My oldest daughter’s first retro gaming fair

Having been to quite a few retro gaming fairs, this month’s second Classic & Retro Gaming fair in Belgium was high on the agenda as it’s the ideal place to meet up with some fellow collectors and grab some retro goodness bargains.
For this year, the organizers moved to a different venue that promised to have all sellers in one big hall and they picked a great spot in Lier. It definitely added to the overall atmosphere!

In the weeks leading up to the event my oldest daughter Lauranne asked if she could come to the fair as well (having all the classic Commodores and Videopacs at hand in the office for the kids to play on helps in transferring that retro bug) as she would love to have a second controller for the G7400 so she can play her favorite Videopac game with me: Stone Sling.
It’s one of those father-daughter moments where you can see that they’re a chip of the block, so when Sunday November 18th came, we were of to the fair.

After a short drive we arrived and were greeted by fellow collector and friend Roby. He was already there for an hour and had managed to scoop up some nice deals.

We did a quick first tour of the fair and sure enough, Laurannne was already playing on various classic consoles. She had me reaching for my wallet already after 5 minutes when she started playing Stairrunner, a new Videopac game created by Martijn of Revival Studios. Her very first own retro game purchase went in the books!

We met up with the guys at Rastermania, who specialize in the repair of classic coin-ops where I showed here the games and machines that ate my lunch money as a kid.  I’d love to have an arcade cabinet in the office and preferably the all-time classic: Galaga… one can dream…

Being kids of the new millennium, she and her sister have their Nintendo 3DS systems so when her eye caught a glimpse of some of the DS titles on sale, there was no stopping her. It might not be a retro sale, but 5 Euro for a DS game is too good a deal to pass, so after a couple of minutes browsing the different titles, we ended up buying quite a few good games.

As a good detective, every time she noticed a couple of boxes, she would start browsing them to look for that illusive Videopac controller. We didn’t find one (no worries, we can still play Stone Sling on the G7000), but we did end up finding a lot of other stuff…

When she saw the little Mario puppets on sale, again she was unstoppable and immediately made a selection of her favorite characters – with daddy reaching for his wallet again (dads have a hard time saying no).

When she started playing on the Atari Lynx and Vectrex (which she liked very much) I was starting to wonder how on Earth I would be able to explain to my wife that we would be needing some more space to put this one. Luckily I managed to lure her away with the promise of some gaming in the special classic consoles corner where you could play on all the different consoles for as long as you wanted (although I was now seriously pondering the Vectrex option I have to admit – it’s one of those things you always wanted as a kid).

Whilst she was playing on the Dreamcast, I caught up with Roby and we relaxed in the cafeteria over a good coffee.  Time flies when you’re having fun and we decided to make our way back, but not after just one quick last tour of the fair. I don’t recall us missing a spot on the previous tours, but Lauranne now spotted a Super Nintendo Entertainment System with Donkey Kong Country on display. She started playing on the system and immediately was hooked, so… daddy reached for his wallet again and we ended up purchasing the system and game.

With our shopping bags now well and truly filled, we left the retro fair and started the drive home. We still had an entire afternoon of gaming ahead of us and her sister would surely enjoy the DS games and Mario puppets. We’ll be back next year, that’s for sure (and she’ll probably be looking for some more SNES games).

Here are some more pictures of this fun day at a well organized event.


The wall of NES


So we ended up buying a SNES


PC games for sale


Revival Studios makes new games for the old classics, like the Videopac, ZX81 and VIC20 and Commodore PET!


Nintendo Game & Watch were every kids favorite back in the 80s and today these little handheld games sell for 100+ Euro


Games for every platform


And more games… and a nice Videopac G7400


I spy with my little eye, something beginning with “C”


Looking for that hard to find Videopac controller


Atari anyone?

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