Growth, is good. It helps to define us as people and impacts everything around us. Seeing something you love, grow and mature, is an incredibly special experience that, despite its occasional bumps and the odd veer off the proverbial road, is as rewarding as it can be challenging. To say that I am pleased to see this incredible little market heading down its own road of growth is an understatement. Walking up to Shady Palms on Sunday and seeing the large group of people slowly shuffling their way around the myriad of retro gold brought a smile to my face and excitement into my heart. The coolest little market in Brisbane, is growing.
For the unlucky majority that have never attended one of these events. The Brisbane Video Game and Pop Culture market is organised by one man, an ex DJ with a penchant for all things retro. Known around the 8 bit blocks as DJ Sheep, this man takes regular trips to Japan with the aim to buy as much video game gold as he can traffic back in one go, with the latest trip hauling in at around 250kg! In the lead up to the event, I was witness to many of the photos posted to Facebook of Sheep’s time overseas, digging through stores to find the treasures that were destined for the markets, and I have to say, heading to Japan with a few thousand dollars and the sole task of tracking down and buying rare video games, might just be my idea of a perfect holiday.
As I previously mentioned, I was able to see the crowds at Shady Palms upon walking up to the event, this is due to the market being moved to the front of the venue instead of being nestled away in the back beer garden area. Doing so meant that the event garnered a lot more foot traffic than it might have otherwise. It also meant that the sun was able to bear its full ferocity on all the poor stall owners and organisers as they sold their wares.
Check out our image gallery of the event below!
Heat aside, the markets themselves were fantastic. Sega Saturns, Neo Geos, Super Nintendos and Super Famicoms. Shirts, collectables, comics and hundreds of cartridges, some of which were new, in the original box. I myself took a couple of my duplicate games from my PS1 collection down to sell and within about 3 seconds of placing a black label Crash Bandicoot on the table, had made my first (very excited) sale. The young boy I sold the game to was obviously a video game fan, as his eyes lit up when he saw the game, then lit up further when I told him all I was asking for the title was $10.
Pricing at the market is all in all, pretty fair. I was lucky enough to run into a few ‘long time collectors’ during my stint behind the main table and the general consensus was that no one was paying too much for the items they desired. In fact, on more than one occasion, people were picking up massive bargains in terms of games, consoles and comics. I watched a Nintendo 64 with an as-new controller sell for a little over $100. A price that you would be hard pressed to find on Ebay.
Something you won’t ever get online however is the interaction between people, and here-in lies my continued reason for loving these markets as much as I do. The people involved are just, rad. From the customers to the stallholders, the people behind the bar at Shady Palms to the childhood friends you happen to run into at the event. From top to bottom, the Brisbane Video Game and Pop culture market is just a fantastic day out. Where you can pick up a copy of Mega Man X2, chat to some lovely strangers about video games, then catch up with some old friends over a beer out the back. I already can’t wait for the next one.