With the rise of prices in retro video games, finding older consoles such as the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo GameCube and their games were and still are hard to find. Game Pawn, a mom & pop shop for video games, aimed to address that issue. It opened its doors for both its Waterford and Southfield, Michigan, stores in the fall of 2020. To open two stores during a pandemic is quite the challenge, but that didn’t stop owners Cam Sohrabi and Garrett Pyatt from reaching their goal.
While opening a store during a pandemic is a challenge and not an essential service when compared to a restaurant, retro video game stores have provided entertainment and hobbies for many during lockdown. To stand out from other retro stores, Game Pawn decided to create a special day to help bring in business, Collector’s Day.
The Waterford store held its first Collector’s Day on March 13, 2021. The event showcased at least two cases full of hard-to-find games, including titles such as Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers 2 for the NES, a boxed F-Zero X, and a boxed Ogre Battle 64 for the Nintendo 64. The event went on to become a success, and buyers from outside of Michigan—Ohio, to be exact—came to the store for it.
After the success of the first event, having another just made sense. Two months later, a second Collector’s Day was held on May 22. Cat with Monocle was there to experience it and was impressed by the amount of items displayed for this special day. There were three cases filled with high-value games across many generations of consoles, including Sega 32X, Sega CD, Sega Saturn, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, Sony PlayStation One, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Nintendo GameCube, NES, and Nintendo Game Boy.
It was a surprise to see the first classic RPGs from the Sega Master System, Ys and Phantasy Star, together in one place. Additionally, the rare Sega 32X game, The Amazing Spider-Man: Web of Fire, made its presence, too. Good luck finding that on eBay.
Sega CD and Sega Saturn games are among the most difficult games to find, along with their original cases, manuals, inserts, and discs. However, at Game Pawn’s Collector’s Day, there were a solid handful of them there, including Panzer Dragoon Saga, which at $1300 became the most expensive title sold that day, according to Cam and Garrett.
With many high-value games available on the sales floor, they were targeted at first sight when doors opened at 10am EDT. Some purchasers were even there before its opening, ready to grab those collectible items. When asked if anyone outside the state of Michigan came to the event, the two owners were not aware of any, but the event was a success regardless. Cat with Monocle reached out to both Cam and Garrett in regards to the Collector’s Day attendance.
“The event went well. A big turn out and sold a lot of pieces. Lot of higher-end games went out the door,” Garrett Pyatt said.
“Very well to be honest. New collector’s in the area and new items,” Cam Sohrabi said. “We even had a great turnout for trade-ins. We had someone bring in their entire N64 collection with their original boxes and inserts.”
A scheduled day to showcase and sell high-value collectible items is a unique way to bring in customers. When preparing items for the event, Game Pawn’s team tracks down and collects high-value products, along with their own collected games that were scored and authorized by WataGames, an independent video game grading and certification service. However, during the event, their authorized games were not available for purchasing at the time. After talking with Garrett, Game Pawn is looking to sell them in the near future. After the event, except for their scored games, any game not sold remains on the floor.
As for the next Collector’s Day, Garrett responded that another one will be held “later in the summer after moving our Southfield store into a bigger storefront.” When the next event is scheduled, an announcement will be made on Game Pawn’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and on their website 3 to 4 weeks prior to the event date.
While there are a handful of mom & pop video game stores, every one of them has something unique, but Game Pawn has taken it a step further with its Collector’s Day event. After Game Pawn’s Southfield store moves to a bigger storefront, perhaps we will see events like those at the Waterford store there, too.