Between the Toes of the Giant: Gam3rCon

Gam3rCon (2)San Diego Comic Con is a beast.  It’s the biggest, baddest giant in town.  Yet, surprisingly, growing between its toes is an event called Gam3rCon!  Rather than withering in SDCC‘s shadow, Gam3rCon is thriving!Gam3rCon Main Floor Racing (1)

In some ways, I scratch my head that there are gamers who live in the San Diego area and don’t attend Comic Con.  Some are just not interested, or they’re interested but couldn’t get a ticket.  Others would attend SDCC but hate all the hype and crowds.

That’s where Gam3rCon comes in.  It’s small. It’s gaming.  It’s not Comic Con.  This was our first year to check it out, and I have to say I was impressed!

Gam3rCon Main Floor (4)Ok, so Gam3rCon is small and independent…but not really that small.  These guys and gals rent out a five story building and pack it with an insane amount of content.  Upon entering, a gamer walks into an old church sanctuary that has been converted to a shrine to gaming with dozens of Xbox 360s and PS3s.  Shooters, fighters, and DoTA seemed to dominate the scene, while a driving simulator was projected on the wall.

Gam3rCon Retro Gaming Room (3)All the while, upstairs is a retro gaming room complete with Atari, NES, SNES, N64, Dreamcast, PS2 and a freak’n rad Fairchild Channel F!  Yup, that’s the room where I parked for a bit.

Down the hall is an art gallery with some solid works of art, and if you’re interested in creating your own art, we spotted some graffiti and silk screening going on as well.  Did we mention the huge, green-screen photo booth for those of us who are less than artistic?!  Check out our interview with Mr. Benja from The 8-bit Cubist for more on that art gallery:

If tabletop gaming is more your thing, there was plenty of that going on in the tabletop gaming lounge.  Up on the roof was pizza and comedy.  Add to that film screenings and a bunch of other stuff that we probably didn’t even find, and there’s something for everyone.

If you’re thinking about doing both San Diego Comic Con and Gam3rCon, we wish you all the best.  Both are great and worth checking out.  As a pretty active guy in his 30s, I was hurting after packing both into one day.  If they were staggered by a week or two, I would have loved spending more time at both.  Yeah, I know, cry me a river, right?

Regardless, I’m stoked that there is one more gaming option in Southern California.  Best of all, this small, independent gaming con is thriving!  Game on!

Check out the gallery below for a closer look at Gam3rCon.

Adding a Dreamcast Kiosk to the Collection

Dreamcast Kiosk (1)

Regret is a powerful motivator for collectors.

Back in 2007, I spotted an abandoned Dreamcast kiosk along the side of the road.  I seriously debated throwing it in my Honda Accord and taking it back to my tiny beach apartment.  Space for surfboards and a fear of scaring my new female roommate won out.  Unfortunately, I kept driving.  I’ve been kicking myself ever since.

Since then, with 200+ titles in my beloved Dreamcast collection, I’d been scouring eBay and Craigslist for just such a gem.  Unfortunately, these often pop up out of state, and shipping would cost as much or more than the kiosk is worth.

Several weeks ago, lady luck looked down on me.  Sure enough, a listing popped up on eBay, and it was here in San Diego!  I quickly messaged the seller about local pickup options and then realized that he might also be listing it on Craigslist.  Sure enough, it was on Craigslist too, and we were able to arrange the sale.  Best part about buying locally was that I was able to connect with another fellow collector.

Ok, let’s take a look at this fantastic store display unit!

If you’re a stickler for details, I believe these units originally had white controllers.  However, I think it looks great with the translucent ones.

Dreamcast Kiosk Dreamcast Kiosk (2)

The gaming unit sits on the top of a custom base that interlocks with the main unit by a series of metal tabs and a machine screw.  It’s no big deal that this screw was missing as I easily found an appropriate screw in our workshop.

Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (1) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (9) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (8) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (7) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (5) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand (2)

You can see how the metal tabs on the top of the stand slide into the base of the top unit.

Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand Locking Connection (1) Dreamcast Kiosk Base Stand Locking Connection (2)

I removed the back of the kiosk to take a look inside and to clean it up.

Dreamcast Kiosk Back Shell (5) Dreamcast Kiosk Back Shell (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Back Shell (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Back Shell (2)

What’s surprising is that inside the unit is a standard Samsung TXH1370 CRT TV.  For a VGA-capable system, it seems like the kiosk should have been designed to included a computer monitor or a nicer TV to show off the insane graphic potential of this system.  The system plugs directly into the TV with just the standard composite video cable and mono sound.  The unit doesn’t seem to feature an external power switch.  Instead, you simply power on the kiosk by plugging in its 4-receptacle power strip / surge protector.  Each receptacle is used for the following: Dreamcast console, TV, left fan, right fan.

Dreamcast Kiosk Back TV (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Back TV (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Back TV (2) Dreamcast Kiosk Back TV (1) Dreamcast Kiosk Back Power Strip

The Dreamcast system is accessible through a removable plexiglass door on the front of the system (see below for more info).  The base of the compartment is recessed for controller cable routing and for the machine screw that interconnects the top unit to the stand.  The TV’s controls are hidden by a plastic flap.

Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment (2) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment TV Controls

The system itself sits on a metal tray which raises the system up about a half an inch from the compartment floor.  This helps to nicely hide the cords and keeps the system firmly in place.  There is still plenty of room in the compartment for switching out games.

Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (1) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (2) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (5) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (6) Dreamcast Kiosk Compartment Console Tray (7)

The Dreamcast kiosk is notorious for super loud exhaust fans.  I pulled out one of the fans to clean it, and due to age the plastic was brittle enough that it cracked.  It sounds like I have a great excuse to put in a quieter fan!  Just for reference, the original fan is a Comair Rotron Sprite Model SU2A5 and is 115 volts requiring AC power.

Dreamcast Kiosk Fans (2) Dreamcast Kiosk Fans (1) Dreamcast Kiosk Dreamcast Kiosk Fan Replacement (5)  Dreamcast Kiosk Fan Replacement (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Fan Replacement (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Fan Replacement (2)

Unfortunately, the kiosk didn’t come with the original plexiglass door.  Instead, mine came with a piece of hand-cut, flat acrylic.  I was curious what the original piece looked like, and the seller was able to show me one instantly.  Funny enough, he actually had two Dreamcast kiosks at the time!  Collectors are the best sort of nuts!  I photographed the original door in comparison to my replacement piece.  If you happen to have one of these for sale, please let me know.

Dreamcast Kiosk Plexiglass Door (5) Dreamcast Kiosk Plexiglass Door (4) Dreamcast Kiosk Plexiglass Door (3) Dreamcast Kiosk Plexiglass Door (1)

Regret is a powerful motivator for collectors.  After six years of kicking myself about “the one that got away,” my eyes have happy Dreamcast swirls as I gaze on my kiosk.

In case it isn’t already 100% clear, I love retro gaming advertising and display items!   If you or a friend have an old kiosk, promo sign, poster, etc, please let me know.  I’d love to take a look at it and to chat with you about it.

Happy retro gaming!

Game Hunting: 2 Flea Markets = Dragon’s Lair Deluxe Pack

I had a great time at the local swap meets (flea markets) this weekend and found some great retro gaming loot.  I’d say my favorite find for the weekend was the Dragon’s Lair Deluxe Pack for PC.  This gem not only contains Dragon’s Lair I & II + Space Ace, but it’s a fantastic example of video game box art at it’s best.  I don’t collect computer games, so I’ll probably be listing this one on eBay…but not until after I try to play through it first.

I’m trying something a little new.  Since I track all my purchases, I figured I’d share out the lists below for those of you who are more into text than photos.  enjoy!

Swap Meet #1:

SYSTEM ITEM/GAME
DREAMCAST 4×4 Evo
DREAMCAST Airforce Delta
DREAMCAST Coaster Works
MISC 6x Rolls of Packing Tape
MISC Admission to Swap Meet
MISC Business Cards for Printing
N64 Banjo-Kazooie
N64 Lego Racers
N64 Ms. Pac-Man
NES Mendel Palace
PS1 Psone System + 5 Games
PS2 Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance
PS2 Dance Factory Sealed
SNES 2x SNES Power Adapters
SNES 4x SNES Manuals
SNES AV Cable
SNES Generic SNES Controller
SNES SNES Controller
SNES Super Mario Kart Manual
TSHIRT 6x Tshirts
XBOX Fable Disc
XBOX Halo 1 Complete
XBOX Halo 1 Loose
XBOX Halo 2 Complete
XBOX Karaoke Revolution Party
XBOX Unreal II

Swap Meet #2:

SYSTEM ITEM/GAME
GAMEBOY Track Meet
GENESIS Maximum Carnage (w manual)
GENESIS Tinhead
GENESIS Rocket Knight Adventures
MISC Admission to Swap Meet
PC Dragon’s Lair Deluxe Pack
PS1 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (sealed)
PS1 Dance Dance Revolution Konamix
PS2 Destroy All Humans!
PS2 Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 (sealed)
PS3 Batman Arkham Asylum
SNES Head-On Soccer

Rare Video Games & Collectibles on eBay: Atari Cosmos System, Atari 2600 Demo Kiosk, Promo Signs, etc.

It’s been a while since I put together a list of the unique & rare video game items that I’ve been watching on eBay.  Definitely check out the Atari Cosmos & FF Music Box.  Also, feel free to let me know if you see an item that should be featured here:

Active eBay Listings

2 Dragon’s Lair promotional Flip Books, Flipbooks 1983

Rare NOKIA NGAGE QD PROTOTYPE like gameboy n gage

Nintendo Famicon UFO Super Disc Drive Pro Adapter

Star Fox: Super Weekend – RARE Super Nintendo/SNES GAME

RARE ATARI COSMOS THIRD DIMENSION SYSTEM ASTEROIDS GAME

playstation 3 kiosk. perfect condition.

original vintage blacklite Nintendo GameBoy store sign Pretty unique.  I hadn’t seen one of these before.

Super Nintendo store display – System w/DKC as pack in

Nintendo Virtual Boy Tennis Game w/ DISPLAY ONLY! Box

ATARI 2600 IN-STORE DEMO CONSOLE KIOSK iMAGIC PREVIEWER Rare and awesome 24 slot demo unit.  I think it’ll sell for a pretty penny.  Any predictions as to how high it’ll go for?

Rare Vintage* SEGA Sonic 3D Electronic Advertising SIGN Cool & unique 3-D sign.

SEGA store KIOSK for Genesis Saturn – nice

Nintendo Halloween Trading Card packs Mario NES Sealed

RARE PAL Nintendo NES COSMOS COP Gluk Video Caltron

Exertainment Life Fitness Add-on Super Nintendo Snes

Castlevania The Dracula X Chronicles review paperwork

Limited Edition Biohazard Sega Dreamcast System NEW

SEGA MASTER SYSTEM STORE DEMO DISPLAY UNIT Kinda RARE!

Ended eBay Listings:

Sega Dreamcast US Broadband Adapter HIT-400 It always amazes me to see these network adapters selling for as much as they do.  As a Dreamcast collector myself, this is something I’m always looking for.

Donkey Kong Country COMPETITION CARTRIDGE, COMPLETE! Sold by finch_rocker_ak on January 17, 2010 for $879.99.00 USD.

Sega Sonic Sega – light display – video game store sign

Nintendo Power 1-79 +Player’s guides +NP Display rack

Final Fantasy VII 7 Aeris Theme Music Box Aerith RARE Sold by wreckcharts on January 11, 2010 for $2425.00 USD.  This is simply one of the most beautiful promo items I’ve ever seen.  Take a moment to listen to the YouTube video to see what I mean.

OFFICIAL Nintendo Racetrack Fiberoptic Sign BRAND NEW!! Sold by maldini11 on January 10, 2010 for $660.50 USD.  I have to say, that these are some of the most amazing licensed promo signs I’ve ever seen.  My buddy just got on for the Game Boy, which I’ll put together a post about when I get a chance.

Sale on Systems, Original Nintendo NES, Super SNES, N64, Atari, Dreamcast & More!

Here are some of my pre-holiday sales that should make some retro gamers happy!  Time to do some Christmas shopping!  (I’m excited to have pulled together two fully working Sega Genesis 32X systems, so definitely check those out if you’re a Sega fan!)

GamesOgre.net Discounts on eBay:  On Sale Now!

Use Bing.com to Save an Addition 8%

Every time I use eBay to buy a Fixed Price item now, I use Bing.com.  It’s simply nuts that they offer this deal.  On top of my sales, you can take an additional 8% off using Bing.com (Yeah, that means 30% becomes 38%!). Check out my YouTube walkthrough if you haven’t done this before:

Rare Video Games & Collectibles on eBay: StarFox Display & Jacket, Double Dragon Backpack, Dreamcast Broadband

Retro Gaming Collectibles & Promo Items:

Huge-Nintendo-Starfox-Store-Display

Huge Nintendo Starfox Store Display – Very Rare eBay seller “asmadi_will_go_on” explains the origins of the statue as follows:  “This is a huge advertising display that really wasn’t intended for stores but was intended to be displayed in Nintendo corporate offices. Not sure what it is made of – hard plastic, fiberglass, resin? It is rigid and hollow inside. I believe it was produced in 2000 and has no labels or any identifying information on it. I bought it about 9 years ago from someone who used to work at Nintendo. I was told that only 10-20 of these were produced. It is 46” tall, 27” wide elbow to elbow, and 21” deep from tip of his nose to tip of his tail. It weighs approximately 21 lbs. and is attached to a heavy metal base.”

Nintendo Prototype Trophy Figures Zelda Mock Up Rare

Metal Gear Solid banner (2′ x 3′ ) Not sure that this is a licensed product, but it certainly stands out.

Super Star Fox Weekend competition prize flight jacket!

DOUBLE DRAGON VINTAGE BACKPACK BOOK BAG NINTENDO NES For $25.99 USD + s/h (plus 8% off with Bing.com …gotta love that.) this might be a tempting collectible for someone.  Probably best that I didn’t have this as a kid, because I’m pretty sure that I would have been thumping on my buddies on the playground.

Rare Video Games & Accessories:

AIR RAID VIDEO GAME CARTRIDGE MenAvision FOR ATARI 2600 With 1.5 days to go on this auction, it’s already up to $2125.00 USD.  Obviously super rare so this will be an exciting one to watch!

NES Nintendo UNUSED AGCI Game Cartridge and Board eBay seller “lsutter“, who also has a bunch of other cool retro gaming stuff listed, explains that this is an “UNUSED game cartridge and board from American Game Cartridges Inc, a company that sold unlicensed NES games during the NES era! Responsible for such games as Deathrace and Chiller”

KILLZONE Collectors Promotional Kit for PS2 Maybe not the rarest thing on earth, but this is an awesome looking collector’s edition for an equally great game.

Sega Dreamcast Broadband Adapter Japan DC HIT-0401 These are super rare.  Even as a Dreamcast collector, I’m not sure what I’d do with it…connect to a fan server for some Phantasy Star Online?

LAB LOANER PROTO Ms. PAC-MAN (Atari 5200) RARE Atari

I’ve got a couple articles I’m working on, so please check back within the week.  As always, I hope you’ll check out the rare retro video games in my eBay store.  However, as I’m currently away on vacation, I’ve “hidden” most of my listings.  There are still a few auctions up that you may be interested in especially if you’re a Commodore 64 collector.  Plus, when my listings all go live again (probably on Monday),  there will be about 100 new items up.   Happy eBaying, vintage game hunting & collecting!

Rare Video Game Stuff on eBay: Bashi Bazook Prototype(?), Retail Store Display Kiosks…

Cool / rare video game stuff I’m currently watching on eBay:

First off, video game kiosks!  Man do I wish I lived near Santa Cruz, CA and had enough space and dough for these displays!  Someone please buy me the Dreamcast one!

SUPER NINTENDO Store Display Standup Kiosk Booth – RARE

NINTENDO 64 Store Display Standup Kiosk Booth – RARE

SEGA DREAMCAST Store Display Standup Kiosk Booth – RARE

PLAYSTATION 1 Store Display Standup Kiosk Booth – RARE

GAMECUBE Store Display Standup Kiosk Booth – RARE

PLAYSTATION 2 Store Display Standup Kiosk Booth – RARE

XBOX 360 Store Display Standup Kiosk Booth – RARE

I’m also watching:

NES HES LIMITED OFFER! 6 in 1 Real Player’s Pak Caltron (Australian release?) (Sold on eBay for $242 USD on Oct. 29, 2009)

WARBIRDS ATARI LYNX GAME PROTOTYPE VERY RARE (Sold on eBay for $36.00 USD on Oct. 30, 2009)

Bubble Bath Babes Nes Panesian Unlicensed Nintendo (Sold on eBay for $385.00 USD on Oct. 29, 2009)

CALTRON 6 IN 1 – NES – ULTRA RARE !!! (Great price especially with best offer feature…bummer it’s PAL)

NES The Flintstones Surprise At Dinosaur Peak BOX ONLY (Let’s see what people will pay for just the box!) (Sold on eBay for $235.50 USD on Nov. 1, 2009)

SNES Secret Of Mana 2 PAL – Complete hack BUILDING KIT! (It’s like Legos for the SNES collector / wannabe-homebrewer!) (Sold on eBay for $40 Euro…about $58.71 USD on Nov. 2, 2009)

Just ended/ending on eBay:

Nes Bashi Bazook Unreleased Prototype? Wii Snes N64 (Seems the seller is running this one as a short auction…that seems like a trick tactic to lure in impulse buyers.  He’s selling some other great stuff, so maybe this is a legit proto, but I’m not sure.  Do your homework on this one if he relists it.)