We’re back in the UK for this mouth-watering collection belonging to another of our good friends from Twitter; Paul Darbyshire (@pablo_0151). Paul is not only a collector but also a talented blogger (http://crystal-blue-dreams.blogspot.com/) and a formidable expert on Japanese videogaming culture and anime. Enjoy the collection… but be warned, it’s big and there is a lot of scrolling involved!
Click on images for titles and to enlarge
Q and A with Paul Darbyshire
When did you become interested in video games and what was the first video game you played?
Paul: My interest in video games probably started in about 1986 when my Dad first brought home a Commodore 64. I was only about 5 or so but I can still clearly remember being mesmerised by Bubble Bobble…and getting stuck on level 35 for months! Then the likes of Impossible Mission and Great Giana Sisters had me completely hooked and I never looked back.
What was the first games console or computer you owned and how old were you?
Paul: The first console I actually owned would be the Game Boy (although I have two Game & Watch units from before this) when I was about 9 years old. It may sound a little extravagant but it sort of changed my life and within seconds of firing up Super Mario Land I could feel that Nintendo magic. I have been a fan ever since.
What got you into collecting videogames, computers and consoles?
Paul: I think a lot of it stems from the fact that there were so many consoles and games I wanted to own as a kid, but as we all know you can’t expect your parents to splash out thousands every year on video games! As I got older my desire to play and own play this stuff never really diminished and I guess that’s why I collect it all now. I still get a thrill from playing something for the first time…even if it is from 1993!
Where do you source most of your retro purchases from (eBay, flea markets, car boots etc) ?
Paul: I’d have to say that it’s mainly eBay these days, although I’ve had some brilliant finds at car boot sales…an Amiga 600 for £4 and a Game Boy Colour for £3 being amongst them.
What is your most prized retrogaming possession and how much did it cost you?
Paul: I think my most prized retro asset would have to be Terranigma on the SNES, it cost me £50 back in 1996. Not only is it my favourite RPG of all time but it’s worth a pretty penny these days and I’ve luckily kept mine pristine…not that I ever intend to sell it!
What is your favourite console or computer?
Paul: Well I am an unashamed Super Nintendo fan-boy so it would have to be that. I think my age at the time, coupled with the fact that the SNES (for me at least) represented the true golden age of video games means it’ll always rule my heart. I’ll never let go of the memories or feelings associated with grabbing my first feather on Super Mario World or (eventually) besting Rainbow Road on 150CC… for me the console defines everything that is great about video games.
Where do you want to go now with the collection?
Paul: I want more and more! To be honest, I don’t consider myself a hardcore collector or anything…mainly because I just don’t have that sort of money, but I’ll definitely carry on picking up bits that I like the look of or wanted when I was a kid. My ultimate aim is a Neo Geo AES but the next realistic targets are probably a Virtual Boy and a PC-Engine. The good thing is that there is so much amazing stuff out there; I don’t see myself getting bored any time soon.
Have you any tips for budding retro games collectors?
Paul: Don’t be afraid to dig around! You’d be surprised what you can pick up at a car boot sale or in a charity shop, some people just don’t know what they’re getting rid of. The other thing would be, don’t get put off if something isn’t in immaculate condition, for me video games are there to be played so even if you just end up with a battered old cartridge, it’s still a great addition to your collection.