As I make the finishing touches to this article, there is a knock at my door. It’s the postman. I thank him, I close the door and rush into my lounge eager to find out what’s inside my parcel. I tear it open like a kid on Christmas day, just like I do every time a new game drops at my door.
This parcel epitomises the game group I’ve grown to love, the members of it I have come to trust and call my friends.
Inside is a copy of The Legend of Zelda for NES, the game I’ve been looking out for and to snag at a reasonable price is on an I.O.U. Now I didn’t suggest that it was sent to me before I had the means to pay, however the seller trusts that because we are both members of Retro Collective Europe, I’ll pay up when I said I would.
But wait, I know what your thinking, that parcel looks a bit overkill for a singular NES cart. And that’s because the sender also sent me a free gift. It was sent because he knew I’d love it. I knew it was coming but I didn’t know what it was, a real surprise when I saw inside.
To say I’m astounded is an understatement, as I opened it I really did gasp. The generosity and pure kind heartedness is a example to us all. It really shows that our community is full of wonderful humans. All I can say is a really, really big thank you to Jamiu – you true gentleman! (go follow him on IG @gvil77)
Welcome to Retro Collective
In order to find out where Retro Collective started, I spent over an hour chatting with co founder Jerry Herring via Skype. We chatted about a multitude of things including music, things we had seen on Instagram, games and sweets (candy to our cousins across the water). He told me about his impending relocation and I informed him of my sleepless nights with a newborn baby. Another example of the community Retro Collective is!
So Jerry gave me the low-down on how Retro Collective began.
Through the group I’ve had consoles modded, been given advice on how to mod consoles, bought games for my collection and sold/traded games to members of the group. – RCE Member
Just like all of us it began when Jerry aka @sbkretro joined Instagram, and like most he began posting pictures of games and figuring out hashtags. Via Instagram he came into contact with @bowserisking. They became friends and often chatted via social media. One evening they decided they needed a universal hashtag for all the people they had came across, through their love of retro games, to use. A hashtag that all of those people could use to share their gaming stuff with each other. Ideas were bounced around but #RETROCOLLECTIVE was the one that they knew was a winner. And they weren’t wrong !!!
As the hashtag grew, users started trading with each other and #retrocollective became more. It began to represent the honesty and integrity and trust amongst its users. It was exempt from the price hiking you see on many Facebook selling groups, it was formed around people who wanted to collect and play at reasonable prices and fair trades. This is still what RC is built on today.
Jerry and Dan then decided a formal Retro Collective page was needed where they could share pictures with a wider audience and also give a few shout outs to people within the scene that had gone beyond to help others out, sent out awesome trades or simply had collections most only dream of!
In order to do this they knew they needed help and they recruited two people into the fold, @wtfisthisnerdshit and @dano_brown.
Retro Collective really grew and hit wider audiences. So much so, another user and follower by the name of @machu_payne took it upon himself to have Retro Collective shirts made. As a thank you and to show their appreciation, the admin team sent him an awesome care package and asked him to become a part of the ever growing collective.
From here the European wing, of which I’m a proud member, was formed. @geeksgoboom ( Joe Hollingsworth ) asked permission to make a sister page. Jerry tagged another European RC follower, @outafterdark216 (Stewart Lange) and that night Retro Collective Europe was born. The idea being that those in Europe, who may have smaller collections also had the chance to be featured and given a shout out to show off their collections.
Unlike other game forums the guys and girls of RCE are gamers first collectors second. We seem to care more about good games rather than rare games. Everyone wants to help you out rather than rip you off. – RCE Member
I was a avid follower of both pages on IG, a member of the Retro Collective Facebook group and spent a lot of time conversing with other collectors via social media. I offered to arrange for RCE shirts to be made as was rewarded with a promotion to fully fledged admin!!
Fast-forward to present day and Retro Collective truly is international, with almost 2000 followers to each page on Instagram and 600 members on the Facebook group. With the same philosophy it was born with and a set in stone ethos, it continues to grow. It represents a trust between members, a trust that means everyone is safe in the knowledge that they can ship games or consoles all over the world and they will arrive safe and sound. That these trades are fair, that any sales are at a level where profit is often ignored in order to help out another member.
Aside from the games, is the glue. A sticky mess made of bromances, pure unadulterated banter and humour (pun intended – the kinda banter you become desensitised to in RC). But more than that is friendships. There is whatsapp groups and group chats on Facebook where we all have fun with each other whilst enjoying our passion of retro games. There’s even one dedicated to the more modern Wii u!
RCE has enabled me to gain titles that I would not have been able to purchase from stores due to both price and rarity. – RCE Member
Speaking on a personal level, I’ve formed solid friendships from this community, I’ve made contacts I can go to for price checks or advice if I’m getting a good deal on a trade, but also real life friendships. Little did I know I live a mere 20 miles from Game Boy obsessed @geeksgoboom, now we hang out go out game hunting, trawl the car booties, I’ve kicked his ass at Tekken on more than one occasion. Most recently we took a trip to London to see the one and only Joe Bleeps make sweet chiptune music on his disco boy (if you haven’t seen it get over to his IG @joeteach and look at his creations).
Its a community we are all proud to be a part of, a safe haven amongst all the resellers and people in the hobby for the money! Be sure to go and follow all the chaps I’ve mentioned above, it’s thanks to them we have this community to be a part of. And make sure you use the retro collective hashtags on social media. #retrocollective #rceurope.