Michael Thomasson is selling off his collection of video games. Credit: Brianna Blank A certified holder of a Guinness World Record for the largest collection of video games is about to flog the lot. Michael Thomasson’s haul of over 11,000 games with no repeats is up for grabs on GameGavel.com, for the current figure of a cool $700,500.
And the bidding isn’t over yet, with the auction closing on Sunday. It's the perfect Father’s Day gift, no? The 43-year-old from Buffalo, New York, tells Metro his reasons behind selling and why he’s started collecting video games again (you heard right).
The collection recently got up to a whopping $50,000. What are you expecting?
$50,000, that’s a low number. I think it’s at more likely $98,000 now or something. I don’t know what to expect but I’m told the value is about $700,000. My collection is pristine: I’ve been running games stores for twenty-something years, so I would have the choice of the copies and I have over 2,600 games that are factory-sealed.
That’s a lot of money. Are you going to splash the cash on a new house?
No, I’m a pretty simple man. I have some family that has some needs that I’m going to help out with. I’m going to get my daughter into a better school and I would like my wife to be able to have nice things from time to time. First of all, I’ll pay the bills and pay off the mortgage and do the responsible thing but hopefully there’s enough left over so I can enjoy some of it too.
Have you already started a new collection?
Well, I’ve already moved onto collecting video games. I’ve started buying back my favorites (duplicates of what’s in the Guinness collection): when I come across them in good shape and for a fair price I buy them.
You must be a hoarder ...
I’m not a hoarder but when I was younger I used to collect comic books. Once I started collecting video games and found how interactive they were I left printed comic books. I’m selling the games out of necessity but I’m not leaving the industry — it’s my passion and I love it.
So how many rooms does your collection take up?
One primary game room, a secondary room and there are pieces and parts of games all over the house. I used to have storage facilities and once I had to buy a bigger house. The collection is always kept in climate-controlled conditions.
Like a cigar humidor ... You must want to treat yourself with all that money?
One of my other passions is pinball, so if it sells and I take care of things I may buy myself a pinball machine too. I always had a fondness for the Black Knight 1980 pinball game.