Video Games

Pacman Hand Helds – The Tomy Pacman Machine

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I think my first retro gaming memory is spending hours playing on one of these bright yellow Tomy Pacman handhelds.  I can’t quite remember which special occasion (it might have been Christmas, maybe a birthday) I received it, but from about the ages of 4 to 6 I was hooked. I did also have an Intellivision at the time which also got a fair workout. The Pacman machine was released in Australia in 1981, but I think my parents must have got it on sale a few years later.

The most interesting thing about the game, and how it differed from the traditional Pacman was that Pacman could only eat dots going side to side. This did make the game a bit strategically different, as also did the limited amount of “spaces” that Pacman and the ghosts could occupy.

 

 

The game is set in a bright yellow round plastic case which looked just like Pacman and had 4 white buttons instead of the joystick that was your typical Pacman interface back in the day. It also had and ametuer and PRO setting. The pro was way past my skill level back then

 

 

Sadly once I got a bit older, this machine languished at the back of a cupboard during the 90′s at my parents house, and is now nowhere to be found.

These machines were  released under 3 different names depending on where in the world it was released and are identical except for different label stickers and instruction sheets.

Here is the original commercial for the game, I don’t remember this playing on Australian TV, but then again I would have been just 3 when it was released.

 

 

I have seen the units sell for around $100 down to $30, depending on if it’s your lucky Ebay day.

 

Here are a few of my favourite Pac Cultural moments. The first is the rockin tune that is “Pacman Fever” (and just like the song says, it might drive you crazy). The second is an excerpt from my and my kids favourite Christmas show “Christmas comes to Pac-Land)


Ps2games

Used Video Games – Great Playstation 2 Deals

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I was lucky enough to score myself a Playstation 2 at Bondi Rd St Vinnies while on holiday up in Sydney. I have had my eye on a Playstation 2 for quite a while, having never owned one when they were new in the stores. I looked on Gumtree and Ebay but never quite got to the right deal on time. This one was at a very good price, and they even gave me a limited warranty if it didn’t work.

I was after a Playstation 2 as they are at that point of the secondhand curve where they are just obsolete, so people think that they are worthless. This is the time to buy up big (no matter what you are collecting). In this period, you can pick up games for $1 or $2 at op shops and garage sales, and pay low prices for large bulk lots. Everyone needs to free up space for their PS3 or WiiU game collections, and the PS2 games are donated or given away for a low price.

 

I just wish that I had the foresight for this when the Nintendo 64 went through this phase (the gamecube is still in it for some items). Once items go through this discard phase, they start to become rare and collectable. They are “retro games” (or fashion / music / toys depending on what you are collecting) and the prices start to increase over time dependent on the rarity and condition of the item.

 

So right now is the time to hunt around second hand places for PS2 games. As they are CD based they might not become as collectable as the cartridge based systems, but they are still great games.

 

Having come from the Wii, the graphics of the games are fantastic and the controller is novel and brings me back to my N64 days. I really think that although technology is pushing gaming further, there have been so many games released for a system like the PS2 that you could play an almost inexhaustible supply of them and not run out of games to play. People should not get stuck in the cycle of always having the newest things, and look at the resources that have already been created to fill all of their needs, including entertainment. Being caught up on “having to have the latest thing” makes you an easy target for commercialisation, no matter what your interest or taste.

 

 

I don’t spend anywhere near enough time gaming to warrant me spending $80 on the newest game title. Families with kids as well should look at getting second hand systems like this, as it is a great way to have an instant collection of games that they will love, and not have you forking out dollars to get the newest game.

Yellow Gameboy 2

Coloured Original Gameboys

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This great Gameboy find came to me as a complete set, with the case and magnifying viewer included.  You don’t see these coloured original Gameboys in Australia too often, so I did a bit of digging into their origins.

The first Off-White coloured gameboys actually came out in 1989. The original model were the only available type, until 1995. This is when a number of coloured models were released. The coloured gameboys were part of a release called “Play It Loud “, and came in packs with a case and game included.

 

 

The colours in this release were Deep Black (1995), Gorgeous Green (1995), Radiant Red (1995), Vibrant Yellow (1995), High Tech Transparent (1995), Traditional White (1995),Cool Blue (1995).

What I love about gameboys are just the simplicity of the unit themselves and controls. They really bring the gaming right down to a basic level, well below what people would have experienced on their console machines. The games do have a level of complexity to them which was of the age, but the experience is a lot more like the old Apple IIe, only on a smaller scale.


I have bought and sold nearly every type of Gameboy that there  is over the last 10 years, and now have at least one of each major type in my collection. They were generally quite an inexpensive purchase 5 years ago, and are still reasonable although prices are increasing, especially for certain rare releases.

They are also one item that the original packaging is rarely found with. People did hold onto their console packaging for whatever reason, but with handhelds this seems not to be the case. I regret having sold my Sega game gear a few years ago, although I still own an Atari Lynx in the original packaging and a stack of cartridges.

Hey I also found this site when looking into this, which is called Rarityguide.com. Here is the listing page on this for gameboys

I am still to really dig into what all of the stats here mean, but it looks as if it gives the Mint In Box and not in box prices and rarity values for a heap of retro / video game collectables. Good stuff that I will be digging into more.

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