Retro Game Store Review: Vintage Stock

Vintage Stock Game Store Review

Every now and then, when visiting different parts of the US, I like to track down independent or small-chain game stores and report my findings to the Racketboy community.  Usually, I like to do a video interview with the store owner and not only get a tour of the store, but also get their insights on the retro-gaming world.

While in Oklahoma last month, I had the opportunity to visit a couple of locations from a regional chain of stores by the name of Vintage Stock.   The not only sell games, but other used media goods as well such as music, movies, trading cards, and other goodies.   I was hoping to be able to talk to one of the owners or head managers about the gaming part of the business, but I didn’t get a response to my inquiry.  So, I figured I would do the next best thing and do a recap of my experiences with Vintage Stock and share a few pictures that I was able to capture (forgive my low-quality cell-phone pictures – I was trying to be nondescript and I didn’t want to make a scene with a big camera)

Vintage Stock Store

Appearance and Initial Impressions: 10/10

I visited two stores in Oklahoma and both were quite clean and organized rather well.  The storefronts and interiors are both quite welcoming and modern-looking.  I suppose this is the advantage of working as an established chain – you have some extra polish that most independent stores don’t have.  The locations were also quite accessible in normal shopping center areas.
Vintage Stock Photo

Customer Service: 8/10

I purchased a handful of games (mostly NES and SNES carts) at both stores and the employees that I dealt with were all helpful and friendly.  Everyone that worked in the store seemed to enjoy what they were doing and both stores had a great vibe to them.  Later on, I realized I should have asked them some questions about the games to test their knowledge, but it didn’t occur to me at the time.  However, I’m guessing a pure-play gaming store will give you much better service in that area.  But if you know your stuff (and most of our readers do 😉  ) you shouldn’t have too many issues.

Vintage Stock Inside Store

Atmosphere: 9/10

In addition to browsing the games myself, it was fun to listen in on some conversations from other patrons of the store.   I eavesdropped on a group of teenagers that were commenting on some classic vinyl that they were flipping through before moving onto some N64 carts and discussing some of their memories of the games.   Overall, I saw a wide range of ages browsing the different types of media and the entire store seemed to generate interesting conversations.

Bonus points are all added to Vintage Stock’s appeal for their non-gaming selection.  Even though it isn’t the focus of this review, it is still fun to browse the other goodies.  The only thing keeping the store’s atmosphere from perfection is a few friendly retro-gaming experts to chat it up with.

Retro Game Selection: 6/10

The selection of the retro games was slightly above average in my opinion depending on the platform.  The Nintendo and Playstation consoles and handhelds seemed to have a reasonable representation, but the Sega systems were very picked over.   Most of the retro games were cartridge-only, but there were probably about 5 to 10 boxed games for most of the older platforms.  (Maybe about 20 common, but not big-name games for the Dreamcast).

Vintage Stock NES Selection

I mostly enjoyed browsing through the NES carts, and to a lesser extent the SNES cartridges.  I was really disappointed with the Genesis selection at both stores, unfortunately.  Not only were there very few games with cases, but most of them were sports titles with just a few common Sonics and such mixed in.

The store in Moore, OK had a few big-name cart-only titles behind the showcase by the cash register, but the prices were just a bit high, and I almost didn’t realize they were there (not especially close to the rest of the games).   It’s also a bit of a pain to no be able to flip through those games on the shelf and even see all of the titles and prices without asking a clerk to pull them out of the case for you.    I realize they are trying to cut down on people pocketing the games and walking out, but some of them were only a little over $10.

Vintage Stock Case

Value: 7/10

I was relatively happy with the pricing of the games, but it’s not a place for hardcore retro collectors to look for bargains.   Most of the popular titles like the Mario games and such were priced a bit higher than a retro collector might expect ($7 really cmmon ones), but I was able to pick up a handful of titles that we featured in the Hidden Gems series for just a few dollars each.

I can’t say I was surprised at some of the higher prices though.  Remembering that this is a nice chain located in good shopping centers, these stores need to keep prices a bit higher on big-name titles just to keep them in stock.  Otherwise, casual gamers will snatch them all up quickly.  However, I still think most of the games are a decent value if you prefer walking into a store and seeing the game in person as opposed to online bargain-shopping.

To give you an idea of what some games sell for (in addition to their condition), here are the games I purchased at the two Vintage Stock locations with the price tags still in place.

My Vintage Stock Game Purchases

Game Condition: 7/10

The condition of the games (mostly just the carts themselves) were kinda hit or miss, but were not priced according to condition from what I could see.   I put back a number of excellent games that had marker writing or labels torn (yes, I realize this happens, but at least give a bit of a discount).   Sometimes I could find the exact same game in excellent condition for the exact same price, so I just got that one instead.

It also bothered me that there were quite a few game cartridges that had the large Vintage Stock barcode/price tag laid over a good section of the game’s artwork label.   Casual gamers might not care about this, but this is sure to annoy a lot of condition-conscience collectors like myself.   Since there was plenty of bare plastic available to put a label on, I’m not sure why the labelers weren’t being just a bit more careful.  I know personally, I would have bought a few more games at each of the two stores if it wasn’t for the label placement.  Once I got home, I found that the labels on the games I bought were quite easy to remove off the plastic (I didn’t buy any that had price tags on the game labels), but I would have still be nervous about trying to remove the store’s price/barcode stickers of the paper game labels.
Vintage Stock Retro Game Selection

Bottom Line: 8/10 – Recommended For Casual Shopping

Vintage Stock is a chain of stores I would love to have in my area.  While it obviously isn’t geared solely for retro gamers, it is a more than enjoyable experience for anyone that loves browsing through music, movies, comic books, toys, sports cards, in addition to games of all vintages.

Vintage Stock is definitely a fun place to shop, but it’s not the ideal place to find lots of retro goodness on the cheap.  If I lived in the area, I would check in every now and then just to see what they have in good condition for a nice price.  You’d also need to be well-versed in some of the lesser-known gems to find some good values (check the Racketboy guides for the best retro game values).

Have You Been To Vintage Stock?

Have you ever visited the stores?  What did you think?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below 🙂

19 Comments

  1. Salzmafia says:

    Good info. I’ve yet to find a used game store that has a reasonable selection of Genesis games that are NOT mostly sports games.

    Atleast they don’t put the stickers on the labels.

    Oh and although the photo of the NES games is a little blury it looks like they are alphabetical order which is cool too.. so many stores just have titles slopped on shelves…

    And when games are in a display case don’t stack them, stand them up so you can see all of them.. So many times titles are buried and you waste your time to see whats there only to be disappointed.

    But anyways nice review…

  2. Matt says:

    There are a few of these stores throughout Oklahoma, North-Western Arkansas and Texas. They’re actually a subsidiary of another regionally-operated media outlet called Movie Trading Company, which are very similar.
    Nice places with fairly decent stuff. The outlets I’ve been to have had a pretty good selection of hardware and peripherals.

  3. wilsona26 says:

    They have better Vintage Stock stores in Arkansas. I remember them from back in the day when I was about 10 or so. (20 years ago) The game playing people work there. They have another “retro” game store close to them called game exchange. A lot of the workers I used to know there moved on to vintage stock because game exchange had some shit management issues for a time.

  4. wilsona26 says:

    Forgot to mention its Fayetteville and Springdale Arkansas. And there are about 6 game exchanges there, and about 4 vintage stocks.

  5. Ian says:

    I’m in the aforementioned Fayetteville area and the VS here are usually overpriced. What’s nice though is that if VS is too high, you can go to Game Xchange and their price is usually offset. The same is true vice-versa.

  6. Ebop says:

    There are 2 Vintage Stocks here in Springfield MO, and I shop there alot for old SNES games & accesories. Accesory prices are really reasonable, high demand/big name games are a little pricey and sometimes gross, but I enjoy restoring them to good condition.

    Overall they are pretty good stores with a good selection of old & newer console games.

  7. Daniel Wolthers says:

    There´s a vintage video game store near Central Station in Amsterdam, but the prices are ridiculous. They have some nice things. Both Systems and Games, but at those prices no-one will buy anything. If they were a bit cheaper I would buy alot from them. I expect to pay more in a store than on ebay, but the store should not overexagerate the prices and act like everything they have is worth gold. That having ben said, if I ever find a good retro store with decent prices I might go bankrupt.

  8. cdoty says:

    There are a few in Springfield Missouri. Some of the games do seem a bit expensive; but you can usually find anything from Atari 2600 games and systems to the latest and greatest. They also have plenty of accessories, ranging from cheap knockoff replacement joysticks and power supplies to used official parts.

  9. The Mega Media Xchange stores here in WI typically have a decent selection of Genesis games. It all depends upon the past popularity of the system in your region.

    One thing you do need to remember about the Genesis is there’s a reason that there’s such an abundance of used sports titles and little of anything else. That’s what mostly sold on that system. Yes, there were other great games, but most didn’t sell nearly as much as the sports games, and they are also more sought after by collectors and retro game players, meaning they don’t end up clogging store shelves.

  10. BobPOW says:

    This is an amazing article. You should write retro game store reviews more often.

  11. racketboy says:

    I’m hoping to — I just need more vacation time for travel 😉

    I do have a full review w/video for a wonderful place in St. Louis and I hope to check out some places in California by the end of the year.

  12. Jesse Maddox says:

    Vintage Stock and Game X Change locations in Springdale/Fayetteville area of Arkansas bring up great childhood memories. Depending on which location you go the selection in the glass counter can get much better. I bought Bible Buffet for the NES at some point at a Game X Change for like three bucks.

  13. Jeremy Montgomery says:

    Just moved here about. 10 months ago .I have been to all the Vs in Kansas and most along the bored in Missouri.I think most of these stores are geared on selling the newer stuff not the retro.Most of the store employees looked at me funny if I ask about anything before nes.the prices are a bit high also.I went back to Michigan for vacation in july and spent my money there.prices were at least half of vs stock I can recommend 3 places to check out around the Flint area that have a good selection of retro games and systems.2 of the 3 are independently owned.

  14. Chris says:

    Saturn games! I never see those in Alaska it seems….it and my dreamcast are getting the most of my attention right now! Anyone know if there are any good stores in New Mexico around Alamogordo? That’s the next base I am moving to!

  15. A.J. says:

    Check this place out!!! They have ALL video game systems ever made, and have a huge selection of games!

    https://post.craigslist.org/manage/1921171336/8tnee

  16. Eddie says:

    Cobra Triangle is a great grab! I’m shocked a place like this can function today with most of that stuff being regularly stolen online. Good to see that our past still has a place in today’s society.

    @Chris, there is nothing good in New Mexico, period. You’re being stationed in the middle of a desert in a city with nothing to do. I live in Albuquerque and it’s the most God forsaken place on Earth. Good luck my friend. As for game stores in the “big city”, there’s a place called Noble Collectibles and they gouge the crap out of you. There’s another place called Gamers Anonymous but I’ve never been.

  17. Wrath says:

    I went to a couple in Springfield MO. Both were about the same but one had a much better selection for Sega stuff. Just about everything this review says is true to the stores in Springfield. One thing that annoyed the hell out of me though is that I don’t think the one I went to fully tests their systems. Reason being I bought a Sega Genesis model 1 with a Sega CD model 1 and the controller it came with barely works, and I’m going to have to get one of the AC Adaptors either replaced or repaired because there’s a short in the cable. They will let you exchange it for something that works (if they have it) for free, but this is still a hassle especially if they’re about 30 or more minutes away from where you live.

  18. Sam says:

    Ive found that Slackers Cds and Games was a much better store. The quality was better and It had a more local feel. Gotta miss the old school record stores.

  19. JDavis says:

    The Norman OK Vintage Stock is one of my semi-frequent visits… and sadly, the only place even somewhat close to me to get Sega games (and by close I mean about an hour’s drive) outside of pawn shops.

    The biggest tip I can give, especially if a Vintage Stock is just slightly out of the way for you (like mine) is to go on one of the weekends when they’re having a big sale. Usually, during any of their sale weekends, they’ll have all used games at buy 2 get 1 free… And they don’t just give you the cheapest 1/3 of everything you buy, they’ll actually split them up when ringing you out so that you’ll get the 3rd, 6th, 9th, etc most expensive game for free.