The 2008 Midwest
was remarkably similar to the 2006 & 2007 events.
That shouldn't be a surprise, this is a retro
event after all. It appeared
to be just as, if not more, crowded than previous years so obviously classic
gamers weren't disappointed. For whatever it's worth, I don't see a need to
change the basic formula. I suppose when the Playstation and N64 officially
cross over from "stale" to "retro" we'll start seeing
more of them at this event. Hmm, that should be happening soon.. if the
Playstation or N64 was your childhood game system then chances are you're
graduating college very soon. If history repeats itself, everyone who had
one of these when they were 10 will start feeling nostalgic for them soon. I
am going to feel so old when they start showing up at classic gaming
I noted that TurboGrafx-16 games and systems seemed to be hot. That trend definitely continued in 2008. The cheapest TG-16 games were
priced at $10 for a chip by itself. Some games that I bought on clearance
for $4.99 in 1993 were commanding triple-digits now. I must have heard
someone ask "you guys have any Turbo Duos?
" at every
vendor's table there. Insanity. Where were all you TG-16 fans in the early
90s? On the decline was the Atari 2600. Every vendor seemed to have a giant
box of games that no one was interested in. Master System games, priced in
the $5-$20 range, were also more plentiful than years past.
: I have better digital camera than previous years, but I still suck at taking pictures.
: This is much shorter than previous reviews. The Midwest
was held at the Olympia
in 2006, 2007, and this year. The previous years I stayed at the
hotel with the family. It's pretty nice place so we'd enjoy a little family
getaway. I'd pop in and out of the show while my wife enjoyed the spa,
reading by the pool, or jogging the trail around the golf course. In 2006
and 2007 the event was held in the summer but this year it was in the
"spring". I want a few of you global warming alarmists to come see
the beautiful weather we've been treated to in the Midwest this year. Don't
give me this "you can't make a statement about global weather
patterns based on a specific region
" crap 'cause that's all
I hear in
misery-laden reports about global warming. "Some snow melted in
Greenland today. Based on that we're predicting that North America will be
underwater in 40 years. Never mind our opportunistic
prophecies about the 2006 hurricane season.
" Anyway, because it
was in the 30s all weekend we decided not to stay up there. I drove up for a
few hours, did some shopping, and headed home.
The images on this page are thumbnails, click for the full-size image (you'd probably figure that out on your own though).
As usual, my main reason for going to the Midwest
was for the vendors. I can't put into words how many
games are available for sale there.
Here's one of those boxes filled with Atari 2600 games. If you ever
considered starting an Atari 2600 collection you could get it 80% filled
in a single day here.
The folks at Wizzywig Collectables
brought a huge assortment of toys from Japan. It never ceases to amaze
me that items like these simply aren't sold in America. Yeah, we can get
some cool t-shirts at Hot Topic but does Nintendo have any idea how much
more they could be selling?
See back in the 80s, companies (including Nintendo) knew how to pimp
their characters. You name a product and someone was thrilled to slap a
video game character on the side. There's a freakin' Jungle Hunt game!
Other than Monopoly, name a single Nintendo-themed board game produced
in the last 20 years? Get with the program Nintendo, we want more cheap
stuff like this.
Now for the borderline-legal merchandise. Every year there are a couple
items that walk the line on legality. This year it was a table selling
custom made NES games. There'd be no gray area if these were homebrew
titles but instead they sold hacks and translations. Earthbound, iffy..
Zelda outlands, also iffy.. Final Fantasy III (now available on DS),
Japanese version of Super Mario Bros 2 (available for SNES), probably
not legal. Of course there's still a kiosk at my local mall selling
those bootleg direct-to-TV gizmos with 50-100 NES games so I suppose
Nintendo has bigger fish to fry.
Wow, I never heard of the Kid Vid before. It's apparently a cassette
adapter for the Atari 2600.
This is only a small fraction
of the systems & games showcased at
. These are pictures of things I didn't see at previous
shows (not to say they weren't there of course).
The Atari Lynx is always well represented at this event, but this time
the Game Gear made a showing. They had a playable system with a great
selection to try.
Although not classic, they had a playable Panasonic-Q. It's a Gamecube/DVD
combo that was only released in Japan. I gotta think this could have
competed with the PS2 and Xbox in America. Then again, who didn't own a
DVD player in 2002?
I have no idea what this has to do with gaming but here's and Osborne -
the first "portable" computer. I've seen these for sale at
numerous computer shows. It was an idea ahead of its time. Whoever came
up with it accurately predicted the demand for portable computing, the
technology just wasn't ready yet.
The Timex Sinclair 1000 was definitely portable though.
This was probably the highlight of the day for me.. getting to play an
Aquarius for the first time. It had Astrosmash running which was fun,
albeit incredibly crude compared to the Intellivision version. This is
an oft-forgotten piece of PC and gaming history.
Alright, I'm not really interested in the Roller Controller, I just
wanted to work in a Cabbage Patch Kids reference.
The Atari Stunt Cycle looks like something that could be marketed as a
direct-to-TV system today. Maybe even a crazy Wii accessory.
The Odyssey systems were just slightly before my time. Like snowflakes,
no two look alike. This is the Odyssey 3000, which looks nothing like
the Odyssey 2
or the other
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