A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting fellow Dutch collector Sander Slootweg, who gave me a tour around his game room. As we will see, Sander's collection spans many interests, including - most definitely - a love for Nintendo and Gunpei Yokoi in particular.
This is going to be long post, but I am sure it will be well worth the read, as Sander's collection is nothing short of amazing.
|Sander and his pride and joy: a full Game & Watch collection, beautifully displayed
Sander's game room is a mix of arcade machines, carefully arranged display cabinets brimful with collectables and great wall decorations. The special lighting arrangements and overall attention to detail give his room a museum-like quality.
|A row of great arcades by SEGA: (from left to right) Thunder Blade, flanked by
three by master designer Yu Suzuki: Enduro Racer, Super Hang-on and Out Run
But this room is not just for viewing; it's a play area as well. One item that immediately grabs the attention is a full-size sit-down SEGA Out Run arcade cabinet. This is actually Sander's favorite game from his collection. A great experience when it first came out in 1986, and it still is today.
|Of course, I had to check out this iconic arcade (and crashed within seconds)
Amongst many other things, Sander's collection includes complete sets of Vectrex and Philips Videopac games, and he is currently busy completing a PAL Mega Drive game set.
|A super rare Vectrex demo unit
Sander's Vectrex collection is particularly mouth-watering, with full GCE and MB sets, included a sealed 3D Imager (one of the earliest 3D game accessories) and an original Vectrex demo unit.
|Sander's complete Vectrex collection includes a sealed 3D Imager and Lightpen
Of course, we are here especially for Sander's Nintendo collection. Which is impressive in itself.
|NES store sign with spectacular light effects, that portray Nintendo's magic
So without further ado, we will let Sander introduce himself.
|Nintendo arcade flyers from the early 1980s
"My name is Sander Slootweg. I am 40 years old and live on a houseboat near Amsterdam, with my girlfriend and our little son. One of my passions is collecting video games from the 1980s."
|Wall of Game & Watches
"Fifteen years ago, I started collecting Game & Watch games and video games."
|Each Game & Watch game ever made, neatly grouped together per series
"Besides being an investment, these games made such a big impression on me as a teenager, that I want to keep those memories alive."
|The cabinet is custom made to hold a full Game & Watch collection
"Nintendo's Game & Watch was a craze at my elementary school. The first Game & Watch that I owned back then was a Table Top Popeye. When I got it, I immediately threw away the box and a few years later sold the game itself for a couple of guilders at a queens-day flea-market..."
|One side of Sander's game room is fully dedicated to Nintendo
"Many years later, I rediscovered the Game & Watches through the Internet, and learned that 60 different models had been released. I decided then that I wanted to collect them all."
|On the wall left to the cabinet hang flyers for
early Nintendo arcades from the mid 1970s
"During most part of the 1980s, SEGA and Nintendo were market leaders. They were well matched and both produced great games. But because of the high purchase prices, you had to make choices and pick between them. It is only now that I can afford both."
|Nintendo Famicom accessories, including 3D glasses and all 3D games
"I am proud of a lot of items in my collection, but if I have to name a few, these include the Game & Watch Super Mario Bros. prize version."
|The 60th Game & Watch Super Mario Bros.
also known as YM-901-S
"I have this complete with original shipping envelop."
|The lucky winners of the special prize Game & Watch received it in this envelop
"I also love the other prizes for various Famicom competitions."
|During the heydays of the Famicom, many competitions were staged in Japan.
These are some of the prizes that could be won.
"Other favorites are the Gunpei Yokoi items from his time after he left Nintendo, including a Lovebank and a Koto Laboratory Kunekunecho keychain game (which I just got thanks to Erik)."
|Gunpei Yokoi's swan song: the Bandai Wonderswan
"A special mention deserves the Bassmate Computer which I discovered some time ago. Recent research by Erik and Florent showed that this was also produced by Gunpei Yokoi's R&D1 team."
|Hiding behind the Chiritorie is a Bassmate fishing computer
"After I had completed my Game & watch collection, I started reading up on its inventor: Gunpei Yokoi."
|Most of Nintendo's early video game history is represented here
"I soon found my next collection goal: finding everything Gunpei Yokoi and his design team had created."
|Nintendo Virtual Boy and full set of games
"What helped greatly during my search was the book on Gunpei Yokoi by Takefumi Makino (translated into French by Florent Gorges) and the lovely beforemario.com blog."
"I have been reading your beforemario blog for years, not knowing you only lived a stone's throw away!"
|Sander's fantastic display of Gunpei Yokoi inventions
"What I like most about all these toys and games is that they are original, simple and fun to play."
|Sander is planning to add a glass window to complete his display
"I also like their mechanical nature and they evoke youth sentiment."
|The love for Gunpei's heritage is clear from the way all is presented
"A favorite of mine is the Nintendo Custom Riffle. I still can't understand how such a realistic gun replica made it through customs without any problems."
|This wall deserves to be in museum, open to the public
"I am currently still looking for the following items: a Virtual Boy tall demo stand, a Game Boy demo pod, a Nintendo Cross Over, Nintendo Time Shock and Nintendo Ele Conga, as well as a GCE (Vectrex) Sports Time Watch and the SEGA Mega Drive game The Punisher."
|Sander with the most recent addition to his collection:
one of Gunpei Yokoi's last games: the Kunekunecho keychain game
Thank you Sander, for the extensive tour of your wonderful collection! I was especially impressed by your wall of Gunpei Yokoi toys, which is the most beautiful display of his inventions I have ever seen.
Previous episodes of Meet the Collectors can be found here.
If you also want to feature your collection on beforemario.com, please drop me a note.