Show us your collection: #12 Retro Nick – Part 1

Back over the pond with someone you might already know from his own fantastic website, Twitter (@Retron8) or from his Retro Nick Radio podcasts. When someone with retro credentials like these wants to feature their collection on your site you know you are in for a treat and boy, I wasn’t disappointed. In fact this collection is so interesting and Nick’s narrative so in-depth that I have had to take the unprecedented step of splitting it into two parts. Without further ado, enjoy Part 1…

The Collection – Part 1

Click on images to enlarge

TurboGrafx 16

One of my 2 original TurboGrafx-16’s. Our one unit broke down, but after replacing it, it decided to start working again mysteriously (maybe it was lonely?). On top of that is a birthday card my wife made me for my last birthday. Again, crocheted from yarn. She actually got Valve to let her release the pattern for that one. You can see it on her site:

Duke Nukem Forever, Bioshock 2

Won the bottle of Steroids and an XXL shirt from 2K Games over twitter. I actually paid full price for that Balls of Steel edition (which only pisses me off when I think about them producing more to meet demand and killing its value). The HD-DVD drive was actually something my brother’s German neighbor left behind that he didn’t want. Only problem is it’s missing the disc that goes into the 360… that, and I don’t own any HD-DVDs. Scored the Bioshock 2 Special edition for $30 thanks to a friend’s tip. Picked up that DexDrive on clearance and never actually used it. Never been a Playstation guy.

Collectible merchandise

These are some of my collectable toys and the like. I used to be really into collecting, but that got curbed when I started running out of room for stuff. I had also started trying to collect every single Power of the Force figure from Kenner… Until I saw Episode 1… Now I’m not really into Star Wars anymore (despite being surrounded by merchandise). Fun fact, it was actually X-Wing on the PC that got me into Star Wars in the first place.

The 'armory'

The armory I guess you’d call it. The orange Menacer gun and the blue Lethal Enforcers gun are on loan from a friend.

Other collectibles

That cup there is from Pizza Hut’s 1992 Street Ball campaign for March Madness. I also have the Basketball they were selling and it still holds air. Also, one of the few Star Wars pieces I still treasure is that beautiful popup book. Never seen anything quite like it. If you’re interested in really obscure collectibles, those two mugs in the lower right are part of a series of literary figures. They’re called “Toby mugs” and are the likenesses of Captain Ahab and Paul Bunyon.

Miracle Piano

The infamous Miracle Piano. This is one of my more recent acquisitions that I picked up from browsing our local Good Will. This version was after the NES version flopped, and features a piece of plastic with a treble clef on it to obscure the Nintendo Seal of Quality. It didn’t come with any hookups or software, but it is in working condition and only cost me $15. Know anyone looking to dump either the NES or Genesis interface cable for cheap?

Saturn games collection

I try to stick to things that I’d actually want to play, which is why it’s been so hard to bring myself to buy a lot of the crummy sports games on the Saturn to complete my domestic library. Sooner or later I’ll have a complete Saturn collection. I’m not certain how many games are here, but a lot of the Saturn titles were picked up in Wal-Mart bargain bins just as the console was going out. My brother and I picked up a ton of these for $5 – $10.

The "We have Nintendo" sign in this picture was picked up from the now defunct 29'th Street Video in Pueblo Colorado when they shut down. We also picked up a Who Framed Roger Rabbit display, a massive Street Fighter II Champion Edition banner (easily 12 feet long and currently missing), a Genesis plaque, and a bunch of tattered movie posters. This store is actually where my parents bought our TurboGrafx-16s.

The “We have Nintendo” sign in this picture was picked up from the now defunct 29’th Street Video in Pueblo Colorado when they shut down. We also picked up a Who Framed Roger Rabbit display, a massive Street Fighter II Champion Edition banner (easily 12 feet long and currently missing), a Genesis plaque, and a bunch of tattered movie posters. This store is actually where my parents bought our TurboGrafx-16s.

The 'Nintendo shelf'

This is basically my Nintendo shelf. Got the Virtual Boy, GBA-SP, Game Boy, NES Advantage, Two copies of a Banjo Kazooie promo tape (packaged differently for different retailers), an NES I picked up at a yard sale and a little parachuting Mario I got in a Wendy’s kid’s meal when I was 20-something (because, Nintendo).

US Saturn titles

Detailed shot of my domestic Saturn collection. I keep the imports in another case.

Master System and 32X collections

My meager Master System and 32X collections. There’s also a few of the surviving cardboard boxes from my TurboGrafx-16 games (we almost always threw the boxes away :,( ), You can also see my Wii, GameCube, XBOX, and PS2 games occupying the bottom shelf… Where they belong. And the manual for MegaRace is down there too, though that’s an oversight (love MegaRace).

Current-gen collection

My current-gen collection. Most of these were gifts from people fed up that I didn’t have the same games as them and couldn’t play online. There’s a few in here I really enjoy like Sonic Generations, Mass Effect 1 and 2, Bioshock, and Red Dead Redemption. I’m also a big Orange Box kind of guy.

Current-gen collection

My rig

This is the rig I’ve been playing on for ages now. All of these consoles are connected and ready to rock! There are 4 AV switch boxes (with one connecting the other 3), and I forget how many power strips. There are currently 17 consoles connected to this thing.

My rig closeup

Detailed shot of my rig.


Sooner or later I’m going to have to buy some games for that PC-FX. That was a Christmas gift from my wife last year.

Sega Genesis

Picked this Genesis 1 up for $5 at the distribution warehouse of Capital Entertainment, which was the company that owned the Blockbuster franchise I used to work for. Also picked up an N64 for $10, an SNES for $5, a broken Sega Saturn with 2 controllers and a carrying case for $5, and a Sega CD with original box for $10… My brother and I made out like bandits that day. The Power Base converter came from a Funco Land and the Game Gear in the back replaced my Turbo Express when our house got robbed back in ’95. The Nomad is on loan from a friend.

PC Engine Duo

This PC-Engine Duo-R  was actually an ebay win. While the listing said it came with the box (and it did), the asshole selling it to me failed to mention that he would be shipping the unit IN THAT BOX! One of only 2 times I’ve ever left negative feedback on someone’s account. Got the Console and Rondo of Blood for around $300.

 More of this great collection coming in Part 2…


Q and A with Retro Nick

When did you become interested in video games and what was the first video game you played?

RN: I first became really interested in video games at around age 7 when my siblings and I asked for an NES for Christmas and ended up getting a TurbGrafx-16 instead. It was really my first step to becoming a collector and I still have all the games and accessories from that time. The first game I ever played was a year or so earlier, and I believe it was either Crystal Castles or Space Invaders on the 2600.

What was the first games console or computer you owned and how old were you?

RN: The TurboGrafx-16 at age 7.

What got you into collecting videogames, computers and consoles?

RN: While the TG-16 really got me into video games, it wasn’t until five years later when the Nintendo 64 came out that I found my interest in not only playing games, but in the industry itself. It was around this time that I started reading tons of magazines and scouring used game shops and pawn shops for used carts, CDs and consoles. What’s funny is I didn’t even own an N64 until it was on its deathbed.

Where do you source most of your retro purchases from (ebay, flea markets, car boots etc) ?

RN: I’ve noticed that the flea market crowd is becoming a bit savvier when it comes to what things are actually worth, so I’ve been looking to thrift stores and the like for more common stuff (Sega CD games, Xboxes, etc…). If there’s something a bit more obscure I’m looking for I’ll hit up ebay and Amazon and try to hold out for the best price. Lately I’ve been searching craigslist for my first arcade cabinet.

What is your most prized retrogaming possession and how much did it cost you?

RN: Tricky question. I would have to say my copy of Panzer Dragoon Saga. It was a gift from my wife for my 25th birthday so while I didn’t cost me anything, it did set her back ~$170.00

What is your favourite console or computer?

RN: It’s a tossup between the Sega Saturn and the TurboGrafx-16. I still play the crap out of both of them.

Where do you want to go now with the collection?

RN: I would like to complete my domestic Saturn and TG-16 collections, but more importantly, I want to start picking up some cabinets (Virtual On in particular).

Have you any tips for budding retro games collectors?

RN: Seedy looking pawn shops and run down thrift stores are your friends! You would be amazed what you can find in any of these places. Also, don’t be afraid to stop at random yard and garage sales. They’re usually only interested in getting rid of stuff and will sell it to you for next to nothing. And finally, get on twitter! There’s tons of collectors on there who are either looking to trade, or have valuable knowledge that you can use!

See Part 2 of the collection here

Author: Ant Harper

Father, Husband, website developer, avid gamer since the mid-70s and collector of just about anything video game related. 8-Bit microcomputer and Sinclair specialist with a huge Sinclair related collection of his own. Blogs about retro gaming here but occasionally elsewhere when people ask. Bored of Mario and never much liked Zelda. Performs quirkafleegs for cold hard cash. Often found destroying ice crowns in the Lands of Midnight. Remembers: Lunar Lander. Plays: Steel Battalion, Gears of War

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