear in your title, as it will tell your potential customers what to expect. For me I have an ongoing trade/FS/WTB so my threads look like this: Timemaster's Big Trade and Sale Thread, Sub header: looking for... New Items: Sega Games. My thread title lets you know it's not a one off sale. For the purpose of our example a good title might look like this WTS/WTT 1 SNES and 2 Genesis games MINT!!! This title tells everyone what you have and gives them an idea what to expect.
    Thread Content and Layout
    Now that we have an adequate title for our thread it is time to put in the content. The most important think to know about the content of your thread is this "BE SPECIFIC". It is so important I made it bold. When it comes to collecting nobody like surprises. I have seriously seen threads where the title says "Game X For Sale $50", and then the content of the thread some how manages to say less "Game X". Threads like this make me crazy, I know nothing about the game except the title and the price and as a collector that simply isn't enough. So when making a thread do it right and tell everyone as much as you can, it doesn't need to be a novel. Using our example.

    Genesis games for sale: Sonic 1 complete Retail Version all original paper work included, cart manual and clamshell in Mint condition, hardly played $10. Batman includes, original clamshell, manual and cart no other paper work $7. Shipping not included buyer pays actual shipping

    SNES Bubsy also for sale Box, Cart, and Manual. Formal Rental has stickers on cart and box, manual is in rough shape. $5 plus shipping. Please see attached pictures. Paypal non gift only. I know I am new seller, but please see my eBay feedback and my feedback on Forum A. Links attached.

    Also willing to trade all three and some cash for Shining Force 2, would like CIB but willing to discuss cart only.
    The thread is specific, it tells us how the seller expects to be paid, how much the seller wants for their items, the nature of the items for sale, leaves nothing to the imagination by including pictures, includes references, and tells us the seller is looking for in trade.

    You made a Sell or Purchase, now follow through
    Now that you have made your sell it's time to move on to the easiest part of the transaction to mess up. I liken this part of a sell to movies that have endings so bad they ruin the the whole movie. Basically what I am telling you here is to do these two things, ship it fast, and make sure it is well packaged. Remember shipping it fast doesn't mean send it express mail, send it however the buyer paid for it to be shipped. It means get that game packed and in the mail soon, don't make someone wait a week before it goes in the mail, unless it's already been discussed. A note for all sellers, be it on eBay or on forums, "DO NOT USE BUBBLE MAILERS FOR BOXED GAMES". I cannot tell you how many times I have had a game ruined by bubble mailers. In many cases the box is the most expensive and hardest to find part of a game, packing it in a bubble mailer is a sure fire way to screw up a valuable box and a transaction. Every collector I know has the same story about some idiot who sent them something nice that was ruined by a bubble mailer, and everyone of those collectors would have gladly paid another dollar or two to have it shipped in a box. So in short pack, boxed games in boxes and protect them with bubble wrap or paper. Packing a game properly is more than just bubble wrapping and putting it in a box. When you ship an item protect yourself by put tracking on the item, and if it's expensive put insurance on it too. After you have packed it properly and got it to the mailbox only a few small are left for you to do, inform the buyer of their tracking number, this tells the buyer when you shipped it and keeps you from getting a ton of messages asking for updates, and lastly leave the buyer feedback. Many forums have designated areas for feedback, some forums even have trade transactions you can create which also allow you to post feedback.

    If you were a buyer your follow through is much easier, first pay promptly, second leave feedback after your game arrives. If you had a problem with delivery or the item is damaged contact your seller and try to work it out. Most people aren't trying to mess you over, and will gladly work with you to resolve any problems that may arise. Mitigate all potential problems by using good communication through out the transaction, remember no surprise.

    Other pieces of Etiquette
    So I know the first two thirds of this post reads like a tutorial, and that's it's intended purpose, it is geared for new members. The advice I give is solid all the way around for all levels, but in this portion I want to talk more to forum members who have been around the block a few times.

    For Offer threads...
    I hate them, and I am guilty of placing them. If you make a For Offer thread then please really be willing to take offers, and stop complaining that people are low balling you. If you have a price range in mind then then you should state your price, don't put members in the tricky position of trying to generate a number they feel like is a bargain but simultaneous not be offensive. For Offer threads to me feel like a seller is trying to see what they can squeeze out of you. Has anyone else had this happen? Offer X (50) amount of dollars on game Y in a FO thread, seller replies with an adjusted price of 70 or something similar. It really feels like the seller is trying to bait the buyers into telling them how much a game is worth. They know if you offer 50 it has to be worth more than that, because nobody offers at a games highest estimated value, people usually go mid or mid low. The seller now knows how much they can squeeze you out of you, if you offered at 50 (mid) you might make a follow up offer of 60 (Mid High), which the seller will probably take. The game is not had at what I would call a deal, you probably did a little better then what you would find on eBay. Another scenario is you offer and the seller replies back with a snarky low ball comment. So annoying, just stop it. Again if you know what you want for it just say what you want and stop making it awkward.

    eBay prices in Forums...
    Another silly thing that seems to be coming up more often is, sellers wanting full eBay price for their games in a forum. Here is my view, feel free to disagree. If you are trying to sell something on a forum, you should know what it's worth on eBay and then go lower. If it is a really rare item then maybe you can get away with asking full eBay. The math to me is simple, if I sell something in eBay, I figure I am only going to get about 83%-86% of what it sold for. This number accounts for listing fees, final value fee, and paypal fee. If I want to sell Burning Rangers and I know I can get $100 on eBay I will probably take $80 in a forum, depending on if they are sending paypal gift or regular, have I dealt with them before, are they a well reputed member that sells a lot, and so on. If you demand $100 I will probably just go to eBay, it is a lot safer, if your response to me asking if you would take $80 is I can get $100 on eBay, then my response to you is then sell the damn thing on eBay and loose all that money. What you can get for it on eBay is only relevant in a forum as far as I am concerned to create a forum price.

    Trade Value is not the same as Cash
    Again just my opinion trade value, is higher than cash. If the game you want from me ranges from 10-14 I am probably going to side on 13 to 14, while if you wanted to give me cash I'd probably take 11 or 12. I imagine you are pricing your trades the same way. Another note about Trade Value, both parties should use the same source for prices. Doesn't really matter what the source is as long as both parties agree to the source, for me I actually prefer to pull prices from a few sources to create a true median price.

    A few more suggestion and reiterations
    • Don't be afraid to give someone a deal, sure you could get $15 for a loose Punch Out, but sometimes taking 10 or 12 will net you a better deal or more business later.
    • Always have pictures.
    • Always have a tracking number.
    • Don't use bubble mailers.
    • In a sale thread don't mention where a similar item is on sale.
    • In a sale thread don't bring up how much a previous copy sold for or how much another member is selling it for.
    • Don't be an ass, trading and selling is about building relationships, people remember and tell others who is good and bad to deal with.
    • Don't try to rip people off, it might work once or twice but once a community is on to you they will spread your name into every bad trader thread they can find.
    • Don't waste peoples time. If you have no intent on buying, or can't afford an item, don't string a seller along.
    • Do follow all forum rules.
    • Be specific, again Be specific, manual have small tear on page 9, list it, even if they may never see it.
    • Do communicate and follow up
    • Help others when you can, I know I already kind of said this, but really I have gotten so many sweet deals and throw-ins from people I have given good deals to.
    Now that we have gone over some basic etiquette and generally good trading and selling tips I want to spend a few lines talking about trader/buyer types. In my last post I talked about collector types and many collector types translate into buyer types, almost a one for one conversion. I am not going to rehash that I want to talk about the difficult types. The people who represent these types might be really nice people, but are kind of a pain in the ass to sell to or trade with. We all have our standards and goals and it isn't for me to say someones standards are too low or high or their reason for collecting is wrong. I do want to point out just these few so people are aware. If you know the collector type you are dealing with it should allow you to not get in a bad situation.

    Investor- These collectors may or may not care about games at all, they are in it for the potential to earn money. Many of these collectors are part of the great Stadium Event Phenomenon. These collectors know games now = $Dollars$. Long gone are the days of any NES game 5 dollar bin at game stores.

    The Dealer- These are my least favorite types of collectors. These people might own stores or are big sellers on eBay. They want to trade with you, but they will point out every small flaw in your cart, manual, box, disc, ect and then under value it. They will then proceed to over value their item and over estimate its rarity. They will says things like, well I bought it at price X (20) so I have to get at least this much Y (30). It's nice to buy low and sell high, but save your blatant attempts to rip me off. If this is how you make your living fine, don't ask me to like it and please just avoid me. The Dealer is usually in this for one reason, to turn a profit. Are they wrong?

    The Perfectionist- Another tricky collector type to deal with. These collectors, never mind what they collect, need the items they are getting to be pristine. They want nice box, no dings, or creases in the manual, and no broken hinges. They are not wrong to want these things, but if you are dealing with them be sure you have accurate pictures, and be sure to do a good job packing the item, something you should do anyway. I try to treat ever transaction I make as if I am dealing with a perfectionist, it ensures I do all I should to make a positive experience for both parties.

    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Bonus World 1: Video Tip for Sega CD and Saturn Games

    This is a bonus post, my next full entry will be up in the next day or two.

    If you are like me and you collect Sega CD, Saturn, or PS1 Long Box titles, you will undoubtedly know about about curved manuals. This curved condition is brought on by storing your games flat instead of having them stand straight up. Manual curve can happen even if you have the foam brick. In my video I show you how I have gone about combating this. Take a look and let me know what you think or if you have a better solution.

    Video Note: This video was shot one handed with my phone, so its not the highest quality and it shakes a little. I am also aware I call the bubble wrap foam, just ignore that and move on.



    Thanks again for all the kind words and support. Look for my next post, Trade Etiquette soon.

    A question to all the readers, would you like an audio transcript of the blog posted along side each post?

    ~Johnny~

    Monday, January 17, 2011

    World 1-3: Types of Collectors

    Before I dig into the subject matter of the day, I wanted to point out a few additions to the blog. If you will turn your attention to the top right of the blog, you will see two new items. The first is a Most Wanted List (MWL), and the second is a tally of number of games I have for each Sega system and the the completion percentage. The Most Wanted List is just that, the games I want the most. It doesn't always represent the most expensive games I need to acquire, nor does it mean that those are the next games I will seek out. I am the type of collector (Opportunist) that will grab a deal when I see one, in my last post I showed a Crusader of Centy, that game while on my radar wasn't one I was actively seeking. What a perfect lead into our topic. (Scroll to the bottom of the blog to see my latest find.)

    Types of Collectors
    Collector types are many and varied and I am sure I won't cover them all, but I want to give a brief overview on a few of them. A Nintendo Age post lists a several and my info overlaps. You can see that here. I will start by listing what I am first.

    The Opportunist- The opportunist jumps on deals for system he/she may not collect for because the value of the deal far out weight the fact that they don't actually need it...Yet.

    The System Collector- The system collector simply picks a system or two and collects for those exclusively, system collecting might spawn from nostalgia but it may just be the collectors preferred system to play. These collectors may or may not go for complete sets. I feel like this might be the most common type of collector, well this and the Nostalgia Collector.

    Nostalgia Collector- A person who collects games from their past because of the feelings and memories those games evoke.

    The Librarian- These collectors go for the whole library of , even if the game is terrible, even if it's super expensive, even if they have 4 other versions of the game on other systems. Librarians gotta catch'em all.

    Series Specialist- These collectors collect series, these series may span several different system and include foreign titles. Often times this is the collectors favorite game series, and thus it explains their diligence in finding even the rarest titles. ( This is why I have Zelda's Adventure for the CDI)

    Genre Collector- This one is as easy as it sounds, a collector picks a genre and avidly collects games from said genre. These collectors are unique in that they often times will pick up imports, cross systems and hardware generations to get their fix. The two most common genre's collected are RPG's and ShMUPS.

    Import Collectors- Title kind of says it all. Imports offer more variety and several games that never see US release for some systems. Prime example the Sega Master System 116 US titles, HUNDREDS of imports. Sometimes imports are different from their US counter part or they are cheaper. Their are many reasons to dig imports.

    The Rare Collector- Unlike my meat, I like my games Rare, and so do these collectors. These collectors can be system specific, but most of the time I think they branch over many system. The goal for this type is simple, find rare games, collect, repeat. They thrive on the obscurity of titles and difficulty one must face to obtain them. Elitist maybe, sweet collection absolutely!

    Two of the less fun types of collectors I thought were important to mention

    The Hoarder- I have only met one person I would classify as this. The hoarder is not the same as a collector, this type will let their house be overrun by their collection, I can hear the snickering of a hundred wives, mine included. The difference is hard to define, and really not for me, some smuck from the burbs, to diagnose, but I can say this, these people keep and store to the detriment of their family and their personal lives and for reasons that make little sense. Just because you have thousands of games does not make you a hoarder, if you are organized, if it has its own space, and you control it rather then the other way around you probably aren't a hoarder.

    The Addict- This is the scariest type. These people much like hoarders collect to the detriment of their family and their personal lives. Shopaholics exist, see here. This is a compulsive behavior and is at the very scary dark edge of collecting. No one wants to classify themselves as this type of collector, but if you feel like the urge to buy is controlling you, or if you aren't paying bills or taking care of yourself so you can buy games, I urge you to seek help.

    There are many other types of collectors and remember most collectors fall into several categories not just on. This list just touches on what I feel the big ones are. A few more, VGA collectors, Cabinet, Vintage only, Portable collectors, Sealed collectors, Modern system collectors, Special Edition collectors, Home-brew collectors and Repro collectors and the list goes on. I am sure I am missing several, but now I want to bring up a few less talked about collector types, the kinds that are harder to deal with and are really subsets within the community. I realize after outlining these harder to deal with types, they are more like trader and buyer types, and that seems like a whole new topic.

    Knowing collector types is important, though it might seem unnecessary. Trust me if you are buying, selling, or trading on forums; knowing the type of collector you are dealing with will ensure a smooth transaction. On forums all you have is your name and feedback. If you have good feedback you will find more people will be willing to deal with you, and in some instances give you a better deal. Knowing these types might give you an advantage in trading, just be sure not to breech trade etiquette. Speaking of "Trade Etiquette", it's the topic of my next post that and Buyer and Trader Types. Be sure to look for my next post soon, as I will also cover how to improve your responses in WTB or WTT threads.

    Now on to the hunt portion of this blog. My latest hunt was for Saturn Bomberman. I can find it on eBay, but it isn't as simple as that, I wanted a better price. I have deemed that Saturn Bomberman has a moderate rarity, digitpress concurs giving it an on their scale. So I started looking for this game about a month ago, and I know some collectors are willing to wait months for the right deal (and that is the better way), but when I am ready, I want to get things rolling. The quest for this title is part of my bigger decision to start collecting Saturn titles. When I decide to collect for a system I try to knock out pricey or rare titles first, this puts me at ease knowing the hard stuff is out of the way, then I can take my time with the smaller or more common titles. The first place I always look is eBay complete auctions, their I found no copies of it sold, or even unsold, well not American versions. If you check now you will find only one, and it's a pretty sweet deal for a disc and manual only for $10. After that it was on to regular listing,where I find the price to be about $80/$90, pretty high, so time to hunt elsewhere.

    It is now time to do some driving. I make my way to one of my local shops about 5 miles away, their selection is pretty terrible, and getting worse under new ownership. No surprise, it is a bust, so now it is back to checking eBay, setting up a saved search and waiting. One week goes by nothing, two weeks...nothing, week three comes, and now it's time to make more significant rounds. I am now going to travel about 35 miles one way to a big game store in Los Angeles,Game Dude. The store has a great selection and is the biggest game store in the LA area, but the prices are kind of like eBay, you might get a good deal, but very rarely a steal. Game Dude, put the price at $69, but I get 10% off, I decide I can live with that price. No dice, despite having about 120 Saturn titles in stock, Bomberman is not one of them. Now that I am out an about in the city I hit up 3 more game stores, and still no luck. With nothing but a fist full of fail, it is time to call it a day, I make the long trek through LA traffic home, 40 miles= 2 hours. A day or two and some eBay searching later, I decide to brave craigslist...what a waste. CL can provide awesome steals, but you have to sift through so much crap, sometimes it just doesn't feel like it's worth the effort.

    Week 4 time to brave a weekly collectors show Frank & Sons about 50 miles away. Franks has 4 dedicated booth that sell classic games, most of these are your standard fair over priced Super Mario 3 and other such Big N titles, but this usually means rare games for less collected system get under priced. Here I find Crusader of Centy for $25, a great find, but not what I am actively seeking. Not satisfied but by no means happy I return home and continue my pattern of eBay and Forum searching. Yesterday, As week 4 comes to a close I decide my wife decides a Disneyland trip is in order. On the way down to Disneyland roughly 55 miles, I stop at a small game shop that is pretty close to the park. In this tiny shop they have 4 Saturn games, and one of them just so happens to be Saturn Bomberman for $40 + Tax. Game is complete and in nice shape. Was it worth it? I think it would have been easier and almost as cost effective to buy it on eBay, but then I wouldn't have found Crusader of Centy. If you are the type of collector that enjoys the journey, then this one was pretty good and it ended well enough, if you are a about speed and efficiency then this was a bust.

    Thanks Again for reading...Next up "Trading Etiquette"
    ~Johnny~