Retro Gaming 101 – Ponchos, Wrenches and Tea Cosies

Yes I know – It’s been a few weeks since my last post. Apologies, but time has just gotten away from me. That’s how life works though, right?

So let’s recap, last time I told you about how, through the power of You Tube, I have started to develop an interest in building a game collection, whether that would be SNES, N64, Dreamcast, etc. In the end I decided to begin with collecting Sony games, which includes the extensive PS1 library, all the way up to the current PS3 system (still giving the PS4 a year or so to get started.) Although I may start on Nintendo at some point (I do have a building Gamecube and Wii library) but, for now, my main focus will be on Sony.

So that’s what I’ve started on, and boy let me tell you, I’ve learnt something over the last few weeks, and that would be that seeing a bunch of guys doing something on the internet, as opposed to doing that same activity in your own backyard, are two VERY different things.

Case in point – below Billy and Jay, known to the Retro Gaming universe as the Game Chasers, head to their local Flea Market to see what great pickups they can find.

This, along with other cool you tube channels, such as Retro Liberty, Metal Jesus and Pat the NES Punk, is what inspired me, along with possibly other Gaming fans, to head out to their own local Flea Market to try and find their own super-cool pickups.

This is where my first hurdle came up.

The thing is, here in Australia, we don’t exactly have what America would call ‘Flea Markets’ (or at the very least, not in the Sydney/NSW area.) Even the word ‘Market’ is a very grey description, as especially here in Australia, there are multiple types of markets. Obviously I wasn’t going to find a Zelda game floating amongst potatoes and spinach at the local farmers or growers market. However, most other ‘markets’ can vary in their definition, as I found out the hard way.

In order to get started with the Market raiding, I felt a little homework was in order – with a little googling, I compiled a list of possible Markets to try out, spreading from Central Coast areas like Davistown, to the Western Sydney suburb of Liverpool. I figured the easiest thing to do would be to just go and try my luck at each market and see what happens. Seeing as Garage Sales seemed to also be potential Retro hotspots, I also thought to screen the local paper for Garage Sale listings, and began one Saturday morning hitting up my local area.


A ‘Market’ out in Davistown was a bust, I found myself in a rather run down community hall, for what was obviously a ‘Art and Craft’ market, and the strange looks from seniors had me back in my car and back on the road in a heartbeat. Another weekend I tried the Glebe market, and found nothing but jewellery, patchwork, and hipster stalls involving hemp bags and tribal drums. The other extreme was a market out at Liverpool, which consisted mostly of cheap jewellery and luggage. Sometimes what you find that even comes close to what can be described as ‘Video Games’ are mostly pirated Nintendo DS cards, or cheap Wii accessories. My ‘Market list’ has over time started to be narrowed down quite a bit.

Garage Sales are only slightly better, it can be very much hit and miss. Some places can feel very morbid, as they come in the form of deceased estates, which personally I feel awkward rummaging some poor old ladys belongings. On the brightside, I did manage to have a few hits, picking up GTA3, Destroy All Humans, and Dynasty Warriors 5 for only 5 dollars each. Those finds, while only small, were enough to spur me along, keen to see what other Retro finds I could pick up.

This is where I discovered the beauty and pleasure of the Car Boot Sale. My first one was a journey out to Woy Woy one early sunday morning, I was slightly skeptical, thinking it would be mostly clothes and kids toys. I was pleasantly surprised – amongst the old board games, crafts, and old electrical products, I found a few stalls housing not just PS2 games, but Game Boy games, Xbox games, and even though I didn’t pick it up at the time, a Sega Mega Drive. I found that I could get further success with subsequent visits to Car Boot Sales in other surrounding areas, picking up various PS1 and PS2 games.

The beauty of the Car Boot Sale is meant to be that every one is different, with different people each time lining up to sell their old goods, which potentially means different outcomes for Retro Game Hunting each one I visit. Plus there’s a sausage sizzle. You can’t go wrong with a Sausage Sizzle. Just ask Bunnings.

So that’s my result. Like I said, Australia has a very different market system to what America does. But I think with regular visits to Garage Sales, Car Boot Sales, plus some visits to other places like Pawn shops, Op Shops, and of course Ebay, I think Retro Game collecting will be a very enjoyable hobby indeed. And that’s before I’ve even played anything.

I’ll have more on Retro collecting in the future. Happy Hunting!


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