Did you ever see a "holy Grail" cart at a store back in the time?

GohanX

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My whole life I never saw Neo-Geo in a store.

I have a very, very faint memory of seeing Splatterhouse for the TG16 at a store, once. That's exotic as it got.

I bought one or two Japanese Saturn games at Babbage's even before I owned a Saturn. One of them was Outlaws of the Lost Dynasty by Data East. Must have been 2004?

Yeah, internet made the world smaller, that's an understatement.

Back when it was current and relevant, I remember the Babbages being one of the few places that had a Neo in stock, but it was kinda like the porn section of the video store. They had a home system in a glass case to let you know they had it, but nothing else was on display and you had to ask about the games and such. And being broke teenagers, the conversation didn't go further than "The system is $700 and the games are $200+ each."

With my current knowledge or retail operations, it seems like Neo would be a bad deal for a common retailer. It takes a lot of space for inventory, and sales are low even if it had a decent markup, and the inventory was expensive and not guaranteed to sell. The space would be better used for Genesis sports games that would actually sell.
 

Neo Alec

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Back when it was current and relevant, I remember the Babbages being one of the few places that had a Neo in stock, but it was kinda like the porn section of the video store. They had a home system in a glass case to let you know they had it, but nothing else was on display and you had to ask about the games and such. And being broke teenagers, the conversation didn't go further than "The system is $700 and the games are $200+ each."
My Babbages had the system box on a shelf way up high where customers couldn't reach it, but it wasn't behind glass.

With my current knowledge or retail operations, it seems like Neo would be a bad deal for a common retailer. It takes a lot of space for inventory, and sales are low even if it had a decent markup, and the inventory was expensive and not guaranteed to sell. The space would be better used for Genesis sports games that would actually sell.
If there was any advantage to stocking it, it was to attract customers' attention. That would've worn thin after a year without at least a lot of new games stocked.
 

OldSchoolNeo

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I purchased my Neo Geo Gold set up from Babbages in 1991 with Magician Lord. I was nervous as heck walking through the mall and out to my car (they didn't have a bag big enough) as I was afraid I was going to get jacked. I don't remember them selling AES stuff for long in store, but I could be wrong.
 

games_sk

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I really wish I could remember what was on display in CEX's retro store, because there were a lot of AES games in that cabinet, and I mean a lot. I only went once, then the next time I was in London, about 12 months later, it was gone, just leaving the Rathbone Place store (in that part of London... I know they had branches all around greater London).
Yes, they had a lot of Neo Geo games in that store. I went there 3 or 4 times picking up Sam Sho 1 English Home Cart (£60) which was in collectable shape surprisingly...

I also remember picking up LB1 and RB2 on Neo Geo CD (£45 each). Oh! I also managed to find Breakers for £30! It didn't have a spine card though...

I traded all of my Game Gear, SNES & PS1 collection just to get the two consoles (one of the employees offered me a higher than normal trade value because my collection was in such great shape. That's not something they normally did or would do now but I was a regular customer back in those days).

I just thought owning this console at the time would be very cool as none of my friends had one and some even not having heard of the console at all.

I couldn't afford to buy the more expensive games at the time like KOF'98 (£200) which was one of the main games on display. I also remember one staff member playing KOF'99 on a NGCD Front Loader. He did have a magazine next to him which he browsed during loading times...

I was still in school and basically saving my money from odd jobs during the holidays. Saving up for a long time to buy one game definitely made me appreciate these Neo Geo games. Good times!
 

GohanX

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If there was any advantage to stocking it, it was to attract customers' attention. That would've worn thin after a year without at least a lot of new games stocked.

I'm probably thinking a little too 21st century retail here the more I think about it. Back then it was pretty common for a store to have "halo" top of the line products that they didn't really intend to sell, but made them seem more upscale I guess? Like a Chevy dealership having a single Corvette in the showroom while the lot is filled with Cavaliers.
 

Moob Butter

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Yeah, that analogy works.

A few medium sized used car dealers might have one Rolls Royce or Lamborghini in stock - basically to show 'yeah we can do that stuff too'.

The AES was the video gaming Ferrari (or whatever) of the early 90s. Having one in your shop made you look good.

Until the vastly superior Jaguar and 3DO consoles came along anyway... ;)
 

NeoSneth

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I've been thinking about this a little more, and I think part of the problem is we are talking about 20-30 years ago for this stuff.
I definitely recall seeing cool stuff, but it wasn't a grail collectible yet. Like I saw Panzer Dragoon Saga at Best Buy, but it was just a game on a dying platform at the time.

There were some resale chains that started up in the late 90's that has music CD's and games, and I did get some good finds there, but nothing astronomical, Not really Neo Geo stuff.
 

neo_mao

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Not Neo related, but at one point (again at a Babbages), I held both a both Magical Chase and Air Zonk in my chubby little hands. I ended buying Air Zonk that day...which was the last TG16 game I ever bought new. It was probably the right choice back then as Air Zonk was/is awesome. Never ended up getting Magical Chase.

Ultimately it's irrelevant because I ended up selling/trading all my TG16 stuff before it got super pricey anyway.
 

frazer99

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I really wish I could remember what was on display in CEX's retro store, because there were a lot of AES games in that cabinet, and I mean a lot. I only went once, then the next time I was in London, about 12 months later, it was gone, just leaving the Rathbone Place store (in that part of London... I know they had branches all around greater London).
The Warren Street store was a gem. Sadly I heard that a flood destroyed all the stock.... I can tell you what I bought from there as a friend and I used to drive down from West Yorkshire just to visit that store and buy as much as we could. We bought lots of games at £20 such as Crossed Swords, Thrash Rally and Sidekicks 2. I bought my first snaplock case game (Fatal Fury 3 Euro) at £65 and then my biggest purchase back then was KoF98 (english) for £180 and it was either that or buy and english copy of Metal Slug 2 - both were the same price. We must have bought over 30 games from there and in total I suspect they had a least 150 games for sale.
 

Yamazaki

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Saw Metal Slug 1 and Chibi Maruko Quiz Japanese AES at Trader Akihabara - both around 1000$ back then if I remember correctly.

I opted instead for Ninja Master, Magical Drop 3 and some other carts....
 

StevenK

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The Warren Street store was a gem. Sadly I heard that a flood destroyed all the stock.... I can tell you what I bought from there as a friend and I used to drive down from West Yorkshire just to visit that store and buy as much as we could. We bought lots of games at £20 such as Crossed Swords, Thrash Rally and Sidekicks 2. I bought my first snaplock case game (Fatal Fury 3 Euro) at £65 and then my biggest purchase back then was KoF98 (english) for £180 and it was either that or buy and english copy of Metal Slug 2 - both were the same price. We must have bought over 30 games from there and in total I suspect they had a least 150 games for sale.
What year(s) was this do you reckon?
 

Neo Alec

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Saw Metal Slug 1 and Chibi Maruko Quiz Japanese AES at Trader Akihabara - both around 1000$ back then if I remember correctly.

I opted instead for Ninja Master, Magical Drop 3 and some other carts....
When?

I always forget Chibi Maruko-chan Maruko Deluxe Quiz is expensive on AES.
 

AirZonk

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The only store I actually saw Neo Geo stuff for sale locally was at the Software Etc in my mall. I remember they had Baseball Stars and one or two other early games, no holy grails. They also had the system box out on display.

Another time a friend and I were travelling a bit away from home and we stopped at an Electronics Boutique in a mall. I think we must've asked if they had any odd games because the associate was trying to get me to buy Top Players Golf AES for $50. I didn't see it though. I didn't own a Neo Geo at the time, so I declined.

We also had a Die Hard Gamefan store. You could have them order Neo Geo stuff for you. A friend of mine bought his Neo Geo CD there.
 

terry.330

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The Neo-Geo itself was the Holy Grail.
It's true.

A little nostalgic anecdote:

I had kind of fallen out of love with video games for skateboarding and other teen shenanigans during the mid 90s and had little interest in the PS1 and none in the N64. Around 9th grade (97') I had a buddy who had really good taste in games and kind of brought me back into it, showing me stuff I had missed and more niche stuff. I remember talking to him about how cool it would be to actually own a Neo but thought it was just a pipe dream. Well that summer I ended up with a little chunk of money from working and decided to buy a console.

I thought to myself what if instead of buying a PS1 I could get a used Neo for the same amount? Just on a whim I called one of those game stores that advertised in the back of gaming mags to see if they had any Neo Geo stuff. I couldn't believe it when they said they had a bundle for a system and a few games for what seemed like peanuts. They didn't even seem like they wanted to sell it, the salesman was so unenthusiastic. Almost second guessing my purchase. I got a system, 2 controllers and 6 games.

A week later my order showed up, my buddy was there when I unpacked the box and hooked the system up. It was so awesome putting in the first cart (FFS) grabbing the controllers and hearing that boot up jingle, the realization hit like "Holy shit, I can't believe I actually own this!". Probably my number one gaming related memory.
 

thegreathopper

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The Warren Street store was a gem. Sadly I heard that a flood destroyed all the stock.... I can tell you what I bought from there as a friend and I used to drive down from West Yorkshire just to visit that store and buy as much as we could. We bought lots of games at £20 such as Crossed Swords, Thrash Rally and Sidekicks 2. I bought my first snaplock case game (Fatal Fury 3 Euro) at £65 and then my biggest purchase back then was KoF98 (english) for £180 and it was either that or buy and english copy of Metal Slug 2 - both were the same price. We must have bought over 30 games from there and in total I suspect they had a least 150 games for sale.

The flood was in Rathbone place, I went in a couple of days later and the caged area at the back where they had the PC engine LT running and all sorts of retro gear was covered in water and taken off sale as they were waiting for an insurance check.

it stayed like this for weeks and then suddenly it was all gone! The retro shop was near Goodge st, I sold my PC engine and a load of games there, Ash who worked there said I was crazy when I said it was to fund a PS1.. he was right.

The only home carts I remember were approx 5 KOF97 carts all new, I bought one. There were a lot of others but I was just interested in KOF, I traded in a Sengoku 2 which they gave me about £30 for and a Viewpoint which they gave about £70.
 
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konrad

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I personally got to know Neogeo by playing in the room where the cabinets were and of course I saw it in the magazines of the time. I remember seeing those huge AOF sprites that took up almost the entire screen and as the characters received hits their faces deformed and There were bruises. I was shocked. No modern console has given me that same feeling and the screams that could be heard in the street in 97. I bought a Neogeo CD and sold it because of the loading times. I had a PSX and then the PlayStation 2 and finally. a cmvs that I will never change for a modern console in stores I never saw a neogeo they only had supernintendo sega megadrive etc.
 

frazer99

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The flood was in Rathbone place, I went in a couple of days later and the caged area at the back where they had the PC engine LT running and all sorts of retro gear was covered in water and taken off sale as they were waiting for an insurance check.

it stayed like this for weeks and then suddenly it was all gone! The retro shop was near Goodge st, I sold my PC engine and a load of games there, Ash who worked there said I was crazy when I said it was to fund a PS1.. he was right.

The only home carts I remember were approx 5 KOF97 carts all new, I bought one. There were a lot of others but I was just interested in KOF, I traded in a Sengoku 2 which they gave me about £30 for and a Viewpoint which they gave about £70.
Some footage has emerged from the Warren Street store: https://www.timeextension.com/news/...att-berry-exploring-cexs-legendary-retro-shop

This is in 1998. By 1999 the NeoGeo section has tripled in size. In the video there looks to be 10+ Robo Army carts plus lots of others. Those were £20-30 back then.
 

Superfamifreak

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Euro Kizuna at Telegames UK back in 96. Saw it, demo'd it, thought it was shit, bought a JP KoF95 insteam.

Yeah I'm a bellend, hindsight, etc, blah blah blah
 
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