It was virtually free!

Pandora’s box has been opened, and now to close it is going to be almost impossible. I had feared that this might be a potential issue when I first embarked on this hobby, however I had hoped I would be able to resist temptation.

It first started around a month ago, everything seemed ok – I was disciplined in my process, carefully checking the Yahoo! auctions website on a semi regular basis for my standard search terms “Sega 32x” and noting what might appear and also seeing if any of my needed games were at a price where I would bite. Each time I felt I would build up a tiny bit more knowledge into the pricing and availability dynamics of my new hobby and strike at the right time and at the right price.

Then it happened.

I was browsing Reddit as I now do often as it is my methadone to social networking needs and one of the various retro related sub’s put a digital seed into my brain that has now grown into a monster. 

And it all started so innocently.

I thought I would just see what they had on offer, I mean – I do not need a Virtual Boy, in fact I have never played one, so I would be foolish to even think about buying one? Wrong. Suddenly I was transported into a rabbit hole that would only end when I have satiated my want, no need – for this magical device that I only had a basic knowledge of and is probably the most impractical console ever made.

For those of you that are not familiar with the Virtual Boy, it was a 3D console made by Nintendo in the 1990’s. It was released in 1995 and was a strange console that looked like a modern day VR headset, only it had to remain on a stand, with a controller attached to it so you could gaze into this mysterious device and immerse yourself in the full 3D experience. Sounds ahead of its time doesn’t it? Well, the only screen colours are red and black and it was not exactly comfortable, or really that 3D, and also there were only 22 games released for it. It sadly did not last the test of time and was scrapped in 1996 as Nintendo focused on the N64. It never made it to Europe and was only released in Japan and the USA. It was Nintendo’s second worst selling console of all time, second only to the 64DD. What is the 64DD? Well I did not know either until writing this post, but it was a N64 magnetic cartridge device which turned the Nintendo 64 into a kind of computer with online functionality as well (I am very intrigued by this and you might see another blog post about this in the future).

Anyway, the more I looked, the more I must have so after some browsing and price checking I snagged this little beauty for 1,170 Yen – around 115 Euros:

Not a 32x or a 32x game

I am also sad to report that it did not stop there. I also managed to get some more games to play for the device:

Also not compatible with the Sega 32x

Eventually I picked up far more than I had planned. I got VTetris, some kind of golf game and I did not stop there!

Having a retro inspired t-shirt company also let me to purchase some other items that I self justified under the guise of being helpful for future shoots. These included a famicom version of Dr Mario in a white cartridge and a game I have no idea what it is about, but the box was just too intriguing for me to not buy it.

WTF is this game, and why did I buy it?

All things considered I felt a little bit disappointed with my lack of self control but that was easily countered by the fact that I had also managed to get some 32x games as well (Doom and Metalhead).

The final basket of goods delivered to Buyee’s warehouse

In my excitement for my new haul, I could not wait to get it shipped over to Spain so I can fawn over my new precious things. There was one thorn in the side to this story, and that was the shipping fee. You see, the Virtual Boy is a bit more chunky and hefty than a cardboard game box with game inside, so the shipping charge was much more than I paid last time.

Questionable value on the Virtual Boy cost saving in Japan

So I had to just suck it up and learn from experience – I commissioned my latest haul to leave the land of the rising sun and make its way to my growing collection. Sadly it did not stop there, following a rather bureaucratic customs process involving a lot of paperwork and extortionate handling fees which took weeks I finally got my delivery! 

Lesson learned on my lack of self control and the cost of goods shipped from Japan being very weight dependent and customs in Spain working very slowly!

Keep playing!

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