I am in Canada on the last leg of a work-related trip at the moment. I`ve had a pretty good time so far. I am originally from Ontario and this is the first time since the 1990s that I have been back so its kind of fun and a bit nostalgic for me. And China Town has turned up some really cool souvenirs:
Wow, a Famicom in the wild in Canada! So awesome. As you might expect this turned out to be a video game shop, but unfortunately at the time I was in a hurry and didn`t have time to wander in so I didn`t get the chance to see what it was like inside.
My second day, however, while I was walking down Spadina Avenue on my way to the subway station to make a meeting I spotted this place:
I made a point of dropping in once my work was done and I`m kind of glad I did. This was the first time I have ever visited a retro game store in North America and I have long been curious to see what it was like.
The store was pretty decent in terms of size and selection. It isn`t too big but they cram a lot of games from a lot of systems in there:
OK, now that I have said all the nice stuff about the shop I have to get into the elephant in the room: the prices.
Holy crap! I had no idea that retro game stores were so expensive in North America! Readers from that part of the world, I am so sorry. I just didn`t know.
My first clue that the games in this store might be a bit on the pricey side came when I noticed the other customers entering the shop:
|"The Lady will have that copy of Paperboy and I will take Megaman 2. My party will contact your party to arrange for payment, I assume you accept bullion?"|
As I was reeling from the sticker shock one of the staff asked if he could help me with anything. In reality he was a pretty nice guy in a sweatshirt, but in my mind I felt like I was being confronted by the snooty waiter from Ferris Bueller`s Day Off:
|"You're Abe Froman? The Sausage King of Chicago? I don't think so. Get away from those Genesis games."|
I asked if he had any Atari 2600 games and he hauled out a huge plastic container with a couple of hundred random loose carts in it.
"Great." I thought to myself, "this must be their junk games, they probably sell these for some fixed price and I can find a deal in there."
"Just consult with the guy at the front about the price of these." He said.
"Oh." I replied, feeling a sense of doom.
I picked out a few games that I knew were really common and took them to the guy at the front. "How much for these?" I asked.
He looked at them and then started looking stuff up on his computer, which I thought was a bit odd. After a couple minutes researching them he told me it would be 10 bucks each for some and an astounding $19 for a loose copy of E.T., possibly the worst and most common game ever made.
"Ummmm" I said, feeling obliged to buy something "I'll just take this one" and grabbed a copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark which I could have gotten for $4 off of Ebay.
I'm so weak.
Anyway, I feel bad to be complaining about the store because they seemed like really good guys running it and I actually don't mind dropping 10 bucks to support a place like that. Still though, holy crap. I SO appreciate living in Japan now and I am SO sorry for having ever complained about any prices in any Japanese retro game shop on here. I had no idea what it was like elsewhere until now.