Retro Times

First Issue: Collector's Item!
The Newsletter for the Retro Gamer in All of Us

Welcome, You!

The purpose of this newsletter is to inform, entertain and continue to breathe life into the retrogaming market. We will do our best to make this a monthly newsletter. Included in each issue will be any news that has popped up (like new games discovered, old games coming back on new systems, etc...). I will also do reviews, tell of cool links, spotlight different systems, and ask different questions for the readers to answer. We will debate the classic systems, games, and companies. So check back often and see what is new. Also, we are looking for contributors. Our only guidelines is that articles must be brief, have some relevance to the material and be clean. While we don't pay, you get a chance to let others read your work. Electronic immortality (or until we run out of money).

Question of the month!
If you were stranded on an island and could only take one classic game system and ten games, which system would it be? What games would you take and why? Before you start asking where we are getting the power source for this and other such questions, just assume the professor (as in Gilligan's Island) created a solar powered coconut battery. So you were able to use this for a power source. Anyway, send in your lists and we will post the most interesting ones. Here is my choice:

Intellivision - While Colecovision is my favorite system, the Intellivision has the best games as far as depth and replayability. All the best one player sports games and role-playing games are on the Intellivision and they would keep you busy long after most arcade games bored you. Here is my list of games and why I chose them.

1. Tower of Doom - The best of the role-playing games from the classic era. Lots of different games, different characters, and big dungeons would keep this game fun for quite awhile, hopefully till the rescue.

2. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin - Another great role player with a different perspective. Would also keep you going.

3. Super Slam Dunk Basketball - A very good basketball game and with the ability to draft players, adds some replay value to it. Also you can play one player for times when Skipper is in a bad mood.

4. Utopia - Great one player or two! Plus, you will be able to relate to the being on an island.

5. World Championship Baseball - The second of the baseball games, which is the same as the original except for one player mode and fly balls. Another fun game as sports games have some of the greatest replay value.

6. Chess - The Intellivision give you a decent battle and makes for a fun and challenging game. Different skill levels will keep it interesting.

7. PBA Bowling - Much like real bowling, as soon as you think you have it figured out, you mess up and have a bad game. With the ton of options, it keeps the game rolling (bad pun intended).

8. Royal Dealer - Card games are always good for another go and this one has a handful. Plus, the ladies on the game will give you a little company if you don't luck on an island with Ginger and Maryann.

9. NFL Football - The white label one with the one player option. Again another fun sports game to keep your competitive nature going.

10. Burgertime - Gotta have one arcade game and this is a great one. Good for when you want to look at some kind of food other than coconuts and bananas.

One of the things that is popular in every collectible market is to collect sealed, new in the box items. Whether it is toys, trading cards or Disney videos, people are always willing to pay a premium for a sealed item. Should an item actually be worth more if it still has the original seal? If so, how much more should it be. While in my own collection, I don't have any shrinkwrapped games in my collection, I have sold them. While I am not willing to pay extra to get a shrinkwrapped game, I do believe they have an added value due to the scarcity and the assumed mintness of the item. I do think people should be aware that a game can be shrinkwrapped quite easily, so I propose that shrinkwrapped games with original store labels should command a slight premium. Especially from well known stores like Toys R Us, Kiddie City, Children's Palace, K-Mart, etc... While it would be easier to duplicate a generic price sticker, these would pose a tougher challenge. While I don't know of anything like this happening in the industry, as the market gets bigger these problems may creep in. As a former sports card dealer, I have seen all kinds of unsavory practices like counterfeiting, resealing packs, doctoring cards and other practices. These are some of the reasons I left that industry. I couldn't stand to see fellow dealers ripping off kids, it was sickening. Not that all the kids were honest either. Anyway, I feel a little caution can help avoid any problems. Just my two cents worth.

One question I get asked alot is why and how did I get into the market of selling classic games. Most people have problems grasping the concept that there are people out there who want these games. In the age of 3D worlds, and FMV , people cannot understand the draw of these games. Well, here is how I became a classic game dealer. About three years ago (1995), I finally connected onto the internet and began surfing the web. I started finding items from my youth and teen years like Freakies cereal, USFL, Quark and other oddities from my youth. I started gathering some items from the past and one of them was a Vectrex. When it came, I started playing it and became instantly addicted again. So in my regular trips to the flea market and garage sales (I went in search of toys to sell at my store), I began to search for these. So that is my story.


That is all for this month. Come back next month and I will try to do a little more. Look for more news, hopefully some reviews and other gaming stuff.

-Tom Zjaba

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Tom Zjaba 1997 - 2015      

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