I've been a collector for as long as I can remember. It wasn't always games and gaming memorabilia, as a kid it began with baseball cards. As I got older, I got really into metal music and action figures. Then in my late-teens and early-twenties, I got serious about building my gaming collection, and while I'm far from being one of those guys who have made themselves Internet famous for being collectors, I've managed to get some pretty fun stuff.
While I do have a pretty good retro game collection, you won't find anything too rare in there outside of a few NES and SNES games that go for $80-$100, things like Contra Force and Demon's Crest. But I do have some things that I think are pretty cool, and I just wanted to share them with you.
Honorable Mention: Steelbooks and Limited Editions
I'm a sucker for a good limited edition, I just love all the little knickknacks that come with them. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with a necklace in the shape of Africa that came with Resident Evil 5, but I'll take it. I've spent a lot of extra money on limited editions simply because they had one item I wanted. The Killzone 3 Helghast Edition maybe wasn't worth the money I dropped, but I really wanted that Helghast helmet.
I also have a thing for steelbook cases. While I don't have a lot of them, if there's a game that I want on day one and it has a steelbook (which usually comes as part of a limited edition), I'll always drop the extra $10-$20 for it. They just look nice and they're hard to damage unless you're actually trying to ruin it.
5. Resident Evil 4 Chainsaw Controller
I feel like I mention Resident Evil 4 in my blogs more than I mention any other game, but there's a perfectly good reason for that: it's an incredible game, one of my personal top 5 of all-time. You may have noticed from the earlier picture that I picked up the limited edition with the steelbook case, I love that thing; it also came with a t-shirt that wouldn't even fit my 7 year old nephew. Anyway, back when RE4 came out, I was a big proponent of trading in games. I traded in a bunch of PS2 titles and came away with a decent amount of credit. I had intended to buy a new game or two, but then I saw the chainsaw controller and knew I had to have it in my life. I thought to myself "It costs more than a full-price game, I should just pass on it and get some new games." But that internal debate lasted all of 7 seconds before I convinced myself by saying "But it's so cool!"
The only bad part about the controller? Well, it's not really conducive to actually playing videogames with, it's actually very uncomfortable on your hands. Also, it's supposed to have some sort of motion technology in it, because it claims that if you raise or lower the controller while Leon has his gun drawn that it'll cause him to aim upward or downward, and that's just not true. Not once did I ever get it to work that way. So, as a controller, it's not that good, but as a collector's item, it's great.
4. Borderlands 2 Loot Chest
You know what? I was wrong earlier. I've written about the Borderlands series more than any other games. Here, read about why the original Borderlands is a contributing factor to my wife and I getting married. When Gearbox announced the Ultimate Loot Chest Edition of Borderlands 2, I already planned on picking it up, but when they said that it was actually going to be limited to a small amount, I went the next day to pre-order it. Yes, it cost $149.99, and yes, I got the seasons pass for an extra $29.99, but I still feel as though I've gotten my moneys worth from the game. This is how you do a special edition. I mean, just look at everything that came with this thing:
For someone that loves the Borderlands series as much as I do, the asking price was well worth it. If there were a similar edition for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, I would be picking that one up as well.
3. Superman 64 Signed by AVGN
This is going to sound very hipster of me, but I've been a fan of AVGN since before he got hugely popular. Back in 2006, a coworker of mine told me about him and I went home that night and basically watched his entire catalog, which only consisted of about 10 videos. It seems as though his popularity has subsided somewhat over the past couple of years or so, but I still get excited any time I see that he releases a new episode.
Back in 2008, I attended the first Screwattack Gaming Convention, which of course featured the Nerd as a guest. Most people have heard that James Rolfe is nothing like his Nerd character, and it's very true, he's genuinely one of the nicest dudes I've ever met. Being the big Rocky fan that I am, I stood and chatted with him about the Rocky films for about 10 minutes before he had to leave for a panel, he genuinely enjoys just talking to his fans. While the whole convention was a blast, I'd be lying if I said the Nerd wasn't the main reason I wanted to go. So when it came time for his autograph signing, and I realized I didn't have anything for him to sign, I went to the room containing all the game sellers. I knew immediately which game I wanted to get for him to sign, so I went to the N64 section, and there it was: Superman 64. Now that it's signed by a pseudo-celebrity, that ups its value from $0 to about $3.75.
2. Paintings by My Wife
My lovely wife is very artistic, and she enjoys making me things for special occasions like Christmas and my birthday. She did our wedding invitations in 8-bit designs, and she's even made me a kitchen table painted to look like an NES controller.
8-bit Dustin comes complete with 8-bit lumberjack beard.
It really is true that it means more when someone takes the time to make you something rather than just buying you something. Don't get me wrong, I like when she buys me stuff, but the paintings she's done for me mean so much more. The first one she did was for our first Valentine's Day together, and it was this 1-Up mushroom.
Then for Christmas that year, she did a portrait of my favorite character from The Simpsons.
And finally, for my birthday, she did my favorite character from my all-time favorite game.
Yes, that's Blargg from Super Mario World. The enemy that appears in one level in one game. Blargg is the absolute best. Bring back the Blargg, Nintendo.
1. NECA Retro Figures
I mentioned at the beginning of this blog that I started collecting action figures in my teens, and that's never stopped. I kind of go in spurts and collect one kind of figure at a time. It started with Hasbro WWF figures, then moved to the World of Springfield figures, then the Jakks Pacific Rocky and WWE Legends figures, then I started getting into gaming figures when NECA brought out their Player Select series. They eventually started bringing out entire series based on specific games. Resident Evil 4 (there it is again), Gears of War, God of War, Castlevania, Resident Evil 10th Anniversary, and I collected them all. I just recently sold off my entire collection of NECA gaming figures with the exception of my favorites (I just can't part with the Big Daddy figure from BioShock 2).
But last year, they started releasing figures based on NES games, the first of which was Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th game. Remember how it was really weird that Jason was dressed in purple? Well, he looks great in purple as an action figure:
At this point, they've only released four: Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street (which I unfortunately don't have yet), RoboCop, and Predator, with a Rocky figure (from the Sega Master System game) and NES Batman soon to be released. These figures are absolutely great. They come in packaging designed to look like the NES box art, they're even complete with fake wear and tear on the packaging.
There you have it, my five favorite pieces of my gaming collection. Not the greatest stuff in the world, or the rarest, but pretty cool if I do say so myself. What's your favorite part of your collection?
Thanks for reading,