I walked into Omocha-Soko, one of my local game shops, today just to see if they had any new Famicom stuff. While I was browsing in the retro-game area I noticed a stack of small shopping baskets next to the racks of Famicom games.
I almost ignored them completely but the sign above it had the word Houdai (放題） in big letters so I took a look. Houdai is a word you see at all-you-can-eat restaurants and basically means "as much as you can".
When I took a closer look, the sign said that, for the low price of 800 yen (about 8$) you could get as many retro-games as you could cram into one of those little baskets. This included their entire selection of pre-N64/Sega Saturn/Playstation stuff, which is massive. The only exception was the stuff they had in glass cases where they keep the better games that retail for 1,000 yen or more, but still - how cool is that?
I had to make some strategic decisions. I decided to avoid the Super Famicom and Playstation games because they are bigger and I could therefore fit fewer of them into the limited space the basket had available. Gameboy games were definitely on shopping list - if I had wanted I probably could have fit half their stock into one of the baskets. Unfortunately somebody else had probably already thought of that as their Gameboy selection was pretty picked-over by the time I got to it, but nonetheless I found 8 games that looked interesting so into the cart they went.
After that I decided to go for the N64 and Famicom games, which are roughly the same size and could easily be stacked together. The Gameboy games could then be shoved into the little crevices on the sides of the basket.
The Famicom game racks had been heavily cherry-picked by the time I got to them, including by myself in the past. So I decided to just look for whatever games I didn't have and which looked kind of cool and just shove them in the basket. I found 14 altogether that fit this bill. I rounded off the basket with a couple of N64 games that I thought looked pretty good.
All in all I got a little over 8,000 yen worth of games (according to their sticker prices) for 800 yen including tax. Not a bad deal. Its a lot better this way than buying them in lots too because I could actually pick out the games as opposed to taking a big lot which is half made up of doubles.