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.

Gaming at the 2013 San Diego Fair

San Diego Fair Sign Custom (1)Game On Gaming Area (13)Star Trek Captain Kirk's Chair Tribble

If you live in the San Diego area and love gaming, today is the last day to Game On at the San Diego Fair!  Besides all the rides, great food, pig races, and other goofy fair stuff, this year’s theme was perfect for us electronically minded folks.

Our favorite part?

Collections!  Little did we know that the Fair allows people to display their collections.

Hand-made Items!  Created by adults and students, we were blown away by the talent and creativity of these gaming-inspired creations.

Retro Arcade!  Let’s be honest, shouldn’t every fair have a retro arcade?


Rare Game Showcase: Xerox Alto Computer, M82, Racermate Carts & More

Would you pay $30,000 for a computer? How about $2,500 for a Nintendo promotional item?  Collectors love eBay, and this past few weeks’ sales demonstrate that well.  Here are some of my favorite active and ended rare video game items on eBay.

Interesting Items on eBay

Rare Huffy Space Invader Muscle Bike Bidding is $40.00 USD with less than a day remaining.  Ummm, how isn’t this the most awesome thing ever?

Nintendo NES Mike Tyson Punchout Standee 1988 Bidding is $51.00 USD with less than a day remaining.  That’s not a bad price since one of these sold in 2009 for $445.00.

Super Mario Bros Sleeping Bag Bidding is only $8.00 with one day remaining.

World of Nintendo Superbrite M36R Promo Sign Bidding is currently $143.39 with one day remaining.

…This is a superbrite series made by Thomas A. Schutz Co. … The sign has World of Nintendo on both sides, except one side lights up and the other side does not. So I figure this was probably made for a store window to light up the outside and be able to also read it from the inside. … The signs measurements are 36 1/2″ long, 16″ tall, and 6″ deep.

Nintendo DS Neon Sign Starting bid is $50.00 USD.

Super Chair Nintendo Controller Accessory Bidding is currently $100.00 with 4 days remaining.

RACERMATE Challenge II Starting bid of $9.99 USD.

NES Super Stars 5 Game Store Display With a buy it now of $499.99, I’m doubting this will sell.  However, it’s an undeniably awesome way to display your 5 favorite NES games in their boxes.

Ended Items on eBay

Project Natal Animals (Kinectimals) Kinect ***RARE*** Sold Nov. 4, 2010 for $212.50 USD.

Racermate Challenge II Sold Nov. 3, 2010 for $211.38 USD.  This lot also included a top loader NES as well as the controller adapter for the Racermate cart.

Nintendo Mario 1988 Media Kit Rare Original MINT Sold Nov. 2, 2010 for $115.39 USD.

1988 Super Mario Bros. Zelda Pillow Case sold Nov. 1, 2010 for only $3.99.

Nintendo M82 Kiosk Sold Oct. 20, 2010 for $2,500.00 USD.

Xerox Alto Vintage Computer System Sold Oct. 17, 2010 for $30,1000.00 USD.  Yeah, that’s typed correctly.  This computer sold for thirty thousand dollars!

You are looking at a system-complete, never commercially sold Xerox Alto. This is grandfather of all modern computing. First produced in 1973, the Alto was WAY ahead of it’s time, including:

1) Full ethernet networking

2) A 3 button Mouse (first in a non-DARPA computer)

3) a Full-page portrait CRT

4) Graphical user interface

5) The first WYSIWYG word processor

6) The first integrated email application

7) The first graphical network based computer game (Alto Trek!)

8) The first WYSIWYG integrated circuit design software

9) The first implementation of the Smalltalk development environment

10) Bitmapped graphics, menu’s, icons, the “folder” metaphor for storage, etc….

11) Removable storage – 2.5 Megabyte (yes, megabyte!)

1980 Pac Man Phone Telephone Sold Oct. 13, 2010 for $29.99 USD.

Nintendo 1988 Media Kit Rare Vintage Original MINT Sold Oct. 12, 2010 for $122.43 USD.

Nintendo Game Boy Training Module Vintage Rare MINT Sold Oct. 12, 2010 for $77.82 USD.

Comic-Con Friday: More Costumes, Games, and the AVGN?

Friday was another great day at Comic-Con!  Highlights included fantastic costumes (It was Star Wars day.), phenomenal movie displays, and some hands-on time with some great games.

Oh to be a young Boba Fett…

And more costume randomness!  Did I mention that Scarecrow loves Thor?!

Who isn’t excited about Tron Legacy?!

Additionally, I was able to tour the floor with my buddies Tommy and Pat the NES Punk and to meet and booth hop with the Angry Video Game Nerd (AVGN) as well. Turns out that he’s a nice guy named James who loves video games…

I’ll keep this simple and will let the rest of these photos speak for themselves.

2010 Comic-Con Thursday: Lego Everything and Fantastic Costumes!

Day one of the San Diego Comic-Con was fantastic!  Hands down, people watching is the best part!  People go all out, and I have to hand it to any of them that put the time into making their own costumes.  Plus, did I mention that the trolley stations were written in Klingon?

Who doesn’t love Legos?  Seriously!  Full scale Lego Harry Potter, Halo Master Chief, and Toy Story characters were great! (see gallery at bottom of post for more photos)

Aside from that, it was great to demo some upcoming games.  As a big Patapon fan, I was stoked to get my hands on Patapon 3 for a few minutes.  It plays exactly as you’d remember, and the music sounded great!  God of War Ghost of Sparta played just as great as Chains of Olympus. (Time to dust off my PSP!)  Little Big Planet 2 looked fantastic and seemed to play quite well with the grappling hook.  Ironically, Bionic Commando for the PSN and Xbox Live felt clunky and had a totally frustrating grappling hook.  Red Faction Armageddon had a fantastic display with the ability to get inside of one of their mech suits!  Did I mention that Ninja Theory’s Enslaved plays great?  If you’re like me and are looking for a Heavenly Sword sequel, this is quite a different game.  However, these guys clearly know what they’re doing, and I’m looking forward to the full game!

Beyond hilarious was watching the dude in the shorts try out Just Dance 2 for the Wii.  Each time a person tried the game, they were given a promo headband.  As you can see, he has on 3 or 4 and was pure awesomeness! (Notice everyone dancing in sync except him…and, naturally, he was way better!)

Last week my fiancee Amber and I went down to the Microsoft store to try Kinect.  At best, it felt like a lame HD version of the Playstation 2 eye toy.  I had my hopes up that Playstation’s Move would be better.  You know, it has more precision with that controller, right?  Unfortunately, the Move feels anything but natural.  The gladiator game felt like I was playing pin the tail on the donkey, and the archery game was so tedious that I didn’t even finish playing its demo.  Seriously, Microsoft and Playstation, what are you thinking?

With sore feet Amber and I went to a viewing of the original 1982 version of the movie Tron.  It was a fitting way to wrap up the day, and watching it with hundreds of fellow Comic-Con geeks made it all the better!  Here’s the best line:

Hello, Ed. Thanks for coming back early.
[Dillinger settles into a chair.]

No problem, Master-C. If you’ve seen one Consumer Electronics Show… (shrugs)
What’s up?

It’s our friend the boy detective.
He’s nosing around again.

I took a ton of photos, so feel free to look through some of my favorites below:

Rare Games Spotted: Signed Halo Controller, Nintendo Sign, Zelda 35mm Trailer

As always, there are presently a number of fantastic video game items on eBay.  Here are a number of them from my watch list.

Collectibles and Other Unique Items

World Of Nintendo Poster – 1992 Kellogg’s Super Mario

XBOX 360 Halo ODST Controller SIGNED by Bungie Studios

Check out the rest of the fantastic collectible items being sold by goodgamemedia as a fundraiser.

XBOX 360 Halo 3 McFarlane Controller SIGNED by Bungie

Gears of War Lancer SIGNED by EPIC Games


Nintendo Worlds of Power Metal Gear, Ninja Gaiden , etc

Nintendo Mario LCD Watch MINT Rare Vintage Original

Nintendo Mario Yoshi LCD Watch MINT Rare Vintage

Nintendo Killer Instinct Leather Jacket w/belt complete The belt attached to this jacket is a sure sign that the wearer means business.

World Of Nintendo Florescent Sign

Rare Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask 35mm film trailer Check out the trailer below.

Halo ODST 1 of a Kind Helmet by Sean Bradley @ 405th

Vintage 1989 Nintendo Super Mario Bros. Plastic Mug


Original Xbox Store Kiosk! Playable display w/ extras!

nintendo nes test station

Rare & Interesting Games

NES Nintendo FACTORY SEALED RPG Lot AD&D All 4 Games

SEGA GAME GEAR – 30 IN 1 – GAME ULTRA RARE!!!! Oh the beloved multi-carts!

Nintendo Slalom FACTORY SEALED BRAND NEW NES Black Box Forget about Stadium Events!  Sealed game collectors are simply nuts.  This sealed copy of Slalom is at $404.00 USD with over 4 days to go!

Neo-Geo AES Blazing Star ** NON CONVERSION ** complete Presently at $740.00 USD with over 4 days left!

Goodwill = Retro Video Games

I have a fantastic fiancee. One of her many fine qualities is her love for thrift shopping and retro gaming. The two of us hit up about four different Goodwill stores this weekend.  Sure enough, we found a fantastic number of retro gaming items for cheap.  We passed up a number of items too (mostly PS1 systems, sports games, etc.).

Naturally some of these items will go into the collection and the rest will hit my eBay Store.  I’m especially excited to have found Mario Teaches Typing for PC and all of the old-school Blizzard games.  I’m holding onto those.  Plus, the Quest for Glory PC games by Sierra were a fantastic find.  A collector friend of mine was happy to add those to his collection.

The moral of the story here is that Goodwill is still a solid place to hit if you’re a retro gamer.

Here’s the loot list:

3DO Road Rash
CABLES 5x AV Cables
DS Guitar Hero On Tour + Decades Box Set
DS Guitar Hero On Tour + Decades Box Set
GCUBE Metroid Prime
GCUBE Super Smash Bros. Melee
GENESIS Controller
GENESIS Maximum Carnage
MISC Star Wars Figures Lot
MISC Mario Ball
NES Yobo System
NES NES System (no wires)
PC Warcraft: Orcs & Munans
PC Warcraft II Expansion
PC Diablo II
PC StarCraft
PC Phantasmagoria
PC Alice
PC Full Throttle
PC Quest for Glory I
PC Quest for Glory II
PC Quest for Glory III
PC Mario Teaches Typing
PS1 Intelligent Cube
PS1 Diablo
PS1 Mega Man X4
PS1 Final Fantasy VII (Disc 1 & 2)
PS2 Eye Toy Play
PS2 Eye Toy Groove
PS2 RC Revenge
PS2 Tarzan Untamed
PS2 Fatal Frame
SNES Controller
SNES Controller
SNES Controller
SNES SNES System (no wires)
SNES SNES System (no wires)
XBOX GTA San Andreas

Game Hunting: Game Boy Pop Up & a Cheap Bayonetta

I was a bit late in hitting up a local swap meet today, but I was quite happy to walk away with some solid finds.  A cheap copy of Lego Star Wars for the Wii, Flying Dragon for the N64 (now in my collection), a loose NES system, and Bayonetta (sealed for $25).  I’m especially happy about the Bayonetta since used copies still seem to be in the $40+ range or more…and it’s going to be a solid game to play.

One of the more unique but probably not really rare games I picked up is for the original Nintendo Game Boy and is called “Pop Up.”  It’s a puzzle game in which you used trampolines or bumpers to navigate a ball through puzzles.  Game play is decent actually, and the background music is fantastic!  I can’t found out much about it online, and I’m wondering what’s it’s worth.  There are a couple on eBay for cheap by European sellers, but none seem to be up for eBay USA.  Just for reference, this one says “DMG-OP-NOE” on one side of the label and “HERAUSRAGENDE SEITE” on the other, so I’m assuming this is a German release.  Interesting find for a San Diego flea market…