Bits and Pieces, Bits and Bobs

I have a rather large gaming collection, let it be said. I may not have original Japanese versions of every Final Fantasy title, each coupled with real cuttings from improbably proportioned women’s bras taken from Cos-Play events, but I do own the ‘Where’s Sonic?‘ Ladybird book. I also own an original boxed set of Ghostbusters 2 from the Speccy age, complete with button badge. These are true collectibles, items either kept from, or bought to remind us of childhood gaming gone by. Each week I shall be showing you some of my odd bits and pieces.

See with the £100 Halo Reach Legendary box set being announced this week it made me realise that we are living in a time when the pricey collector’s edition of many games end up practically worthless. Only last week I saw the original Assassin’s Creed box set with the statuette on sale for £4.98… £4.98! It was ten times that originally, and where is all this stock coming from? I thought it was ‘limited’. But that’s the thing about ‘limited’ editions, often they are as readily available as any other edition, and longer term will probably cost a similar price. What this is about is stabbing the early adopter in the wallet… Can you see many people wandering around a car boot sale in ten years time and craving the Metal Tin edition of Modern Warfare 2 with the used DLC code?

I would.

I am that kind of collector that likes to buy the rather pointless items, the ones no-one was too bothered about originally. In my collection I have a can of energy drink produced to promote the Ubisoft game Haze. Never gonna drink it, it will sit in my little collection until I either throw it out, or die and my kids throw it out for me (there is a remote chance of me mixing it with Vodka one night while on a drunken bender, but I would have to move a lot of crap to get to it).

Anyway the focus of this week is my Dizzy collection.

I freakin’ loved the Dizzy games when I was a (considerably) smaller gamer. I would spend night after night in the world of Dizzy and the Yolkfolk, visiting castles, treasure islands and abandoned mines, all the time looking for the solutions to fiendish puzzles and avoiding multi-coloured birds. I played my versions on the Spectrum, living through – what felt like – months of loading screens to play each one to death, and not just the main ones either, I would obsessively play Dizzy Panic, a shape sorting puzzler, and Dizzy Down the Rapids, which amusingly put an egg-man in a barrel and pushed him down the river.

Anyways, even when I moved onto the Sega consoles I played Fantastic Dizzy, which in many people’s opinion is little more than a higher resolution rehash of the older games, as obsessively, enjoying the echoes of the older games. Eventually technology moved on and Dizzy never made the somersault jump onto the newer machines, despite some teasing hints involving some footage

Needless to say I will never give up hope, and one part of my gaming collection that takes pride of place in my show cabinet is my original boxed set.

Complete and never played it comes complete with the Blackheart trading card. I was the person to first open the thing years after it was produced, thanks to someone who bought it right at the end of his days with his Commodore 64. So as it stands it is ‘as-new’ and awaiting something rather special, that *could* be happening sometime soon, the signatures of The Oliver Twins.

Now would that be valuable? Probably not, but to me it’s already priceless.

Sometimes gaming fans need to look at the bigger picture and ignore the mass-produced collector’s editions, and try to get at the heart of the games they love. If you adore Shadow of the Colossus (and you rightly should) then go out now and hunt down the cardboard packaged edition with the artwork included. It’s worth the effort, but don’t then just keep it in a box, play it, love it. That’s what games are for, and why I set up machines monthly to take a trip down memory lane. Sure my Dizzy set is still unplayed, but that’s because I don’t own a C64. If I did, I’d probably be listening to loading noises while typing. Instead I am listening to the title screen of Super Mario All-Stars… so if you will excuse me, I have a game to play.

Do you have an odd collectible? Do you have something that has survived the years or clear outs and moving? Let us know and we’ll share your treasure with the world.

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