Video Games Posts

You’ll Love These Valentine’s Day Collectibles

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

Ron Ruelle hobbyDB

February 14 can only mean one thing at hobbyDB: It’s time to share our love of Valentine’s Day collectibles!

Hot Wheels has experimented over the years with holiday-related segments, with mixed results. Christmas cars have been enormously popular, possibly because their mere existence helps solve the gift giving aspect of the holiday. On the other hand, collectors might balk at paying for premium price cars in a series of 4 or 6 models to commemorate a holiday like Mardi Gras. Somewhere in between those extremes lie the Valentine’s Day cars. Presumably the paramour of a collector is supposed to purchase these as a gift, because the collector likely wouldn’t want to give them away, right?

hot wheels roger dodger

hot wheels tesla roadsterNow here’s the sneaky thing… for some years, the Valentine’s cars have included a “To/From” space on the packaging like on this Tesla Roadster. When lovingly filled out, that actually ruined the “mint on card” status of the car. Oops! Such a transgression would likely drive a collector mad, so the only solution was to buy another set to keep fresh and perfect.

The 2014 Sweet Rides series were designed to promote a softer sell on Valentine’s Day with more of a candy-themed promotion. Either way, that’s six more vehicles you needed to collect.

For 2017, rather than a set of several cars, Matell is issuing a series of “Holiday Racers,” one for each special day throughout the year. They’re mixed in with the mainline offerings, and the Rodger Dodger is the one to be looking for today. Keep an eye out for New Year’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas soon as well.

Hot Wheels has also produced boxes of Valentine’s cards, featuring such sentiments as “I WHEELIE like you” or “I never TIRE of you.” They usually come in packs of 24, 28, hopefully enough for your entire class, including one for the teacher.

hot wheels valentine's cards

Corgi delivered their love for the holiday with this Citroen Moving Van… Okay, that might be a stretch. So how about this Minichamps BMW touring car from Team Valentin. That should get your heart racing.

corgi valentine

Long before Tinder, Zoosk, and other dating apps, you could play the Dating Valentine video game. Since online play wasn’t really a thing yet, one can only assume this was an exercise in unrequited gaming. It was made for the iMode Handy, which is obscure enough that anyone using one was probably extra lonely. 

dating valentine game

Kidrobot has gotten in on the love theme in their unusual way… A romantically themed version of the company mascot was released in 2005, and more recently, the Best Friends Forever series of figures included objects that defied the odds to be together, such as a cassette tape and a magnet, or a wedge of cheese and a grater. There’s a metaphor for every type of relationship in the collectibles world.

kidrobot love

Ponder this item: A Snow White postcard, somewhat romantic in nature (although the Seven Dwarfs might get in the way of things). While not specifically produced for February 14, they were printed by… Valentine and Sons.

show white postcard

Milton Bradley’s Mystery Date first appeared in 1965, introducing a generation of girls to the art judging boys for their outward appearance instead of what’s inside. (As someone who resembled “The Pest”, aka the supposed dud, I was not in the least traumatized by the existence of this game. Nope, not me!) As a bonus, the 1999 edition of the game featured a hunky kid named Tyler, aka the “Beach Date,” who would grow up to be Captain America. No, really, that’s Chris Evans, who has played Cap in several Marvel films. Seriously, how’s a guy supposed to compete with that?

mystery date chris evans

Even if you can’t find that special someone for Valentine’s Day, you can still find that special collectors item.

Top 10 Most Valuable NES Games

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-2-41-25-pm A Guest Blog Post by Dylan from ArcadeAttack.co.uk (Retro Gaming Blog)

This article was originally written for Rareburg, who in December, has joined forces with hobbyDB to provide an excellent source of collectible knowhow for the community. Dylan shares with you his thoughts on past favorites and unearthed ‘gems’ alike that are considered to be the top 10 most valuable NES games.

10. Peek-A-Boo Poker

Created by Hacker International in 1991, Peek-A-Boo Poker is one of their three adult titles made for the NES. The other two: Bubble Bath Babes and Hot Slots are unsurprisingly, also extremely rare.

One of the oldest adult video games ever released, it’s rare as the first distribution was limited to a few ‘select’ retailers.

Cartridge Price: £450.00 / $690.00

New / Boxed Price: £981.00 / $1,500.00

9. Flintstones Surprise at Dinosaur Peak

Released in 1994 by Taito, it’s rumored that this was meant to be an exclusive Blockbuster Video rental game only. As many people had moved onto the 16-bit consoles by 94, demand was low. Due to its incarnation as a rental exclusive, obtaining the box and manual is extremely difficult.

Cartridge Price: £457.00 / $699.00

New / Boxed Price: £801.00 / $1,225.00

8. Cheetahmen 2

An ambitious group of characters created by Active Enterprises on their Action 52 NES compilation cartridge, The Cheetahmen was is known as being one of the worst video games ever made. Active expected Action 52 to be a massive hit, so Cheetahmen 2 came to being.

Never officially released or completed (only 6 of the 10 levels were finished), it looked set to disappear into the ether. But miracles do happen, 1500 copies of it were discovered in 1996 and promptly sold. Such a low figure obviously makes it a must for any retro game collector.

Cartridge Price: £471.00 / $721.00

New / Boxed Price: £841.00 / $1,286.00

7. Little Samson

The little known Samson (see what we did there) is a platformer in the mould of the popular Mega Man titles. Created by Takeru and published by Taito, it’s unique in the sense that there’s no game dialogue (spoken or written – unheard of these days!). It’s considered one of the best games ever released on the NES, featuring graphics that squeeze out the very best from the 8-bit. For reasons unknown, the game sold very badly when released – which seems odd as it was released in 1992 when decent platformers sold incredibly well. For this reason, there aren’t many copies around.

Cartridge Price: £497.00 / $760.00

New / Boxed Price: £497.00 / $760.00

6. Zelda Test Cartridge

Why was the yellow Zelda cartridge ever made? Most believe they were utilised by Nintendo Service Centres to check if the game worked on various hardware and third-party accessories. They contain the same Legend of Zelda game you’d normally find in the original grey or gold packaging. How many of them are out there? Not many, as it turns out.

Cartridge Price: £526.00 / $805.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-3-20-31-pm

5. Myriad 6-in-1

An exact copy of the Caltron 6-in-1 game, with a new sticker plastered over it, this collectable unlicensed game consists of: Cosmos Cop; Magic Carpet 1001; Balloon Monster; Adam & Eve; Porter and Bookyman which all received bad reviews at the time and when you look closely are poor imitations of other popular NES titles.

The Myriad version is extremely rare as it’s believed that less than 100 copies of the game exist.

Cartridge Price: £768.00 / $1,175.00

New / Boxed Price: £3,502.00 / $5,355.00

screen-shot-2016-12-09-at-3-33-41-pm

4. Family Fun Fitness Stadium Events (NTSC North American version)

Although the PAL version of the game is quite rare (achieves around £300.00), the NTSC version is the true jewel in the crown. Only 200 copies of it were ever released to the public for purchase.

Developed by Bandai, it worked alongside the Family Fun Fitness mat, a running accessory for the NES. And you thought the Wii was innovative…

Cartridge Price: £5,424.00 / $8,292.00

New / Boxed Price: £22,960.00 / $35,100.00

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-11-24-18-am

3. Nintendo World Championship

The inaugural Nintendo World Championships was set up due to the success of The Wizard (an eighties film based around a NES video game championship). Held in 1990, it toured 29 cities across the United States and featured three games – all packed in one extremely rare cartridge: Super Mario Bros; Rad Racer and Tetris.

Each finalist was given a copy of the custom grey NES cartridge (in addition to other prizes). Only 90 copies were ever made (our friends at VideoGamesNewYork have one if you want to see it in person) and awarded to the tournament winners. Each has a unique number which makes them easier to track.

Cartridge Price: £5,755.00 / $8799.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-11-38-50-am

2. Nintendo Campus Challenge 1991

As with the original Nintendo World Championships, a similar tournament was held the following year around 60 college campuses in the US and Canada. Three different games featured this time: Super Mario Bros. 3; Pin Bot and Dr. Mario.

One 1991 Campus Challenge cartridge is known to exist which is quite frankly ridiculous. It’s only due to the popularity of the next cartridge that this isn’t considered the rarest NES cart of all time. Discovered in a garage sale in 2006, it later went on to sell for over $20,000.

Cartridge Price: £13,148.00 / $20,100.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

1. Nintendo World Championship Gold

Only 26 of these known to exist, the gold Nintendo World Championship cartridge is rightly considered the “holy grail” of any NES collector.

With no tournament involved and containing the same insides as the grey version, only those lucky enough to have won a competition run by the Nintendo Power magazine have it. I know what you’re thinking, yeah, I wish I’d paid more attention to those competitions too…

Cartridge Price: £17,450.00 / $26,677.00

New / Boxed Price: N/A

About Arcade Attack

We love retro video games! We love to write, we love gaming and this is why Arcade Attack is in existence.

Hugada Video Game Database Now on hobbyDB

hugada atari 2600 simpsons video game

Klaus Brandhorst’s first home computer was a bit underwhelming, a simple Commodore 16. “It only had a datasette and it came with one or two programs to fiddle around with, so there weren’t any games,” he said. “It was only black and white on my old TV at the time and BASIC wasn’t so interesting for most 9 year olds. It wasn’t love at first sight.”

Luckily, it didn’t scare him away from computers for life, because Klaus is the founder of Hugada.com, short for Huge Game Database. The name is the only thing short about the venture, as Hugada is a database of over 63,200 versions of 43,700 video game titles. And all of that is coming to hobbyDB.

Back to ancient history… That original C-16 was followed by a C-64, an Amiga 500, then an Amiga 2000. “On the Commodore, we played everything we could get for so many hours until we were thrown out by my parents to see the sun for a few minutes,” he laughed. “We liked games where you could explore and search for easter eggs or hidden rooms, for example the strange ‘Mad Doctor’…  We loved Cinemaware-Games on the Amiga because they looked and played very good but what made them special was the story and the atmosphere. But my all-time favorites are strategy games: “Carriers at War” from SSG, and “Second Front” from Gary Grigsby.”

 dysentery pac man x box commodore 16

The Amiga was followed by a string of more modern PCs. By the mid 1990s, PC games were becoming more advanced and but old video-games became worth collecting. That’s when Klaus started looking back.

“People were giving away their old video games like they were worthless,” he said. “I guess they were at the time. One time, I bought an Atari 2600 system with packaging, never used, for about $5 and the owner said, ‘here, this comes with it’ and handed me over a big plastic bag with 60 or more modules, some of them still wrapped and lots of Xenox double enders. I also bought a Vectrex for less than $10, and a whole shoe box of Nintendo games and a watch in original packaging for a few bucks.”  Considering the original cost of home video game systems in the 1980s, and what they sell for now, he got great deals all around.

“Within a few years it was maybe 150 video game consoles and home computers and thousands of games for them. After I brought home a DEC PDP-11 the size of 2 washing machines, my parents became a bit worried what i was planing to do with their cellar.”

Along the way, he started a list on the computer of every game he could find for every platform. Like the basement collection, it too began to get out of control. “It started with a list of Playstation 1 games my friends and I owned where we noted who has which one. It quickly grew with the titles we wanted to have and then with other systems like the Nintendo 64 and also PC-titles. Then, retro-gaming with all the emulators started, so we had to make lists of the games of course…” Before long, Excel wasn’t up to the task, so he moved it to a real database and put it online.

atari soccer Madden xbox

That was in 1997 or ’98, making it likely that Hugada was the first ever online database of video games. “But I soon realized it’s a lot of work to take care of the site. When I went to university, I basically closed the data for the public additions and entered data for myself from time to time,” he said. “I was really only interested in collecting the data, but not so much in maintaining the site and caring for a community and forum.” So he started looking for a partner to take over the project. As luck would have it, one day he asked his uncle to help him sell some extra models cars, and one of them was purchased by Christian Braun of hobbyDB.

Klaus said, “It turned out my uncle had known Christian’s Family for years. When I was young, I had a SIKU model cars collectors guide written by Christian’s brother – the world is smaller than we think.” So he contacted Braun and shortly thereafter, he started moving the data to hobbyDB. “I’m very happy to see all the data I collected over so many years is now available to a big public to be used for what they were being started for: your own collection of video games and consoles.” Klaus has joined the hobbyDB Advisory Board, so he will still be active in maintaining the database he worked to hard to compile.

In the meantime, he is still active in video gaming and also collects other interests. “Mostly model SIKU cars, but also model planes and ships (the latter in 1/700 scale) of which I have over a thousand. I also cannot leave any Lego Star Wars set in the store and let’s better not talk about DVDs and Blu Rays…”

His favorite game system is kind of obscure, the Amiga CD32. “It had a shabby looking and creaking case, bad controllers and only a handful of games and almost all of them were just normal Amiga 1200 titles, only on CD. When it came out, we dreamed of all the fantastic titles we would liked to have – and never came. I guess I’m always for the underdog.”

If you do a search for “Video Games” on hobbyDB, you’ll be amazed at the number of items we’ve added lately. More will be showing up over the next few weeks, so keep checking in. And if you have screen shots or videos of these games in action, please sign in and upload those to make the Huge Game Database even more huge!

Sims, Space Invaders, Zelda Join Video Game Hall of Fame

world video game hall of fame 2016

Courtesy of the World Video Game Hall of Fame

The World Video Game Hall of Fame has announced its inductees for 2016. Half a dozen games designed for home or arcade use (or in some cases, both) are being added. Each of the entries not achieved huge commercial success, but pushed the boundaries of how video games could look or feel. Here are the latests inductees:

space invaders screenshot

Space Invaders
This was the first colossal hit of the video arcade era, ushering in a new age of digital gaming. The game was easy to learn in theory, but much harder to master and win. It was also one of the first cartridge based home game successes.

the sims screenshot

The Sims
This PC-based game included non-competitive play. The idea was to simply move around, interact, and engage with other characters. If it seems pointless, that was kind of the idea.

grand theft auto gta3 screenshot

Grand Theft Auto III
It might seem strange to start in the middle of a series, but GTA3 was a special game. The graphics engine and complex play presented a giant revolutionary step forward not just for the series, but for an entire genre of games.

legend of zelda screenshot

The Legend of Zelda
Zelda was one of the first games that allowed characters to freely explore their world. Most games at the time required players to follow a defined path while encountering a set list of obstacles and enemies. Zelda players could interact with other players make more lifelike decisions along the way, opening the door for a new generation of adventure games.

sonic the hedgehogSonic the Hedgehog
Sonic was one of the first characters to break out of the screen and become an industry to himself. Much like Mario and his friends did for Nintendo, this rodent anchored an entire franchise of games, merchandising and other entertainment for Sega.

oregon trail you have died of dysentery screenshot

Oregon Trail
There are many ways to die in video games, but only one ever announced “You have Died of Dysentery.” Oregon Trail was a text-based adventure in which players typed in instructions for their characters in response to prompts from the game. It was a pioneer in long form adventures that could take weeks or even months to complete.

Unlike some virtual, online-only halls of fame, this one exists for real as part of The Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York. 2016 is only the second year for this particular exhibit, and nominations are already open for next year. There are many interactive exhibits at The Strong including the larger and more established National Toy Hall of Fame.

What was your favorite classic video game? Let us know in the comments, and if it’s not in the hobbyDB database, would you mind adding it?

28 Year Old Easter Egg Found in Nintendo Punch Out!! Game

Normally, when you find an old Easter egg, you are probably better off just disposing of it because no one likes rotten eggs. In the case of video games, it’s a fun thing.

Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! game was a humongous hit for Nintendo in 1987, pitting the player against increasingly difficult (and larger) opponents. Over the years, players found a few hints buried in the game that could help you advance to new levels, but one had gone undiscovered until recently.

Nintendo Mike Tyson Punch Out

If you look at the image above, there is a bearded man in  the front row towards the left side of the screen. As you play the game, members of the crowd move around a bit here and there, but this particular guy is the key… when he nods, it’s time to land a perfect knockout body blow. You can see it in this video. No work on whether he is aware of some kind of fix, or if he is just extremely prescient.

You can read more about the discovery here. Anyone out there know of additional Easter Eggs in old games? Let us know in the comments!