In the second part of this week’s (or should that be last week’s ?) column, the Retrobear gives you insight into the trials and tribulations of getting hold of retro games without using eBay.

Originally Posted to on August 23rd 2010

OK so I am a little late, but for some reason when I wasn’t out shopping this past weekend, I either spent it eating or asleep. For those of you trying to gauge what kind of person I am, that is my perfect weekend. Too much sleep however prevented me from getting this piece up on Sunday, so let me try and recap the weekend’s events and give you a first hand view of what it’s like being a retro collector.

Charity Shop

What treasures lurk within ? Aside from 45 copies of Jurassic Park on VHS ?

Saturday was spent trawling round the various charity shops in close proximity to home. I also happened to call into Gamestation whilst I was at it, but was distinctly unimpressed by what was on offer. I struggle to understand their pricing policy on their older games i.e. PS1.


Yes, they did have some Gamecube titles in, but as these can be played on the Wii, and as previously mentioned in an earlier column, the second hand price is still at bit steep averaging about £4.99 a title. In the case of PS1 games I am sure Jungle Book Groove Party is an excellent title, however the £9.99 price tag was far less welcoming.

Mind you, charity shops suffer from the same erratic pricing as retailers when it comes to retro. If the prices they charged were at a car boot, you’d haggle. However, haggling in a charity shop marks you out as some sort of low life scum (and rightly so), so you take a deep breath and move on. They usually charge £3-4 for an old FIFA title, when Gamestation won’t take them damn things. I was tempted to buy Rambo III for the Master System, but at £4.00 I was put off. I did though see a totally mint Amstrad CPC464 compilation The Maginificent Seven (circa 1987), featuring such 8 bit classics as Head Over Heels, Yie Ar Kung Fu, Short Circuit etc, for only £1.00.

On Sunday it was off to the car boot for the first time in about 8 weeks. Unfortunately we left it a little late this week and either all the retro stuff had gone, people simply hadn’t bothered this week or there wasn’t a lot of it about to start with. I picked up 5 games, 4 PS2 and 1 XBOX, which is hardly retro but still good going. Someone wanted £25 for an unboxed Dreamcast and was “open to offers”. I would have gone in at £10 but the woman selling it was scary looking and I feared for getting my teeth smashed in. Aside from seeing an N64 (£10 with no games or expansion pack) and a Mega Drive (with 6 games but the MKII model and as such doesn’t look as impressive as the original black model – £20 to you Sir), that was about it.

So let’s take a look at what gems I unearthed :

Rumble Roses (PS2) £1.00 – Female japanese wrestling. Need I say more ? This goes nicely alongside my XBOX copy of Playboy : The Mansion and Leisure Suit Larry : Magna Cum Laude on the PS2 as the ones to play when Mrs Bear isn’t looking.

Wallace & Gromit

Gromit shows us how much attention he paid to all those nPower adverts he was in

Wallace & Gromit : Curse Of The Were Rabbit (PS2) £1.00 – Everyone loves Wallace and Gromit. Well I do anyway. Looks graphically very impressive from the box, and I do feel throughout my collection I am neglecting “kiddie games”. I also quite like the idea of shooting rabbits out of a gun (if you haven’t seen the film of the game, do so cos it’s very good), so let’s hope it’s a good licence of the film.

Escape From Monkey Island (PS2) £1.75 – Now I must be honest in that I have never played a Monkey Island game. I know they are amongst some of the best and funniest click and point adventure games, so I couldn’t really ignore this. It’s a genre I haven’t played much so am looking forward to settling down and giving this some hammer.

Spongebob Squarepants : Revenge Of The Flying Dutchman (PS2) £1.75 – I have to admit I do enjoy Spongebob. I don’t know why, it just appeals to me in a kind of funny way. This is also another one of the “kiddie games” I don’t have enough of. Spongebob is more than that though, and I hope that the cartoon’s humour translates into the game. If not, then I shan’t play it again.

Juiced (XBOX) £1.00 – Boasting 7.5 trillion car customisation possibilities (wow that just does not appeal to me in the slightest), this looks like an impressive racer from the box. Providing I can whizz round at 200mph and not have to give a shit about cornering (unlike Gran Turismo) I shall be well happy.

Intellivision Lives (PS2) £1.99 – FROM HELP THE AGED CHARITY SHOP – 62 original games from the Intellivision on one disc ? Wow let me at it ! I have never played on one of these machines, and I know as a retro gamer I should be playing them on an original system, but for the price I couldn’t pass it up. It will also allow me to do an Intellivision feature in a future column (quick thinking that).

Dancing Stage Party Edition (PS1) £1.50 – FROM MARY STEVENS HOSPICE CHARITY SHOP – Yes I know, not exactly a stellar purchase, but I have always fancied a dance mat game. All I need now is a dance mat.

Now sometimes I’ll come back with loads of older stuff than that, and on other weekends I’ll come back with stuff like the above. If I was after something in particular I’d use eBay. However, I prefer to play a broad field when it comes to my collecting as I think that’s the best option. After all, if you collect for one machine only, once you get to your target what do you do ? Sell it ? Keep it ? Move on to another one ? This way I can keep collecting for all the machines I have and build things up nicely. Not counting Wii and PS3 (which I should really seeing as I talk about a “collection” as a whole), I now stand at 827 games for the C64, Megadrive, Master System, NES, SNES, Saturn, Dreamcast, N64, Gameboy, Gameboy Colour, Gameboy Advance, Game Gear, Gamecube, PS1, PS2 and XBOX.

All Syetems

Yowser - gaming heaven.

Let me know what you have been up to in the world of games collecting, retro or non retro. It’s always good to know what other gamers are up to and what’s tickling your fancy at this time.

Till the next time – keep it in your pants because you’ll never know when it will go off