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A look into the massive retro-gaming collection of ZadocPaet

Updated: Nov 13

At ThriftScore, we LOVE peeping your wild finds! When we put out a call for people with interesting and vast collections, Redditor ZadocPaet stepped to the plate to share his hard-won stash with us.


The Phoenix, AZ resident has amassed an impressive and valuable collection of rare and short-lived vintage gaming consoles, controllers and games!


We chatted with him a bit about his collection, how he got started, his personal White Whales.


Visit RETRO GAME LIVING ROOM where he shares his cool finds with the world.



thriftscoreclub

First off, how long have you been collecting? What was your entry into gaming?


ZadocPaet

My first memory of a video game comes from when I was three years old. My dad had brought his Atari 2600 home and we played Combat and Space Invaders, but Missile Command was my favorite. I've been collecting since I was old enough to have a job. So, since about 1997.


thriftscoreclub

Nice! My parents brought home a game of Pong! That was my first memory of video games, mid-seventies. Do you think having a father who was into games helped foster your love of them?


ZadocPaet

He definitely encouraged me to try games when I was a kid and to think critically about what I did and didn't like. Especially when it came to going to places like Pizza Time and playing arcades.

Unfortunately that 2600 got stolen and we were too poor for an NES. So I have to live vicariously through my friends.

In 1991 I got Genesis and that's really where my love of gaming blossomed.

Being poor, I owned few games growing up, but I got to rent them.

So when I got a job, I decided to purchase my childhood rental memories, hence how I started collecting.


thriftscoreclub

Ahh! Did you ever get to see a Dragon's Lair game at Pizza Time? That blew me away back in the day.


ZadocPaet

Yes, I remember being blown away by Dragon's Lair, but not really getting it.


thriftscoreclub

Yeah, I liked watching it, but never would cough up the money to play it myself.

Anyway, so what was your first purchase with your job money?


ZadocPaet

I think it was Sonic Spinball. I was a big Sega kid and Sonic fan. I had the other main Genesis Sonic games, so Spinball was a natural choice.

Back then, though...

I bought a lot of games at once, because pawn shops were practically giving them away


thriftscoreclub

What is your all time favorite console?


ZadocPaet

Sega Saturn because we didn't have a computer in our household. Couldn't afford one. But the Saturn had a Net Link modem, so it introduced me to the internet. As a result, I've spent more time with that console than any other. Furthermore, it has my favorite game of all time in Panzer Dragoon Saga, and it has my favorite "desert island" game: NiGHTS Into Dreams... However, I do recognize that it's not the greatest console of all time. That honor probably goes to PS2 for its sheer library and ability to play all PSX games.

I also love a good underdog


thriftscoreclub

I love seeing all those short-lived consoles in your collection. What is the rarest piece you own? And how did you happen to obtain it?


ZadocPaet

It's hard to know what's rarest. What's most valuable is the Pioneer LaserActive, which I found at a local game store. The Off-the-Wall projector is super rare and I found that on a Belgian swap site. I just got a Bandai Design Master Mangajuku, that was on eBay. I've had some good thrift finds too, like a Game & Watch and Atari 7800.


thriftscoreclub

Is there an archive online anywhere of every console and game ever? Like a wiki of sorts?


ZadocPaet

Yes! videogameconsolelibrary.com I used it as a guide when obtaining my console collection.


thriftscoreclub

What would you say your biggest holy grail/white whale item would be that you are still in search of?


ZadocPaet

I'd like an Entex AdventureVision. It

It is possibly the lowest production console, and the rarest.


thriftscoreclub

I've never heard of it! Not surprisingly! How often do they come up for sale or trade? What year was it put out?


ZadocPaet

It was released in 1982. It's tabletop console. It comes up infrequently.


thriftscoreclub

Do you have any funny stories from hunting? It sounds like you source everywhere, there's bound to have been something wild!


ZadocPaet

When I was out of high school I worked for GameStop/Babbages/FuncoLand for two years.

One time this dude came in with a box of Master System games and a JVC X'Eye. We could take none of that at our store so, I offered him whatever lunch money I had in my pocket.


thriftscoreclub

Wow! And he was probably happy! Were your coworkers jealous or were they mostly into the new stuff?


ZadocPaet

Ya, they couldn't have cared less

but for something I paid lunch money for, the X'Eye is worth over $250 now

one of my best scores


thriftscoreclub

I'm looking at all of your pics still and I see you have some consoles that were pretty lousy! Are you still willing to pay a decent amount for a console even if it sucks because of its rarity?


ZadocPaet

Lousy? lol Like what? haha

Fortunately, most of the consoles that I own that suck are or were worthless. That said, it depends on the console's place in history. Gizmondo I paid a little less than market price for it, but its amazing story makes it worth owning to me.


thriftscoreclub

RCA Studio II


ZadocPaet

oh yes

that is the worst console ever


thriftscoreclub

What is the Gizmondo story?


ZadocPaet

I do get value out of the Studio II by showing people what it's like to play the worst console ever!


thriftscoreclub

Haha. Good point.


ZadocPaet

I can't do the Gizmondo story justice, but it involves fake homeland security officials, the mob, and a plan to track kids via GPS

I only paid like $50 for that Studio II back in the day, heh


thriftscoreclub

Oh geez! Gizmondo, what the heck!? I will google that one! What is the most you've ever spent on one single thing for your collection?


ZadocPaet

For a single item I paid $350 for the Pioneer LaserActive. It was a holy grail.


thriftscoreclub

Yeah, I'm thinking those games have got to be the most amazing! Do you ever upload videos of you playing or demoing your games?


ZadocPaet

Yes! I take my collection to retro shows and call it Retro Game Living Room. I also publish YouTube videos on some of the rarer, more obscure stuff as the same name.


thriftscoreclub

Oh dang! I just saw a picture of something like that! I wonder if it was yours? Green shag carpet and old tvs and couches? We were just saying HOW AWESOME that is!


ZadocPaet

No, that one was at PGRE. I didn't go to that. But I love their idea!


thriftscoreclub

This is your youtube, obviously! https://www.youtube.com/user/ZadocPaet I'm going to check it out.


ZadocPaet

cool!

I also do albums, you can find them sticked at the top of r/ZadocPaet


thriftscoreclub

Yeah, so what is your dream to do with all the stuff? Do you want to open a museum or at least have a place to kind of easily jump from one to another? I mean, from console to console, without having to hook everything up individually.


ZadocPaet

My dream is to allow people who would otherwise not have a chance to experience some of these rare consoles to play them.

In particular, hidden gems, like Astrocade, Vectrex, and Channel F


thriftscoreclub

Would it be hard to trust people to be gentle with your stuff if you put it out there? That might make me nervous!


ZadocPaet

I am there the whole time to make sure!

I am more worried about the wear and tear of use.


thriftscoreclub

Oh, so speaking of that. What are the biggest problems that come up? Condition, I'm sure is a big one. Any other challenges a game system/game collector faces?


ZadocPaet

Repairs are my biggest one. It's hard to find people you can trust and who have the ability to work on some of these things.


thriftscoreclub

True! Have you learned how to fix things on your own because of that?


ZadocPaet

Only a little. I don't have the skill to attempt anything major.


thriftscoreclub

Have you ever done sourcing at estate sales?


ZadocPaet

I have. My best estate sale find was a boxed Texas Instruments TI-994/a


thriftscoreclub

I love estate sales, but hate it when they don't price things up front! I've had the company pull out their phones to research things on ebay while I wait. Grr!!


ZadocPaet

yup

that is the worst


thriftscoreclub

So now, when you go to to sales or thrift stores, etc, are you just looking for things you don't already have? Or do you still buy things up if they're decently priced?


ZadocPaet

I'll still buy things that are cheap for trading purposes. I'll also take chances on games I've never heard of. Last year I took a chance on Beach Spikers: Virtual Beach Volleyball. It turned out to be my favorite hidden gem on the console.


thriftscoreclub

Where do you find the rarer games? That seems to me like it would have to be flea markets and private sellers. I have never seen anything vintage at our local thrift stores. All modern stuff.


ZadocPaet

Rarest thrift find was a Game & Watch

the rarer stuff I head to apps for: eBay, Letgo, OfferUp, Craigslist, etc


thriftscoreclub

A Game & Watch? I don't know what that is! But tell me about it and how much you paid!


ZadocPaet

Game & Watch is a series of Nintendo handhelds from the 80s. I paid all of $3 for an $80 game

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_%26_Watch_series


thriftscoreclub

Wow! When did you discover thrifting?


ZadocPaet

In the late 90s. Goodwills and pawn shops!


thriftscoreclub

Where do you live? Is the thrifting scene good?


ZadocPaet

I live in Phoenix. We have a healthyish thrifting scene. Like anywhere these days, you have to go to a lot of stores and go often to have good finds.


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