Belated Recap of the 2014 Classic Gaming Expo (which I guess was the last one)

While upgrading my hard drive I stumbled over these pictures from the 2014 Classic Gaming Expo. That was seven years ago as of the moment I'm writing this.

I didn't post these in 2014 because I felt letdown by the show. For years I heard podcasts talk about the event and post interviews they collected there. It sounded pretty amazing. I was unaware that it had been going through a slow decline. The 2014 show would be the last, unless there's been another by now. I think after seven years it's safe to call the show dead.

Now I did attend some interesting panels and met several retro gaming celebrities. I didn't take pictures of any of that. I won't take pictures of people without their permission. Couple that with a strong aversion to asking people for photos and, well, you know how this will go. I'm not a fan of appearing in photos myself anyway. So I only have photos of stuff.

The rest of the show was much smaller than the Midwest Gaming Classic. I mean, like a lot smaller. Maybe it was grander in the past, the way people talked about it I assume it had to be. I counted about a dozen arcade games and slightly fewer vendors. The museum area had a lot for sure, but again much less than MGC. The attendance didn't seem great either. I'd peg the number at low triple digits.

It was held at the Riviera Hotel which was imploded two years later. It was obviously in serious decline in 2014. Part of the reason I went that year was the price, I believe I paid $25 a night for an OK room. There didn't seem to be many visitors outside of convention attendees. The entire building looked run down with a scattering of decorations clinging to its glory days. It was quite bluntly sad.

It all paired-up well in the end. A declining convention at a declining hotel. Sorry if this whole intro is a buzzkill. I wasn't in a great mood when I started it and looking through these photos isn't helping.

I still saw some cool retro gaming items though. I mostly took pictures of things that were new or interesting to me. If you've seen other galleries on this site you already expect a focus on the odd & eclectic. These pictures are sorted by however I named them. There is no sensible order to them.

Activision sign

This would have been from the museum section. There's a lot of store display stuff which I'm always interested in checking out.


Activision merchandise

The bags are probably from the 80s but I think the mousepads were a tie-in to an Atari collection CD in the mid/late 90s.


Adult Atari games

This alphabetical picture thing means we get adult Atari games next. That was a bad idea in hindsight (the alphabetical thing, and also the games themselves).


Mad Planets and Killer Instinct

Here are some of the underwhelming arcade games available to play.


Atari 65XEP

This is a quite a rarity on display - the portable Atari XE. It was not available to try but still neat to see in person.


Atari demonstration center

I have no place for something like this but it wouldn't stop me from buying one if I had the chance.


Atari games

This must have been from the vendor area. I've been informed a couple times that various randos re-post pictures from my site and claim they are things they found at a garage sale or whatever. I assume that will happen with this picture too.


Atari Safari

I own one of those Pac-Man phones. If they remade it into an Android phone I would happily lug it around everywhere.


Bally Arcade

One of these appears in at least half of my Midwest Gaming Classic recaps.


Beads

This is definitely from the vendor section.


Boxed handhelds

It would be cool if this was from the vendor section too but it's the museum.


More boxed handhelds

Same story for all of these.


C64s

A couple Commodores that you could mess around with.


Doctor Who and the Daleks

This was one of my favorite museum items. I assume it was never sold in the US.


Dreamcast development kit

A Dreamcast development kit, which has a solid late-90s computer aesthetic.


Atari XEGS

Here's an extremely bad picture of an Atari XEGS. I should have deleted this.


Donkey Kong Junior

Here's a close-up of one museum item that I was very envious of.


Dragon's Lair board game

This is by far the number one item I saw that I wish I owned. I forgot or perhaps never knew it existed. From what I can find it does not appear to be a fun game at all. It's not like I was planning to whip it out at parties though.


Famicom games

Some various Famicom games that were for sale.


Game Boy Demo Vision

I believe this is a development kit.


Hulk Hogan figure

For no reason, a Hulk Hogan figure for sale.


Intellivision System Changer

Here's a bad picture of an Intellivision System Changer.


Various Intellivision variants and clones

Various Intellivision variants and clones, I have owned nearly all of these at some point.


Some games

Some more games for sale. I'm just now noticing the French title on Burgertime. "L'heure du Burger" is a very literal translation.


Intellivision keyboard

The Intellivision keyboard, which I have never owned but would like to.


Intellivoice and System Changer

Some more Intellivision pictures... I have two out of the three things here in my collection.


Return of the Jedi shirt

I would wear this to the office without hesitation.


Microvision games

This is from the museum, sadly not for sale. I was lucky enough to find a Microvision at a garage sale and that Pinball game, albeit at different sales. They totally don't work but are nice collectibles.


Assorted boxed games

This is also from the museum obviously.


Gamepro 1993 Best Sound Achievement

Gamepro's 1993 Best Sound Achievement award went to Mortal Kombat on the Super Nintendo? Just off the top of my head, ActRaiser 2 was released the same year so this isn't even close to the best "sound achievement" on the Super Nintendo. Nevermind that Sonic CD was released the same year.


Montezuma's Revenge

It's Montezuma's Revenge on the ColecoVision Flashback. This is a good port of the game.


TRS-80 Multipack Interface

I know absolutely nothing about this, I just thought it looked neat.


Sega Neptune

Sadly this is just a mock-up - as I understand no functional Neptune prototypes were built by Sega.


Nintendo World Championship cartridge

This was at a vendor table but I don't believe they were selling it.


Pac-Man Plus

More of the underwhelming arcade selection.


Pengo

Here's a bad picture of a Pengo handheld game. I can't recall what I found so interesting about it.


Pixel Art controllers

I can't imagine these are at all comfortable to use.


Various shirts

A few more shirts I would wear to the office. The Atari polo shirt is perhaps a bit too professional for me though.


RDI Halcyon

I think this is the first time I saw a RDI Halcyon in person. I think every retro game collector type has this very high on their wishlist.


RDI Halcyon games

This is the complete game library for the RDI Halcyon.


Thayer's Quest keyboard

This is the custom controller for Thayer's Quest (which also had an arcade port and was later re-released as "Kingdom: The Far Reaches").


Retro-bit store

Retro-bit had a little store in the vendor area. I own several of their controllers and definitely recommend them.


Saturn Arcade Racer

The Saturn was good for arcade ports and this is a must-have accessory for some of them.


More shirts

I think wearing that one Atari shirt would get you canceled today.


Signed Intellivision Flashback

One of the best things about this convention is they had signed Intellivision Flashback consoles about a week or two before they hit stores.


Sega Master System demo kiosk

Alright, this was another new-to-me thing. I don't recall a store that ever had a Master System demo kiosk but of course such a thing must have existed.


Super Nintendo Vectrex controller

This is a good idea. I assume this is much easier than building a reproduction controller.


StarCastle for Vectrex

I'm very confused by the sticky note on this.


Starplex controller

If my kids want to know what the early 80s looked like I'm showing them this controller.


Random vendor table

Just a random vendor table. They had some arcade banners I wanted to buy but didn't feel like trying to fly home with them.


Tabletop games

Various tabletop games.


Tac30

I have at least one of these for the 2600 or NES or maybe both. They're not bad but based on the price not sought-after either.


Super Nintendo tester

Super Nintendo tester - another thing I don't recall seeing anywhere else before.


TurboGrafx-16 game

Some TurboGrafx-16 gear before they went all neon.


Super Retro Trio 3

Super Retro Trio 3 - the clone console with the redundant name.


TurboGrafx-16 stuff

One vendor thought storing a Mountain Dew next to overpriced TurboGrafx-16 stuff was a good plan.


Sharp Twin Famicom

This is one of the most awesome looking consoles ever. I mean that 100% sincerely.


Vectrex

Here's a Vectrex - that is all.


Mici-Cade

I don't know the story behind this. It looks like something that would be sold to bars.


Vectrex kiosk

I never saw this demo kiosk in a store either. Congratulations to whoever had the foresight to save it.


Vectrex table

A whole bunch of Vectrex stuff.


Watches

I'm surprised there isn't a market for reproductions of these watches. There are three here I would wear.


XBand

I never tried the XBand but it doesn't seem like a good experience. It's not moving a lot of data but it's still a very slow connection for games that require low-latency.


Steel Battalion

A playable Xbox with the full Steel Battalion setup.


So that's it. Apologies for this not being a more chipper recap. If this show makes a comeback I'll post a more festive one then.


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