You never know what you’re going to find when you’re out thrift shopping. During the weekend of Oct. 18th, I came across some facinating finds at an areas flea market. Although I’m proud to have found a set of Pikmin 1 & 2, a sealed PS2 Gameshark, and an assortment semi-rare games, what really stood out to me were two things: a Sega Channel adapter & a Solar Pak for the original Game Boy.
When I first saw the Sega Channel, I just figured it was a GameShark or 32x Adapter or something. The vendor didn’t know what it was either, so we worked out a price of $10 for the Sega Channel and some cords, and I went on my merry way. With a little help from Google when I got home I discovered that I was holding a piece of gaming history.
Naturally Wikipedia has a great article on the Sega Channel. Little did I know as a kid growing up in small-town Michigan that Sega pioneered a games-on-demand service way back in 1994. What’s really interesting is that this wasn’t an internet-based service. Subscribers, for about $14.95/month, could hook this device up to their cable connection and download from a monthly selection of about 50 games. These included popular games, demos, and even games that weren’t released in the US. These games would sit in the system’s memory until it was powered off. Thus the user would have to redownload a new (or the same game) each time they powered on the unit. From a collector’s perspective, what makes this item so rare is that at the end of the renter’s subscription, they were required to return them. Add that to the fact that once the service ended there was no practical use for the device…thus, not many users held onto them even they hadn’t returned them. That makes these rare, but I’m really unsure about it’s value. Anyone know what these go for on eBay?
My second favorite find was a Solar Pak by Naki for the original Nintendo Game Boy. I found a couple of these new and complete in box. Below are a bunch of photos of my unpacking this item. I can’t find much information on it, but I love the innovation…and let me emphasize that this was made in 1993 for the original fat Game Boy…15+ years before our current “Green” revolution. This thing would charge it’s internal battery pack. Then the Game Boy would snap & plug into the unit for extra juice. I’d never seen one of these until recently, so I’d put it into the category of mildly rare. I’m not sure what it’s worth, but I think it’s so cool that it’s going into my personal collection, so I don’t have to worry about selling this one. 🙂
Half the fun of hunting for rare video games at thrift stores and flea markets is the surprise of finding unique items and learning about them. A few of these things went into my collection, but the rest of these rare retro video games are up in my eBay store.
PS…I’d love to have your feedback on my finds in the comments section. Anyone know what that “Sega Channel” adapter is worth?