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: Atari Jaguar Developer’s Cart, 3 SNES M.A.C.S., and a Mario Pipe Phone

There are some real gems on eBay right now.  Check out the life size Halo 2 statue and Atari Jaguar developers cart.  My personal favorites: Patapon promo magnets and the Mario pipe phone…

GAMES

MACS~ The Multi-Purpose Arcade Combat Simulator ~SNES~ (label damage) Currently a live auction on eBay with 0 bids given its near total label damage and starting bid of $39.95 USD.

M.A.C.S. Multi-Purpose Arcade Combat Simulator Version 1.1e 1993 SNES Game (label damage) Sold Sept. 30, 2010 for $71.01.

MACS Multi-Purpose Arcade Combat Simulator Version 1994.0 SNES Game Sold Sept. 30, 2010 for $71.01.

This is the “Basic Rifle Marksmanship Program” game used by the US Army to train soldiers using a low cost virtual shooting range before bringing them to a real shooting range.  It’s interesting to see two of the version variations appear on eBay.  I’d be curious to know how they differ.

Vectrex Homebrew Game V-Hockey

Atari Jaguar: Official Developer’s Flash Card Cart Currently at $245.03 GBP (Approx. $389.35 USD) with 4 days remaining on auction.

This is an auction for a screamingly rare Atari Jaguar Flash Cart. These were originally developed for a trial program Atari ran in Florida that was to allow gamers to ‘download’ games broadcast over the cable TV network. The games would then be downloaded to one of these cartridges, plugged into the Jaguar and played. Unfortunately this never amounted to anything due to the stupidly expensive hardware required (on top of the Jaguar, cart, TV and cable box!) – however the official developers realised how useful a reprogrammable cartridge could be and started using them internally. They were often used to take demo and beta games to trade shows, or to send to gaming magazines as review copies. When Atari folded at the end of the Tramiel era all remaining flash carts and development kits were recalled to Atari for destruction – only very few survived, and this is one of them!

For those of you interested in more recent gaming history, this is the flash cart on which I discovered the finished beta of Total Carnage – this game has now seen a widespread commercial release through Carl Forhan of Songbird Productions.

In use the flash carts are plugged into a computer with a parallel port cable and programmed with a game image using a program called FLASH.COM (which I will provide on request to the winning bidder). The cart contains 4MB of Flash memory (very, very expensive at 1994 prices!) – as there are no games larger than this, it allows any ROM to be loaded onto it. They are fantastic tools for testing out prototype, beta and unreleased games.

COLLECTIBLES

Super Metroid 1994 Promo Standee 6′ Samus Display Currently at $320.00 USD with 3 hours remaining on auction.

1990 NINTENDO SUPER MARIO BROTHERS Phone TELEPHONE Currently at $14.99 USD with 9 hours remaining on auction.

Vintage 1980’s Nintendo Service Sign

Nintendo NES 1983 Punch Out Winter Gloves These are pretty rad, but I keep on wondering why they’re gloves rather than red boxing glove shaped mittens.  Perhaps that was a safety call by Nintendo…

Patapon Promo Magnet Set Sold Oct. 2, 2010 for $4.99 USD.  Being a huge Patapon fan, I love seeing stuff like this!  And what could be cooler than setting up a Patapon battle scene on your fridge?!

HALO MASTER CHIEF LIFE SIZE STATUE, ULTRA RARE 6+ FEET Sold Oct. 1, 2010 for $850.01 USD (+freight shipping).

IT IS A 1:1 SCALE REPLICA OF JOHN-117 WIELDING TWIN M7 SMGs. IT WAS CAST FROM AN ORIGINAL PROTOTYPE SCULPT DONE BY MARC AND GABY KLINNERT AT STUDIO OXMOX IN AUSTRALIA. IT WAS THEN PRODUCED BY MUCKLE MANNEQUINS IN GERMANY AND ONLY AVAILABLE TO EXCLUSIVE RETAIL LOCATIONS IN EUROPE THAT WERE PREPARING FOR THE LAUNCH OF HALO 2

THE STATUE IS CONSTRUCTED OF STURDY FIBERGLASS AND RESIN, WITH TOUGH STEEL CONNECTION JOINTS. THE ARMS MAY BE POSITIONED UP OR DOWN AND IT DISASSEMBLES INTO 8 PIECES PLUS A VERY LARGE BASE (NINE PIECES TOTAL).  HEAD, HANDS/GUNS, ARMS, LEGS, MAIN BODY(HUGE).

NOS Nintendo Super Mario Bros.2 Rare Wind Up Toy MOC Mouser Sold Sept. 27, 2010 for $22.70 USD.

VTG Nintendo Super Mario Bros. Ice Capades 50th Flag Sold Sept. 29, 2010 for $12.50 USD.

from the 1989 Ice Capades 50th anniversary.


Rare Games Spotted: Super Famicom Hotel System, N64 Fiber Optic Sign, etc

Hide your wallets and feast your eyes!  Here’s a list of fantastic rare video game items on eBay right now.

GAMES

NES – Devil World (Good Condition) PAL Version.  This isn’t the rarest game out there.  It’s just fun to see, since it wasn’t released in the US.

SNES AERO FIGHTERS COMPLETE MINT!!!

Magical Chase Turbo Grafx 16 North American Version!

Dynastic Hero CD Game Turbo Grafx Turbo Duo US version

SYSTEMS

SUPER FAMICOM BOX Nintendo Hotel System +5 games Apparently growing up in Japan meant getting sweet little gems like this system in your hotel room.  I’m jealous…  Anyone know how common these were?

Nintendo NES Console “DELUXE SET” Complete Rob Robot

ACCESSORIES

Nintendo NES**BRAND NEW**FREEDOM STICK**Nes controller If I had more space, I’d never post this one and would be bidding on it instead.  I’ll admit, I have a weakness for vintage wireless accessories.

Nintendo NES**BRAND NEW**MEGA CONTROLLER**Bandai

Nintendo 64 N64 Custom PINK / WHITE controller ! Look ! Yeah, you know you’re a hardcore collector when you buy a custom pink N64 controller.

Sega Channel Adapter for Sega Genesis Peripheral RARE

COLLECTIBLES

WE LOVE KATAMARI VERY RARE PROMO TOY PS2

VINTAGE SUPER MARIO BOX 16 FIGURES LOT yoshi,luigi,toad I don’t know what’s better, the box or the lot of figures!

1991 Nintendo General Mills Mario Magic Motion Rulers

NINTENDO WII RARE EMPLOYEE ACCESS KEY TO COMPANY DOOR ?

1998 super mario 64 cardboard cutout

original 2004 halo 2 cardboard cutout

VINTAGE Nintendo embroidery pattern, Skateboard Mario +

VINTAGE Nintendo embroidery pattern,Party Mario Bowling

VINTAGE Nintendo iron-on: Mario Madness, Peach + Toad

World of Nintendo Large Retail Sign Nice!!

Ken Griffey Jr.’s Winning Run Autographed Baseball SNES

Back in 1994 or so, Nintendo released a Ken Griffey Jr branded Baseball Game for the SNES. As part of the promotion, they had a contest, with one of the top prizes being official signed Ken Griffey Jr Baseballs.

I was lucky enough to win this contest as a kid. Now I’m ready to part with this baseball and hope it finds a happy home.

  • The ball is in MINT condition. (Any scuffs you may see are from the poor photos/ Baseball cube.
  • The ball is Nintendo branded, with green and white colors.
  • So far as I can tell, there is no other branding on the ball (ie, I don’t think it’s a Rawlings ball)

Playstation 2 PS 2 Blue Neon Sign Ex Cond Works 42″

Nintendo Zelda Action Figure Wind Up Rare Original MINT

Mario and Luigi Collectable Dolls

Nintendo Super Mario Bros. Kraft Cheez Whiz Jar 1989 Snubbing your nose at a 20 year-old empty Cheez Whiz Jar?  The last one of these that I saw on eBay ended April 18, 2010 at $124.99 USD.

N64 Fiber Optic Sign So pretty…

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

etc.

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

PAC-MAN VINTAGE CUP MUG HOLOGRAM TYPE 1980 COOL VG COND

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!

Spotted on eBay: Atari Service Manuals, Pirate Gear & More

Here’s a healthy list of video game rarities to get the blood flowing through your geeky little-retro-video-game-loving heart.  (Atari collectors take note of the service manuals and pirating gear!)

Rare Games

Super Contra III Demo for Super Nintendo SNES System Has a BIN/OBO of $99.99 USD.

Wacky Races Pre-Release Test Game NES – Extremely Rare (Sold May 25, 2010 for $171.06 USD)

Nintendo World Championships NWC Cart – Holy Grail Rare Currently with a BIN of $5199.00 USD and including a few bonus items.

Collectibles & Promo Items

World of Nintendo Fiber Optic Sign NICE!! (Sold on May 26, 2010 for $295.00 USD)

1989 Eureka Nintendo Easter Cling Decoration 4 Pc New

Patapon – super rare Sony PSP press promo pack (Sold on May 28, 2010 for GBP 28.99 …approximately $44.12 USD)

PACMAN UNCUT STICKER SHEET BY FLEER, MIDWAY 1980, RARE! (Sold on May 29, 2010 for $32.00 USD)

Modnation Racers for PS3 – Rare Press Kit (Sold on May 31, 2010 for GBP 80.00 …approximately $121.75 USD)

Atari Field Service Manuals

Atari 2600 Field Service Repair Manual

Atari 5200 Field Service Repair Manual

Original Atari Home Computer Retail Sales Manual binder

Atari 400 800 Field Service Repair Manual

Atari 410 and 810 800 Field Service Repair Manuals

Atari Service Repair Center Policies/Prodecures Manual

Atari Field Service Manuals – Huge Lot inc 800 1200 XL

Atari CPS Supersalt Manual for repair service

Atari Service Repair Diagnostic Controller Jumper Board

Atari 2600 Game Pirating Copy Devices

Ok, I think we all know that coping video games is naughty.  However, having the ability to copy 30 year old games somehow seems to fall into a different moral category.

Yoko Game copier for Atari 2600 – super rare

Unimex Duplikator SP280 + 6 Copy Carts – ATARI VCS 2600

Ended Auctions (This have all ended, but are none the less quite interesting)

NEW SEALED Super Mario Bros. 2 action figure: Mouser (Sold for $36.99 USD)

NEW SEALED Legend of Zelda action figure: Link 1989 (Sold for $69.99 USD)

BUBBLE BATH BABES NES NINTENDO Adult Game~ULTRA RARE (Sold for an even $500.00 USD)

Halo Reach Helmet This is a fan made helmet.  Pretty impressive actually.  (Sold for $217.50 USD)

Treamcast portable Sega Dreamcast with carry case, game (Sold for 147.00 GBP / ~$212.25 USD)

NEW IN BOX Nintendo Super Mario 3 Playchoice Cartridge! (Sold for $60.00 USD)

NEW IN BOX Nintendo Ninja Gaiden Playchoice Cartridge! (Sold for $54.01 USD)

NEW IN BOX Nintendo Punch Out Playchoice Cartridge WOW! (Sold for $62.09 USD)

FINAL FANTASY VII 7 PLAYSTATION RELEASE POSTER (Sold for $48.21 USD)

Uncharted 2 Fortune Hunter Edition Collectors Rare (Sold for $1925.00 USD)

GBP 80.00
Approximately US $121.75

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:

SYSTEM ITEM/GAME
3DO Road Rash
CABLES 5x AV Cables
CD GTA IV Music CD
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: Moonwalker, Turbo Touch 360, Taiko Drum Master

I hit the usual flea market this weekend and found a number of rare and interesting retro games and accessories.  My top find was a loose copy of Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker (sadly in rough shape).  Surprisingly, this is actually a decent game to actually play.  Since Michael’s death the game has become quite hard to find and has been hovering at about $40-60+.  Putting this one in the eBay store.

My other favorite find was a Turbo Touch 360 controller for the Sega Genesis.  It still blows my mind that there was anything touch sensitive 20 years ago.  I can’t say it’s the best controller out there, but it’s not that bad either.  As you can see from my finds, I love toying around with weird turbo and programmable controllers.  This one is staying in the collection.

Taiko Drum Master for PS2 was a great find especially since it’s complete in box.  I’m not sure whether to hold onto this one or not, so it’s going into collection/eBay limbo.

The rest of my finds were as follows:

GENESIS Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker
GENESIS Shinobi III
GENESIS Space Harrior II
GENESIS Turbo Touch 360 Controller
GENESIS Turbo Controller
N64 Beetle Adventure Racing!
N64 Space Station Silicon Valley
N64 Star Soldier Vanishing Earth
PS2 Taiko Drum Master Complete
PS2 Everquest Online Adventures
SNES Donkey Kong Country
SNES Donkey Kong Country 2
SNES Race Drivin’
SNES Jammit — Game + Box
SNES Programmable controller
XBOX Star Wars Republic Commando
XBOX Star Wars Battlefront