I get a real kick out of talking to owners of independent game stores. They always have so many interesting stories to tell, and often, cool things to show off. During my visit to Trade N Games while in St. Louis this past summer, I was treated to lots of both. I actually recorded about 80 minutes of footage while I was there and had a hard time cutting it down to fit it into the one Youtube clip I posted a little while ago. Because of this, I’m breaking out a couple other conversations I had – this being the first.
About Jason’s Collection
Between starting his collection years ago and opening his own game store with a great buying (pays cash) and trade-in policy, he’s been able to accumulate a large number of games from platforms of various vintages. (As surprising as it is, Jason actually avoids buying games on eBay or other places online – only buys them locally as he encounters them)
As you will see in the video, Jason is most passionate about collecting Atari 2600 titles and other older platforms that were an influence on him in his younger years. However, that hasn’t kept him from putting together near complete boxed collections of most of the popular platforms from the NES to the Genesis to the Dreamcast. His PS1 collection is massive, but he’s still on the lookout for a few elusive titles.
Since he gets quite a few trade-ins on a regular basis, he gets a lot of titles that he already has, but he will often swap in better boxes when he gets them. This helps him build a rather pristine collection of boxes – even the old cardboard ones that seem hard enough to find in ragged condition.
Using The Collection to Write A Book
Since Jason has worked so hard at building so many near-complete collections, he’s been able to also document much of it. His book, Classic 80s Home Video Games, covers the Atari 2600 VCS, Atari 5200 SuperSystem, Atari 7800 ProSystem , Coleco Vision, Intellivision, Odyssey-2-, and Vectrex gaming systems. Between Jason and his co-author, Robert Wicker, they’ve been able to documents not only every games in the libraries of the featured consoles, but also photos and estimated values of the different variations.
I haven’t had time to fully review the book (and I’m not especially knowledgeable of those older platforms), but here’s a little except from From Amazon.com’s Description: “This guide takes an in-depth look at the classic consoles, games, accessories, and related merchandise manufactured between the introduction of the Atari VCS in 1977 and the great video game crash of 1984… More than 2,000 full-color photographs complement detailed listings for loose and boxed items. Consoles, cartridges, manuals, accessories, and related merchandise are listed and priced in an easy-to-use, checklist format. Products are listed by console and manufacturer for easy reference.”
I also recommend checking out some of the reviews on Amazon’s page as well. While there are some complaints mentioned in there, so are also some supportive rebuttals. At the inexpensive price, it’s hard to deny that the book is a worthwhile resource for anyone interested in collecting those platforms.
What Else Would You Like To Know?
Because Jason’s store and collection are both so impressive, I’m sure I’ll be following up with him sooner rather than later (either in a video or perhaps the podcast). So, I thought I would ask the Racketboy community to pitch in potential questions to ask him next time we’re talking games.