My family is currently preparing to move so we've been clearing out things we don't want to take with us. As we were cleaning and sorting out our belongings, I realized I've collected some video game stuff that I believe the folks here at Retrojunk would appreciate. I don't have a massive collection by any means, nor is what I'm about to share with you everything game-related I have. Since this is a retro site, I wanted to share what I have that falls into that category. Again, it's not a whole lot, but they mean something to me and that's what counts. I hope you all enjoy them as well.
This is what I believe I've had the longest. I received this Sonic The Hedgehog doll for Christmas one year when I was a kid, and I'm pretty sure my folks got it at Sears.
I remember eyeballing it while playing the Genesis demo kiosk. Anybody else remember those? They had somewhere around 4 to 5 games you could play. There was a big blue button you could press to switch games but you could only play for about 10 minutes before the game would reset on you. Anyway, aside from the coolness that comes from being one the first video game dolls I've ever owned, what strikes me about it today is the quality. It doesn't look or feel cheap and even now in 2014 it doesn't look any worse for the wear. I used to let my daughter play with him, along with his sidekick, Tails.
Tails didn't come until a year or two later after Sonic, and I don't remember where I found him. (Although I think it may still have been Sears.) While I'm impressed with the quality of Sonic, Tails was made even better. His two tails are still soft, and there's a little more attention to detail throughout. From childhood on through high school, Sonic and Tails would sit proudly in front of my pillow on my freshly made bed. Once we move, I hope to display them proudly once again for all to see. What I would love to find though is a Knuckles doll of the same quality as these two, because he's my favorite Sonic character. I've seen Knuckles dolls in my lifetime, but they all seemed kinda cheap.
Before the Sonic doll showed up, I did have some Mario figurines and things, but they didn't survive my childhood. The only Mario thing I had when I was still little that I know the fate of is a Mario pillow I used to own.
No, I don't have it anymore. My neighbor Marcus and I had one those moments of brilliant stupidity that comes with childhood and played tug-of-war with it. Both his arms ripped off and that was the end of that. My mom was really mad at me and all these years later, I really wish I hadn't done that. Oh well. I do still have a few Nintendo related toys from my youth though. The first is this Link keychain.
This was a Christmas gift from my sister, and I got it the year that Ocarina of Time was released. He used to have a detachable shield, but it got lost in the various moves that come with adulthood. Even without his means of defense, Link is still cool and I'm glad to have it. This is actually the only gift I remember from that Christmas. It's not because I didn't get others, but rather because I bought Ocarina of Time on Christmas Eve. I got paid for doing yard work so I picked it up at K-mart that morning (Last one!) and wasn't allowed to play it until after dinner when the yard work was done. I became an adult in the game that night and no gift from the next morning compared to Ocarina. They keychain sure was a nice compliment to it though. ;)
I don't remember if it was a birthday or Christmas, but eventually I received this Donkey Kong beanie baby.
I want to say I was teenager when I got this. I think it was when the N64 was out and Nintendo merchandise was becoming really common. But it's all fuzzy, so I'm not sure. The point is I have him and he's awesome. Much like my Sonic and Tails dolls, Donkey Kong is of good quality and hasn't lost any of his luster during his lifetime in my ownership. I used to have him talk to my daughter when she was real little and it made her laugh. A couple years ago, a coworker gave my sister a Diddy Kong doll and she gave it to me.
The timing couldn't have been better. Donkey Kong Country Returns had just come out, so my daughter and I took the dolls upstairs and played the live action version. She's played all three SNES DKC games so she knew what to do. It was fun. Good times indeed. Thanks, sis!
Now here's something that's really special to me because you won't find it in any store or on any website. That's because the following picture was actually drawn for me by my mom. She then framed it and gave it to me.
My mom is something of an artist when she decides to draw, and I will always treasure this picture. It's interesting she drew Sonic for me because we were Nintendo people. Now, if you've read Playin' Games With Brent part 2, you know that my cousin had a Genesis and that he let me borrow it a few times. But during the 19 years I lived at home, not once did we ever own a Sega Genesis. But you know what, that just makes this all more special.
There's been plenty of video game related fast food toys, but the only one I've held onto is this marble maze game from Taco Bell from it's Super Mario 64 toy line.
Sorry it's hard to see, but it's not easy to snap a picture of it. The plastic has gone slightly foggy over the years and you can barely make out the marble in the second picture. The whole point was to twist and turn the maze to guide the marble through the numbered pictures in order. Simple, but I think it's cool nonetheless.
Here's something I got really fortunate with. I found this at an antique mall about a year or so ago.
You can't see it, but the date at the bottom is 1989. The best part? It only cost me 2 bucks! I've yet to find a proper place or way to display it, but I'm really thankful to have found it. Being so young when it came out, I had no idea just what a big deal Super Mario Bros was when it was released. Therefore I'm thankful to have any piece of its history. This leads me to the next item.
This is a cd/book combo that was released with the Wii port of Super Mario All-Stars in honor of Mario's 25th anniversary. This should have been a highly sought after collectible, but Nintendo, as much as I love them, really dropped the ball on this one. Everything about the port itself was lazy. The menus for the games themselves still featured diagrams for the Super Nintendo controller with no mention of anything Wii-related. The port itself was just that. No additional features, no anything to make it special in any way. The Book and Cd that accompanied it could have made up for it, but that was underwhelming as well. The cd contained 20 tracks, but half of those are sound effects. Seriously, a whole track is given to something like the sound of a coin. The music that's there is cool, but there should have been more. Much more. This is the book what came with it.
Now, what's here is cool, but so much is left out that it almost doesn't matter. There's no mention of Mario's handheld games for example, or about his offshoots like Mario Kart, Mario Tennis...etc. Again, there's some cool stuff in here like this page showing diagrams for Super Mario Bro's level design and gameplay concept.
But it should have been more. As it is, I'm still glad I have it, but in the future I expect much more from Nintendo, especially considering how loyal it's fan base can be. We deserved more.
Finally we come to a gift from my wife for my 30th birthday. The history of Sonic The Hedgehog.
Unlike the Mario booklet, this is an actual coffee table book, and not an in-game pack-in bonus. And it shows. This book is filled with info on every game Sonic has ever appeared in up through Sonic Generations. It contains a history of Sega, it's consoles, all through the lens of it's most famous mascot. While I wouldn't dream of pouring out every detail from the book here, I do want to share with you some things about Sonic's conception. His first working design was a rabbit, who could pick up and catch things with his ears.
When it was decided that speed was going to be a major element, Sega began to work out what creature would fit with the gameplay. Seriously, it 's fascinating to here just why Sonic had to be a hedgehog. Once that was figured out, they worked on his personality. He originally had a band.
I could see this for Sonic, but Sega thought the lone wolf concept fit his personality better. What's really crazy though is that originally they wanted him to have a girlfriend named...Madonna.
This I couldn't see at all and I'm thankful Sega scrapped it. They decided that a damsel in distress would be copying Mario too much. This was their biggest complaint with Alex Kidd, he copied Mario instead of taking him down. Trust me Sega fans, this is a great read.
That's that. I'm thankful to own these things and I'm glad I could share them with you. I hope you game fans have some collectibles of your own and if you do, please share them. I'd love to see them. Until next time, stay retro folks. Thanks for reading.