THE PINT INVADES – RETRO WORLD EXPO
While yours truly enjoys the tabletop gaming scene, my heart has always belonged to video games. I received my original NES for Christmas 1986 and I’m quite certain that my parents couldn’t have imagined how much gaming would become a part of the fabric of who I am. Over the course of the past 32 years I’ve poured tens of thousands of hours into more virtual worlds than I can count. Suffice to say I was all in when Ganache asked me to join him in covering Retro World Expo at the CT Convention Center in Hartford, CT. While other shows may offer a smattering of videogames, Retro World Expo is completely dedicated to it, more specifically classic gaming. We had a great time, I saw tons of awesome stuff, took tons of pictures, and had to keep myself from straight up melting my credit card. So scroll on down and check out some of the highlights of our day.
Now you may notice that the other half of the “Big 2” wasn’t in any of the pictures, Sir Jon was up in Massachusetts that day catching up with some old pals, so as not to break tradition I had to get a picture of him flipping me off while recording the latest episode of the podcast (it doesn’t have a title yet, but the Jo(h)n’s and Manster are talking about their viewing of “The Thing”)
Even press has to wait in line sometimes, and while we were waiting to check in, these fun rides were in the concourse, I especially like the homage to Mario Kart, complete with the bane of my existence (the friggin blue shell) on the roof.
I know this show was dedicated to video games, but I can’t help but point out that once again the fine folks from The Dragon’s Lair in Wallingford, CT were out in full force repping the tabletop scene. If you haven’t stopped by their shop, I highly recommend you do, you won’t find a group more dedicated to the tabletop scene, www.dragonslairus.us.
While we’re talking about local shops that you should visit, Vinegar Syndrome out of Bridgeport, CT was also in attendance. Specializing in the restoration of the classic “B” movie. Vinegar Syndrome is working hard to preserve these forgotten films for a whole new generation. www.vinegarsyndrome.com
And wrapping up the local trifecta were our friends at Robber Barons Ink, based out of Simsbury, CT these guys specialize in pop culture themed shirts and bandana’s. They are super hard working individuals so do yourself a favor and check out their website (and I for the life of me can’t get a link to embed in here so you will have to copy pasta into your browser) www.robberbaronsink.com
I tried to capture a panographic pic of the arcade are that was set up, there were easily 40 classic cabinets and pinball machines available for FREE PLAY. I miss arcades, it was always great to hang out with like minded individuals geeking out over our shared love of gaming, and there is something so rewarding about testing your skills against a person standing six inches away from you. I’m truly sad that the new generation of gamers will never get to experience that kind of communal experience.
There was also a huge selection of classic consoles available for folks to try, never played a Saga Genesis? Or an Atari? Or a Dreamcast (the most underrated console ever created, and a personal favorite of yours truly) If you were in attendance you most certainly had the opportunity. I can’t begin to describe the memories that came flooding back while I was watching people play all these wonderful classics.
Now after a busy morning of checking out video games, we decided to avail ourselves of the concessions available at the Convention Center, and Ganache went ham on the biggest turkey leg I have ever seen. He basically needed a shower by the time he was done.
After lunch we decided to check out the vendor area, and let me tell you how hard it was to not empty my bank account on basically everything I saw. It was like a trip down memory lane looking at all the classics on sale. If you wanted it, chances are you could find it at someone’s booth.
If you STILL couldn’t find what you were looking for at one of the many tables, there was also a full auction taking place in the back corner of the Convention, tons of people took part over the course of the day, bidding on everything from video game themed collectibles, classic consoles, accessories, and even full arcade cabinets!!! Who needs to pay their mortgage right???
And while we were walking around taking this all in, Ganache had commissioned a ridiculously sweet Swamp Thing piece, drawn by fantastic artist Rich Smith check out his stuff at: www.etsy.com/shop/therichsmithrobot
What a fantastic day!!! I had a blast reliving so many fantastic memories of my youth, all the classic cabinets, games, systems, and memorabilia left me reeling. I really want to thank the folks over at Retro World Expo for having us, and can’t wait to attend next year, and believe me I’m already setting some $$$ aside for next year!!! If you are so inclined check out their website at www.retroworldexpo.com, and keep tabs for the details on the 2019 show!!.
Until Next Time Everyone
Be Good To Your Fellow Nerds!!