Sunday, July 16, 2023

Meet the Collectors - #12 - Christian Puryear

Sometimes good things take a while to come to fruition, and today's blog post is a good example of this.

When I started the meet the collectors series, back in 2012, one of the people I reached out to was a collector called Christian (aka Vinelodge). I had known him as a serious collector of vintage Nintendo toys and games already for a while, at a time when this hobby was still quite uncommon. He was (is) one of the pioneers.

Christian was interested to participate, but said that the presentation of his collection needed some attention before he was happy to have it featured. "Give me a chance to get everything organized and looking nice and I'll send you some pictures.", he said.

Well, that took a little longer than expected. :-) Fast forward to 2023 and here he is.

"My name is Christian Puryear. I live in Nashville, Tennessee in the United States with my wife and three children."

"I have collected Nintendo items for many years. When I was young, some Japanese families with kids my same age moved to our neighborhood. They brought with them many things not available in the United States at the time; including Game & Watches!"

"I found them all very interesting and each had its own unique charm. There seemed to be so many, and always more to discover."

"A few years later, the NES came out and was a big part of growing up in the 1980's. That same polish & charm was evident in all other Nintendo games now available. At that time, I knew there was much more available over in Japan; but it just wasn't accessible here in the States."

"After college, 'retro' video games at that time were cheap and easy to find and so I enjoyed hunting to find 'unknown' games. I especially enjoyed the boxes; the art on the packaging was always the most interesting but it was also the least likely to be found! Typically, I will only acquire items that also come with the original box. I often joke that I collect cardboard more than video games."

Nintendo Chiritori (1979), Kôsenjû SP Riffle (1970),
Love Tester (1969) and Ultra Scope (1971)

"After I completed most of the North American Nintendo items, the internet came around and suddenly overseas toys were much more available. I started to obtain Game & Watches and quickly found that there was a much deeper Nintendo history with even more interesting items to be found."

"I like how there is a consistently professional focus towards simple enjoyment behind Nintendo's toys and am really fascinated how they have maintained consistency over many years."

"The oldest are the most interesting to me - Hanafunda cards and Kosai No Tomo sets. I like to see how Nintendo's products evolved from simple and nondescript items to more sophisticated and branded (and popular)."

Kosai No Tomo ("companionship") set,
featuring multiple games, including card games

"It's also very interesting to me how a very Japanese product is 'translated' into an American market. I like to see the differences in both the Japanese version and the American version of the same game."

Nintendo Japanese style cards (hanafuda) and
Western style (called trump cards in Japan);

"I have a room in my house dedicated to storing my collection. I built the shelving and storage units myself trying to find the balance between displaying items and holding my collection. The inspiration for my Game & Watch shelves came from this blog's Meet the Collectors #5's game and watch display!"

Nice one, Christian! That would be Sander's episode, which can be found here.

"I still don't have enough room for everything and much of my collection is hidden away."

"If I had to pick one favorite item overall, it would be Turtle Bridge. The first Game & Watch I played."

Nintendo Candy Machine (1970), Copilas copier (1971)
and Color TV Game 112 (1978) 

"There are a few items from the 1970's that I would like to find; most specifically an Ele-Conga. I'd also like to obtain more of the Disney licensed toys from the 1960's. Nintendo and Disney is a great combination and I don't believe many people appreciate how far back the two companies go (and some of the liberties Nintendo took with their character licenses then)."

"Mostly though, I am happy that my children are able to enjoy new and current games from Nintendo as part of their childhood, in very much the same way that I did."

"I hope Nintendo is able to maintain their personality and consistency for many years to come!"

Thank you very much for sharing your collection and history with us, Christian. It was definitely worth the wait. And great to see you are passing your enthusiasm on to the next generation.

If any of you out there also have a collection of vintage Nintendo items, and would like to be featured in the Meet the Collectors series on this blog, please get in touch with me. It does not matter if your collection is large or small, the only thing that counts is your passion!

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