Midwest Gaming Classic 2009


I was looking back at last year's Midwest Gaming Classic recap and realized it was pretty skimpy. I decided that this time around I'd go back to taking a bunch of pictures even if I look like a dork in the process. I'm already at a classic gaming show so how much dorkier can I really look?

The 2009 Midwest Gaming Classic was the most crowded I remember (not counting 2004 which was more cramped but in a much smaller venue). I'm getting the impression that game collecting is becoming a more popular hobby by the day. It makes sense, they're a childhood toy you can still enjoy as an adult. If someone spots you playing Frogger they say "Cool, Frogger!". If the same person spots you playing with a He-Man figure their reaction will involve avoidance, possibly for months.

Usual Disclaimer: I'm not a great photographer, these are as good as they get. The images on this page are thumbnails, click for the full-size image (you'd probably figure that out on your own though).


The vendor floor was packed tight on Saturday morning, excellent selection as usual. An interesting thing this time around is that Atari 2600 and Intellivision games were cheaper than ever, $1-$2 in box except for a couple rare titles. One vendor even had an "all Intellivision games must go" sign. Apparently the Atari 2600 and Intellivision collectors market is thouroughly saturated.

Famicom and TurboGrafx-16 games

The first table had a variety of Famicom and TurboGrafx-16 games. See that TurboGrafx-16/Duo Adapter? A couple minutes after walking away I realized that one of those would be really handy for whenever my Duo control pad finally wears out. By the time I made it back it was already gone. So my advice for future Midwest Gaming Classic attendees is to get there early and don't pass up anything good the first time you see it.

N64 controllers

Another vendor had several newly made controllers for N64 and NES systems. I expect these to be a regular fixture at this event as original (working) controllers become more scarce. There will be plenty of buyers for high quality reproductions.

Sega Genesis games

There were tons of boxed Sega Genesis for sale at several tables. If you were looking to start a Genesis collection this was a great year to go.

Mario plush dolls

Some imported Super Mario Bros plush dolls - Japan always gets the good stuff.

Free TRS-80

Another reason to get there early.. vendors often have junk boxes on the floor that disappear quickly. Somebody walked away with a free oven-roasted TRS-80.

TurboGrafx-16 games

Even more TurboGrafx-16 games - the prices weren't great on these at any vendor and I didn't see many buyers. Maybe the mini TurboGrafx-16 craze that started when the Virtual Console was launched has died down. Hopefully that will mean lower prices next time around for those of us who were into the system before it was "cool".

Atari Jaguar games

Songbird Productions was there and selling an assortment of still new Jaguar games. I can't recommend any of these other than Tempest 2000.

Atari Jaguar games by Songbird

They also sold a number of their original titles. I can't imagine the amount of effort it takes to produce a quality independent game like this. It's something I'd love to do someday (although not for an Atari console). Whether you like the Jaguar or not you have to admire the dedication of its fanbase.

Atari Lynx games

I'm positive I saw boxed Lynx games for under $10 at previous shows. This year they were all over $20. I don't think it's suddenly become a popular system so maybe the supply is finally drying-up.

Hey, look at that! "Dirty Larry: Renegade Cop" sure looks a lot like Duke Nuke 'Em.

Atari 2600 JR

That little Atari 2600 JR is cute.. but not $40 cute. If only I had the foresight to buy one whenever they were cleared out for $20.

Various handheld games

Huh, come to think of it I don't know if they make rechargeable 9-volt batteries, better check... $10 for one!? What a rip. OK, I guess it's not that bad if you're hooked on these old handheld games. The football and baseball ones I leave on my desk at the office get a lot mileage from visitors and the nighttime security guards.

SuperGrafx in box

Based on stats for previous images I've posted, this SuperGrafx picture will be heavily leeched on message boards. Yeah I'd love to buy one of these.. but I couldn't explain to my wife that I spent $219 on a system with fewer than 10 games.

Reproduction NES games

I think I talked about this last year too. These NES hack reproductions just don't seem right to me. I assume neither the original rights holder or creator of the hack receive any compensation for the sale of the game. Yeah, the original rights holder isn't getting a dime of used game sales either but something about this feels different.

Intellivision computer

An Intellivision computer that was clearly found sitting in a field.

Empty boxes

Several vendors sold empty boxes and people were buying them. This has to be the strongest anecdotal evidence that video game collecting is gaining popularity.

Museum & Exhibits

The museum this time around was bigger than before, the best one yet overall. There were a number of classic computers and handhelds that I don't recall seeing in the past. The photos here are things I don't think I captured in previous visits, there was a lot more than what is pictured below.

Odyssey 2

If I recall Odyssey history correctly (and that's a big if), this is the original Odyssey2 model, the G7000...


...and this is the later Videopac design. That must be the largest power button of any game console.


The Microvision was the first cartridge-based handheld game. I wasn't aware of it until I decided to write that Grif's Tavern piece. It was cool to see one in person because they're not especially common.

Atari Calculators

Yeah, these Atari calculators aren't games but they're still a nice piece of related nostalgia.

Arcadia 2001

Another system I learned about while writing Grif's Tavern was the Arcadia 2001. It was released in 1982 and had a weak library, mostly clones of games already available for other consoles. The hardware itself looks like the bastard child of an Atari 2600 and Intellivision. This console quickly disappeared during the crash of 1983.

Audio Sonic Microprocessor

This little system, the Audio Sonic Microprocessor, was totally new to me. There is precious little information about it online.


The Aquarius computer with 4K expansion brick.

Coleco Adam

I used to own an Adam computer, now I can't remember what happened to it. I probably threw it out on one of several moves.. there's also a good chance I sold it for a few bucks at a computer swap meet.

Intellivision computer - box

The box for this Intellivision computer adapter was pretty abused but the unit itself looked great.

TI Cassette

The cassette drive, an early enabler of software piracy.


This TRS-80 might have had a game running at some point during the day but when I was there is was hung on something.

Atari computers

I have to compliment Atari on the design of their old computers, their style may have been the best of that generation. It couldn't have been the same team that designed the casing for the...

Atari 5200 Pac Man

...Atari 5200, pictured here playing Pac Man. I don't recall seeing a single Atari 5200 system or game for sale this time around. I'll assume that means collectors have snatched most of them up as they were plentiful at prior shows.

Scratch 'n Win

I'm a complete sucker for these McDonald's promo items even though I can't stand the food there. The only time I ever go is if I catch wind of some Nintendo toys being there.

Xbox alpha

Not retro but still cool - an alpha Xbox system.

Playstation debug system

It's also too early to consider the original Playstation to be a classic system, like the last one this was neat to see though. I wonder, how long is it before a system can be labeled "classic"? It hasn't yet been 10 years since the last Playstation game was published. At the same time, someone who had their first Playstation in 1995 at age 10 would already consider it "classic".

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