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Chronicling the Schizophrenic ramblings of an individual too freaking stubborn to use emulators and has a passionate desire to collect and play all sorts of retro games and consoles.
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Retro Console Collecting - Part IV (Ebay Highs and Lows)

Posted 3rd December 2010 at 01:14 AM by Schizo

After far too long of a hiatus, I have made my triumphant return! Real life is such a PITA sometimes, and I've just not had the chance to brag (bLOg, I meant blog...just two letters off there) about some of my recent finds/purchases/outbid/omgwtfbbq experiences on ebay over the last two months to grow the collection.

So I'm back, and glad you're all with me here.

*crickets chirping*

So we'll start off with my experiences and prices paid so far:

The Good

Ok, so one of the first games I wanted to pick up isn't exactly retro...but I loved borrowing them from a friend, and I decided it was finally time to add them to my collection. I'm talking about Knights of the Old Republic I & II for the Xbox.

Well, I managed to find a seller that was selling both...with the strategy guides no less. Seemed like a good deal, so I plopped in a bid for both and sat back.

10 seconds left to go in the auction, and I had been outbid on KOTOR1! I scrambled to place another bid, as I'd set mine far too low. I was fumbling around with the trackpad on the laptop (the two glasses of wine in me at this point probably didn't help any either), and the auction ended before I could increase the bid...for a pretty reasonable price no less (~$13 or so).

If I had wallpaper in my house, it would have peeled off the wall with the expletives that spewed out of my mouth at that point.

Well, now I was determined. The auction for KOTOR2 was ending in about 2 minutes, and now I was determined not to be outbid by this same jackhole. I bumped up my max bid to about $30 or so. Of course, the bastard tried to snipe this auction away from me too, but I ended up with it at the end for $17.50. Not a bad deal, considering when the item arrived, the game was flawless, and the strategy guide was still in its shrinkwrap!

I've added this seller into my favorites list. I picked up one more game + strategy guide from them: Okami for the PS2, for $20.50. Again, both the game and guide were in excellent condition. The only drawback is that this seller never really has anything older than a PS1 game + guide for sale, so that means I had to look elsewhere for some of the older stuff.

Way back when I was a youngin' I had a subscription to Nintendo Power magazine. Right around the time the SNES was about to come out (1991), they had as their cover game was an NES game called Vice: Project Doom. It looked great! However, none of the rental places near me ever had it, and neither I nor my friends ever bought it...simply because we were all saving up for the SNES at the time...and lets face it, as soon as I got the SNES, I wasn't spending money on NES games much after that.

So it had always appealed to me, and without ever having played it, I knew I wanted it. I found a Buy It Now auction for the game, complete in box, for only $20 in reasonably good condition. Boy, I snatched that right up!

The game itself is an absolute blast! It has driving stages, 1st person shooter stages, and side scrolling run n' gun stages. Wow, this is a lost gem for the NES. Pick it up if you can for your emulator, Virtual Console, or (if I've inspired you enough) see if you can score a copy for the NES too!

So my next game had a very similar fate as Vice: Project Doom. It came out well after the release of the SNES, and while it received excellent reviews, it was largely ignored by the gaming community that had already moved on to the SNES. I speak of Gargoyle's Quest 2.

It was a sequel to the original Gargoyle's Quest on the Gameboy. Let me tell you, this game is fun...but hard! It has some RPG elements mixed in, but is essentially a side scrolling platformer at heart. Due to it being released late in the NES lifecycle, there weren't many copies of it, which makes it difficult (read: expensive) to find a CIB version. I got mine for just under $30 shipped, which wasn't a half bad deal really.

From the same seller I also picked up Kid Chameleon for the Genesis. Boy, was I glad this game had the instructions with it. I never would have realized just how much the different outfits imparted different abilities if I hadn't read through that.

Ok, I'm lying. I did try to play through it without reading the manual. I got stuck, got frustrated, and shut it off. A few days later, I started reading the manual, the light bulb goes off in my head, and that was that. I've been playing too many modern games lately that have walkthroughs and tutorials on how to play. I forgot back in the day, you were supposed to read the manual first, then play the game...which is why I want games with the instructions.

Anyway, I picked up that game for under $4! I just couldn't say no to that deal.

The Bad

Yes, I get outbid on things sometimes. Probably the most ridiculous ones I can mention so far:

Kid Icarus (NES) - complete in box. Sold for $86!

Atari Jaguar with CD and 6 games - $235!

A broken 1st gen Sega CD went for over $50!

Seriously, were these people on CRACK?

And I've had one bad transaction on Ebay as well. I found an amazing deal for Crystalis on the NES, CIB shipped for $7.00! I won the auction, paid immediately, and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, I got a message from the seller about there being a death in the family, blah blah blah, I'll ship it out tomorrow. So I waited. And waited some more. Finally, I sent an ultimatum that they should send me a tracking number, or I was leaving negative feedback and demanding my money back.

The case is still open right now. We'll see what happens.

The Ugly

Ugly? Wait, no...this is where I boast about my biggest haul ever!

The Bonanza

Let me just run down the list for you:

Two Model 1 Sega Genesis Systems
A Sega 32X
A Model 1 Sega CD
4 Genesis controllers (one 3-button, 3 6-button)
A Sega Nomad
A 3-button Joystick
Sega Saturn steering wheel
And the following games:
Joe Montana Football
Tecmo Super Bowl
NHL '94
NHL '96
Street Fighter II
Golden Axe

And the following CD games:

Eternal Champions

The whole thing was probably worth at least $250 or so.

I picked it all up for...

(wait for it)

Eighty Eight dollars!

I couldn't believe it. That was the deal of the century as far as I was concerned! I sill can't figure out how I got all that for so cheap. Granted, there were a few issues, some of the boxes didn't match the games, and there were no A/V or power cables for the 32X or the Nomad...but still! This was an amazing deal, and I wasn't about to complain. Except for my own stupidity, which brings me to...

The Ugly

(I lied, there is some ugly to all this)

So here I got a gigantic box full of new system and game goodies, so the first thing I do is hook it up and start playing! I connect the Sega CD to one of the consoles, make all the necessary connections, and fire it up.

Well, the Genesis works fine, but the CD isn't turning on. Oh well, I probably have the AC adapters reversed, or maybe one is bad. So I switch them. Once I plug the other AC cord into the CD, I see a light come on inside. Huzzah!

I realized quickly that it wasn't a light that I had seen come on once I started to see smoke coming out of the back of the unit. That wasn't a light, it was something on fire! My cries of victory soon turned into screams of anguish. I'd managed to burn out the CD unit by using an improper AC cord.

So, what have I learned from all this?

  • Don't set your ebay prices too low - don't let someone snipe away a good deal from you at the last second.
  • Don't drink and ebay. Beating the bastard who is bidding against you is fun...until you spend too much money.
  • Some people just suck, and won't send you the item you bought.
  • Just throw a bid out there, even if it seems too good to be true, you might just end up with something wonderful
  • Mimes are abominations.
  • Check to make sure you're plugging in equipment with the proper power cords.
That's all for now. After all this, I've promised myself no more ebaying until after the holidays. Never fear, I'll be back with more installments discussing various consoles, and the variants on them...and why I lust after specific ones.

Oy, this was a LONG post!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled crickets.

*more crickets chirping*
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