How To Collect Classic Gaming Consoles

How to collect classic video game consoles

Getting into video game collecting can be a very exciting hobby.

I have been collecting since the late 90â??s and I often get asked by people what is the best way to get into collecting for a classic gaming console. The truth is there is no right answer, but what I am going to do today is try and give you guys some ideas on how to go about collecting game consoles and retro games.

One problem is the sheer amount of choice that there is available. Are you going to collect for every single system that has ever been released? Are you going to only collect on kind of gaming consoles lets say just Sega for example?

Collecting classic gaming consoles is best done with some thought instead of just jumping on EBay and buying whatever.

Where To Buy

When buying a classic gaming console you can either go the EBay route which does give you a little protection or the 2nd hand route. I can say that a few times here in the UK at car boot sales I have been burned buying a second hand system that has had issues, but if the price is right you have to decide if your going to take the gamble.

Know What Your Buying

Do a little research on as many gaming consoles as you can. Many sites offer great advice on consoles. Including the reliability of them which when you are game hunting in the wild is important to know. Also it will give you an idea of how much you should be willing to pay.

Things To Consider

Recently I was at a car boot sale and a guy there had an Atari 2600 jr console with a bunch of games and all the cables. The guy wanted £25 for the lot and despite my best attempts was one of these guys who would not haggle at all. It looked a bit grubby, but I knew the 2600 jrâ??s were well built machines. I knew if I got this home and it did not work that I had no comeback. But a thing to consider is what does the console come with.

This one had 8 games and two controllers so even if console did not work (it did by the way) I would at least have gotten some games and a couple of controllers.

Make A List

You can download apps where you can have your game collection and a list of games that you want. Or you can just make a text message or something of games and consoles that you are looking for. This will help you buying the same game twice by accident something that I am sure most of us collectors have done at some point.

What Should I Pay?

I know this is not helpful at all, but the fact is a game is only worth as much as your are willing to pay. If you see a game out in the wild and some one is asking for lets say £10, but you want to pay £5 try and see if they will haggle. Or one of my favourite things to do is bundle a few things together.

Sometimes though there are those games that you are just going to have to pay up for. An example I want to give is Turtles IV for the SNES. I wanted this game so bad it is one of my favourites from my childhood, but it is very sought after. I knew the chances of me finding one while out game hunting were slim to none. So I would have to use EBay. There were many on EBay, but I did not want to pay more than £20 for a copy. I soon realised that this was never going to happen and I ended up paying around £30.

What Should I Collect

For me what I tell most new collectors especially if there only way of collecting is lets say EBay. Is to pick one console to start off with. Lets say pick the Sega Master System and make a list of around five games that you really want. Now focus your time and money on getting these. Once you have these decide one a new console, but if you see a good deal then add to your Master System collection as well.

Final Verdict

Truth is there is no right way to go about collecting. Some people live in areas where there is no retro 2nd hand market at all and are forced to use EBay. Others will only buy from car boot sales and other 2nd hand places and do it as much for the thrill of the hunt as for there own collections. Above all else collecting retro game consoles should be fun.


Example of a collection by an avid classic video console collector

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

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