Midwest Gaming Classic 2024

Alright, so 20 years of the Midwest Gaming Classic for me. I mean sort of since there weren't shows in 2005 or 2020. Also it started before 2004, that was just the first year I was aware of it.

It's been amazing to watch the show grow over 20 years. The first I attended was maybe 100 people crammed into the basement of a hotel. Now it's an entire packed convention center in downtown Milwaukee. It's getting too packed for me really. I understand they signed a multiyear agreement with the current location. I'm sure that was a financially wise move. However I think they've already outgrown it. I'm going to keep going, but wow is it crowded there now.

Like most of the previous 20 years I'm adding some bad photos from my trip. Seriously, these never do a good job representing the full show. Despite my previous comment about the crowds, I really hope anyone reading this attends a show. You can still do all the things there, the lines are just longer for some of the things now.

Gaming controller tear-down

These are organized by the order I visited them. Right at the entrance to the gaming area was a station teaching how to repair controllers.

Tiny 1942

Next was a vendor selling tiny arcade cabinets. They are taller than the My Arcade series you're probably familiar with. The controllers felt smaller though.

Tiny Dragon's Lair

Tiny Dragon's Lair looked impressive but was difficult to play.

Tiny Space Ace

I did not even attempt tiny Space Ace.

Faceball on GameBoy

Next to the tiny cabinets was Faceball for the Game Boy.

16 GameCubes connected

Faceball supports 16 players which they demonstrated by connecting 16 GameCubes with Game Boy Players. I admire the effort that goes into something like this.

Odyssey case

There have been displays like this every year (or most). I think this one was new.

Bandai case

This one I definitely don't recall seeing before.

Atari 52 with suitcase

I think that Atari 5200 case would made a great airplane carry-on.

Arcadia 2001 with multicart

A working Arcadia 2001 is a staple of the show and always fun to try.

Sea Dragon

The Sea Dragon game was alright, it's a shooter which isn't obvious from the title screen.

Apple IIc

The color palette on this version of Choplifter is wild.

Atari 7800 with Mario Bros

Mario Bros on the Atari 7800. This is a good version of the game.

Start game

Extremely necessary post-it note I'm afraid.


I think the Sega CD system is always running Silpheed. It's a visually impressive game that anyone can pickup right away so I get it.

Stuck pinball

I attempted to play Wizard of Oz pinball but the ball got hopelessly stuck.

Donkey Kong doll

I have another photo of this Donkey Kong somewhere else on this site. Not this exact doll, another one that I spotted in a non-gaming venue. Happy hunting.

Pac Man cups

When these cups were made I didn't live in a town with a 7-11. Let's say 50/50 shot I'd own several today if I did.

Donkey Kong Junior cereal

This sort of tasted like Apple Jacks if I recall correctly.

Inferno arcade cabinet

I don't think I've seen an Inferno cabinet at a previous show. This is a difficult game. The control scheme is ambitious and maybe I can't handle it.

Big Chief pinball

There are always a few pinball games you couldn't make today there.

Hayburners II pinball

My photo does not do this game justice at all. The top mechanical part is so cool looking in real life.

Judge Dredd pinball

Judge Dredd pinball, it's on the difficult side.

Intellivision games

I guess I went to the vendor area next. Here's the going rate for boxed Intellivision games.

Bedazzeled Funko Pops

Someone selling bedazzeled Funko Pops. Why not.

Buff Wario and Waluigi

These probably aren't licensed stickers, just a hunch.

Magic cards

I don't know if there were more card vendors this year than last, but there were a lot.

Mario Kart

Mario Kart toy with Sub Zero figure and a hat for scale.

Pac Man glass

I have a lot of Pac Man glasses but not this one.. wait, 85? What's the deal with this one? 1985 is a little too late for new Pac Man merchandise. Hmm, I suppose 1985 is also ~15 years too early for new Pac Man merchandise.

Anime and game soundtracks

This is the first time I recall a vendor selling (only) anime and game soundtracks.

Sorcerian CDs

Here are some I would normally buy, except they were $120 for double CDs and $60 for the single one.

Various boxed games

Some more boxed games since people like pictures of those.

Mario Paint box

Eeeep on this price.

Various import games

Import games were plentiful again this year.

Giant Mario doll

Giant Mario doll with no other comments.

Boxed NES games

A couple rare boxed NES games.

Final Fantasy pins

Some Final Fantasy pins, black mage was already sold old.

Lunar 2 for PlayStation

Crazy times.

Custom glasses

I bought one of these despite already owning too many glasses.

PC Engine games

In case you're curious, a lot of these weird angle photos are due to glare. If I knew what I was doing I'd figure something else out.

More import games

See what I mean about glare?

Power Golf

I didn't realize Game Sharks, a staple of Toys 'R Us going out of business sales, were a hot commodity.

Import N64 games

Import N64 game prices seemed a little higher than usual. These are all common games.


I think you can buy both of these at Target right now. Maybe I shouldn't let people on to this but the little glass case in the gaming section of every Target is filled with "rare" Amiibos. Maybe scalpers haven't figured that out yet?

3D printed license plate frames

These are 3D printed license plate frames. Very tempting but I don't know if they would survive one Chicago winter.

Expensive Super Nintendo games

OK then.

More expensive games

SnoCross for $600, whatever.

Vice City neon sign

This was gone quickly, glad I got a picture first. It was tempting but I don't have a place for it and I'm sure they will make more.

Expensive N64 games

These are extremely common boxed games, I have both and wasn't even looking for them. The prices were kind of nuts.

Final Fantasy bead art

Very impressive Final Fantasy VI bead art.

32X, Saturn, Jaguar, and Sega CD games

Great game selection at this table.

Toy vendor

Vendor with a good assortment of boxed toys.

Cartridge stands

I just liked the cartridge stands.

Old TVs

There were two vendors with a rack of old TVs like this. I didn't get a photo of the other one.

Over Obj for NES

Homebrew game Over Obj for NES.

World of Nintendo

My favorite thing this year was a smaller room that recreated a World of Nintendo location. I only got one picture because it was too crowded.

Street Fighter II on PC Engine

Nice little Street Fighter II setup here. 6 button controllers, fun looking screen, it's perfect.

Katamari Damacy

Is this the first time Katamari Damacy was setup to play? I think it was.


You will pretty much always find Pitfall! hooked-up somewhere at the show.

Virtual Boy

This is another returning item. The Virtual Boy is OK to try in small doses.


I never get all the hate on the Ouya. They delivered exactly what they promised and it's still a good way to play Android games.

Revenge of DoH

Revenge of DoH cabinet, this is a little too difficult for me.


The ICONtroller is the exact same price it was in 1987. OK, technically one cent more. Just saving myself an email.

Not suitable for internet or modern tasks

Yeah, me neither.

Pulp Fiction pinball

As is the case, there were several new pinball games there. It was generally a good wait to play one.

Dimension pinball

On the flip-side, older pinball games were almost untouched. It was a good year for trying some of these.

Police Force pinball

I don't know what I was thinking when I snapped this.

Game Gear games

Game Gear games are kind of uncommon in the vendor area. They're not expense, you just don't see that many. Maybe there aren't a lot of potential buyers.

Pac Man trash can

This was really tempting. The price is crazy but I'll never see one in this condition again.

Stained glass art

These looked really nice.

Mortal Kombat TV games

This was actually half-off the sticker price which is worth it. I ranked this as the best home port of Mortal Kombat.

Escape room

On the way out I caught a glimpse of an escape room. I don't know if you were supposed to be able to look inside. Well I did and here's what it looked like.

Alright, that's it. There's a lot more to the show of course. As usual I'll end this recap by encouraging you to visit the Midwest Gaming Classic next year (whenever that is).