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Mr. Game&Watch
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The great Nintendo Handheld Games from the 80's ...!

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Can you please tell us more about your rarest/most precious VEG which belongs to your collection?

My rarest games are probably my boxed Tiger/Orlitronic tabletop games. Not many boxed versions of Smurfs, Monster Maze, King Kong, Smurfs (pop-up version), Lucky Luke (pop-up version) floating around.

Can you estimate how much your collection is worth?

I don’t think about the worth as in dollars. I think of it more as how valuable these games are to me. For insurance purposes I think I would estimate the value at $75,000 - $100,000 based on top prices eBay and offers I received for certain games.

Did you insure your collection in case of fire or other eventualities?

Definitely insured. It was hard to convince the insurance agent of the value without an appraisal. They only want to pay the price you paid rather than the value of the game. I actually started the data tracking of my pricing guide as a way to prove even if I pay $10 for a game it may be worth $200. I paid $1.99 for a game at a second-hand store and was offered $400 for it from a collector. That Tiger Space invaders tabletop that sold on eBay for a $75 Buy-it-now last year was bought at a garage sale for $0.25. There’s no way the game is worth only $75, but how do we prove it? I definitely suggest insuring your collections for its true value.

Do you receive your VEG primarily through / over online auctions? Which other sources for purchasing VEG do you have?

I buy 90% of my games through online auctions. The other 10% I probably get from stores and trades with other collectors. I would love to get more from trades, but it seems like no one wants to trade their rare stuff.

Do you remember details of your best bargain buy?

I’ve given up on ever getting bargains. However, I did get a boxed Actronics GrandPrix Turbo (joystick version) for $18. That was nice. I also got a boxed Pomcard tabletop in Japan for $0.10 and an Operation Z tabletop from France for $1.00. That was nice also.

Do you also collect other things beside handhelds like game consoles, old computers, stamps, coins or similar?

I collect a few Nintendo items. (NES and SNES) and dolls made by Shindana.
I don’t collect anything to the degree that I collect VEGs. They are definitely my obsession.

Since our community focuses more on “Nintendo Game & Watch” handhelds we would like to continue with some details about this topic. We hope that’s ok for you?

Can you please tell us more about the G&W items which are part of your collection and what kind of significance/rating this brand has for you?

I don’t have a large G&W collection, but that’s changing. I’m trying to buy all or nearly all Nintendo G&W’s (MIB) in one big deal. I’ve been negotiating with some collectors/dealers for them. If your readers have a set of 10 or more MIB for sale tell them to contact me. :-)

Do you also own or collect special editions of G&W handhelds like carded games/blister packs, editions with other case color or country specific G&W versions like Pocketsize, tricOtronic etc.?

No, this is probably the biggest whole in my collection. I’m collecting them slowly, but surely. Anything with a joystick is on the top of my want list.

What is your favorite G&W handheld and why do you like this game in particular?

Donkey Kong. It’s a classic and I remember it from childhood. Almost everyone who looks at my collection asks, ‘where’s the Donkey Kong in the orange case?’

Prices for G&W games are consistently increasing. Will prices continue to rise in your opinion? Do you think that the prices for non-G&W handhelds will increase simultaneously?

I think all them will continue to increase. More and more people are starting to collect and rare G&W’s in mint condition are disappearing into collections. Even in Japan where G&W’s can be found at reasonable prices, the prices for rare games are skyrocketing. It’s simple supply and demand. The demand is increasing and the supply is decreasing.

For the last topic let’s talk about your book Watson's 2007 - 2008 Price Guide for Vintage Electronic Games collectors:

What were your reasons to publish this book?

I tend to respond to all email and answer questions especially for new collectors since I remember how hard it was to get people to respond to my questions about collecting when I first started. One new collector started emailing at least 3-4 times per week asking if this game was rare or if that game was highly desirable. I was getting more and more questions so I thought if I took the work I did for insurance purposes I could probably make a book out it and it would be beneficial to people just starting out selling or buying. New collectors really do need some type of guide.

How long did it take you to finish the book (from the first idea to the release)?

It’s hard to say since it did not start out as a book. I would estimate about 6 - 9 months.
The last few weeks were the hardest, but once I finished I felt great.

Are all VEG of your collection published in the book and if not, which ones are missing?

Tons are missing. Too many to name. I plan to publish a version 2 with about 250 more.
Once I decided to publish a pricing guide I wanted to put something out there quickly and get feedback from friends and collectors. The feedback has been great. You guys have identified multiple areas for me to improve. :-)

Did you know the collectors personally before you presented them in your book and how did you take notice of those collectors?

I see posts from some of the collectors on the handheld Museum’s forum and have exchanged emails with some, but I have never met them. I posted a message saying what I was doing and asked if anyone wanted to show off their collections in the book. I was a little disappointed at the lack of responses, but it seemed like everyone thought their collection wasn’t “good enough”, it was packed away in storage or they didn’t have a camera. I’m hoping some of your readers will submit pictures of their collections and tell us about themselves for Revision 2. I have gotten so many questions about the collector’s corner. I really want to expand it in Revision 2.

Do you plan to publish a new edition of your book? If so, when will it be available?

Yes. I’m hoping to make it available January 2008. It won’t include the checklists since those don’t change drastically, but I will try to double the number of games in book. I’ve gotten requests for more LCD’s.

Do you plan to publish other books about VEG?

I’ve thought about it. I really would like to publish something about fixing the games. I’ve taken pictures and written the details about some of the games I fix, but haven’t published anything. I may add something like that to the next revision. I’m not sure yet.

A last question in general:

How do you think the VEG collecting market will develop in future? Do you think that the demand of VEG will rise, fall or stagnate in the next 10 years?

I think the market will take off in about 5 years and continue to grow. It seems like more and more collectors start collecting every year. I think if we want this hobby to truly take off we need to make it more visible to the public. Remind the 30 - 40 year olds of their childhood toys.

We would like to thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions which will facilitate us to have a better view of this particular market. Your opinion as a professional collector is really important for us. If you would like to give us any advises or more information, feel free to add your thoughts afterwards.

Thank you for contacting me. This is one subject I love talking about.

Part of Linda's collection: