In what I’m hoping will be a bit of an on-going series, I’m going to feature the collections – big or small – of other Aussie retro gaming fiends. These will feature on the front of the blog, then be linked to in the new ‘Aussie Collectors’ section. Over time, I expect to build quite a decent portfolio of people who share an almost supernatural lust for old gaming gear.
To kick off the concept, I’ve taken a few minutes out to probe the mind of ‘Hollo’, not only an avid collector of retro gaming stuff but the master of his domain over at http://www.supergaijinultragamer.org/. We asked him some questions about his collecting, and grabbed some happy-snaps of a small slice of his gear at the end of the Q&A below. Read on (and remember, all collecter Q&A’s will be archived under the ‘Aussie Collectors’ section along the top menu)
Describe your collection? What’s the focus? Where are you aiming to end up with it?
Hollo – I think if I were to describe my collection I would have to use the word ‘varied’. I can’t say that I have a particular focus, as I generally just buy for the thrill of the hunt rather than heading out with an objective. But if there was a focus, it would have to be PC-Engine – I can’t stop hoarding those HuCards!
Why did you start collecting? A general love of gaming? Re-living youth?
Hollo – Re-living youth was definitely the catalyst, but after seeing what Japan had to offer I became interested in the machines and games that never were released back home. Once that general interest in Japanese gaming took hold, the pile of stuff seriously grew rapidly.
Would you ever sell your collection, or is it with you for life?
Hollo – It’s with me for life! Having said that though, I have sold (and continue to sell) parts of it, but only if a better version of the same thing came up. There are a few things that I would never sell or trade even if a better one came up – my Skeleton Saturn being one of them. I managed to get it for dirt cheap (fully boxed and complete) while out, and I can safely say that purchase started the addiction for the hunt. Sentimental value to a gaming machine is a bit weird I know, but anyone reading this probably understands wehre I’m coming from.
What’s your single most prized piece?
Hollo – Honestly I don’t have one, but I would count my PCEngine HuCard collection as a whole as the coolest part of my collection. There are many other machines and accessories that are very cool in their own right, but the HuCards represent a lot of searching – specially for the rarer titles. I could easily get them all if I were to buy offline, but I definitely prefer the hunt, and the bargains.
What’s the most you’ve spent on a single item so far? Go on, be honest – no-one is looking I promise.
Hollo – As I said above, I don’t really spend huge amounts as I prefer to wait it out and get the bargains. I also try and buy bulk when I can too…. I guess the most I have spent would have to be for my PCEngine Duo-R. I paid the equivalent of $150aus for that one. Strangely enough though, it’s no where near the most valuable bit of gear I have, but it’s definitely the most I’ve spent in one go. Hold on, there is also my first (or maybe second – bought a few now) boxed AES too which wasn’t cheap.
What’s something you’re lusting after that you don’t have yet, and why?
Hollo – I really want a Famicom Box. I own two SuperFamicom Boxes (hotel gaming machines from Nintendo), but I cannot find a good Famicom version. I am looking for one that has a coin box attached, and is in nice shape with a heap of games inside. These don’t come up often at all unfortunately. Another thing I would really like to get a hold of is a Seaman Crystal Dreamcast (complete and boxed of course), but these don’t come up often either.
Got any advice for people wanting to start a retro game collection? Where should they start? How should they start?
Hollo – Do it for the love of it, and don’t do it if you think it’s going to be an investment. You may be able to sell gear for more than you bought it, but the way that inflation works it seems that the value stays relatively constant. Collecting to play is the only way to go in my opinion.