It was the year 2001, and we just got hit by the first heavy snow storm of winter. The next day it started raining which created a very cold and ugly day. I was sitting in my cave(basement) playing Super Contra on the Super Nintendo. The only thought that ever goes through my mind when playing that game is “How amazing this game was for it’s time!“….. Then I received a phone call. It was my dad.
He phoned to tell me that one of the storage facilities next to his work was shooting out a bunch of old computers, but that they were brand new. He said, “Do you want them?!?”. Apart from it being one hell of a weird question my initial thought was what the heck do I need old computers for??
I asked him, “Whats written on the computer dad?”.
“Ummm…..it’s written Spectravideo. You want it?“.
I’ve only heard of Spectravideo briefly, and to be honest I had no prior knowledge to the 80’s computer. Quite frankly, I didn’t have a desire to receive these old computers because I did not grow up with Spectravideo. So I told my dad “No thanks dad, I have no use for them“.
Later that day I get another phone call. It’s my dad again. “Open the garage door!” he said. At this point I knew it’s not the old computers he found since I told him I wasn’t interested. What happens? My dad opens the back trunk and shizam! A whack load of Spectravideo boxes! Now at first I was thinking that I was going to shoot them out anyways since they looked like garbage, but to any Spectravideo collector this was literally a wet dream.
I called my brother and we formed an assembly line of “handling Spectravideo” boxes. There was so much!
Into the cave these 80’s computers went. I have to admit, it was a pretty neat sight; all these old cardboard boxes with tons of vintage Spectravideo hardware and software. As I opened up box after box, I was pulling out brand new SVI-318’s, SVI-328’s, and quick shot joysticks that were so mint is was ridiculous. The scenario was incredibly fantastic that anyone would call me a liar, a fool to make such a story up. But I swear it really happened.
Thus……The Wall of Spectravideo.
While pulling out these boxes, I never knew I was holding onto rare accessories and attachments such as the SV-105 Graphics Tablet, SV 601 Expander circuit board, Spectravideo SVI-777 Stringy Floppy Drive for MSX, and MSX Tablets. Everything was just really bizarre because it wouldn’t make sense that someone would shoot all of this out. Chances are, I was probably the only one in the whole world with this huge collection of brand new Spectravideo items! Now at the time, I had some general knowledge of where the hot spots were on the internet. The first place I checked, like any collector was eBay. At the time not many people would do this. I mean I would still go into Pawn shops, Card stores, Collector Shops and these guys would be clueless as to what they were selling. Nowadays you can’t find one place where the guy behind the counter says, “Yeah hold on a sec, let me check the net” which means he’s checking eBay to compare prices; and for some reason these guys always have that greedy grin while doing this. When checking on eBay, I saw that Spectravideo’s had quite the presence on eBay and people were bidding on them! So the first thought in my mind was that I could make some really good money! However, as a collector myself of rare video game items I knew that I would be robbing collectors that are searching for these items, but don’t have the cash to support their hobby. So I tried searching of Spectravideo forums and started posting what I had. Long story short I ended up selling a bunch of items that were greatly appreciated by Spectravideo collectors. I’m glad that these went to the right people instead of guys buying them off eBay and then reselling them.
The left over Spectravideo hardware’s and software’s I had I started auctioning them off on eBay which was my first taste of being a seller. Never in my mind would I think that being a seller was that stressful. The amounts of emails I received, the questions of particularities, the extra pictures…..what a headache! I even had people asking me where I lived! It was quite the experience(a little creepy as well). Now just to give you an idea of how hot these items were, I listed a brand new SVI-328 which sold for $300 easy. But, I started all the auctions at $20 and let people bid on it. In the end the prices started dropping, and I was VERY happy getting rid of them. Oddly enough, Spectravideo was manufactured in the US, but all my customers(99%) where from Scandinavian countries.
Some retro gamers might call me crazy, some might even question my taste for video games in general after reading this and seeing how I let go of this gold mine so easily, but in the end it comes down to what you like, and what you collect. I bump into guys who say Sega was the best system ever made and I am there scratching my head. But these guys were raised with Sega so they will obviously back the company 100%. That’s fine. But Spectravideo and me….. we did not mix since I wasn’t raised playing Spectravideo.
Anyways, I did not want to create a post where I explained what Spectravideo was about, but I found a great site at “Rogers Spectravideo Page” that can explain everything you wanted to know about the 80’s company. Well, below are pictures I took during the time. They are not digital so I had to scan these. It’s really quite the site to see all these brand new items. I hope you had fun reading this as much as I had fun writing it. VGA wishes everyone Merry Christmas!
“No thanks dad, I have no use for them“…..